Saturday, November 17, 2007

Do not call/mail!

I don't know about you, but I get A LOT! of phone calls from telemarketers. They're calling to offer me products and services of all kinds, to notify me that I've been selected for a free trip/gift, to take 5 minutes (usually closer to 20) of my time for a survey.

And since I moved home to Nova Scotia it's become much much worse! I've had calls at all times of the day - at 8am on a Saturday, as late as 10pm on a weekday, and of course the bulk of them come between 5pm-8pm on weeknights. It's ridiculous!

So I've done something about it! I put myself on the Canadian Marketing Association's do not call/do not mail list. Ironically I had to provide my contact information to do so, but hopefully this will greatly reduce the volume of calls I receive. If you want to do the same, go here.

I've also been told that you can contact credit bureaus to ask them to take you off their lists. My first attempt to do this didn't work because the contact numbers I was given were American, and it's actually the Canadian Credit Bureaus I needed to contact. I'm assuming this would stop credit card companies from trying to get me to sign up for their cards.

Now if only I can find out a way to stop receiving "customer satisfaction" calls from service providers!

And if you're interested, here are the rules for telemarketing. Take note of the times allowed for telemarking calls.

If you have any do not call/do not mail strategies, let me know.

I've decided to keep track of the telemarketers that call, and report back on the process to remove your name from their list. Feel free to add any tips
Note: this is where it would be useful if you could create unique pages within blogger to use to post on-going notes, but as far as I can tell, you can't.

November 22, 2007, 7:45pm: MBNA Canada Bank called

Here's the process I followed to get my name of their list and find out more information:
  • The telemarketer from the Indian Call Centre told me that if I wanted to remove my name from their list, I had to call 1-888-876-6262. He told me that once I was on the list it would take approximately 60 days to be removed from all other marketing campaigns. (Meaning I can expect more calls for another 60 days).
  • I insisted on speaking with the manager, however I was first forwarded to the floor supervisor who told me the same thing, the forwarded to the manager who told me the same thing again. The manager then took my name (the first initial of my first name, and my last name which is all they had) and my phone number and removed it from their auto-dialer. "Thanks so much for your time. You have a great day Ma'am" he said, and then hung up.
  • So then I called the 1-888 number. It's really deceiving because the automated voice asks you for your account number, which obviously you won't have if you don't have a card. After you enter 1 for English, you have to wait through dead air, the automated voice will prompt you again for for your acct #, wait, and then you'll be put through to canned musak until one of the call centre people picks up. It was only a couple of minutes of waiting.
  • The Call Centre person was able to remove me from the list altogether, but before he did so he needed my full first and last name and my phone number. Apparently I'd be removed from their list for 3 years, and again it would take 60 days for my phone number to be removed from all marketing campaigns.
  • Again, I asked to speak to the manager. I wanted to know what these other "marketing campaigns" were. The manager told me that they do not sell personal information, but purchased my information from another source. The "marketing campaigns" refer to any campaigns that company that sold my information had running. So here's the question fo the day - who was selling my info? Stay tuned! The manager will be mailing me a full disclosure of the sources that provided MBNA Canada Bank with my information. I should receive this report in the mail in 10 business days. If not I have the full name (J.O.) and direct phone number (613-907-####) so I can follow up.
  • So who's selling my info? The manager listed off a few possibilities: clubs (The Legion), magazine subscriptions (I have none), to name a couple. Here's my prediction : AirMiles. I'll let you know if I'm right.
For interest sake, here is MBNA Canada Bank's privacy policy, and here is a letter from the Privacy Commissioner in response to a complaint filed against MBNA.

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

I've heard that you have to register every three years with the do not call list. I didn't realize it was already up and running. Let us know if it works!