This is one of my favorite topics. Let’s see how much info I can get down before I get bored.
I used to be a telemarketer between high school and college (hey … the money was good). While it’s possible that they are randomly dialing numbers, it’s not very likely. It’s not statistically beneficial for them. There’s a benefit to being able to make someone comfortable by using their name (though it may piss some of you off). However, some of us called SC from within SC, which is difficult. There are stringent rules for what must be said, and you have to have a license. So in the case that we would run out of good numbers, we would randomly dial. But that wasn’t very often.
Anyway, the best days for us would be “New Movers” days. Those are the best lists of all to have. People are in a spending money mode, and have probably not been contacted 100 times by telemarketers yet. There’s a chance they are new to the area too. People pick these kind of lists up all over the place. MLS listings, deed sheets from the county courthouse. All over the place. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of matching an address to a listing in the BellSouth directory.
The best place to find out information about telemarketing is Junkbusters (http://www.junkbusters.org). Scripts for dealing with telemarketers, information about your rights. Hell, even information on how to sue them.
As far as your cell phone, it IS illegal for them to call you to make a sales pitch on it when using an automatic dialer. Read here:
Also, in case you didn’t know, there is a National Do-Not-Call List being put into place by the FTC. You can sign up online in July, and it will be effective in October. Read more here:
But the problem … rumor has it the list will be managed by AT&T. Kind of like the wolf watching the henhouse, huh? Also, exempt parties will include charities, politicians. More on that later.
Just for fun, here’s a story about suing telemarketers.