Monday, December 13, 2004

A Half-Good Idea is Better Than None

So our federal government, taking an idea from the Americans, is establishing a "do-not-call" registry for people bugged by telemarketers.

Personally I think it's a good idea, if maybe a little late. With the advent of the Net and e-mail spam, the phone calls I get from telemarketers has dropped in the past few years. Nonetheless it's still a little irritating to yank myself away from watching my latest DVD purchase to tell the Ottawa Sun telemarketer that "yes, I've seen your paper, and no, I won't subscribe."

What bothers me are the proposed exemptions: charities and non-profit groups. I'd estimate that the most irritating calls I get are from these guys, who almost always launch into a pseudo-patriotic spiel about their work before I can tell them "no." (And frankly, I don't feel any guilt saying so--no matter how worthy their cause.)

If it were up to me, I'd forego any exemptions to this list. I'd tell the telemarketers to stick with direct mail and Webvertising to get their message across. If I want to help a charity, I'll find them, not the other way around.