Index for Insanity, Inc.
Spam, Telephone Solicitors and Fraud
It is kind of funny the views that spammers and telephone solicitors have. They think that they should have the right to use the services that you pay for. Spammers are the worst since they commit fraud in order to send you their garbage. They are hypocrits since they use false addresses so that it is harder to track them (try http://www.spamcop.net for reporting, consider paying to help keep the service available). I heard of a story where people found out the actual physical address of a spammer and they added the person to all sorts of mailing lists. The stupid spammer was not happy, but it was just payback for what he had been doing.
There is a simple solution for the telephone solicitors. Let them call anyone that they want to, but force them to register their calling number and then allow people to list a dollar amount, like a 900 number, for the per minute charges for those people. Failure to pay the bill would be considered fraud and then lock them up in jail. If they had to pay then I suspect that they would have a very different view.
I have heard that if you say "please put me on your do not call list" then they are forced to, but that does not always help with others. The current do not call list does help some, but it does not help with the attitude nor with those that you have done business with at some point in time. The best thing is to tell that you don't deal with telephone solicitors, regardless of what they are selling.
Others think that they have a right to come up to your door and bother you. Even if you have a sign saying no solicitors they still come and can be nasty if you say no. Why don't they feel that the people that they are bothering, whether by phone, email or in person, has a right to be left alone? In one case I was at the train station, which the parking lot and platform are limited to train patrons only, only to be annoyed by some religious people trying to sell me on their church. It was interesting to see their reaction when I told them that there was no solciting and that they were breaking the law by being there. The one I told went to talk to the others and then quickly they left. Perhaps that goes to show that if people tell them they don't like it and that they are violating the law, that the more ethical people will listen and leave.
It is also important to realize that those who are calling for donations are often not really part of the the organization that they are calling for. Often there are companies which are hired to get donations and it is important to realize that they get some of the money collected. From what I hear it can be quite high. If you want to donate money then donate directly. The United Way is not a direct means since they just give money to others, after taking their expenses.
Sometimes it is not clear what the situation is. Consider the case of the Salvation Army bell ringers. I had heard that some of the ringers get up to 50% of the collection from a friend in PA. I mentioned this at a family gathering and a friend who was there claimed that was totally false. I then researched it more on the Web and could not verify the 50%, but often the expenses approached this. Many reports said that only 15% were volunteers and the rest were paid. Typically the volunteers were on the weekend, with the paid people during the week.
Index for Insanity, Inc.
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