Our Valley Santa Clarita July/August 2016 - Page 9

How I Deal with Telemarketing Calls By Gary Morrison R iiiiing! 8:05 AM, and the first unwanted call of the day. At least this time, they waited until 8:00. Every day I get five or more of these calls; Sundays included! Most of them are from contractors offering “free estimates.” The rest are from professional fund raisers allegedly representing some charitable group such as firefighters and police. “Just $20 for the widows and orphans,” they say. Yeah, right. The contractor’s rep’s all use the same spiel while, to my cynical mind, I see them all in one large warehouse sized room, trading call lists among themselves. To say they are persistent would be an understatement. “We have a crew working in your neighborhood and we would like to stop by to give you an estimate on anything.” Being me, I put the phone down and go to my front door. I see no working crew and go back to the phone. “I didn’t see any crew working outside,” I speak into the phone. The rep usually replies, “Are you calling me a liar?” To which I say, “Yes, I am.” Generally, that would generate a hang up. Another pitch goes, “We talk- ed to you 6-8 months ago and you were so nice and told us to call back at a later date.” I know this is a lie since I am never nice to telemarketers on the phone! Often, they continue talking no matter what you say. For those callers I have purchased a loud police type whistle. I blow it as hard as I can into the phone. I’ve found it to be more effective than my usual sarcastic insults. The fund raisers are different. When we contribute to their “charity” the callers company takes a percentage of what we send. I always ask what percentage of my donation actually goes to the police or firefighters. They are required by law to answer that question. Often the charity gets less than 20%. If you are so inclined, you can look up the charity on the WEB and make a donation directly. I see no reason to pay for that moron’s time. Always ask the question. These callers are all just “dialing for dollars”; all they have is their time. If you can, waste as much of their valuable time as you can. Maybe they will have to get a real job, like cleaning the public restrooms at bus and train stations!! SUMMER FUN FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES By Mayor Pro Tem Dante Acosta I t’s summertime in Santa Clarita! The days of backyard barbeques, beach trips, swimming and fun are upon us. Summertime o