Thursday, February 21, 2013

Burning Haystacks To Find The Needle


I have a phone number with Bell Canada.  Given the proliferation of cold calls that we get at our house despite being on the DNCL, and given I have a home-based business, I decided to do a little poking around and see where all the sources of my information could be slurped from.

The first place I looked was Canada411.ca, which is owned by Yellow Pages Group (YPG).  Their site says that to be removed you need to go to the source (in this case Bell) and ask them to initiate this.  So I checked this with Bell.

Now, remember the school playground antics where the school bully comes over and does something you don't want until they extort something from you, like punching you until such time as you hand over your lunch money?  Bell has an identical routine where it hands out your phone number to all and sundry without telling you whom it's given it to, then says that to delist, you must hand over $2/month to Bell for it to stop.

Over 22 hours since I raised this with Bell, they've not resolved it.  So I went to Yellow Pages and asked them how much they paid Bell for my details.  They wouldn't answer the question, but they did say "YPG is contracted to make these numbers available on behalf of telcos in Canada.".  

So if YPG are contracted, the question is how much is that contract worth for my details?

Yellow Pages stated that it is Bell's issue to request, even though they have me in their database.  I refuse to be extorted in order to get my info out of the Yellow Pages system.  Bell gets a cool 4-figures from my house each year and it wants to haggle over $24?

Now, if there's one thing I've learned with bureaucratic red tape in large corporations, sometimes when you can't find the needle in the haystack, it's easier to just burn the haystack.

More to come.