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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Telemarketers are EVIL: When I first canceled my landline telephone service a couple of years ago it was prompted by a couple of reasons: First, long-distance telephone calls, including to my parents (those were actually local-toll calls) were free with my cell phone; Second, I never really spent a lot of time talking on the phone.

The only problem to be overcome was how to send faxes when it was necessary to do that. For awhile I used j2 -- which was a good service, but they eventually decided that occasional users like myself weren't worth the trouble and proceeded to jack the price up. Currently I'm using MaxEmail and I'm very happy with their service. It's good, and it's cheap.

To quote Bill Cosby: I told you that story so I could tell you this one...

Like I said, I cut my landline two years ago, but my recent purchase of a condo required me to reestablish one. The condo is located in a (somewhat) secure complex, and the method for allowing guests entrance to the complex is set up through the telephone.

What I've recently discovered was a third, valuable benefit of not having a landline -- no telemarketers. In the month or so I've had my new unlisted number, I've gotten numerous calls from all variety of organizations and businesses.

This morning, I got ticked. At 8:45 a.m., when I'm usually enjoying my last few minutes of sleep (I usually work the swing shift, stay up late and get up late) my phone rang. All manner of possibilities presented themselves. Was it my parents? Unlikely. They know better than to call before noon. If it's important, they might call at 10 a.m. or so, but still, unlikely. Was it work? Had some tragedy happened and they wanted my help putting out an EXTRA? Also somewhat of a longshot. There are other designers they'd call first. My name is fairly far down that list. Was it a collection agency? Once again, unlikely. I'm paid up on all my bills (though if you'd like to contribute, you may use one of the buttons at the left.) -- any collection agency call would probably be a mistake -- theirs, not mine.

Could it simply be a wrong number? That's happened before. I get a call every couple of nights from some guy looking for "Lawrence" (why not "Larry"?) -- hopefully soon he'll figure out -- there is no Larry. (Sorry, looking forward to the Matrix Reloaded.)

Could it be a beautiful woman? Searching for that special...someone...


Nope, instead it was one of those hyper-annoying automated telephone calls that, after awakening you ask you to "hold on the line to speak with a representative." A representative of what, it didn't say. Just who in the H-E-double hockeysticks do these companies think they are? If I actually did wait on the line, do they think that's going to make me more likely to purchase whatever they're selling?

Of course, the last time I dealt with one of these things it was several years ago and it was a collection agency calling -- it seems the people who had my telephone number before me were a little delinquent in paying their Montgomery Ward credit card off. The thing that ticked me off about those turkeys was they'd call -- require me to stay on the line and then, if two minutes passed and they still didn't have an operator to talk with me, a machine would apologize, promise to annoy me some other time and hang up! It took talking to two supervisors very slowly to make sure they would never call me back again.

So, if these turkey's call me back again, I'll make sure to get a 1-800 number for them and advertise it here. If you're feeling lonely, you can call them up.

8:05 PM

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