Unwanted calls from an organization policy? [telecom]

My condo is using an autodialer to telephone all residents with condo news bulletins. I believe the intent of this system was to alert residents of emergencies or urgent matters, such as utility outages. For example, the power had to be shut off for maintenance, and in addition to a letter, they used the system to remind residents the night before of the shutdown.

I don't mind it used for such situations; indeed, I think it's a good idea.

However, the condo mgmt is using it for what I think are clearly non- urgent matters, such as to announce social parties in the clubhouse (or their cancellation). That IMHO is an intrusion.

I complained about it and basically they said all-on or all-off, that is, they could take me off entirely but then I'd risk not hearing emergency messages, or, I'd have to put up with the other stuff.

I'd appreciate hearing the opinions of other people. As mentioned, in my opinion it should be used for urgent business only, when there is not enough time to print up and distribute a hard copy notice. Social functions or condo meetings aren't "urgent" busienss. I get the feeling they want to eliminate printing and distributing such notices altogether.


[They also intend to put information on the web, if they ever get around to it. The problem there are many of our residents do not have a computer at all, or others who do not have it connected to anything.]
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Well you DID ask.......... I think: You should lighten up a bit and help "save a tree". I really hope that this issue is not high on your list of things that concern you. ;-)

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Who Me?

Yes, I did ask, and that ["lighten up"] is a valid response.

It's just that the 'emergency' calls always seem to come at the most inopportune time, and I get plenty of others from surveys, non-profit solicitations, and political, all legal calls that don't have to comply with the do not call list. (Thank goodness the election is over!)

I certainly believe in saving trees and avoiding wasted paper. But unfortunately, they're not doing it for that, they 'think' they're saving money, not realizing they're paying far more to use the service than having a quick printer run off the copies (delivery is done by volunteers and is free).

If I may disgress, modern computerized communication tools are most helpful. But like any tool, they have to be used in an appropriate manner. We don't use a chainsaw to clip a coupon or an 18-wheeler to deliver one pizza. There are times when traditional means--a piece of paper mailed--is more appropriate than an e-mail or other electronic means.

For example, some years ago one organization I belong to (non profit) suddenly began sending out its newsletter via email instead of mailing it. At that time my email (through my employer) was very limited and their newsletter was enough to flood my mailbox and cause all sorts of problems. When the mailbox was flooded, I couldn't get in at all, and had to ask the system administrator to unclog it. Took a while for them to stop sending the email; apparently they arranged for someone else to do it from a list that was not easily changed. Now, things are not supposed to happen this way, but they do.

Another example: Many years ago I went to PC Expo, getting my ticket by email. Now, this is a supposedly a legitimate organization. But I still get unsolicited emails from them, despite requests to stop, and they gave my address to others who spam me.

Perhaps I'm being too grouchy (See Alan King's "Anyone Who Owns their own home Deserves It" on being frustrated with society.) But I do think if society is to make progress, new improvements must work better than their precedessors, not introduce new frustrations. I think that is critical to remember for those of us responsible for computers or communications development.

(Or why you see employees call a co-worker on personal cell phones rather than using the razzle-dazzle company phone system because the cell phones are relatively easier to use.)

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I would ask them to let me install a second phone line that does not go through the association's equipment. Then I'd get my phone service moved to that line, leaving the old line connected to the condo's dialer but NOT to the outside world. In my apartment, the only thing plugged into the old line will be its own private instrument, whose ringer will only be on when I am willing to hear it.

I also recommend this method to deal with apartment or condo buildings where a door or gate intercom is set up to seize your phone line, so you can talk to a visitor and then "buzz him in".

I would be interested to hear about how the law treats these situations. Landlords are required to provide you with a phone line to the outside world, but too many of the details are left up to them.

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John David Galt

On Wed, 21 Jan 2009 23:00:41 -0500, hancock4 wrote: .......

....... I have to admit that the feature that Yahoo provides with their free e-mail accounts is handy, you can create multiple "temporary" addresses that forward your normal account, and then delete these when their purpose has been served.

Other providers must also be offering something similar, now if only I was motivated enough to *always* use mine when signing up for stuff..... ;-)

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David Clayton

I am now a mainly retired actor. But when I was actively pursuing work, my home TAD would call my cell phone to deliver messages to me.

Here in NYC Verizon would dial out on my home phone for 11¢ and Virgin would charge me 18¢ for incoming cell calls. So it cost me 29¢ for each message left for me.

On a plus side, I have compiled a recording of unsolicited and unwanted telemarketing call messages from my TAD from high profile AFTRA and SAG members [most names you would recognize] which I may be soon selling on eBay. The compilation starts with the OGM from my TAD, making it clear that "this machine will call my cell phone."

So, for some people, unsolicited calls can cost the recipient money. I hope to recoup some of my cost.

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I get my domain names thru GoDaddy. With each one I can set up 100 permanent or disposable email address. That comes in very handy. I have some domains email address blocks set-up with a catch-all. So I can tell people to send me an email to THEIR OWN snipped-for-privacy@MyDomain.com so I know right away who is sending when it is forwarded to my regular email account.

You can get ".Info"'s for 99¢ for first year; each with 100 email addresses. After year is over, just let it die and get another for 99¢

The each address associated with this posting has been turned off, but I turn it on once a year for a day or so to see how the harvesting is getting along

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I'm afraid I don't understand. They're certainly not gonna spend the money to provide me with a second phone line just to receive their calls.

To clarify, our telephone service has nothing to do with the condo, we have private landlines just as in a regular house.

If someone doesn't give the condo their phone number they obviously can't call you.

I suppose my issue is more how they use their autodialer than its existence. I think it should be used for urgent broadcast calls only (e.g. utility shutdowns, construction work); that sort of thing would be very useful. I do not think it should be used for things like party announcements.

I think there's an element of "the boy who cried wolf". If they use it routinely for trivial events, people will not take their calls very seriously. If they restrict it to important things, people will pay close attention when they call. That won't trivialize the opening line "This is an important message from your condo association".

We don't have that. However, if I had that service, I would not object to it.

I suppose ideally a separate house phone telephone network within a property would be better. (Remember the brief-lived TV show about an L.A. apt builiding and its quirky residents, who would listen in on house phone conversations?) But that is very costly and redundant. I've seen such systems, but only in expensive luxury buildings.

As an aside, we once had our own master TV antenna. It was very costly to maintain especially as it aged. Once commercial cable TV service came out we dropped it. A few residents complained since they saw the master antenna as "free", even though in reality it was not (the cost was buried as part of the condo fee and there was no way to isolate in/out individual units, it was a common coax.) However, in area the cost of cable TV shot up dramatically from when it first came out. The cable company keeps switching channels from basic to digital, charges extra for digital, and raises the price of basic (they want everyone to go digital but it costs more.)

As mentioned, our phone lines are direct to the phone co (or cable company if one prefers) and the association has nothing to do with them.

Regarding the law and the association, we have a prior business relationship so such calls are allowed. In our case they will not call you at all if you ask them to. So, I would think in our case they are following the law.

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It is, yes.

It's not. They should be able to set up multiple distribution lists, one for everybody and one for just people who want to hear announcements. Tell them that they don't know how to operate their own equipment and suggest they find someone who does.

My opinion is that machines are there to serve people, and not the other way around.


Reply to
Scott Dorsey

I thought this was a moderated newsgroup.

***** Moderator's Note *****

So it is. There is a referee in a boxing ring, too, but you'd be ill-advised to step into one unless you're prepared to take a punch or two.

I allowed the post because it was in response to a query which asked for opinions, because it was worded in a civil manner, and because it was appropriate to the discussion.

Bill Horne Temporary Moderator

Please put [Telecom] at the end of your subject line, or I may never see your post! Thanks!

We have a new address for email submissions: telecomdigestmoderator atsign telecom-digest.org. This is only for those who submit posts via email: if you use a newsreader or a web interface to contribute to the digest, you don't need to change anything.

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