This is God calling

Yesterday I answered the ‘phone. Because I was home, having a holiday, which is soon to be rudely interrupted by a short working stint, but that’s by-the-by. I could tell that whomever had called didn’t know anyone in the house; the phone’s listed in my girlfriends name. “Hello, Mr [Girlfriend’s-name]?” is a dead giveaway that they’ve pulled the number from the phonebook, and immediately puts me on the defensive. Which is why I have no interest in having the phone in my name. I can spot low-life scum a mile away with the arrangement as it is.

Now, the first thing I do when I have a telemarketer on the phone is to get them to tell me who they are. The lass weasled about, talking about a survey. Surveys don’t care about the identity of the respondent; this was marketting. Eventually she said she was representing the Jehovah’s Witnesses, at which point I terminated the call; religous fundamentalists get up my nostril.

Neither Cathy nor I get any telemarketing calls – oh, well maybe we get a couple a year from local gyms. It’s because we’re signed up to the ADMA’s do-no-call list. If you’re not signed up, stop reading, and go sign up now. The local gyms get the line “we only purchase goods from members of the Australian Direct Marketting Association” and they’re taken care of.

So, here we have technology being used for evil. Evil, not only because it’s evangelical fundamentalists at work, but because they claim they’re doing a survey about how people in the local neighbourhood feel about stuff. Because it’s a survey, that would be covered by the Australian Market & Social Research Society, which (they would claim to keep the statistics clean) doesn’t operate a do-not-call list (in spite of the fact that people that don’t want to be surveyed are going to do all sorts of bad things to their stats).

Worst of all, I don’t think there’s much I can do about it, except I remember hearing about a guy who had installed a PABX with and IVR – “if you want to talk to Cathy, press 1 now. To talk to Josh, press 2 now. Pressing 3 now will let you talk at Owen, but don’t expect a cogniscient conversation out of him.” Apparently, in the US, he was getting zero telemarketing calls – which is quite a feat.


  1. Has the obesity epidemic reached the point where the Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t be bothered leaving the house to recruit souls so that they can, pyramid-sales-scheme-like, go to heaven?
  2. Why don’t the Jehovah’s Witnesses tell people up front you’re not going to heaven, even if you convert (there’s only 144,000 spots – what are the chances you’ll be goody-two-shoes-super-converter enough to get in)?
  3. Why doesn’t the AMSRS operate a do-not-call list?
  4. Why doesn’t the government ban harrassment like this?
  5. What can I do to stop this from happening again?

8 thoughts on “This is God calling

  1. glen

    We get tons of phone calls. I don’t know where they got my number from, I’m pretty careful most of the time. The ones that bug me the most are when the phone rings, you pick up and get a recorded message that you’ll be connected to the next available operator.

    So not only are they calling and interrupting me, they then put me on hold immediately!

  2. daniel

    I’m getting almost no telemarketing calls, courtesy of an unlisted number that wasn’t used in 5 years before I acquired it. Some of the best six dollars per month I spend.

    The problem with the ADMA list, as I found out previously, is there are so many companies that aren’t members.

  3. Anonymous

    Have you ever really tried listening to what the Jehovah’s Witness had to say? They are not out to convert. Just share a message about God’s Kingdom and God’s purpose for mankind. All good news.

  4. Phil

    If we get telemarketer calls I typically try to talk to them constantly, questioning who they are, where they are, what did they have for lunch. The idea being to waste their time, I make a game of it. My record so far is for a company calling about a mobile phone offer, an hour and 45 minutes.

    My favourite one was signing up for the offer as John Howard of Paraliment House, Canberra and then providing THREE fake Credit Card numbers (well not fake they were published test ones). I was approved on the spot for the offer and they wanted to know if i’d be home the next day to reeceive the package.

    I couldn’t stop giggling after that call.

    Sometimes, for about a nano second, I do feel a pang of guilt but then i remember who they are and continue. Strangly though, if the caller speaks english without an accent I might listen to them, actually have a good friend who I met when they rang me wanting donations for their carity. We still laugh at that.

  5. Sussy

    Anon – JWs are annoying (like all hawkers are) and phoning someone to preach at them is an invasion of privacy.

    As for the rest of the telemarketers, they get hung up on. I get at least three to five calls a day. The ones I am most peeved about are the ones that occasionally happen on a Sunday from China.

  6. Karlston

    I accidentally discovered that the automated dialing gear of some telemarketers (aka phone-spammers) will terminate the call if it’s not answered within 3 rings. So I now never answer a call before the fourth ring. Combined with the ADMA do-not-call list, that works pretty well…

    Any that do get through are asked for the name of the company they represent and for a toll-free number for that company, the company gets called and told in no uncertain terms to add my number to their do-not-call list. And if I’m feeling particularly annoyed, any email addresses I can find on their web-site gets added to a number of email-spammers “remove-me” lists 🙂

  7. roid

    Hmm, this is very strange practice for the JWs, i’ve never heard of any such “survey” before.
    what suburb do you live in? I’d like to trace-back that call to the congretation-of-origin and question them about this so called “survey”.
    (ps: i’m an ex-jw)

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