Saturday, December 10, 2011


I'm here to defend telemarketers. 
Yes, those annoying phone calls we receive during dinner whose caller cheerfully and relentlessly attempts to manipulate us into a sales web of deceit. . . .
. . . Yes, I am going to defend them.

Be really nice to them. . . I was once one of them.

Back in 1987, I had been laid off from my job at a bank in Austin Texas due to cutbacks (A bank which became Bank One, which is now Chase). I was single, frightened, and had no money. Rent and car payments were looming. I took a telemarketing job. 

At first, it seemed like a great way to make the cash that I needed. There was an hourly wage and a big bonus for each sale. Unfortunately, each sale meant that I tricked unsuspecting elderly recipients into receiving a Gold Mastercard with an automatic annual fee of thirty-five dollars: The dialogue was just horrible. . .

"Oh! and Mrs. Johnson, this Gold Mastercard that you've qualified for comes with an extra benefit of free insurance on any rental car, free overnight shipping if you misplace the card, the-usual-annual-of-thirty-five-and is there anything else I can do before getting your Gold Mastercard card to you?

I got another part-time job encouraging votes for a mayoral candidate I knew nothing about.  I even sold season tickets to the Austin Ballet. The Austin Texas Ballet. I was good at it. I kept myself afloat.

Yes, these telemarketing gigs were nothing but scamming money-makers. But I didn't consciously think of that at the time; I was frantic and only trying to make enough cash to pay $390 in monthly rent and keep my tiny Honda CRX from being repossessed.

That's probably what any telemarketer you talk to is only trying to do.

Yes, they are trying to make money off of your gullibility, but that person on the other end of the telephone line is probably only a frightened, unemployed worker who's desperately trying to stay afloat as best they can.

Whenever you find yourself talking to a telemarketer, please try to picture her as your mother, single and desperate, before hanging up on her so rudely.
On the other hand . . .  
Never conduct business on the phone unless you initiate the call!

Repeat after me: "I will never conduct business on the phone unless I initiate the call."

When telemarketers call, simply respond: 
"I only conduct business on the phone if I initiate the call."

There's pretty much nothing they can say in response to that. (It's fun to hear them try.)

Then, be sure to kindly say, "One other thing -- Be sure to place my phone number on your 'do not call' list."

Anyone who calls you should be able to "not call you" if you request it.
Be sure to ask for their name, operator i.d. time & date, and toll-free number to add extra emphasis. There's a $500 fine if they violate your request after 90 days of your documented requisition.
(So, document your request.)

Bottom line: Please nice to telemarketers.
They're unemployed, distressed people.
They're your daughter or mother just trying to stay afloat.
And: Never conduct business on the phone unless you initiate the call.
Pass it on.

Best advice yet: Stop the telemarketing calls from coming in.
It's easy and really effective.
Go online to the government agency where you can register your phone number to NOT receive unsolicited calls. (Renew it every five years.)

Here's the site:

And say "thank you" for this really valuable service announcement.

Click the 'comment' button . . .you know . . . like we used to do seven years ago when we were a civilized people?

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At 12:36 PM , Blogger Jason Gosseck said...

Nice!! :)

At 1:42 PM , Blogger Brick1101 said...

The credit card service people are the worst. They will not remove your name from their lists and keep calling. I don't get mad, in fact I look forward to their calls now. When they call I always explain how lonely I am and they are the only people who ever bother to call me. I always ask if they have kids, how their parents are doing... usually they hang up on me!!!


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