Today, we have some international news in telemarketing, as people all over the globe telemarket and receive telemarketing calls, from South Africa to Montreal, to the UK.
Montreal Superior Court Clamps Down on Telemarketing Fraud
Another week, another alleged telemarketing fraudster! Alberino (Rino) Magi, brother of Construction magnate Tony Magi, was paraded before a Superior Court Judge in Montreal in connection with a sweepstake telemarketing fraud. The case has been pending in California now for many years, and Magi was just one of a group of about twelve other accused tele-fraudsters rounded up and detained in connection with the sweepstake fraud. Once again, the tricky telemarketers were attempting to bilk the elderly on the phone, by promising sweepstakes winnings for a fee. The court was the Superior Court in Montreal and the judge, André Vincent, set up conditions for Magi, including a $5,000 deposit and a $10,000 bond that must be posted to secure his release. Alberino Magi was ordered by the judge to keep mum and not chew the fat with his co-accused and to religiously follow a curfew. Whether or not Magi was allowed near a phone, even Skype, was not clear. Hopefully, justice will be done. Magi may be extradited to California in good time. Source
British Man Sues Telemarketers Who Disturbed his Snacking and Sun time
Sitting in the sun enjoying a snack, picking raspberries, and anticipating a call from his one of his children, Richard Herman was unpleasantly surprised by a rogue telemarketing call. Herman is on the Telephone Preferences Services, which functions like the Do Not Call list in the US, so the call was illegal and unwelcome. Strangely, the calls were offering reimbursements for accidents and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), when he had not even had an accident and had no PPI.
Piqued and perturbed, Herman decided to take legal action. He sued the company for wasting his time and received “ £10 for every minute wasted. (Plus court fees)”. Source
Are Thousands of South African Telemarketing Jobs About to Evaporate?
While no doubt, telemarketers can be annoying or even criminal, there are also many legitimate telemarketers who generate sales leads, sell legitimate products or services, raise money for charities, take polls or surveys, and collect payments for businesses on overdue bills. Telemarketing also provides a job for many who might otherwise be unemployed, and enables small businesses to grow economically, without relying on more expensive advertising services – which are often, just as annoying to the consumer. Regulating the telemarketing business out of existence, may create more unemployed, even as it relieves the stress of an unwanted call.
South Africa is now contemplating the unintended consequence of anti-telemarketing regulation, estimating that up to 35,000 jobs could be lost, and certainly that would not be a good thing in an economy that is already struggling. The legislation, PPI, the Protection of Personal Information Act, would be comprehensive privacy legislation, and – dictate how personal information was used — regulating and constricting not only telemarketing, but also email, direct marketing and SMS.
South Africans may not have to put up with an occasional unwanted call, but they may have to see more unemployed competing for fewer jobs, or standing in lines for government aid or private charity. New businesses will also have a harder time with marketing since nothing is easier than picking up a phone to sell a service or new product. Possibly, many new companies will never have a chance to even begin to make money.
Some believe the legislation is aiming to please the over regulated and business averse European Union. Not necessarily a good idea unless the EU wants to find other ways to employ South Africans.