Last night I sent the following email to the generic church email address:
Dear staff members at [church name],
I am writing to express my concern at the way contact information of church attendees has been shared with Olan Mills. Tonight marked the sixth phone call to our home phone during dinner hours.
I find it problematic for the church to give out our personal contact information to any company soliciting our time and business.
Thank you for your understanding,
[my full name]
(This was considerably toned down from my first draft, incidentally, which included words like "outrageous" and "unacceptable" and phrases like "I have told them on several occasions and in no uncertain terms that, had I wished to schedule an appointment, I would have done so.")
There's no way I'm the only person who finds this approach irritating, right? Right? But I got a reply from the church which essentially said, not, "We're so sorry we gave out your contact information to a solicitor and you've experienced this irritating situation," but instead (and I paraphrase), "We're sorry you have a problem with it, but we have no idea why, since church directories are THE BEST THINGS EVER and EVERYONE SHOULD WANT TO BE IN THEM."
Part of the email read,
"Olan Mills is only making calls to either confirm appointments or to schedule appointments so that our entire church family can participate in the new directory."
Right. I KNOW. That's what my email was about, their numerous calls to try to make me schedule an appointment. Why are you reiterating the problem as though it's a solution or explanation?
The announcements in the church bulletin every week for the past two months, and the announcements made from the pulpit in Sunday mornings have all made it clear to me that a directory is being made. Six phone calls crosses the line from nice "church family on Sunday morning" stuff to harassment. I get enough sales calls in the evenings without having to worry about having a church give out my personal contact information.
Seriously, am I the only person who finds this outrageous?