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9.10.12

Ring Ring. Another Telesales Call!

 We've all been there. Relaxing after a busy morning running errands, completing a long list of household chores, spending half an hour rocking a baby who is fighting sleep, you lay the baby in his/her cot, boil the kettle, pour a nice hot cup of tea/coffee. Sit down and.....ring ring, ring ring.
Baby wakes at the ringing, you run to baby, hoping that you can get there before he/she fully wakes up and can simply be shushed to sleep...except its too late. Baby is now fully awake and by the time you get downstairs, with your grumpy and wide awake baby, your hot cup of tea/coffee is now lukewarm. You check the phone, hoping it was an important enough call for it to cause a cold drink and a wide awake baby...but no...it was yet another telesales call.

How do they seem to know the exact moment your bottom hits the sofa? The exact moment your babies head touches the bed?

 I have mixed feelings about telesales. Am I angry at the person who calls me? A little bit. After all, it is a job and people need to work. But if they are polite and say sorry if I tell them that "No, I am not Mrs Gregory or Mrs Sharpe" then I can forgive them for wasting my time.
It's the ones who phone, ask for Mrs Sharpe, or Mrs Gregory, and when told that they have the wrong number, then decide that "I don't have to speak to her, you'll do, are you the homeowner?"
This question can be approached in a few ways.
1: simply hang up.
2: answer yes, then say you are not interested. In most cases they will then hang up.
3 Answer, no. But I will just go and get her/him for you. You then stick the phone on mute, sit down and enjoy the rest of your cup of tea.
I remember clearly when I was little and my parents doing number 3. They left the phone on the stairs and the telesales lady stayed on the phone for 30 minutes, until eventually my parents just put the phone back on the receiver.

There are also the ones who do not believe you when you say you are not the person they are asking for.
"Hello. Can I speak to Mrs Sharpe please?"
"I'm sorry this isn't her number."
"is that Mrs Sharpe?"
"No, this isn't her number I'm afraid"
"You're not Mrs Sharpe?"
"No. This. Is. Not. Her. Num-ber!"
"Does Mrs Sharpe live there at all?"
"No. No she doesn't"
HANG UP!
And then of course there are the moments that my husband answers the phone and they ask him if he is Mrs Sharpe, or Mrs Gregory.

Some days we will have around 3 or 4 telesales calls, despite being signed up to the relevent services which are supposed to prevent such calls.
If we are feeling particularly fed up with the calls we decide to play with the caller, not that they are aware of this.
Our games include:
1: Letting Charles answer.
2: The game mentioned above, leaving them on hold and seeing how long they can stay on the line for.
3: Our personal favourite. I answer the phone, once they ask for Mrs Gregory or Mrs Sharpe I then take them to my husband. Working in production he has a wide variety of animal noises on his computer. We have been known to engage in a conversation with the telesales caller but to be rudely interupted by our pet lion/elephant or dinosaur. Their reaction is always hilarious as you can tell they are not quite sure if they just misheard or what to say next. We carry on this game until the caller gets bored and will eventually hang up.

There are some telesales callers who are far too nice. You almost feel guilty to hang up on them and have to remind yourself that you didn't ask for that phone call and that ultimately, they are wanting to get money out of you.
"Hello is that Mrs W"
"It is"
"Hi, Mrs W, my name is Sam, how are you today?"
"I'm very well thank you Sam, how are you?"
"I'm fine thanks. Wish I wasn't stuck at work when the weather is this nice though. Is it nice where you are?"
"It is actually yes."
"Ahhhh lovely. Do you have any plans today?"
"No not really. I'll take my son to preschool in the afternoon and may walk with the weather being so nice"
"Ahhhh lovely. *asks about sons age, talks about his own children etc until he finally says* I'm not wanting to sell you anything today Mrs W but just wondered if you could answer a quick survey for us. It will only take around 5 minutes"
And at this point you are stuck. Sam has been so nice, asking after your day, telling you about his children and asking after yours, you feel bad saying no to him. He's said he's not selling anything, and surely Sam wouldn't lie to you, would he. It's simply a survey isn't it. Yes? NO!
Surveys tend to then lead to "entering you into a competition", funnily enough the following week you will have won this competition, normally winning a holiday and will be invited to a meeting. You turn up to the meeting and realise that it's all been a scam and it's infact someone selling timeshares.
How do I know this?
My brother used to work for such company, in fact so did I but I was so rubbish I got the sack, simply because I hated ringing people and knew I was conning them. I thought it was best I turned up and didn't work so I would still get paid and wait for them to sack me.
This company was later in trouble and closed down, with the (very rich) owner heavily fined.

I guess the thing that makes me most angry about telesales is the fact that at some point someone has sold my details on to these companies. I make an effort to tick the box to say if I don't want them to pass my details on to a third party, or similarly I make sure I don't tick the box if it says I do want them to pass on my details.
It's so important to check the small print on any forms you fill in which have needed your address and/or telephone number, although it seems that some of the time your choice is ignored anyway.

Do you have any tricks or advice on how to handle telesales calls? Do you simply hang up?
And.....do you know who Mrs Sharpe and Mrs Gregory are?

I recieved a Trimphone as a thank you for posting about Telesales. All words above are honest and my own. And I really don't know who Mrs Gregory or Mrs Sharpe are.