Friday, July 14, 2006

Now THAT's a Great Sales Technique!

Today about noon, as I was just racing back into my home office, the phone rang. Thinking it to be a client, I grab it off the hook and recite my welcome answer - into the electronic ear of some recorded message that is telling me I'm so lucky to have been randomly selected for an all-expenses paid trip to Florida and Bahamas.

Wow! I am lucky. Except for the part where I detest being bothered by these no-minds who can't find a decent job anywhere other than with companies that intrude on the unwilling.

It is almost certainly a scam. However, being the curious sort, I press 9 as directed, wait for a few seconds and am connected to a guy who is obviously from the southern US - another thing that annoys me to pieces. I'm biased, yes, but a guy who sounds like he's from the Ozarks AND works for a corporate slug... We'll just say it didn't inspire confidence.

His first question was about my name. I lied. I said Ann. With an E. With this tiny introduction, said hillbilly asked my phone number. I answered that I'd like to hear more about what he was offering before offering my phone number to a stranger. His reply?

"I'm not telling you anything because you're being a jerk."

Seriously.

So, they randomly pick my name, call me in the middle of a business day with an offer that is doubtless junk and probably not actually available in Canada (given the US population's propensity to belly-button gazing) and then they insult me because I won't give my phone number to a total stranger from a country that houses the largests number of on-line fraudsters in the world (according to this month's Wired)?

Yah. That should work. I'll run right out to buy stuff from that company!

Oh wait. They don't want us to know THEIR phone number, which is blocked.

Good job too because otherwise, I would have sent them an invoice for taking up my time with their inane offer. Yes, this has been done and very successfully. So successfully in fact that the US Do Not Call list was the result. If a person is on the DNC list and they receive solicitation of this sort, they do have legal recourse. If only in Canada.

If I could call that company and speak to the idiot's boss, guaranteed, I'd see him fired in less than one minute, partly for bothering me at all but mostly because nobody calls me a jerk without at least having known me for an appropriate 10 minutes.

In lieu of having access to a contact phone or real, educated human who speaks an intelligible language, here is a couple sites that have information on how to protect yourself from this kind of fraud. Sadly, there's no info on how to get rid of phone-billies.
National Consumer League
Travel Science

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