27 May 2010

Commentary: Telemarketers

Is it just me, or are the telemarketers getting really lazy? Lately, nearly every time I get a sales call, it is a recorded message asking me to hold for an important message! Yeah, right. Um, you called me, dude.

I hate being put on hold, no matter what, but I am certainly not going to sit around and wait to be harassed by an automated message or, possibly worse, some poor sap who barely speaks English to read off a scripted message. I hate being rude to people, but I've about had it. And before you say it, yes, we've had our numbers on the do not call list for years and I've renewed it recently. And I'm aware of all the exceptions. We've gotten some at home, but mostly we get these obnoxious calls at work.

So you all know I work for a library. Our automatic response to people's inquiries is to be polite and as helpful as possible. No matter how weird the question. And believe me, I could tell you some stories!
So when we get a call from some guy calling from some company called MX Energy, asking to speak with the person in charge of our electricity services, my first response is to wrack my brain to think of what office to send them to. Then I realize that I would just be passing this jerk on to some unsuspecting colleague. I wouldn't appreciate it if someone did that to me. Besides, we are under a large umbrella, with many, many locations. Our energy and electricity must be managed centrally at our main office.
The first couple of times this happened, I tried to politely blow them off. Explained that we are just one little office in a very large organization. I insinuated that if they were a legitimate company, they should have better contact information than to call the library. One guy was really persistent and wanted me to find out who to contact. So, being a dope I wrote down his information. After I got him off the phone I realized, hey, I don't have to do this. Toss the note.

Eventually I got some good solid advice. Put them on hold. And don't come back. They will eventually hang up. And it works. Some are more persistent than others. I'm a little bit evil. I've been enjoying seeing just how long it takes them to give up.
Anyway, that's my solution now. No need to be rude to people, I'm at work, remain professional. No confrontation, no stress. Just hold please!


Anonymous said...

I think you should answer them pretending to be some one else like Clint Eastwood.

Jayne said...

I work in the communications center of a fire department and lately we've been getting an annoying recorded message that begins with a ship's horn and the words, "This is your captain speaking..." Why are they calling a fire station?!?