It took me a while to figure out what the recording meant when calling Pacific Bell – the one where they asked permission to “access your records.” Most people reacted the way I did – you’re calling for something related to your account, of course they can access your records. Turns out they were asking permission to pitch advertising to you. It was exactly as if you had called a telemarketer and asked if he had anything new to offer.

Now the laws have been relaxed, so SBC has changed its telemarketing. If you don’t opt out, you’ve automatically given permission for them to pitch all their wares when you call them – plus they’re going to pass your info on to all their “affiliates,” and if I read the weasel words on the web site right, they’re going to throw dinnertime telemarketers at you for “new calling plans and features.” Arrggh.

Here’s the page set up to fool you about their “privacy policy,” and this is the link to the page where you can opt out.