This is a story about pest calls. Specifically, pest calls from 914-290-6339, which has repeatedly called me in the past several weeks.
My caller ID screens calls, so I don’t actually pick up the phone unless I recognize the caller or the caller ID looks promising.
However I’m interrupted by the the sound of the phone ringing and by the kindly British female voice speaking the caller ID information.
I have to stop working and look at the caller ID; for unwanted calls, the caller ID is unintelligible. And after this, I must return to work and snap back to the prior productivity level.
What about the Do Not Call List? I was one of the first names added to the list. But there’s a catch. The Do Not Call List covers commercial businesses, however some companies disregard the law and take their chances. And charities are exempt, as are politicians. (I had a tsunami of calls prior to the last election, however that’s another story.)
Which brings us to my calls from 914-290-6339. They caught my attention after repeated calls, with a caller ID stating Donorctr. They did not leave a message.
I called the number, several times, and it did not go through.
Next, I researched the number on-line. A Google search brought up several “who-called” sites, including “who called us,” “who calls me,” and “call catalog.com.”
Scrolling through the notes posted by others, there was a consensus that the call was from the March of Dimes.
After several days, and several more phone calls, I called 914-290-6339 and was routed to a message, which stated, “We called you from the Donor Center on behalf of the March of Dimes. We were unable to reach you. If you wish to be removed from future calls, press 1.”
This is progress. Identifying the caller helps, however there was no option for a live operator. The March of Dimes certainly has the right to call for donations, although it appears they have contracted this business to a third-party, based on the message stating “calling on behalf of.”
How could the March of Dimes improve their effectiveness, and at the same time, improve their Public Relations? Here are a few suggestions:
(1) Caller ID Clarification. Show March of Dimes, clearly.
(2) Leave a brief Message and callback number.
(3) Limit the call attempts to three tries.
(4) Live Operator. Staff for return calls (not a recording).
The March of Dimes website lists a long history of success in helping disadvantaged babies. This is important work. However repeated calls that fail to identify the caller hurts, rather than helps, the effort.
March of Dimes, there is a better way. We want you to raise money and also have positive interactions with your prospective donors.