Recently, Dave Barry wrote a column about telemarketers, in which he included the telephone number of the American Teleservices Association, which is apparently the main lobbying front for the evil wea—uh, telemakerters, and suggested that his readers call them up and tell them what they think of the issues regarding regulating the phone harrass–uh, telemarketing industry.
After that column, the American Teleservices Association got flooded with people calling them.
Sucks when it’s the other way around, doesn’t it?
My absolute favorite part of the article was this:
“Positive response”? Gotta admire the spin on that one.
In 1965, MAD artist-writer Al Jaffee did much the same thing. In an article discussing “telephone solicitors,” as they were called then (at least that was a printable name for them), he mentioned automatic dialing equipment, designed to dial a householder’s number and play the spiel until it was finished, even if the irritated recipient of the call kept hanging up. Jaffee suggested a group of irritated householders could chip in for their own automatic equipment, which could dial the Telephone Company with this message (in the article, he pegged the Telephone Company as the greatest transgressor):
"Hello, Telephone Company Public Relations? Don’t bother hanging up, because we will dial your number automatically again and again and again until you get our whole message concerning the rotten Telephone Soliciting Business…"