Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Call of the Riled

The "do not call list" has thinned out, though not entirely eliminated, the sales calls to my home, but several a day still arrive at my business phone. I am polite to callers from respectable companies who offer their wares in a respectable way -- for example, the caller from Pitney Bowes who just now tried to sign me up for a low volume postage meter. It was a No Sale, as such calls to me always are. On unshakable principle born of early hard experiences, I never buy anything offered to me by an unsolicited caller. I'll repeat that. I never buy anything offered to me by an unsolicited caller, no matter how fabulous the value: no business equipment, no lines of credit, no stocks and bonds, no personalized key chains, no anything. I don't accept anything offered for "free" either. If I need something, I know about it without anyone calling me up to tell me, and I determine where and how to get it. Nevertheless, I say my "no" politely to these folks, once anyway. Regrettably, my polite “no” is seldom the last word spoken. I would like to know what training manual for sales reps says to ignore the "no" and to go on rudely pitching; most sales callers have read it. That chapter of the manual needs to be removed. It doesn't work. It just makes me hang up on the caller.

In another category entirely are the callers from scumbag companies who call up and say something like, "I just need the model number of your copier" or "I'm just updating your listing information; you are still at such-and-such address, correct?" as though the call were from your regular office supplier or from some publication with which you have a "listing." If s/he gets an inexperienced office worker on the line who co-operates, you will get an unwanted product or listing in some obscure ad book -- and, of course, an outrageous bill. The "no" these people get from me is not polite even once.

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