Skip to comments.Like Garbo, Americans want to be left alone
Posted on 10/15/2003 4:43:30 PM PDT by buzzyboop
Dave Barry is a very funny man. Except when he gets junk phone calls. Then, the syndicated columnist becomes a very angry man. So angry, in fact, that he has twice published the phone number of a powerful telemarketing lobby, the American Teleservices Association, in his weekly humor column. His advice to readers: "Tell them what you think."
Did they ever. So many angry calls came in after that the ATA shut down the number. Last Sunday, he gave out their new one.
It's no wonder the group was bombarded. Consumers are fed up with the increasingly audacious gang of unwanted outsiders who pester them via their phones, e-mail, fax machines and mailboxes. It's a war, of sorts, and the battleground has become the home.
"Home used to be a place for quiet and solace," says Renee White Fraser, a Los Angeles advertising psychologist. But these days, she says, "It's a target."
Consumers, stung by too many direct marketing arrows, are slamming the front door...
(Excerpt) Read more at usatoday.com ...
To screen out telemarketers, caller ID is indispensible.
Someone on FR suggested MailWasher against spam; and I have been using it for several months with good results.
Generally, I oppose govermental restrictions on communications. But the spam business is one where I would make an exception. It is a serious problem when spammers cost internet users collectively many billions of dollars in wasted capacity and lost time, and the collective profit to the spammers is only in the tens of millions.
In economic terms, there is a serious externality (external diseconomy) at work here. To cure this, legislation is appropriate. However, creating enforceable legislation has not been easy, especially because the internet ignores jurisdictional boundaries. Maybe there could be a technological fix. One way or another, a material cost should be imposed on the sending of spam.
I sometimes find myself wishing I could smash the fingers of the creeps that keep flooding my mailbox. With a ball peen hammer. One bone at a time.
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