Don't Call Me, I Won't Call You
How about if I make my business costs cheaper by making you pay some of them -- whether you like it or not?
That's what Ryan Kincer is in the business of, as a member of "The Executive Team" of a telephone surveying company called Datascension. Three times in a row last night, I got called by a bunch of jerks at Datascension, asking me to take some movie-watching survey.
Now, I write odd hours, and steal naps in between. They're integral to my writing process. The last thing I need, especially when I have a book due and every moment counts, is to be awakened by some low-wage boiler room worker buying Ryan and his Executive Team Members bigger houses.
How would Ryan and friends like it, I wondered -- being interrupted by a person who doesn't know them and who has no personal interest in them whatsoever, save for, well, turning them into a blog item?
I scanned the exec list, did some phone number lookups. I wasn't quite sure which number belonged to the prez, so I went for the guy with the same last name. I found Chief Technical Officer Ryan Kincer's home phone number pronto in public records -- 951-736-3939 -- and gave him a call.
I informed Ryan that his company had hijacked my time and a phone line I pay for (and not for Datascension's benefit, believe it or not), and demanded to know why he thought it was okay to bother people at home so Datascension could make their marketing costs cheaper.
"We do not think it's okay to bother anybody," Ryan said, perhaps momentarily delusional about the business he's in. He then volunteered that they called me with an electronic dialer that generated a random sample of telephone numbers, apparently dialing until they hit a gooder. Just warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it?
Why, Ryan, I asked, don't you do the polite, ethical and civilized thing, and write me a letter and ask whether I'd like to participate before you invade my home? Write me and ask whether I'm willing to donate my time and the use of my telephone equipment to a "Premier Data Solutions Company."
"People who hire us don't hire us to do that ... they just hire us to make these calls," Ryan explained -- as if that makes it all okay, treating my time and yours like it belongs to them.
So, Ryan...you're only as "ethical" as you're paid to be? Nice!
He bragged that Hollywood companies and other big companies use them -- as if that makes okay. Then he said they employ lots of people. Yeah? So do drug dealers with a booming business at the local elementary school.
And then, the best of all: Ryan claimed that "some people" want to be called by telemarketers. Yeah? Any of you feel that way? Even one of you? And let's see how well it worked out for this little old man.
I'm tired of people doing business by abuse, and I refuse to take it, if I can help it (in other words, if I can find the abuser's phone number without hiring a private detective). I suggest those of you who feel the same way follow my lead.