Phew! Where to start?
At present I have one phone line, used for voice and broadband Internet (and, infrequently, for faxes - remember them!?).
Well, I've had the same number since 1996 when my ex-partner and I moved to Warburton.
At roughly the same time (1996) we incorporated our business … so for eight years (until the company was liquidated), we ran Banshee Graphics Pty Ltd.
From what I can ascertain company details automatically become public property, so it was no real surprise that we were quickly inundated by trash marketers: frequent, unsolicited calls from any range of douchebag businesses trying to flog (usually dodgy) products and services which we never needed and never wanted.
Up to a point, we were philosophical about this phenomenon: it's the price you pay for living and working in a shameless and consistently hypocritical 'market' economy - and I for one don't begrudge another the right to earn a living.
At some stage - late nineties? - we were so busy that we purchased a second line.
And when we separated, in 2004, I kept the original number and my ex-partner, S, kept the newer one.
It's a fact of life that The Market is insensitive to changes in circumstances: it runs on dollars, disinformation, vacuous 'incentives', blind greed and a 'crash-through' mentality - and fuck anyone who gets caught in the traffic.
As a registered, productive and legitimate company it was all-too-easy for us to be sucked into the vortex comprising any number of marketers' databases.
But just try DISengaging!
Fair dinkum. Telemarketing - this responsive and consumer-need-drivenjuggernaut - reminds me of herpes simplex: it's painful, useless and it just keeps coming back.
Since 2004 I've been receiving more trash calls than ever before - and they've steadily increased up to the present.
About 12 months ago both S and I signed up to the Howard government's 'Do Not Call' register.
Well, as with pretty much everything 'achieved' under Howard's watch, it's been pretty bloody useless.
(Not too destructive compared to most of his anti-worker initiatives, but you can't win 'em all John.)
The volume of unsolicited calls to my number has roughly doubled since then - from an average of five per week to around 10 - while calls to S's number are now approaching zero.
For several months now, I've been screening my calls and only picking up for legitimate callers - but I know that I've missed out on genuine business opportunities - and even many personal calls - as a consequence.
A couple of weeks ago, I RE-registered with Do Not Call - but nothing has changed in the interim.
At times, I feel that I no longer truly 'own' my phone line.
What I need is a strategy to remedy this situation.
All the while, I remain sympathetic with telemarketers in third-world countries who are simply trying to improve their material existences and are in no way driving this abhorrent, exploitative, BASTARD-CAPPO agenda - but, equally, they need to learn to be sympathetic to my existence!
The best I can come up with at this stage is to publish any information that comes my way, in the hope that the spammers, scammers and turds involved might get their come-uppance in the full glow of public scrutiny.
Here's one to go on with.
Mid-afternoon (AEST) 5 June 2008:
"Gavin" from "Multicom Corporation" or similar.
'Please to' call him back on 1800 179 276.
(Garbled reference number: 142298)
Hey GAVIN: Please to FUCK OFF!
(Or at least email me your home number so we can 'catch up'.)