We often get telemarketing calls at home. The phone rings, I pick it up and say `hello` and there is a pause on the other end, a couple of seconds later a person asks `is mister ... home.`

The pause happens when that the telemarketing centre's automated phone dialing program transfers the line to a telemarketing representative. The wife hangs up the phone if after answering the phone she hears a pause. She has even hung up on one of her friends who like is a `pauser` a couple of times.

I prefer to talk to the telemarketers. My conversations usually go somewhere along the lines of, I am on the do not call list, why are you calling me and please add me to your do not call list. During this brief conversation I can always hear the conversation of the other telemarketing reps in the background.

Today I called ING Direct and while I was talking to the CSR I was surprise to hear the conversation of the other CSRs in the background. The conversation was between two women and they were discussing their evening out last night. It definitely sounded like they had had a good time. It was also distracting while I was talking to my CSR about money. I did not want her to mishear any of my instructions and transfer my money to some guy in Bolivia.

This was the first time that I have been able to hear the other CSRs and I mentioned that to my CSR at the end of the call. She said that they had updated their telephone system and that her microphone was probably picking up the conversation because it was more sensitive. I said sure and suggested that she provide feedback to her supervisor or manager so that they could resolve this issue.

Her reason might have been true, but I believe that it would have been more likely that she had a couple of friends sitting in her cubical chatting away. Maybe when ING out sources their jobs to India, due to poor producitivity, they can get themselves jobs as telemarketers.

The cash strapped City of Toronto has been on the continuous look out for new revenue streams. Many of its residents feel that instead of properly managing spending, and reducing cost, the city has used the powers given to it by the province of Ontario, under the City of Toronto Act, to find creative ways to tax its residents.

The City of Toronto has increased residential and business property tax, increased water, and sewer usage fees. It has implement a new pay per use garbage bin system. It has implemented a new land transfer tax for property sold within city limits and a new automobile licensing tax for automobiles owned by city residents.

The City of Toronto has increased the number of parking tickets, traffic violation tickets, pet licensing tickets, failure to remove snow tickets.

The City of Toronto has also proposed new taxes on alcohol, tobacco, entertainment tickets, batteries, increased TTC fees and toll roads.

Most of these taxes have been implemented under the guise of environmental protection or public safety.

The latest tax scheme that Toronto will soon implement will be a 5 cent plastic shopping bag fee. Toronto had initially proposed a 10 cent deposit on plastic bags but the logistics of collecting and refunding this was not viable. The 5 cent plastic shopping bag fee will be collected by large grocery stores.

The grocery stores that will collect this fee are members of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. Which means that the following stores will likely be charging this fee very soon:

  • Metro (owner of A&P, Dominion, Food Basic)
  • Gordon Food Services
  • Flanagan
  • Kitchen Table
  • Loblaws
  • Sobeys
  • Loeb

LCBO Stops Providing Plastic Bags
Reuse Plastic Shopping Bags

We are giving away 1 free Bell Video Store rental code to the first FCL reader to email us. The rental has a $5 retail value and is valid till Dec 31, 2008.

Once the code has been given away this post will be updated.

Details about Bell's Video Store can be found at bellvideostore.ca/moviecard

Fake Tim Hortons Card

Sunday, November 02, 2008 | , , | 1 comments »

Canadians love Tim Horton's coffee and now with the new Tim Horton's prepaid cards, buying coffee could not be easier. The Tim Horton's cards are credit card sized cards which can be preloaded with an amount of money up to $200. You can load credit on your card either at any Tim Horton's store or online. However there are few scams out there that you should be aware of.

Switched Blank Cards

You just loaded $50 on your Tim Horton's card. You go to the store and buy a couple of coffees the next day you go back to Tim Hortons and the cashier tells you that there is no money left on your card. What? How is that possible?

There are hundreds of blank cards in every store. The last time you were there the cashier had switched your card with a blank card.

You can protect against this by writing your name or initials on your card with a permanent marker. This way you can be sure that you are getting your card back. Also always ask for a receipt. The receipt will show you how much was charged to your card and how much is left.

Stolen Credit Card Cards

You see discounted Tim Horton's cards for sale on Craigslist, or Kijiji or from someone in front of a store. The cards are loaded with $100 or $200 online using a stolen credit card number and sold for $60 or $150. The seller will even allow you to check the card balance at a store and the balance will be accurate. A few days later your card will not work. That is because the Tim's card was bought with a stolen credit card and when Tim Horton's found out they deactivated it.

Cloned Cards

This scam is similar to the stolen credit card scam but a little different. A Tim Horton's card is loaded with cash. The magnetic strip of this card is then copied and written on to blank cards. All of these cards will then have the same amount loaded on them. However as the different victims use one of these cards the money is subtracted from all of the cards.

Protect Yourself

The best way to protect yourself is to use cash. If you must use a Tim Horton's card then make sure you write your name on your card, keep it in your sight at all times and don't buy cards from someone you don't know.