Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sometimes it isn't worth talking to a REAL person...

If you're like me there are many times when you call a company you just want to talk to a real person. Someone without that monotone voice on the other end that tells you to keep pushing buttons. MANY BUTTONS. I just want to be able to ask a question.

So, yesterday when I decided to make a couple of purchases from those neat little inserts you get in the Sunday paper, I called instead of doing it online. (We'll call that mistake #1)

The first one I called was Pro-Active. I got a representative right away. I didn't have to wait, listening to some lame music or advertisement for the company. I thought it was a good sign. My representative spoke very fast, and didn't exactly have an American accent. I couldn't understand a lot of things she said, and I had to ask her to repeat herself several times.

I finally got through the end of it, I understood my purchase and my payment plan, etc. She asked, "Do you have any other questions, or purchases you would like to make today?" I replied, "No, thank you. Good Bye." It was all finalized and I was happy.

But, she wasn't finished. Oh no. She then spoke even faster than before (if that was possible) and began to try to get me to purchase vitamins, oil remover, and several other things. Now, like most of you, I was taught not to interrupt people when they are talking. Over the years though, I have decided that telephone sales people are an exemption to that rule. It just wastes their time, and mine, when I know I am not going to make any other purchases. I could tell she was reading from a script. I tried to interrupt her, but she wasn't stopping. So, when she finished her pitch I politely replied, "No thank you. I have what I need."

She then tried to begin again, this time I did manage to interrupt with "No thank you, all I need is what I ordered. I appreciate your time." And, I hung up on her. I did feel a twinge of guilt, because I know it was rude, but when they don't stop how else do you handle that?

Then, I made a call for a purchase my Mom was making. It was to a clothing company. Again, I immediately got a representative. A very nice lady who did not talk too fast, and who I understood very well. "This one will be much easier..." I thought. I was WRONG!

Placing my order took less than 5 minutes. They had everything she wanted in stock, and all was well. Then, the representative asked the inevitable question, "Will there be anything else?" I said, "No, thank you. That is all." and before I could say "Good-Bye" she went into a full scale pitch about Health Care insurance. Excuse me? I called a clothing company, not an insurance company. She spoke even more quickly than the last woman, and I could not interrupt at all. So, when she, FINALLY, finished telling me that she could "easily sign me up for one free month and if I was not completely satisfied I could cancel at any time..." I told her, "No, thank you, I know I won't use it so I will save you and myself the trouble." She then, reading from a script, continued the pitch telling me "I was making such a terrible mistake and it was oh so easy to sign me up for a FREE month and I could cancel at any time but she couldn't believe why I would because I would save OH SO MUCH MONEY." (WHEW! I don't know how she did it, but she never took a breath, seriously)

Again, after declining and hanging up on her, I thought about it, and I have decided to beat them at their own game. I have written my own "preface" to give when calling a sales representative. :-) Here it is, and feel free to use it the next time you have to talk to one of them. :-)

My name is ____________________, and I will be happy to spell that for you in just a moment, but first let me just go ahead and save us both some valuable time. I want to make a purchase from you. I have thought long and hard about my purchase, and I have only what I absolutely want to buy on my list. I do not wish to hear about any other fabulous offer you have that I may not be aware of. Believe me, I am aware of it and I don't want it. Please, do not try to sell me accessories, extras, insurance, warranties, etc. I assure you my world will not fall apart if I do not add those things to my order.

I don't care if I get a free trial for one month, because we both know that I will be so busy next month that I will forget to cancel and then I will be out money as well as time when I DO call to cancel. That will not be good for you or me, so we will just avoid that issue altogether.

However, I do have an order right in front of me, and I have all of my information ready to give to you. If you would be so kind as to type it in and give me my confirmation number. Please, be aware that when our conversation is completely finalized I will politely thank you, and promptly hang up the phone. Do not be offended, as I am saving your valuable time as well as mine. Are you ready to begin?"

How does that sound? Too much? ;-)

Wendy Darling


Princess LadyBug said...

Honey, you are assuming that they are even listening to you. When those people are trained they are told not to listen to anything except the word yes. They only thing that can keep them from doing their script is a dial tone. Seriously, that's what they are told. My advice is to just place orders online.

And believe me when I say that those people are not offended when you say no and hang up. They are grateful that you did so politely and without calling them names usually uttered by drunken sailors.

Terry said...

Oh. My. God.... I bring Sexy Bride around for just five small hours (yes, let's count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and she has definitely rubbed off on you, or was this just a latent tendency (y'know like the carriers of those diseases that passes from generation to generation) and all that it took was the trifecta of conditions to bring it to life? I absolutely love it. Let me add just my other suggestion for when those same telemarketers call you on cold calls, it goes something like this...

Marketer: Hello, this is (insert name) from (that) company. Is the decision maker of the household here today?

Me: Yes, I would be he.

Marketer: Very good, hello Mr/Ms (your name) How are you doing today?

[here is where the call ends....]

Me: Well it has been a rather shocking day. I just found out today that my wife (husband) has left me for another woman (man) and to top that off as if it couldn't get any worse she is taking our child with her to live with her new love interest in Oregon at one of those communes. Now I really don't have the money to visit them and this is tearing our family apart. Now I know you are asking yourself I hope that is all that is happening to this poor guy (gal), but no there is more. My (insert family member of your choice) has contracted (insert disease of choice- cancer is usually a good one) and the doctors say that it has progressed so rapidly that I only have a few days to make the trip to see this relative that practically raised me during my life. The trip is going to be about 15 hours and my boss is such a jerk that he is wanting me to close tonight that will instantly cut 7 hours away from my journey. I don't know if I will be able to make it to see them while they are still alive. I am really distraught right now and don't know how I'm going to handle it.

Marketer: I'm sorry, this obviously isn't a good time, I hope everything works out.


You can use that too...


WendyDarling said...

LOL..., Terry, I LOVE it! LOL... :-) I'm using that one. :-)

I'm going to say it's a latent tendency, since I wrote it before y'all got here. LOL... It runs in the family. ;-)

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Girl, I agree with you! Those phone people drive me crazy, too. When I'm done, I'M DONE!