13 (dream/nightmare) originally uploaded by Brad Dougherty
On Tuesday night I received a phone call which I must admit left me concerned for the well being of my family. We rarely receive phone calls at the house and if we do they’re from relatives or friends and in this day and age, rarely are marketers stupid enough to follow in the footsteps of Justice a Clothing Store for Girls or Kirby Vacuum Cleaners in Hastings by calling those on the FCC’s Do Not Call List. Unfortunately for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, they are most certainly that stupid and rank even lower than either Justice or Kirby due to the tactics they used twice this week.
Yesterday evening, after we returned home from our first trip of two to the State Fair the phone rings. I find this to be a little odd considering the hour and the person on the other end cautiously announces that they’re calling from the Pioneer Press and that they are aware that I had an issue with a previous call. Knowing that I have not received a phone call from anyone, let alone the Pioneer Press, recently I informed the caller that they had the wrong number. About ready to hang up the phone the person on the other end of the line says, “No, Mr. ‘Roe El’, I don’t have the wrong number. I dialed…,” and then they continue on with, “can I speak with your father?”
Now. This is where I start getting nervous. First off I am on the FCC’s Do Not Call List and have been for a very long time. I made sure to re-up status and as of October 2009 I am registered for life at the number they called on. The Pioneer Press would never make the mistake of calling someone registered on the DNC List right? In addition why would anyone call and speak to my “son” for this long before asking to speak to me? I lost my voice last weekend and I sound like a 90 year old woman who has smoked for 81 of those years. How could they ever confuse me with my “son”? It’s at this point that I ask, “what was the problem again?” The person on the other end of the line says, “no problem here,” and then hangs up.
Aside from the introduction at the start and the mention of the Pioneer Press nothing in the substance of the call makes me believe it’s at all the Pioneer Press calling. I have had some real wackos call the house before, as if there weren’t only a handful of Roehl’s in the nation–let alone the Metro, and think that by finding my phone number they have somehow tracked me down. Was this one of them? Do I need to ready the shotgun by the bedroom door and leave the hunting knife I use to trim my beard while camping under my pillow for the evening or am I just being paranoid?
A restless night of tossing and turning commences with me mulling over the strange phone call from the weirdo claiming to be from the Pioneer Press. All worries cease when the same company calls back today and speak to my wife again claiming that they knew we had a problem with someone we spoke with recently. She tells me she can clearly hear that this person is in a call center and that they now want us to sign up for a free, no obligation trial for 90 days of the Pioneer Press. We wouldn’t even have to call them to cancel. Unless they hear from us they will cease delivery. Sure they will…
Why in the world is the Pioneer Press violating the FCC’s Do Not Call List and having their reps start off the conversation with a statement that they know you had a problem with someone at the Pioneer Press recently? Why are they trying to shove a 90 day free trial down your throat all while claiming it would be easy as pie to cancel? Has the Pioneer Press called you like this? Were you confused by the whole ordeal? Do you think the FCC should levy fines against them for their violation? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.