Sympathy for the Telemarketer

Some may tell those thinking of a career in Telemarketing to reconsider, especially since the launch of Canada’s Do Not Call (DNC) List.  Career changes aside, does the DNC List mean that Telemarketers are an endangered species?  Not Likely.   Based on the DNC Exemption List, I fear that they will be with us for many years to come.  Exempted organizations include:
o Charitable Organizations
o Political Parties
o Newspapers
o Marketing Research Firms
o Polling Firms
o Organizations that consumers have ‘existing relationships’ with 

Personally, I have nothing against Telemarketers.  In fact, some of my best friends are Telemarketers (well, not really).  I understand that they’re trying to make a living; one that just happens to be incredibly annoying to most Canadians.  Speaking of annoying, don’t get me started on Telemarketing companies that use automatic dialers or have outsourced their Telemarketing to emerging economies.

What does the DNC List mean for career Telemarketers?  It means ‘Rejoice!’ There are still jobs aplenty.

Need evidence?  Well, here it is: Statistics Canada reported that as of 2003 there were “About 161,000 charitable organizations operating across the country”.  Furthermore, there are 308 ridings for federal elections in Canada; 98 general interest paid circulation daily newspapers in Canada; 722 Canadian market research & analysis firms; and over 2,000 Canadian marketing consultant firms, all of which are exempt from the DNC List and which, no doubt, need Telemarketers.

Is it suspicious that some – if not most – of these organizations enjoy strong political ties?  Perhaps.  Could it be that I’ve watched too many X-Files episodes?  Perhaps.

Questions remain regarding its efficacy.  For example, does the DNC List have teeth? Who will enforce it?  Time will tell.  As of today, yours truly sees it as a half-@#$% attempt to satisfy a Canadian public fed up with this invasion of ‘Privacy’.

After all, Telemarketing calls – that coincidentally seem to happen at dinner time – are the equivalent of e-mail spam.  But, unlike spam, telemarketers do not allow us to determine, access or choose when and if we get telemarketed.  Unlike e-mail spam, there are no telemarketing filters. 

As for website owners – if you haven’t already – this should be a wake up call to implement your own Do Not Call List; more often referred to as a ‘Privacy Policy’.  Proper Privacy Policies provide comfort and assurances to visitors that their information will not be distributed to third parties (i.e. Telemarketing Companies).  This is critical for websites that collect personal information such as credit cards and other sensitive details.

Besides being a good online business practice, the presence of a ‘Privacy Policy’ on a website has been shown to increase conversion rates by as much as 15% for E-commerce websites.

Will adding your name to the DNC List make a difference?  Stay Tuned…In the meantime, where do I sign up for the Do Not Spam List?

Ray Litvak

Content Development Toronto