Monday, March 21, 2016

Dealing with Telemarketers

Sometimes I answer the operator extension at work.

I’ve been doing this for fifteen years. I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out telemarketers less than ten seconds into a conversation with them.

Let me preface what’s coming with the acknowledgement that I KNOW telemarketers are people who are just doing their jobs. They are trying to make a living and get through their day. I know this.

And yet, they make me crazy with their fast talking, their refusal to let the ‘customer’ get a word in before they can finish their spiel.

A few years ago (it must have been almost ten since I was pregnant with Olivia at the time, yikes) I had someone call me and start the conversation with something like:

“Hi! Can you tell me the model number of the printer there on your desk?”

Me, looking around to see if I was being pranked, “Um, I don’t have a printer on my desk.”

The woman on the other end of the call gave an exasperated sigh and said, “Yes, you do. I just need the model number. We had someone cancel a big order for cartridges and I can give you really good deal. I just need to know the model number of the one on your desk.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, totally on to her by this point. “We don’t have printers on our desks anymore. We got rid of those a year or so ago. But thank you so much, bye!”

And then I hung up on her. See, a couple of years before that, I’d fallen for a scam like that one. I accepted the ‘deal’ of taking some printer cartridges that someone else had ‘cancelled’ and then we were hooked for a certain amount of time to buy the stupid cartridges at full price. It was not pretty.

I thought the whole thing was done after I hung up on the woman but she called right back to hiss, “You’re a rude bitch!” Then she hung up on me.

Wow. That was intense for a few seconds. After I got over the initial shock, I was able to laugh it off but for a second or seven, I was stunned that she’d bothered to call me back just to toss profanities at me. She must have been having a bad day.

These days, I’m a little less rude (but not much) when it comes to telemarketers. When someone calls to ‘update’ their data, I’ll tell them I’m not allowed to do that.

By the way, I’m TOTALLY allowed to do it but it usually take forever and I don’t wanna do it, so…I don’t. Even when they say it will just be a few questions and will only last a minute or so, they are LYING. There are always more than just a few questions and it always takes like ten minutes. And nobody has time for that.

Today I got to send a telemarketer to one of our other facilities. I answered the phone, she started in with, “I’m from...blah, blah blah, I just need to update our information. We have your address as other facility’s address…”

At this point, she took a breath and so I interjected, “That’ our billing address. Let me transfer you to them.”

And as I was clicking ‘transfer’ on my phone, she was trying to ask me what the address was for where I currently am.


Huh…maybe I really am a rude bitch.


Swistle said...

I CANNOT BELIEVE she called you back to swear at you!! Also, though I never do the things I've heard people do to telemarketers that DO seem rude (air horns, deliberately wasting the telemarketer's time, leaving the phone on a table while the telemarketer does his/her spiel), I do go ahead and say "No, thank you" and hang up---without feeling rude AT ALL. The telemarketer makes us an offer ("Do you want to fall for my scam / donate money to charity and we will keep 90% of it / buy something from a cold call / give me information for free that I can use to make money?"), and we have declined it, and that is not a bit rude. SHE was rude to YOU.

Julie said...

Have you heard the comedian who messes with telemarketers? He's hilarious. The cemetery one is my favorite.