Saturday, June 11, 2005

Fun With Telemarketers

Regular visitors to my little corner of the World Wide Web will know that the wife and I sleep during the day.

Now this has advantages and disadvantages. For one, late night TV rocks. Day time TV sucks. On the other hand, only seeing a few hours of daylight a day can be a problem (damn rickets!)

What’s really annoying about it, though, is telemarketers. Nothing like the phone ringing every 15 minutes when you’re trying to sleep.

Now I thought telemarketers in England were annoying. Maybe once or twice a week you get the phonecall from the credit card companies, someone telling you that you’ve won a vacation, despite the fact you haven’t entered any competitions…well you know what I’m talking about.

Over here, however, the sheer volume telemarketing calls are absolutely insane. Unless you change your number every 3 months, or buy an expensive doo-hickey to block telemarketing calls, you’re screwed.

The absolute most annoying this with US telemarketers though, is that they will call you, and you will get a recorded message, telling you to hold for them. They call you, then make you wait for 15 minutes before trying to sell you something you don’t want.

In the end, you actually hold, just so you can scream at them.

In the past 3 days, we have had no less that eight calls from our cable company, trying to get us to upgrade to Digital Cable. What’s even worse is we only actually cancelled digital cable a few weeks ago. Three days after canceling we got a junk mail from them, telling us about the wondrous pleasure of Digital. Then the phone calls started.

The first one, I was polite. After all, they have a job to do, and maybe they didn’t know we’d just cancelled. It could have been an honest mistake.

“No thank you. We just cancelled our Digital Service, we couldn’t afford it any more.”

The second time (Later that day):

“I spoke to someone earlier, we can’t afford it, we’re not interested.”

The third time (That evening):

“Look, this is getting ridiculous, this is our third call today. We’re not interested, when we can afford it again, we’ll contact you.”

The second day, we’d been asleep for less than an hour, and the phone rang again. I should point out that a member of my family isn’t well right now, so we can’t unplug the phone, and have to answer every call, in case it’s an emergency.

This time, I nearly blew:

“Listen!” (He continues with his marketing spiel anyway.) “LISTEN! My wife works nights, we sleep during the day, and this is about the millionth call we’ve had in two days. Take our name off the computer, and can you please stop calling. This is getting annoying.”

Two hours later, the phone rings again. This time I did blow:

“You friggin idiots. I told you less than two hours ago we weren’t interested. We sleep during the day. This is bordering on harassment. If you call me again, I will personally find you and ram a digital cable box down your throat!!!”

Apparently, even that wasn’t enough to discourage them. I’d taken to just screaming expletives down the phone at them as soon as they announced who they were.

However, I like to find the best in every situation, and have decided to have some fun with them. I know everyone is bothered by telemarketers, especially the ones like my cable company , who just won’t take a hint.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Next time they call, I’m going to do one of the following, I suggest you do the same:

Wait for them to finish their spiel, then ask in a husky voice: “What are you wearing?”

Start singing show tunes as soon as they start talking. Anything from ‘Annie’ is good.

Tell them a sob story about how you have no friends. Ask them to be your friend. If you can, call them back and try to convince them to go see a movie with you.

Make up a language: “Si, shminky grimble?” “oodahba del nipple pinchy!” Just keep talking until they hang up.

Announce yourself as ‘Darth Spanky’

Take the phone into the bathroom, and have a really loud, intense dump while talking to them.

Sing “No, no, no, no, no, noooo, no, no!” Until they hang up.

Start asking totally irrelevant questions. “So I’ll get all my local channels, but what’s your dog’s name? How much is it for the premium package, but I have a superfluous nipple, will that be a problem.”

Bodily noises. Do the loudest, longest burp you can right in the middle of them talking.

Too much Information. “Can you call back later? I’ve got some Japanese triplets here, and things are starting to heat up. (No, Misuki, the baby oil and nipple clamps are in the dresser! Yeah, I know that’s a big one…you have to power it off a car battery.) So can you call back later?”

Act like you think they’re a friend making a joke. As they insist that they’re legit, start to get pissed.

Well, as you can see, the possibilities are endless. Enjoy yourself. It won’t stop them calling, but it’ll be much more fun.

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