I just called to say..
You have all experienced
this before – the dreaded call from a telemarketer trying to
promote something or other. Most people get such phone calls on an
average of twice or even thrice a week.
Depending on the mood you
are in, you either give the caller five minutes of your time or brush
him or her off gently.
People generally just gripe about them and wonder how the callers got their contact details.
The answer is simple – YOU basically gave them permission to call and bug you.
What? How? When?
Every time you sign some
form or other, sometimes, even when you are opening a bank account –
as what happened to a bank customer recently.
In that instance, the
permission to allow telemarketers to bug clients was couched as “I
understand that the Bank endeavours to keep the Bank's customers
informed of the latest marketing and promotional news from the Bank.
I further understand that this information can be useful to the
Bank's customers to manage customers' accounts as well as to keep
customers informed of the Bank's latest products and offerings.”
Sounds nice, doesn't it? It sounds innocent but it is not. It is the gateway to hordes of marketers waiting to pounce on you and relieve you of your money.
You signed without reading
Usually, the bank's counter staff will hand you a sheaf of documents and tell you to just sign “here”, “here” and “here”. Most people will just sign blindly without perusing what they are signing.
After all, these are trusted and trustworthy institutions. But banks don't make money out of you having a savings account or even current account with them. Banks want you to spend money. Preferably on their credit cards, for example, when they can charge you hefty interest on late payments. Or unit trust offerings where their agents milk customers on fees.
So, within days of you opening an account, the calls begin. The callers will try and offer some services or other. The callers always try to tell you it's advisable to have more than one, two or even three credit cards. Or insurance, or whatever.
How else could this happen to you?
Another example of how this can happen is when you are approached by people offering you freebies. Trust me, it's simply not worth it. You will be asked to provide your details and for a small inexpensive sample, you are literally inviting a lifetime of interruptions and inconveniences.
The same applies for forms online. Don't just click, click and click. Beware of what it they are.
If you see such clauses, make sure you opt out of receiving them. Otherwise, you will be wondering why people keep calling you and bothering you.
And if you complain to the bank about the pesky calls, don't be surprised if some officer dig out your consent and wave it in your face. After all, it is contractual and binding … you allowed them to do so.
Pic credit: dreamstime.com, thenextweb.com