By Bob Branco
How often have you received a telemarketing call about your vehicle’s warranty expiring even if you don’t own a car? Why do these telemarketing companies waste their time calling people who do not qualify for their offers? In other words, if a telemarketer is trying to appeal to homeowners, why call tenants? How many wasted calls are made informing people about the expiration of their vehicle warranties when the customers either don’t have vehicles or have no expiring warranties? In my case, I don’t even own a vehicle, yet my warranty has supposedly been expiring for the past three years!
Today I received yet another call about my so–called vehicle warranty expiration, but this time I waited long enough to find out that I could press the number one to speak to a human being. I asked the human being to please take me off his list, because I don’t own a car. He said something to me and then hung up before I had a chance to thank him. How rude!
One day I decided to play a game with a telemarketer. I was working for a car dealer at the time, when she received a telemarketing call that I answered. She authorized me to deal with it, so I did. I listened to their lingo and then told them I wasn’t interested. They kept saying, “Yeah, but…” “Yeah, but…” “Yeah, but…” Perhaps these people shouldn’t be called telemarketers. They should be known as “Yeah, buts….” They don’t want to let you go.
In 1993 I was a telemarketer for a company that sold Kirby vacuum cleaners. In my opinion, the owners were stingy. My job was to convince the customer to let a Kirby salesman in the house so that he could try to sell the vacuum cleaner. For every successful call I made, one that resulted in an actual sale of the product, I received $5. Mind you, the product being sold was worth $1,400. I know that the salesman received his commission, whatever it was, but don’t you think I should have received more than $5 per call every time a customer bought a vacuum cleaner? Thank God I received a base salary, or I wouldn’t have taken the job.
At one point, a customer was ready to call the police on me, because she thought I was harassing her. Right after that, my boss told me that I wasn’t pushing hard enough. How ironic! How much harder did the boss want me to push the customer, especially after I’d already been threatened by a customer with the police? When I was laid off from that job, I was ready to thank the boss.
Do yourselves a favor. Don’t ever take a telemarketing job. It isn’t worth it, especially if you don’t believe in the product. Why would I care about a $1,400 Kirby vacuum cleaner, which does everything but wash your dishes or change your baby’s diapers, when I can get by with a Dirt Devil? Yet, I was hired to convince customers to allow a salesman to demonstrate a Kirby, and for their trouble, they’d be awarded a free fruit basket.
In the 18 months that I worked for that company, my efforts resulted in only two sales. The only reason why I worked that long at a job I couldn’t stand was because at least I had a job, and it’s hard for a blind person to find one.
This essay was taken from my selfpublished book, “Weighing Things Up; Essays on Trends, Technology and Present-Day Society.” You can learn about this book as well as my other selfpublished work at www.dldbooks.com/robertbranco/