Wednesday, March 5, 2008

You rang?

I'm usually pretty decent to telemarketers, at home and at the office. I know that even if you don't buy what they are selling, sometimes they get a commission just for completing a call. So, if I have the time, I might listen to their spiel before politely replying, "I'm not interested. Please take me off your list." Most of the time, this it met with an equally polite response from the telemarketer and I never hear from that company again.

Occasionally a telemarketer will use a more aggressive sales script. Chet described this to me as the "c'mon three times" script. After the first rejection, the telemarketer offers a previously unmentioned extra benefit. Like, "Well, I understand, but for those who sign up right now we are offering a 90-day free trial of our product." This is akin to a child whose playmate tells him there's no way he's eating that bug, saying, "Awww, c'mon." So after three objections and three rounds of "c'mon", the telemarketer gives up.

There's a whole new breed of telemarketer emerging, though. The I've-put-up-with-enough-crap-and-now-it's-your-turn breed. This breed doesn't care if he sells you squat. He just wants to get back at the world.

Two examples of unusual telemarketing calls I've received:

Apu: Ma'am I am calling on behalf of Dish Network. We are offering special rate for limited time...

Me: You know what, I'm not interested. Thank you.

Apu: Ma'am, please to not be interrupting me. Who is your current satellite provider?

Me: Uhhhh...really. I'm not interested.

Apu: Ma'am, please to be letting me finish. Who is your current satellite provider?

Me: Uhhh... we don't have one. We don't have TV service at all.

Apu: Ma'am? You have no TVs in your home?

Me: No. We just don't watch TV. That's why I'm not interested.

Apu (clearly confused, returning to the beginning of his script): Ma'am, please listen carefully. I am calling on behalf of Dish Network...

He probably didn't realize that by interrupting him I was really just trying to save him some time. Ungrateful.

Then there was this one at work:

Britney (with a very Britney Spears accent): This is Britney and I'm calling on behalf of *insert company* to show you how your company can save money on *insert product or service.*

Me: I'm sorry, we don't accept phone solicitations.

Britney: What? What does that mean?

Me: It means we don't buy products or services from people who solicit business over the phone.

Britney (spluttering with anger): Well... well... uhhh.. why not? I mean, I'm an American. It's not like I'm calling from... from.... INDIA or something. I work hard every day and you can't just say you don't buy stuff over the phone. I got to support my kids and I'm an American... and... and... I'm a decent person and I have kids ... and I'm not from India.. and... and

Me: Ok. Please put me on your do not call list.

I can't really recreate the tone of her voice. She was not desperate or pleading. She was flat-out angry with a hearty helping of entitlement mixed in. She felt like I had to buy what she was selling because she was an American and wasn't calling from India.

Has it come to that? Are people really out there buying things just because the salesperson has done speaked some goodly proper English?

From now on, I'm only buying from people who have Australian accents. Because platypuses come from Australia. End of story.


Bertie said...

Yes- I say yes every time! Actually- I always tell them I'm the babysitter , and then they say ok, thanks! You should try it sometime:)(technically it is true! I'm babysitting my kids and Chet all the time!)

Shauna said...

Can I have your email address?