I’ve been wrestling with SPAM (not the meat kind) ever since I got on the ‘interwebnet’ (to borrow a word from Petite Anglaise). This is the sort of thing you just magically start receiving, despite having tried hard not to give that email address to anyone or anything that you don’t know personally. Do you know that sinking feeling you get when you set up a new email address and it starts receiving spam before you’ve had a chance to use it at all? Fortunately, using a collection of tools including SpamAssassin and its companions, I eventually have it mostly under control. Phew.
Well, now that Jess and I have our own postal address and even phone line, we’ve encountered a new (for us) and much more intrusive form of advertising: telesales. We have had more than our fair share of ‘free’ kitchens, ‘cheap’ telecoms, and we’ve won far too many competitions to list. I have absolutely no clue where these bastards got our address and phone numbers from, but this is starting to drive me bonkers! The absolute worst of the lot is those recorded messages you get: they play them 6 or 7 times in a loop to make sure you heard it.
Now all of this wouldn’t be much of a problem if you could hang up on these people (oh the joy it gives me to smack the phone down on these people), but the telephone system here in the UK is so broken that both ends of the call have to hang up before the call is actually over! What this means is you can whack the phone down all you want, but your line is still busy for as long as it takes the crooks on the other end to decide you’re not listening anymore. Nothing you do can clear your line until they hang up. It’s positively disgusting.
Before you start telling me about the TPS, I have registered our phone number to be cleaned from companies’ phone lists, but unfortunately crooks don’t follow guidelines.
And if anyone involved in advertising happens to stumble across this post, I’d like them to know that I refuse to buy from any company, including its subsidiaries and other relatives, that advertise using any form of intrusive advertising or direct marketing like SPAM email, telesales, or junk mail (the snail mail / post type) as a matter of principle. Any company that has to resort to this sort of advertising is obviously doing something wrong that it can’t get new customers: I’m not about to get involved with a failing company.