[ From Joi Ito, Net Wunderkid ] :
So what's their hang-up? by Dave Barry
In August, I wrote a column about the National Do Not Call Registry, which allows you to go to an Internet site (www.donotcall.gov) and register your phone number. The plan is that most telemarketers would then be prohibited from calling you.
The Do Not Call Registry is wildly popular with the human public. More than 50 million households have signed up. This displeases the telemarketing industry, which believes it has a constitutional right to call people who do not want to be called. Several telemarketing groups have filed lawsuits to block the registry.
So in my August column, I printed the toll-free telephone number of one of these groups, the American Teleservices Association. My thinking was: Hey, if the ATA feels its members have a constitutional right to call you, then surely the ATA feels that you have an equally constitutional right to call the ATA.
It turned out that a lot of you were eager to call up the telemarketing industry. Thousands and thousands of you called the ATA. I found out about this when I saw an article in a direct-marketing newspaper, the DM News, which quoted the executive director of the ATA, Tim Searcy. Here's an excerpt from the article:
''The ATA received no warning about the article from Barry or anyone connected with him,'' Searcy said. ``. . . the Barry column has had harmful consequences for the ATA. An ATA staffer has spent about five hours a day for the past six days monitoring the voice mail and clearing out messages.''
That's correct: The ATA received NO WARNING that it was going to get unwanted calls! Not only that, but these unwanted calls were an INCONVENIENCE for the ATA, and WASTED THE ATA'S TIME!
Posted by ronn at October 6, 2003 07:52 PM