LAST CALL: Telemarketers get cold shoulder in WI

Next time clients complain about how bad their images are, tell

them it could always be worse - they could be tele-marketers.



Telemarketing's image is so bad that when Wisconsin legislators this

summer talked about creating a state-run "do-not-call" list for

consumers to ward off the pesky phone solicitors, 1,000 people called a

state hotline in one day to register for the new service. Problem was,

the legislature hadn't approved creation of the no-call list just

yet.



Telemarketing's PR has gone steadily downhill in the state. In 1997, it

wasn't on a list of Top 10 consumer complaints compiled by the state's

Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. The following year, though,

it popped up at No. 8.



It rose to the No. 5 complaint last year.



Maybe telemarketers should consult those people who sell tarot card

readings via the phone to find out what their futures hold. The outlook

in Wisconsin seems cloudy at best.



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