do companies ‘sell out’ their customers?

Normally I don’t answer ‘blocked’ phone numbers on my cellphone, but since I’m expecting a call from a company I got tempted today. It was (off course) some call center, who immediately asked:

“I’m sorry to bother you, but do you by any chance have children under the age of 12?”

my (logical) answer was:

“I fail to see how that is any of your business”

Now, comes the interesting part about the whole affair: my cellphone number is not listed anywhere. That’s right, nowhere. Sure, I’ve given it to some companies who I do business with, and off course all my friends and relatives.  So, how exactly did some random call center get it’s hands on my number? Obviously, the only way they could have gotten it is because one of the mentioned companies has sold out on it’s customers, and there you have it. Could be the telco, could be another company. I doubt we’ll ever find out exactly who.

On the plus side,  here in The Netherlands we have something called (translated) “don’t call me“. It’s an online database, and numbers registered in it can not be called by marketers. ( That is law, by the way ).  It has worked fabulously for my home phone number , which has been listed there since day one. I just forgot to list my cell in there too,  since I’ve never been called by marketers on that one. It’s listed now.

I do feel there should be a law prohibiting companies selling any of their customer information to a third party. Privacy and such. Specially when it comes to e-mail addresses and phone numbers.

2 thoughts on “do companies ‘sell out’ their customers?

  1. For about two weeks in a row, I’ve been getting calls from an unknown phone number to my cell phone every workday at 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM (almost exactly the same times every day). I’m pretty sure it’s an automated call computer just waiting for me to pick up to patch me through to a telemarketing person (‘moron’ in technical terms). I never pick up, and no voicemail is left, ever … My phone numbers have been in the Infofilter/NoCall registry for years, so there’s likely a rogue trader out there running a campaign. Hope OPTA gets them soon.

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