When Aussie journalist Adrienne Tam received repeated calls from one number, she began to feel “stalked”. Here’s how she turned the tables on those pesky telemarketers.
“Every day, be it a work day or the weekend, early in the morning or late at night, my mobile would light up with a number now stored in my consciousness”, Adrienne said in her newspaper column.
Complicating matters further, the telemarketers were in fact working on behalf of a charity. As Adrienne explains, “nobody likes saying ‘No’ to charities”.
“Images of starving children and trapped bears run through your mind on repeat”, Adrienne said. “But if we said ‘Yes’ all the time to every charity which calls us, we’d likely be broke”.
Charities are exempt from the National Do Not Call Register, a secure database where people can “opt out” of receiving telemarketing calls.
This makes their phone calls harder to avoid. Apart from asking the charity telemarketer not to phone you again, sometimes it may be necessary to write a “Cease and Desist” letter or email.
Charities are obliged to respect your wishes, or else they can receive a fine from the Australian Communications and Media Authority. So keep a copy of any correspondence you send.
However, as Adrienne discovered, the easiest way is to donate to charities directly, cutting out the telemarketers. “That way, you’re sure your money is going to the charity, and not to a third party”, she says.
Next time telemarketers call Adrienne, she says she’ll “(simply explain) that I already donate to that charity directly”. Ahh, the power of saying ‘No’ hey!