HELLO, [YOUR NAME MISPRONOUNCED]! DO NOT BE ALARMED BY MY ROBOTIC VOICE. I AM A COMPUTER-GENERATED COMMUNICATION, NOT A REAL PERSON. THIS IS A RECORDING.


I HAVE AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE: A MERCHANT HAS ARRANGED THIS CALL TO CONTACT GULLIBLE PERSONS WHO CAN BE PERSUADED TO BUY THINGS THEY DON’T NEED.


TO HEAR THIS MESSAGE, PRESS 1 AND YOU WILL BE CONNECTED TO A REAL PERSON IN A DISTANT FOREIGN COUNTRY.


Ah, yes, robocalls! We all hate them. But most of us have figured out how to deal with them. We don’t answer calls from numbers we don’t recognize, we screen through an answer machine or service, we hang up as soon as we hear that robotic voice – or a live person mispronouncing our names, etc.


The more mischievous among us, when not too busy, will listen to a five-minute spiel from a real person and then ask to have the whole message repeated because of a distraction caused by some commotion in the household. Or they’ll turn the tables on the disembodied intruder and try to sell something to the telemarketer instead.


“I’m sorry, I can’t really use your fine product right now, but I do have something of my own for sale that’s new and improved that I’m offering to a select group for a limited time only. If you’d just give me your name and credit card number . . .”


Michele Kaffko apparently doesn’t have enough sense to use any of the obvious methods of dodging telemarketers, and not enough humor to turn the tables on them.


Instead, she’s filed a class action lawsuit in Chicago’s federal court against R2J2 Studios LLC, a Pennsylvania internet marketing company alleged to have made unauthorized calls to her and other helpless or humorless souls across the country.


The question now is, who’s the bigger nuisance – the telemarketer wasting seconds of some one’s time, or the plaintiff tying up the courts for months?


 

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