In late December, 2002, Privacy Laws were ratcheted up a couple of notches, with the second round of changes to the Privacy Act taking effect on some small businesses previously excluded from the legislative changes 12 months prior.
Not that there is much to be seen from the changes from where we sit.
Having recently moved into new offices, and expanded capacity, we picked up a couple of new telephone lines and associated new numbers; only, it would seem these numbers are on every single call-centre hit list in the country.
In a single three month period, we have received no less than a dozen calls from people working for Optus, even though we are already an Optus customer. Persistent and annoying, we thought we had no choice but to keep taking these calls and politely saying "no".
That was, until we read about the one form of revenge that hits these annoying people where it counts - their wallets - in an article on CRM Forum: http://www.crm-forum.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=96445&d=101&h=344&f=343&dateformat=%o-%B
The gist of it is that outbound call-centres work on a numbers game, where a certain proportion of successful sales balance off labour and call costs.
The way to win against these time-wasters is to waste their time and money instead. When someone calls and asks you if you want to buy their product or service at an inappropriate time, simply say, "Sure, I would love to, but can you just hold on for one second". Then, you put them on hold, and leave them there until they go away.
The benefit of this approach is that it costs them money to wait on hold in both wages and call costs, and while they are on hold with you, they are not annoying anyone else! No rudeness, no cost, and no hassle; yet incredibly effective - give it a try next time you get annoyed by someone who just sees you as a number.