Stopping Gemma Communications and other telemarketers from calling you

A short time ago I got a phone call from a Gemma Communications telemarketer.

My call display showed "Toll Free Call", 800-609-7886.

Usually when Gemma calls me, they don't even pick up on their end, their auto-dialers call me before their humans can get to me. This time, someone was actually there! And interestingly, the person introduced himself as calling from Gemma. The first thing I thought when he said Gemma was he was going to ask me about my site, but no, he wanted to talk to me about a line of credit MBNA wants to offer me.

I listened to his script that was offering me a line of credit. When he was done, I asked him if I heard right, that he was calling from Gemma. He said he was.

I asked him if they had a procedure for removing my number from their calling list, and he said they did. He got a little defensive while I questioned him about it, so I asked to speak to his supervisor (I was wasting his time anyway, he has so many more people to read his script to today!).

After a couple of minutes on hold, I was speaking to Kristin Legard. She was very polite and helpful. I asked her lots of questions. Here is what you need to know:

You can call the Canadian Marketing Association at 1-800-267-8805 and ask to be removed from telemarketer call lists. Kristin told me this can take up to 3 months to take effect. I tried the number, and indeed, the first option in their phone tree is to help you remove yourself from calling lists!

Before we talked about the CMA she said she would remove my info from their list and that that would take effect right away, so I confirmed with her that they had their own calling list database and asked if there was a way people could get removed from their list quicker than by going through the CMA. She said there was, that people can call 1-866-296-0840. I asked her what hours that number was available, she said she thought it was most days of the week, during most hours, but not sure about Sunday. I called the number after I hung up, and connected to an answering machine that told me if I left my name and number they would remove me from their calling list. The message said they were open 9-5 eastern time, Monday through Friday.

So, if you find this web page because you are sick of getting called by telemarketers in Canada, perhaps Gemma especially, call those number and try to get off their lists.

And remember, please be civil... these people are just doing their jobs. Their company might suck, and their jobs might suck, but those are real people you're talking to, and I bet most of them would prefer to work elsewhere given the opportunity.

Written on June 18, 2004