MESSING WITH TELEMARKETERS Andy Hollifield 1-5-19
I don’t think there is a verse of scripture that can apply to what I am about to write. I have developed a new hobby that irritates the devil out of telemarketers. I figure it like this; if they want to waste my time with their constant Robo-calls I will just talk to them. In this article, I will list a few things I use to start a conversation that usually ends up at some point with me getting hung up on. How rude can you be? They call me and then hang up without even saying goodbye.
This year started off with me finding out from a phone call that I had a check coming to me from Publisher’s Clearing House. I have waited all of my life to win but I gave up on it years ago and line the trash can with any mail I receive from them. Since I hadn’t entered I was amazed that I had won. This gentleman that called had trouble pronouncing my name, to begin with. Had he been looking at an entry form it isn’t that difficult to pronounce. He began by asking me to verify my info so he could pull me up in his database. I told him that since he obviously had my phone number and name, he could use that to pull up my info. I also told him that I would need him to verify my info back to me so I could verify the call wasn’t a scam. Apparently, his computer system is outdated because he couldn’t pull up my info unless I gave it to him. I asked him to notify me by mail and we could take it from there. Then; the sound of silence. I guess his division of PCH doesn’t use US mail. My phone also lost connection the next day when Kingston, JM called. That was what was on my caller ID so when I answered and he asked for me by name, I got excited and said: “Hey, is this JM Kingston?” I’m not sure what happened but the line went dead before he could answer.
I immediately looked up PCH online to notify them of the suspected fraud. I looked on their website the question “How are winners notified?” The answer was that the prize patrol will show up on your doorstep for prizes over five or ten thousand dollars and otherwise they would notify winners by mail but never by phone calls. I called my mom to inform her about the scam and what I had found on the website. I had even called the customer service number for PCH and the nice lady there said it was definitely a scam. A little while later, mom called back and said she was also a winner. Wow! Two winners in one family on the same day! The funny thing about her call was that when she told the man that her son had talked to PCH and they told me it was a scam. Apparently, that hurt his feelings and he didn’t want to talk anymore. Easy come easy go I guess.
With my luck running so high, I wasn’t surprised when I received not one but two different phone calls with my last opportunity to extend my vehicle warranty. Since it would have been rude to hang up, I pressed one to speak with a warranty specialist (AKA telemarketer). The calls were from two different companies and neither of them has very well-mannered customer service personnel. When I got to speak with them, they thought I had called them to extend my warranty. I quickly informed them I was responding to their call. I asked them which vehicle they were wanting to warranty. Was it the van with 241,000 miles or the Honda with over 230,000 or maybe the Dodge with 209,000? I guess we must have gotten disconnected because I never did find out which one they were calling about.
As my good luck would have it, I just kept getting calls from people wanting to help me save money. The next call was some nice foreign man wanting to lower my interest rate on my credit cards. Again, he asked me to verify my info and I told him since he obviously had it right in front of him he could tell me what credit cards I had and what the balances were. When he was reluctant to do that I reminded him that according to his message my credit history had been reviewed and I was deemed eligible for lower rates. That was why his company had called me, to begin with. It was because of my great credit history and on-time payments. I just couldn’t understand why someone who knew that much about my finances would need me to verify anything. I told him if he would give me the info I would know that it wasn’t a scam call. He assured me he had no “malicious intent” but when I still didn’t give the info I must have lost a golden opportunity because we too got cut off. Oh darn! It was my last opportunity to lower my interest rates. I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to have one more “last opportunity.”
That brings up another little issue I didn’t even know I had. Apparently, my phone must not be working properly because all of these people said they had been trying to reach me. I think these folks should probably contact the Asheville Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Association and also the State Trooper Relief Fund. They don’t seem to have a problem getting ahold of me so maybe they could help all of the others to reach me. I hate for anyone to encounter so much trouble just trying to save someone money.
Getting back to the interest rate people for a minute, I have found out that if you say, “I didn’t know you would do that for someone in bankruptcy but you better believe I would be interested in your program” I start having the same phone problems I mentioned previously and start dropping calls.
I also found out if say, “Federal Trade Commission Fraud Division” my phone suddenly conks out on me again. I thought maybe I needed to be a local agency so I tried saying, “Sheriff’s Department Fraud Division.” That didn’t work neither because my stupid phone conks out on me every time. I don’t know how a feller is supposed to take advantage of all of these good deals if his phone keeps cutting people off. I don’t usually like to answer like that because I don’t like telling a lie.
The last one is those nice gentlemen from Calcutta, India who are always wanting to fix your computer for you even when there is nothing wrong with it. They’re so nice they even offer to remotely clean your computer and make it run faster if you will give them remote access to it. When they tell me the price, I usually have to check my bank account to see if I have that kind of money. When I ask for their number so I can call them back, my phone seems to always cut off at the crucial point of the conversation. At least I guess it’s my phone. I am sure being major companies in the business of helping the rest of us save money, they probably have a top-notch system and never lose calls.
As you can tell, this whole article is sarcastic. I hope maybe I have given you some useful info on how to mess with telemarketers. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. The best part is this info is made available to you for the once in a lifetime, low, low, price of zero down and only four monthly payments of zero dollars and zero cents. Money-back guaranteed.