February 26, 2003
Telemarketers gain upper hand in technology

Uh oh, telemarketers now have a way to defeat privacy tools like the TeleZapper and SBC's Privacy Manager.

Castel, a maker of automated dialing technology, boasts that its DirectQuest software is immune to the TeleZapper, a $40 gadget designed to thwart sales calls by faking the tones of a disconnected number.

Beverly, Mass.-based Castel has been mailing brochures to telemarketers and other prospective customers touting the software, which also includes a feature that lets salesmen transmit any phone number or text message to caller ID displays.

That second component allows DirectQuest to dodge such phone company privacy services as SBC's Privacy Manager and Sprint's Privacy ID, both of which reject calls that don't provide caller ID information.

Castel's software is built for the high-volume "predictive dialers" that use multiple lines to phone residential numbers.

Remember this the next time you hear a flack for the DMA or some other telemarketing organization solemnly swear that they only want to reach people who want to hear from them. And as a public service to you, my faithful readers, if you happen to be one of those people who loves to hear from telemarketers, here's a handy letter you can send to your Congressfolk that tells them to back off on that nasty federal no-call legislation.

(For the rest of you, until said federal legislation kicks in, the DMA is kind enough to provide this list of state no-call-list info. Tough luck if you live in the wrong state and all that.)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 26, 2003 to Technology, science, and math | TrackBack

Uh, do you know your font selection is almost unreadable?

Posted by: Michael on February 27, 2003 7:02 PM

If you tell me what browser and platform you're using, I'll see what I can do about it. Thanks!

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on February 27, 2003 9:20 PM

Fun Things to do with your intrusive mail / spam / telemarketer:

1. Ask who they are trying to talk to, who they represent, and what they want to talk about. Then ask them if they can hold for a minute. Put the phone down, and walk away.

Your line will be clear within a minute.

2. Any business reply envelope for a credit card should be immediately sealed and put back into the mail system.

If you are bored, or want to be creative, put the coupons you get in your junk mail into some of these envelopes before you seal them. Nothing excites marketing departments then getting free coupons for crap they don't need!

3. Report repeat spam offenders to abuse@hotmail.com, abuse@yahoo.com, and abuse@ as many of the big ones as you can. Even if they only investigate a few of the offernders, it's a few less recurring spam emails, isn't it?

Posted by: (: Tom :) on March 2, 2003 9:15 AM