The need for reliable and appropriate customer information for telemarketers has been highlighted by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has told of his problems with cold-callers contacting him on a secure line.
Mr Bloomberg has a private phone line installed in his house New York, which is intended for top-secret emergency communications only.
However, while speaking at a senate hearing on protecting America against terrorism, the mayor mentioned how his secure ‘Batphone’, as the phone has been nicknamed, is constantly plagued by uninvited sales calls.
“It’s never been used other than to answer an occasional call for ‘Do I want to subscribe to a particular magazine, buy an insurance policy’ or some other such ridiculous thing,” the mayor said.
Mr Bloomberg added that cold-callers are able to access the secure phone, which, he pointed out, is not red, because they are likely to be operating by chance rather than working with proper data.
“You can dial a number at random and eventually get to everyone in the world,” he commented.
Asked if the phone has ever been used for its intended purpose of receiving calls about emergencies, Mr Bloomberg said that he had only ever received insurance calls on it.
A survey by messaging specialist Pitney Bowes found that telemarketing is the most hated form of advertising among European consumers, with 60 per cent of respondents across Britain, France, Germany and Italy expressing their dislike for the method.