Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: I’m getting telemarketing calls because a board member gave out my number. Is that allowed?

By Dianne Ackerman  | May 10, 2019 - 3:00PM

Hopefully it wasn't the board president who shared your information.


Since I moved into my new apartment, several people have been calling me soliciting financial advice and insurance. Finally, I asked where they got my name and was told it was from a board member. Is this allowed? Signed, Very Irked

Dear Irked,

This is definitely not allowed and you have reason to be annoyed. Your board has access to very personal information, and it is their responsibility to keep that information confidential. In my building, we shred the board packet immediately after the interview. That information, after we have reviewed it and made a decision on the applicant, goes nowhere. We have a responsibility to ensure it is not disseminated to any outsiders or remain with the board itself.

I think you should speak to your board president (and I hope that wasn’t the person who betrayed your confidence) and explain the situation. If it was the president, call the management company. In my building, we would consider this sort of behavior unethical and a violation of the position. Board members are supposed to act in the best interest of the shareholders/tenants and not in their own self-interest. 

And finally, to be on the safe side and avoid wasting time on the phone, you should do what most New Yorkers do: Screen your calls and block the ones you don’t want!

Ms. Demeanor

Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.


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