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Do NOT Call, Please

Mark Goldberg is on his way to Ottawa today for the CRTC’s hearings on Do Not Call.  He wants to ensure that "charities and their related organizations, have a cost effective way to reach out to the community."

This is one area where I will disagree.  I hate to sound niggardly, but we really don’t want the calls. In our household we research the causes we give to and we budget to support those causes.  The most a telephone caller can expect from us is a small donation, and even then, we are unwilling to give out credit card information to a stranger calling on the telephone. The exception might be taking a call from a known organization that we already support.

Like many block / don’t block scenarios the issue of charitable organizations and good causes is not a black and white issue.  It is a nuanced issue, by individual and household.  That is the reason I oppose blanket exemptions from the Do Not Call list.  That’s also the reason I believe that the only sensible solution is better technology — a spam filter for my phone.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Andrew May 2, 2006, 7:56 am

    I agree with you 100% Alec, we made a decision a while ago in my family to not support charities/organizations that use telephone solicitation to raise funds. EOD.

  • Jim Courtney May 2, 2006, 12:26 pm

    With all the web tools available, it is time for the charities to take up the challenge of replacing traditional telemarketing and to employ viral marketing and Web 2.0 tools to generate awareness. Personally we have our list of charitable causes; over the past year they have only been expanded because a friend has recently had a disease or we learn of, say, a youth leadership activity. As a result these friends get involved with a "walk" or some other achievement to "earn" their donation. And to register support of these acheivements, these charities are using web-based tools.

    As one example, they can encourage Skypers and MSN Messenger users to put a "support" message in their "mood message" space (using, say, the technology behined Plazes). Sure would beat "Crazy doesn't even begin to cover it."!

  • Charles Iliya Krempe May 2, 2006, 8:27 pm

    I already ignore all calls from numbers I don't recognise. And refuse to answer any calls that hides its number.

    Effectively, I'm applying the concept of a "white list" to my phone.

    A long time ago, I got sick and tired of dealing with all the phone calls from people I don't know and don't want to talk to. This is the result.

    — Charles

  • Alec May 3, 2006, 1:26 am

    I started doing that last year, Charles, with PhoneGnome. When a number is hidden, it inserts a message telling them to hang up if the caller is a solicitor of any kind. Very effective.

  • Tim A May 4, 2006, 10:18 am

    The beauty of VoIP and an open source PBX means I can completely block these calls using a blacklist or even better automatically or manually connect the call to my telemarketer torture script. See my blog post on this – http://tim.blog.kosmo.com/blog/_archives/2005/2/1

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