Monday, December 8, 2008

Exercising my option to opt out.

I know the economy is slow and it's Christmas time, and even the people at Capitol One and Synovate need to make an income, but give me a break. If I had a dollar for every unauthorized assault on my phone line in the past month I could pay off my mortgage.

I know they probably all strictly adhere to the 10 o'clock rule (no phone calls before 10 am and none after 10 pm) however I think they all live in Newfoundland or India. Which means I, in the Pacific Standard Time world, get the calls at ungodly times of the night, like 7:30am. I am not a happy camper to wake up to a telemarketer at that hour of the morning.

So this morning I made the effort to register with the National Do Not Call List. Before doing so, of course I did my due diligence and googled about it. I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I clicked on the information site and there, spread across the top of the page is an ad for ... Capitol One Mastercard. Oh, the irony!

I registered my number. Apparently they legally have 31 days to still call me, but then I'll be safe for 3 years. I'm not confident that this system will actually work when the list of exempt callers includes: governments, surveys, charities, written media, and companies we have dealt with in the past. And if some unauthorized organization calls me, it's up to me, the innocent homeowner, to contact Phone Busters to tell on them. (Yes, Phone Busters. Sounds hokey, but it's a legitimate organization run by the RCMP)

So for what it's worth I have done my part.

That will not, however, stop my calls from Home Depot Card Services, with whom I have a relationship. Shall I say with whom Albert has a relationship. Apparently I am unauthorized. So even after passing the stringent tests of repeating phone numbers, addresses, postal codes, dates of birth and what he ate for supper last night, the reply is, "Is Albert available to speak to?" Why test me, if you have no intention of speaking to me.

I should get smart and just say, "This is Albert speaking, how may I help you?"

That way I can answer the question they call with nearly every month: "We received a cheque for $3117, there is currently $3742 outstanding. Which transactions do you want me to apply the funds to?" Umm... how about the ones that are listed on last months statement. You know, the ones that add up to $3117. It's not rocket science.

Thank God the basement suite is finished and our contractor card relationship is nearing its end.


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