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Magazine subscription calls: are these people stupid or ????

wowbagger (69688) writes | more than 6 years ago

User Journal 3

I am a professional software engineer. I make my living THINKING - long, hard and deeply. Interruptions are very expensive, and I don't suffer them lightly. Magazines, email, and things like this journal entry aren't interrupts: they are tasks I run when I am blocked on my main tasks (e.g. during compiles and downloads to the target.)

I am a professional software engineer. I make my living THINKING - long, hard and deeply. Interruptions are very expensive, and I don't suffer them lightly. Magazines, email, and things like this journal entry aren't interrupts: they are tasks I run when I am blocked on my main tasks (e.g. during compiles and downloads to the target.)

Phone calls, on the other hand, are interrupts. And since I don't know who is calling me until I take the call, I cannot leave that particular interrupt masked most of the time.

As a professional, I can get a very large number of professional magazines free of charge - EDN, EE Times, and the like. They get their money by selling ads, and their revenues are based upon their circulation.

And I have no problem with that - I will look at the ads that relate to my current situation, and ignore those that don't. They don't cost me time.

Now, when a magazine wants me to renew, and sends the renewal form on the front of the magazine, and they pay for postage, then I will renew the magazine if I find it valuable. If I don't find it valuable, and they pay for postage, then I will do them the courtesy of sending them the renewal with a "No thanks".

If they think I am going to chase up a stamp to send the response back to them, they are stupid. I am not going to spend 39 cents to tell them I am not interested - they can infer that from my lack of response.

I *also* do NOT give out my fax number, telephone number, or email to magazines - if they wish to communicate with me, they can do so by the US postal service. Again, I don't want to be interrupted.

Long ago, I decided upon a very simple rule with respect to magazine that call me on the phone about renewals: I cancel them. Immediately. I waste no time on the phone - I say "I'm sorry, I don't take magazines that call me on the phone at work. Goodbye. <click>".

That's a pretty clear "NO", isn't it?

Evidently, not for EDN. They have been calling me about once a week for the past month. They called me yesterday. They got the standard response.

I also decided that the next time they called me I was going to be "smart lazy" rather than "dumb lazy": I would spend more time on the line to insure that I wasted no more time in future.

Guess what happened a few tens of minutes ago? If you guessed "they called me again" then you are paying attention, which is more than I can say for the phone monkeys employed by the company that EDN employs for "circulation retention".

So, I made it very plain that:

  1. I had no interest in any magazine that called me on the phone.
  2. EDN was such a magazine.
  3. I was NOT going to renew.
  4. I had so informed them on multiple previous calls.
  5. I wanted my name removed from their calling list.
  6. I wanted my name and number ADDED to their DO NOT CALL list.

Now, I know how these telemarketers (and that is who I am dealing with, telemarketers) operate. Anything less than a clear "FUCK OFF AND DIE NO I DON'T WANT YOUR CRAP STOP CALLING ME" is ignored - these guys are judged on their "retention rates", and paying heed to a NO that doesn't fit their narrowly defined parameters will hurt those rates.

I don't give a shit about their rates. I said NO. Honor it.

Of course, this being a business line, it is NOT eligible for the Do Not Call list.

So, instead, I will pass this on:

DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO EDN (Electronic Design News).
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GIVE ANY "FREE" MAGAZINE ANY CONTACT INFORMATION BEYOND YOUR ADDRESS.
SHOULD THEY GET YOUR EMAIL, FAX NUMBER, OR PHONE NUMBER, TELL THEM IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS TO REMOVE YOUR INFORMATION FROM THEIR DATABASE AND NOT CONTACT YOU AGAIN.

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3 comments

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Not stupid... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267303)

...Desperate is a much better word. You probably make ~fair~ money being an IT guy who is employed. Millions and millions of people have lost their jobs over the past few years, then have to compete with a shrinking pool of even lower paying "jobs" with the ten to 30 million folks who got "insourced". Once you get desperate, and are stuck living in a nation where thew rich guys-the upper middle class and above folks- set the rates of what stuff costs, you take any job you can get, and you have to follow orders at work, else no job and not even a pittance for cash.

Yes, it's a problem, and a legit annoyance, and I agree with you (I NEVER answer my phone for this reason, outgoing calls only) but take a stroll for a mile in those folks moccasins and see what it is like in today's US of freakin A when you get down to twelve bucks in the account and the bills are all three months overdue. People can, will and do take such "jobs" and you are seeing the tip of a looming iceberg where it is going to get *much worse*.

And thus spaketh zogathustra. Annoying phone calls are going to be quite minor by this time next year.

telemarketers and magazines (1)

MountainBoiler (629847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20335001)

Unfortunately, the telemarketing is outsourced, sometimes to multiple agencies. So it is hard to tell if EDN is pushing it, or 1 or more telemarketing agencies are pissing you off. I sympathize with your plight.

I recommend you complain directly to: http://edn.com/info/31091.html [edn.com] , where they have a complaint/issue with telemarketing checkbox. At least it is worth a try.

Re:telemarketers and magazines (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20336347)

We will see if I get any more calls - if I do, then I shall most definitely make that complaint.
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