I bottomed out on unwanted, unwarranted, unjustified bullxxxx marketing today when my cell rang with a Cape Town number I didn't recognise. (021 557 **83)
I answered wondering who was calling me - only to be treated to an automated voice promising me a wonderful car insurance premium and inviting me to "push 1 for a call-back or to push 9 to opt out".
Opt out!!! Why the hell should I opt out when you had no right to call me in the first instance - and waste my time on a busy day!
I was so irritated that I pushed 1 - just so that I could k*k the person out when they called me thinking that they had a hot lead. I also want to know the name of the company who would stoop to this level of marketing.
Unfortunately I missed the call-back which was made an hour later from 021 557 **91 - but I am hoping that the person is going to try again, and I will get a chance to vent my spleen.
Surely this has to be illegal? It is certainly the very nadir of marketing. Does anyone know who they are?
Peter Mann is a founder of Meropa Communications (www.meropa.co.za) and has been CEO since 1989. He worked for most of South Africa's major newspapers as journalist for 15 years before that. He is a member of the South African Press Council appeals panel; and a trustee of literacy NGO READ. Tel +27 (0)11 506 7300, email , follow @petermann, and connect on LinkedIn.
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@ John, I am convinced that the cell networks are the source of our cell numbers via most probably staff members selling our personal details on for it is, in my opinion, a marketable commodity.
Not forgetting the amount of info people publish of on the web. If I make the effort, I can get an immense amount of info from the WWW about people. Google is your friend.
The ONLY way to steer clear of it all is: no web presence whatsoever, no cell or tel number, no email or BBM profile no physical or postal address. and after all that, you will still get things coming your way that you did not ask for.
We need to learn new ways of managing this for it is here to stay and the amount of time, money and effort spent to try and stop it, is stupid. The time we waste complaining about it, has made no difference to date.
I say courteously, no thank you, and if the person on the other side does not stop, I put the phone down. Seldom they call back.
It isn't just one call - it is 2 or 3 every day. When I sit in front of a TV or read a newspaper I know that I will be bombarded by advertising, and I accept that fact. What I cannot accept is a company that invades my privacy, and apparently thinks that making me listen to a recording will make me feel well-disposed to their product. But even more important to me is where and how the marketing company got my mobile number. I choose to whom I will give that number, and I have not given anyone else permission to hand it out or pass it on. Are my personal details now a marketable commodity?
Agreed, the new low of marketing is in effect. Another automated call service says "please hold, we have an important message for you", from a JHB number. I would also like to know who the brainchild is? Especially when my phone rings at 1am.