Is there anything more annoying than telemarketers who seem to have the uncanny ability to call at the most inconvenient times? It is no wonder that the Do Not Call registry in the US has become so popular and the Canadian list is slated to become operational in late 2008. But political parties, print media, charities, companies with which we deal already and survey companies are exempt from the proposed do-not-call registry. Most of the calls we get are for surveys, newspaper subscriptions and our bank anyway, which makes me wonder about the point of the registry.
Michael Geist, a professor at the University of Ottawa, has launched a website to complement the federal registry. Opting out of calls from many of the exempt organizations is very easy through the iOptOut website: register up to three phone numbers, select the organizations which you don’t want to hear from and a do-not-call request is sent to all the selected organizations. When an organization receives a request, they are obliged under current privacy laws to respect it.
I’ve registered all our phones through the iOptOut registry and will also do so when the federal registry goes live. If we still keep getting telemarketing calls from foreign countries, I might end up buying the TeleZapper, which I hear is pretty good at zapping telemarketing calls.
[Update: Thanks to George for pointing out that the Canadian Marketing Association also operates a Do Not Contact service. Click here to register for the CMA website.]