Does this ring a bell?
Packaged with my monthly bill from my friendly (?) phone company was a brochure “about technology, your community and you.”
What quickly caught my eye (gulp) was a headline that read: “Make a Mass Mailing to 1,000 People with 1 Phone Call.” What the brochure, aimed at business prospects, said was that with this “Mass Announcement” feature you would have “ ... the perfect tool for businesses, which “hands you the power to easily mass communicate via a Web or telephone user-interface that allows you to upload your contact list, record your message, and program how and when you'd like your announcement to be delivered.”
The brochure also explained how to “Simultaneously send your pre-recorded message to your contact list.” And “Retry contacts” (that's you and me) “Until they've answered and listened to your message “.
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Maybe this business-building service isn't new. Maybe the phone company is just reminding its business prospects that it's available. Either way, where does this leave those of us who are already existing residential customers of this phone company -- good, supportive customers who resent the rude automatically recorded telephone invasions to our privacy --customers resentful of those businesses that already have hired professional voices to pester us day after day with their fast-talking, hard-sell automated messages that ring our bells morning, noon and evening.
Get on a do-not-call list? Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. There are national organizations and commissions that are concerned. There have been efforts to enact legislation to harness these pre-recorded calls sales pitches. At least one commission recently conducted a contest offering cash-prize remuneration to the person(s) who came up with best idea on how to solve the problem. So far, there has been little success.
I wish the decision-makers at this phone company, and others, would respect the feelings of its residential customers before approving this very disturbing communication tool. It's enough to make a person consider changing phone companies.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach