Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Telemarketing - Don't You Just Love It?

I know telemarketers are just regular folks trying to make a buck. Can you imagine doing this for a living? Knowing that the person on the other end of the line is:
  • Not happy to hear from you
  • Is just about to hit you with a slur of some type
  • Isn't going to buy crap from you, even if they do listen to your entire sales pitch (unless it's my mother-in-law, who will buy anything) 
  • Is just about to slam the phone down in your ear 
The other night the phone rang...

"Hello!" I said
"Hello!" I said again, with just a touch of venom.
After a pause, I heard the phone connect on the other end.
"Good evening Mr. Tillett, our company will have home improvement crews working in your neighborhood tomorrow. They will be installing energy efficient, replacement windows. Would you be interested in lowering your energy bills, while getting a tax incentive, in the form of a rebate from your utility provider?"
"I'm really not inter..."
"But Mr. Tillett, several of your neighbors have already agreed to take advantage of our generous offer."
"Really? Can you give me their names please?"
"No sir, I'm not allowed to give out that information."
"I'll tell you what; I'm just about to eat dinner right now. If you will give me your name and phone number, I'll call you back in a couple of hours."
"I'm sorry sir, but I get off in 30 minutes. Can you just spare me a few minutes right now?"
"No I can't, but if you'd give me your home phone number, I'd be more than happy to call you later this evening when I'm free to talk about it."
"But sir, I can't give you my home phone number!"
"Why not"
"I'll be off the clock, sir!"
"Do you think I'm on the clock right now?"
"No sir."
"Then why in the hell is it okay for you to call me at home?"

He didn't say another word, he just hung up...



  1. Classic.

    I love messing with them. I don't get as many calls now that I only have a cell phone. Here is my favorite exchange that I had.

    Hello Meredith - would you like to buy cable?

    We don't have a TV.

    You have NO TV?

    Nope, we're Amish.

    But you're talking to me on the phone.

    Phone? No, this is a cornucopia!




    :) I've got a whole bunch more just like that.

  2. Your response was PRICELESS!!!!

  3. That is SUCH an intelligent way to blow off someone! Good job, Pat, that was really well done! (Can I use the trick?)

    And you're right in the first part of the post, when you write about how bad some telemarketers must be feeling at the end of each day..getting an earfull of crap every day would certainly get to me.

  4. I love the way you handled that, BTW. I'll try that next time I'm harassed at home.

  5. When I was (much) younger I was a telemarketer for four hours. We broke for lunch and I couldn't run away fast enough. Didn't stop to say goodbye. At least when I was delivering pizzas people were happy when I showed up.

  6. Ha ha ha!!! YOU TELL 'IM!!!!! LOVE IT!!!!!

    I'm happy to say that we have not had ONE SINGLE telemarketer call since going with MagicJack. It's a brand new number, uncirculated..not the recycled crap numbers they give you when you ask for an "unlisted" number with the phone company.

    It's telemarketers, no wrong number calls and no fund raiser calls for almost ONE YEAR now!!!

  7. Its the same thing happening everywhere. They d try to sell you everything. Calling always at the wrong hours.
    And they are so persistent.
    Sometimes i cant help it not to use some harsh language also.. and wife starts saying that those poor people are ordinary working people and I should be more polite.
    Anyway, I am not that patient. And sometimes they revenge me the day after.
    Instead of one i usually get 3 or 4 phone calls from them.

  8. Hey, I have worked at a place just like that! But it didn't is no more pleasant to MAKE the call than it is to take the call.

  9. If I pick up the phone and no one is there immediately, I hang up....

  10. Do you remember the Seinfeld bit where he did that? It was hilarious. Those poor telemarketers. I hang up right away so I don't even have to talk to them.

  11. If I didn't call you for your product, you darn well better not call me! We have 2 that call on a regular basis and for the life of me, I haven't been able to get the point across, that I DON'T WANT YOU TO CALL HERE AGAIN! Schmucks! Well done on your part, Mister!

  12. Nice!!! I like the way you summed that one up, the picture is rather depressing knowing it is an actual work setting.

  13. I will have to try that! at least 3 times a week I get the automated call telling me I won 2 all included tickets to ___ destination, to hold them please press 1 and enter my credit card information or 0 to be taken off their calling list! (pressing 0 just disconnects the call)

  14. Yes, there are people trying to make a living doing this. But....

    I just hang up too, as someone above said, but what a great telephone scene this is! It'd be perfect in a story. Save it!!

  15. Beautifully handled! I hate telemarketer's with a passion and love your handling of the call. I'm certain you'll be taken off at least that one's phone list. I may just have to try the tactic myself!

  16. LOL, classic! Just can't argue with kind of logic.

  17. LOL! I wrote a post a while ago on how to deal with these callers, and it was so funny!
    One of the things was if they were asking for money, just tell them that you have just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure do with the money. Another one was just to say "No" over and over again, but my favourite is, if it's a guy on the phone, to say "John, is that you? How are you doing? It's been ages since we had a chat! Are you still married to Judy?" and just act as if it was someone that you know, this tactic will have the person thinking that it's someone that he/she knows for real!

  18. Totally AWESOME response, Pat! I LOVED it.

  19. KarenG I do remember that bit and it was the first thing I thought of. Good job Pat! Tell 'em not to call me either next time.

  20. We don't get very many of those calls, since we signed on for the
    do not call list ...
    usually I just tell
    them we are on that list and they
    shouldn't be calling...then I go

  21. You are a legend. You got the telemarketer to hang up on you. That takes skills my friend. Real skills. BTW...I'm always on the clock.

  22. I used to be a telemarketer, but it was all inbound. I can't imagine doing outbound cold calls. I think I would rather just be homeless.

  23. Hi Pat, Even though we belong to all of the "Do not Call" lists, we still get phone calls from these people. Drives me insane!!!! I'm never as nice as you were. I usually say FIRST THING---"Take me off of your list and do not call again." But--we still get calls. Thank God for caller ID... We just don't answer the phone much!!!! ha

  24. I tried to remember where I heard this one. Maybe it was Seinfeld, not sure. What bothers me even more than these things, are the ones that aren't even human at all. Just a computer voice. It's funny how sometimes the first thing they say is "don't hang up!"
    too funny...

  25. I have NEVER bought anything from a cold call. I can't believe people still try to peddle stuff over the phone! There must be some kind of market for it still obviously. You've got to think that the market is shrinking though (with so many people ditching their land lines and all)

  26. One night a telemarketer called recently and I just simply hung up on him after he said hello. My husband then berated me for being rude and thoughtless and that it was not the fault of the guy on the phone that this was his job. He felt I should have been more polite in my refusal to listen to the crap he was going to peddle. I still felt fine about what I did and the next day I re-registered with the "do not call" registry. I have no qualms about being rude in this arena!

  27. Yeah, I thought of Seinfeld too. It was almost word-for-word the same. Pat, I didn't know you could be so tough! Poor guy's just trying to earn a living. I'm feeling so sorry for him, I hink I'll call him and invite him for dinner. (I'm taking a leap of faith that he's attractive and single.)

  28. Meredith - That would certainly confuse them!

    Lynne H - I've don't several variations on that theme also.

    Nancy - seems like they call us every night. Not the same folks, but they always call.

    Sarah - Sure you can use, after all, I stole it myself...LOL

    MD - I don't know if I would have lasted that long. Pizza sounds good!

    Marlene - We wouldn't hve the phone if it wasn't part of the package...

    Costas - I agree...the main problem is when they call. Always the wrong time! I really do feel sorry for them. It's got to be a hard job.

    BD - That's a good policy!

    KarenG - I sure do... I have a bunch of routines for them.

    Ms A - There you go! If you want something, we'll let them know!

    Jimmy - I know...can't be much fun

    baygirl - They just don't give up!

    Ann - If I don't have time (I usually don't) I just hang up also

    Neil - Usually, somebody else just calls instead.

    TS - If I was the salesperson and somebody asked me for my number, I'd give them a phone number. It just would be mine...

    Alice - I gotta try that last one! that would be so funny...

    Joan - thanks!

    Chuck - Not to call you? Darn it, I gave them your number!

    Faye - I did too, but it didn't work!

    Copyboy - I don't know about the genius part, but they've hung up on a few I got some skills...

    Cheeseboy - I would too!

    Betsy - I don't have caller ID and my phone number is we do get more than our share!

    Darrin - I agree, It's hard to believe they still do it. I thought they'd all switched to spamming our blogs!

    Robyn - If it was almost word for word, my memory must be better than I think it is...I can't remember what anybody said yesterday!

  29. I have always wanted to say something like that to a telemarketer but I always get the lady that sounds so sweet that I can't.

    Jerry did that one time on Seinfeld and I thought it was hilarious.

  30. In response to the question asked in your title, "Hell, no!" And I totally get how your conversation with that telemarketer went. I always feel a bit guilty about being rude over the phone to someone who just needs to make a living and probably hates their job, anyway. But man! I need my free time, too! I work all day and when I get home I just want to chill... So, yesterday, I asked a telemarketer from a company that has been calling us the past few weeks, "Do you really think your insistent nagging is going to make me change my mind. I don't think you even think that! Stop freakin' calling me!!!" And then, I had my moment of remorse after I'd hung up. Oh, well...


  31. Win, Pat. Epic, epic win. I would have loved to have witnessed that interaction.

  32. That's pretty funny!

    When I met my wife, about six years ago, she was working at one of Chicago's daily newspapers, in the advertising department. She had to make over 60 calls a day, at first all "inside" numbers-- other businesses that had advertised with them before. The company actually had computer software that monitored how many calls they made. The company kept ratcheting up the number of required calls to the point where they were having to call people they'd called before to the point where they were becoming angry. Finally, the people in her department started serrepticiously passing around a long list of fax numbers. It artifically padded their count in two ways-- first, it was a call; secondly, it was guaranteed not to have a person answering.

    When my wife left that job, the call requirement had nearly doubled. It went up after she left. And then they laid off 2/3's of the department.

  33. I work Inbound, I hate outbound callcenterguys worse than any other customer. Half of my work is fixing their fuckups *or miss-informations*

  34. 5 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  35. My folks were so rude when they'd call. They would ask if they could call them back at dinner. So much for the "Do not call" bs, they still call us.

  36. My friend Steve tells them, "Hold on, I'll get Mr. Xxxxxx for you," then puts the phone down and goes back to what he was doing. They're required to stay on the line for a certain amount of time, so that's less time they have to call other people.

  37. PS I hope you know that I wasn't suggesting you stole an idea, Pat. You ARE an original. In fact, I think you should sue Jerry Seinfeld. He's not nearly as talented or original as you!

  38. PTM - There's an entire different approach for a lady. I loved that show!

    Sarahjayne - Thanks! it works...

    Nevine - I know what you mean. They are just trying to get by. I still hate it when they call. I usually let them know that, or I just hang up. I do like to have some fun at their expense though...

    SN - Why thank you!

    Johnny Rojo - Wow..I'm sure it's a brutal way to make a living. It was cool they found a way to beat the quotas (at least for a while).

    Arjan - Inbound not quite so bad, because the customers are coming to you. Still not an easy job, I'm sure.

    John - Thank you sir!

    Ally - I've done that one also. I think I've done them all...

    Kurt - I've done that one also. While the phone is sitting on the table, you say things (to an imaginary person) like you are so happy that the person called because you were looking for something like that. That way they won't hang up. After a few minutes, you get on the phone and say your not interested and hang up!

    Maria - Thanks!

    Robyn - Not a problem! I did steal it, but not from Seinfeld. It was old when he did it...thanks though!


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