All entries for Wednesday 10 March 2010

March 10, 2010

Dear telemarketers

Working from home today I got three telephone marketing calls. That’s shocking, as the number is registered with the TPS so I shouldn’t be getting any. This is an open letter to those concerned.

Dear telemarketers,

We used to have fun. There were a number of ways to deal with you. Letting the answerphone pick it up and using the code to make you think I’m disconnected. Use a script to purposefully confuse you or try to counter-sell. Act out a rape in the background and see if you have the human decency to even ask “Is everything okay?” rather than carrying on with the script. Pretend to be a top secret MI5 line. All fun and games. But I don’t have the time for this shit anymore.

It’s unlikely I’ll be interested in what you’re selling, and even if I am, I’ll be doing a lot more research, and certainly won’t be committing there and then over the phone. That’s why I signed up to the TPS. But on the off-chance I am interested, here’s a few tips:

1) Answer the call. I’ll say “Hello”. You then have five seconds to respond. If there’s no-one there I’m hanging up. If you’re calling me, have someone ready to take the damn call. I mean, surely that’s obvious. It’s like an ice cream van driving down the street playing the tune then stopping, and when all the kids get there saying “sorry, no ice cream”.
Oh, and I’ll only say “Hello” once. If your computer system is wating on two “Hello”s to confirm that I’m a human, you can get fucked. “Hello”, five seconds, hang up.

2) If you get the answerphone, leave a message. Honestly, I’m more likely to listen to your spiel for two minutes if I can do it while doing something else at my own convenience while the answerphone plays it. Rather than when I’m tethered to the phone and was in the middle of doing something. If your computer system automatically hangs up on answerphones, then your management is retarded.

3) Tell me what you’re selling. Once you’ve picked up you have 20 seconds to grab me before I hang up and do something else. If you want to spend that time engaged in small talk, asking how I am or pitching to me in a roundabout way that’s up to you. You won’t sell though. “Hi, I’m from company X, we’re selling product Y and the benefits to you are Z” is the right way to do it. “Hi there Mr Love, I’m Chantelle and I’m calling today to see if you’d be interested in benefit Z” is pointless. I need to know X and Y first to know if I care or not. Yes, the later approach will keep people on the phone for longer. Some telemarketing companies use this as a metric for success and progress. These companies have executives that are mentally ill. The average call length goes up because polite people have to wait two minutes to find out what you’re selling before they can tell you that they’re not interested. It doesn’t boost sales, and long term sales will fall as you’re making less calls. Again: this should be obvious.

4) Point 3) applies with 20x the force if you’re a FUCKING COMPUTER. Seriously, a pre-recorded voice that tries to be nice is pointless. Also, if you’re a computer, send me a fucking e-mail instead. What, it’ll just go right in to my junk mail? Well yes, but in five years’ time we’ll all be on VoIP and every single telephone will have junk call filters built in too. Maybe you should think about moving careers.

5) Calling while I’m masturbating is the equivalent of barging in on someone having sex. As such you should be aware of the following facts: a) the best thing to do is leave quickly and b) don’t expect me to stop.


Dean Love

March 2010

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