Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Naming and shaming

For what it's worth.

I'm furious at BioTechniques "magazine" and the telemarketing firm they used. It will cycle through where I will get calls daily from their telemarketers wanting me to take a survey and "update my subscription."

I am not a lab scientist. I do not know how I got on their mailing list. I want off of it. I have asked the telemarketers this periodically over the past year.

Finally, early last week, I e-mailed the person listed on their webpage as CEO asking to be taken off their calling cycle, that I regarded the calls as intrusive and borderline harassment. (Honestly: calling a professor DAILY.)

He e-mailed back, saying yes.


I got a call again today. I confess, I kind of unloaded (I was not abusive but I was angry) on the poor telemarketing dude - I am guessing someone making very little money in a call-center in Kolkata or somewhere, based on his accent and the quality of the connection. And I e-mailed the CEO again.

I am going to e-mail him again every time I get a call until they stop.

I'm also half considering "updating" my mailing address to be the address of their company, so I don't get their magazine - which gets thrown out unread - any more. Not sure if that would work.

But again, this should not be. I don't have caller ID at work or I could dodge the calls like I dodge telemarketers at home.

Someone I know suggested going to "Retraction Watch" and reporting it, but I can't find a submission link and it doesn't seem like what they do, so I don't know. I wish there were some really loud public bullhorn though where I could say BIOTECHNIQUES USES SCAMMY TELEMARKETING TECHNIQUES AND BOTHERS PEOPLE WHO HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID "DON'T BOTHER ME" but I don't know where.

1 comment:

Jay said...

FJ: I also posted this over at Charles's site. I hope you find this helpful.

As a former trade magazine publisher, I can tell you the post office doesn't send the magazines back postage due - they dump them.

If you really want to get at them, take the next issue, and send an e-mail (from a throw-away account) to every advertiser in the issue letting them know you didn't ask for the magazine, don't read the magazine, and are so sick of the calls you tell all the other professors and students to not bother with it.

You should also send a similar message to BPA (organization that provides audits of circulation to the advertisers, http://www.bpaww.com) that you've asked them to stop, you don't read their 'magazine', and are sick of getting it.

The lifeblood of those magazines is the advertisers, not the few (if any) readers that pay. If the advertisers hear people don't want it, and BPA decides to take a closer look at the publisher's 'opt-in' list (typically a card you get every year asking to check and send back to keep getting the magazine), then that should get a fire going under a few people at Biotechniques.

Skip the caps, and remember the old saying "revenge is a dish best served cold".