I’ve so far shied away from the Do-Not-Call List debate and the plight of telemarketers. Being in the call center business, it seems hypocritical to blast my outbound brethren despite being an “inbound guy”. Yet personally, I can’t stand cold calls from marketers, so I do empathize. In fact, I have been on New York State’s Do-Not-Call list since its inception several years ago.

But I find I have to speak out because I have to believe that people are their own worst enemy here. On the one hand it seems ludicrous that marketers are demanding to preserve their right to call people who say they do not wish to be called. How stupid are they? The answer though, is “not very”. Telemarketing is a razor thin margin business. These people are savvy businessmen. They pay tons of money for customer lists matching researched customer demographics. If people who said they didn’t wish to be called never actually bought anything, I have to believe the marketers would be only too happy to leave them alone. No salesman wants to waste his time on a dead end prospect. So it seems the reality is that many people who say they don’t want to be called are looking to the rules to protect them from their own lack of self-control.

That’s not to say that if you never buy anything at your house, that you’ll never get called. But as a group, some of you are caving in and buying. We all suffer for that. So if you really hate being called, stand by your principles. Refuse any unsolicited phone calls. We’re counting on you.

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