The Height of Telemarketing Hypocrisy

"No" does not seem to be a concept that the ever-intrusive telemarketing industry is capable of comprehending.

Even after 50 million Americans -- including yours truly -- signed up for the do-not-call list that congress approved, finally allowing us beleaguered folks a way to stop the incessant, inconvenient, and irritating sales calls from phone hucksters, the industry just kept coming. Indeed, the Direct Marketing Association, the front group for 5,000 of these diabolical dialing companies, has waged a relentless legal battle against us privacy seekers, claiming in court that we 50 million people have no right to say no to their automated invasion of our homes. To the contrary, they claim that corporations have a constitutional "free-speech" right to barrage us as often as they want. Think about that -- they sued us for trying to keep them from bothering us!

But, wait a minute -- guess whose names have cropped up among the 50 million on the do-not-call list? Top executives of telemarketing corporations and of the Direct Marketing Association itself!

In a delicious bit of journalistic digging, the Hartfort Courant newspaper found that 11 of DMA's top honchos have their home numbers on the list, including two senior vice presidents, three other vice presidents, and four members of the Association's board of directors. Apparently those who make big bucks from the business of bothering people at home don't want to be bothered themselves. "There are so many calls I don't want," complained a DMA senior vice president who recently retired. "They are disturbing my routine," he says.

Yes, sir, we know just how you feel.

If there was a merit badge for hyprocrisy, these people would be Eagle Scouts. I say they should have to publicize their phone numbers so we consumers can call them at home every night... right at dinner time.

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