Monday, August 21, 2000

How [Not] to Deal with Telemarketers



I was talking to a well-known cryptographer last night. (Well, as they say, he's well-known to those who well-know him.) He's done some work on ways to reduce spam (no success, yet), and the conversation naturally moved from there to the topic of telemarketing.

He mentioned that he had been growing increasily fed up with telemarketing calls, and related a recent one he had received from AT&T Cable. The woman calling went into a really long song and dance about all the remarkable benefits he could receive by signing up...multiple channels of HBO, etc. He let her finish her entire spiel and then said, "You're not going to tell me how much it costs, are you?" She said, "$55.95/month," to which he replied, "Lady, I wouldn't pay that much for a daily [Lewinsky]." And then hung up on her.

He turned around to see his 15-year-old daughter standing there. "Dad, can I tell my friends about this?"

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