My nap today was interrupted by the common, a phone ring. When I answered, I heard something decidedly uncommon. "I am calling from Buffalo, New York." Ahhh, it's THAT time of the year 2008.
This is the month that Canada starts its Do Not Phone Registry. The felons who run scam operations like that Gifting Centre allegedly out in Vancouver have jumped the gun and the border. The fact that it sounds like the same guy and that he sounds like he hails from Nigeria, doesn't matter. They're going to break the law anyway, scumbags that they are. I suggest you (if you are Canadian), just hang up immediately if the phone call starts the same way. Honest folk will say who they are, who they are calling from and THEN mention, it's a long-distance call. Might as well make as short of work as possible, scratching these fleas.
Now, onto to the good news of the Do Not Phone List, swinging in effect at the end of the month to be effective October 1, 2008. First, it won't be nirvana. There's enough loopholes in the system as to ensure that shutting off the torrent of phone calls will only reduce them to a trickle. It WILL cut out a lot of the duct and window cleaning phone calls I've been getting lately. And really, I've been less-plagued than most of late by the usual twits, the phone and cable salesmen.
That's because I took the time to use Michael Geist's iOptOut site. Once you get there, get an account and then tick off all the companies that tick you off. I basically said do 'em all and then unticked my bank. Since then, which was about five months ago, the bozos at Bell called twice, one of my old employers, the Globe and Mail, tried once again to get me to take that paper, and I DID hear from a political party, but they got the same answer as always. Who I vote for is between me and the back wall of the voting booth.
Doing this reduced the amount of annoying, rage-inducing phone calls roughly in half. I still got the occasional phone call from the crooks at the Gifting Centre and more than a few that started with the explanation that me or one of my family had filled out a survey. We ALL know THAT is a lie. Those are almost all scams. If you DO make the mistake of filling out a survey that might lead to a prize later, get a signed and dated receipt from the surveyor detailing WHO will be fulfilling the prize portion. Set up a calendar to know when to expect to be bothered. Of course, the easier course is not to participate. If you do, you can always give your cable-company's phone number as your own. Or use the number of that noisy neighbour. Heh, heh, heh.
You can get information on the national Do Not Call List by going to the government site. You can get the phone number to do so from that site. The phone number, 1-866-580-DNCL (3625), won't activate until Sept 30, 2008. Expect to have to work through some busy signals that day. But it will be worth it to never hear, "Mr or Mrs Mugford? My name is Mike and I'm calling from Very Annoying Duct and Window Cleaning Services ..."
And if you do, it will cost them 15 grand a shot.