Telemarketers Out of Control | Letters | Chicago Reader

Telemarketers Out of Control 

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To the editors:

I read with interest your little notice "Selling Subscriptions at the Northlight" [Culture Club, September 13]. The experience of those subscribers is nothing compared to my own. Of course, it is partly my own fault for I subscribe to some 15 or 20 groups starting at the Northlight and Next Theatre on the north side and ending up with the U. of C. Court Theatre and Music of the Baroque on the south side. In any one year, I will attend some 80 plays, 15 operas, 15-plus ballets, and innumerable concerts and fine arts lectures. But, in my opinion, the telemarketing has gotten far far out of hand.

Without mentioning specific names of theatres, I will give you my experience. One large and well-known group called me a total of seven times: four times at my office which annoyed no end for I do not believe in mixing business with personal affairs and three times at home, two of which interrupted my evening meal. What is of interest here is that I have been a subscriber for, I think, some 25 years and these calls were urging me to become a subscriber. Another group to which I subscribed called me four times, another three times, and on and on and on. In fact, I have received only two calls from groups asking me to subscribe to which I had not already subscribed. Out of, I suspect, some 50 or 60 calls.

I wrote the League of Chicago Theatres recently complaining quite bitterly about these constant intrusions into my privacy and my time. What was interesting there was that no sooner had I sealed the envelope than I received a call at the office and then when I went home that evening received two more calls--one again interrupting my evening meal.

The answer I should think is obvious--at least as regards current subscribers. Cross-check the existing telephone numbers in their subscriber base with any list of intended calls.

As I said in my letter to the League of Chicago Theatres, these continued calls will have a very definite impact upon my giving of additional funds. I am developing a list of those who will receive absolutely nothing.

J.G.

E. Randolph

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