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Telemarketers And Junk Mail Go Hand In Hand

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Telemarketers And Junk Mail Go Hand In Hand

A few months ago I shared a story of Joe, my telemarketer nightmare. Joe’s still hanging around trying to sell me something he thinks I need and I know I don’t. Now he’s learned H’s cell phone number. The click of a hang-up in Joe’s ear doesn’t affect his ability to redial often. He also doesn’t attest to the fact all of our numbers are on the Do Not Call Registry. 

Now we have another constant caller. In fact I believe she’s been around longer than Joe. This one goes by many names. There is Amy, Tina, and Audrey for starters. They are all associated with the Native American Indian Council and always ask in a polite voice to speak to H’s mom when I answer. 

H’s mom passed away in 2011 – six years ago! They are still calling. Tina told me once that they haven’t spoken to her since 2010. I wonder why! I’ve told them constantly, the circumstances, and asked them to take our number and her name off their call list. They give their condolences and assure me they will do so immediately. A few days later another call from the Native American Indian Council comes in asking for a donation. 

I’ve come to realize the reason they have our number attached to her name. It’s because her name is attached to our address because we inherited the property and now have a different number than she had, but the same address. These telemarketers go to such lengths to make a sale or get a donation. 

It also doesn’t help that H’s mom was a frequent donator to any person or organization in need – whether they really were in need or not! She was an easy sell as most older people are. It was a full time job for her to sort through her mail, weeding out bills from advertisements, junk, and organizations asking for a handout. She was at the point of exhaustion from trying to keep up. 

Every night of the week you could find her sitting in her chair with stacks of mail surrounding her feet. She would open each envelope and read the entire contents before deciding what to do with it. It’s no wonder she couldn’t keep up! I was always afraid she would slip on a piece of mail and break a hip. What she spent on postage each month would buy us a nice dinner out – with wine! 

When she passed away the mail kept coming, often wrapped in rubber bands, the take-for-the-day always more than what we received in our name each month! I shredded and threw out most before H knew what was there. If he got to it first he would open each piece or add to her growing pile to get to later. Later never came. I threw it all out. 

Finally after six years the requests for more donations has dwindled down to a few pieces of mail a month. But the Indian Council is relentless and continues their vigil. Short of disconnecting my landline to stop the nonsense, I answer, knowing their calls will continue. 

I promised myself years ago I would never let my mail take over my life or my bank account, as some do who answer ever advertisement,  request for donations, or political survey’s. 

Be careful what you respond to through the mail unless you have lots of spare time and spare change! 

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

9 responses »

  1. Caller ID is a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Yes it is, but I’ve gone down to the bare bones. We never use our land line for outgoing calls and H has insisted we don’t disconnect. I wonder if he would even notice if I did disconnect and not tell him? Hmmm….

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  2. I’ve had the same experience with my father-in-law. Years after his passing, we’re still getting mail from organizations to which he donated. We had his mail forwarded to our address when he could no longer manage it, so solicitations for donations and elderly services now come to us directly. For those that enclose a self-addressed, postage-free envelope, I mail back a note to remove him from the mailing list.

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    • The mail was easy do deal with. We didn’t respond so it has dwindled to a few pieces a week after six years. The phone calls continue even though her number was canceled. We moved into her house so now they use the number they find attached to this address. With no caller ID on my phone I don’t always answer but when I do…you know the story!

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  3. If I don’t recognize the phone number, I don’t answer the call. If it’s someone I want to talk to, they usually leave a message and I’ll call back. That way I don’t have to talk to anyone I don’t care to hear from. It’s worked well for us so far.

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    • I took caller ID off our land line. I never use that number and am trying to talk H into disconnecting it but the internet service goes way up if we do because it’s bundled! Most of the time I don’t answer but when I do it’s usually a telemarketer. Other callers leave messages. They don’t!

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  4. and there’s nothing you can do about it!

    Liked by 1 person

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    • So true! I try to tell H that every time he enters our phone number or address into an online form the calls and junk mail begin! He was searching for info online for car insurance and the calls started before he got off the site! I just hang up!

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