Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How to deal with telemarketers

Q. "Hello, is Mr. or Mrs. Chappell there?"
A. "Please hold." Then simply return to whatever you were doing.

It's not the worker's fault, of course, but wasting their time may spare others on their list, and serves to undermine the vicious industry. (Whatever you do, don't reward them!)


  1. telemarketers make money largely via comissions for example if you do it for sky TV you might make $11 per sale - maybe a bit more. They are another cog in the wheel just like the company boss and the proper salesmen and all the other peopel are cogs.

  2. I always figured that if they have the right to disturb me, I have the right to act disturbed. The key is to realize that they are being monitored by their bosses and have to remain on the line and polite. This gives you an huge advantage. My two favorites:

    (1) Let the person go through their whole script. Then say, "Hold on, I want you to say all of this to my wife." After he repeats the entire spiel, say loudly enough that he can hear over the phone, "Doesn't he sound exactly like your brother?" Take back the phone. "Jim? No? My God, you sound just like my brother-in-law. You must be related. Is your last name Youkowskis? No? Are you Lithuanian at all? No? Really. You sound Lithuanian"...and on and on...

    (2) If they ask for Mrs. Gimbel...In an irritated voice, "No, there is no Mrs. Gimbel. You sound like my mother. I'm sorry there will be no Mrs. Gimbel. I'm sorry you won't have grandchildren. Yes, I'm gay. I'm sorry. Aaarrrgh!...I'm sorry, you didn't need to hear all that. You know...you have a very attractive voice. (suddenly very interested) What did you say your name was again? Where are you calling from?" If there's going to be homophobia in society, we might as well use it to our advantage.

  3. Oh man, that's laughing-out-loud wicked...

  4. "The key is to realize that they are being monitored by their bosses and have to remain on the line and polite. This gives you an huge advantage."
    Sheesh I wish they realised this over here in the UK customer service even of this sort is appalling... I've personally started to respond to the insurance ones in this way. Once they have finished their spiel and I have said "no thanks" they usually say "can I ask why?" So I give them an explanation (in great detail) of why I am not interested in their insurance, walking them through a bit of economic theory and pointing out that for the insurance company to make money they have to price the policy at a higher point than they are likely to pay out at. Thus it is a bad gamble.

    Of course they have come up with a cunning solution to this, now we keep getting telmarketing phone calls from a machine "Hi this is a recorded message to tell you..." Who on earth thinks anyone responds positively to that?

  5. Those recorded messages keep having conversations with my voice mailbox. And the mail box doesn't record the first part.

    BTW I agree with you david - if you can self-insure you are a mug to get insurance and if you cant you probably can't afford the insurance.

    My brother in law (insurance slesman) told me that they have some loss leaders apparently including home and contents - but I think they would have to be loosing money like you wouldn't believe for it to become a rational investment.

  6. I/S highlights that the effect is about .9 per generation. Potentially that could explain China's economic performace relitive to europe's.

    Afterall - lets say it has been in effect for the last 7 generations or so (in Europe but not in china), since the first of those people started complaining... well there is your average IQ difference for you.

    As to why that helps economically - well amongst other things you jut ned to be a certain level of intelligence to make a decent engineer/doctor etc.

  7. heh....that's a trick of mine from back in college. the dorm rooms had serial phone numbers, so we all used to get telemarketed even if we never had contact of any sort with the co. calling. (i once got called and offered life insurance, when i was 19). we'd mostly just neither say anything nor hang up. Though, I dunno, looking back I don't think I should have done it. They are after all doing a job and earning an honest wage, even if it is amazingly foul for the telemarketer and near criminally rude for the 'customer'. There's certainly a lot worse they can do with a life.


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