Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Telemarketing Madness

Anyone on the "Do Not Call" list?  How's that working out for you?  Ever ask one of these sales folks that interrupt dinner to take you off their list, only to field twelve more calls over the next two days from them?  I realize these people have a tough job.  They have to first hope that you pick up the phone instead of screening your calls with caller I.D. Then they have to quickly give their memorized or read sales speech without taking a breath since they know any pauses in their spiel will give you chance to say, "Sorry...not interested."  Then when they finally do come up for air, they have to deal with angry people that do not appreciate one iota of the experience. 

I don't feel too bad for them though.  If you take a telemarketing job and don't realize what you're signing up for, then one eight hour shift will quickly teach you.  And either a thick skin will develop or you will resign by days end.  My wife and I usually are not rude or overly angry with these calls but we can be abrupt and to the point about getting off the phone and voicing our disinterest in new rain gutters, widgets, and extended warranties.  However, I've adopted a different strategy over the past few years that I highly recommend.  Mess with them.

I do this in a variety of ways but my favorite is answering in Spanish.  A typical call goes something like this:

Me:  Bueno?

Telemarketer:  Yes, may I speak with Jim?

Me:  Lo Siento, senior Jaime no esta.  Que quierres?

Telemarketer:  Do you speak English?

Me: Juro fidilidad a la bandera de los Estados Unidos de la America.  A la republica, que representa...


Laughter ensues.

Another suggestion is to let really young children answer these calls.  After asking to speak with mom or dad twenty two times, they normally get frustrated and hang up.  The young kids love the chance to practice their phone skills and thankfully cannot legally purchase anything on your behalf.  But just when I thought I was creative and funny with my handling of these calls, I stumbled on this idea (video below) and realized I am just an amateur.  I now have a new strategy my friends.  I recommend we all implement this one.



Melanie said...

Lol! I work in telemarketing, can say I've never been spoken to in a foreign language, nor have I spoken to any kids so your ideas may still be fairly orginal :). Definitely beats the abuse telemarketers can sometimes recieve.

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