I try to be nicer than most to the random salesmen that I occasionally encounter. I’ve really changed my attitude since Ray went into commercial sales a while back. Now, he’s not a car salesman or door-to-door vacuum pusher, mind you, he sells big ticket items to other businesses in his industry, and I do consider that a tad different, but… I know that it’s hard to have a job where rejection is a big part of your career. So, like I said, I DO try to be nice.
I feel like residential, cold-call phone sales is in a class all it’s own. A Realtor – you go to them. A car salesman – you go to them. Insurance – you go to them. Mattresses at the Mall… well, you see the pattern. In all those instances, you contact them, you go to their place of business, you INITIATE.
But home phone sales calls are annoying to me. I have never once, in my whole life, gone “Oh, good grief, what a great deal, YOU MUST SIGN ME UP!” It’s like these people that I REALLY don’t want to talk to, come into my house, take up my time and get annoyed with me when I don’t give in. There is a point to this story, I promise…
So, last week, I had a bad night. I didn’t feel well, I didn’t sleep well, and I stayed in bed extra time the next morning. The evening of the bad night, before bed, we got a call from an unknown 800 number. With the miracle of Google Voice and the OOMA blacklist, not many of those sneak through, but since I have an item in dispute on my debit card with my bank, I thought it might be them. I wasn’t sure though, so I just let the call go to voicemail. No message. Okaaaaay. Maybe not the bank after all. I waited about 30 minutes, called the number back, and immediately got a message that my call was being recorded – but I still had no idea who was recording me, so I just hung up.
Ok, jump to the next morning. I’m sleeping late – it’s 9am – and the phone rings. I didn’t feel like answering it, so I let that same number from the night before go to voicemail again. Nope. No message. I stay in bed for about a half hour more, get up to brush my teeth and get the day started and THE PHONE RINGS AGAIN. Same people. Thinking that it HAD to be the bank, with all my spam call filters in place, I dove for the phone only to find a sales person waiting on the other end of the line.
“Hello?” I tentatively say into the handset.
A chipper, friendly voice comes on the line – “Hello, this is *ANNOYING SALES* with AT&T calling with an exciting new offer. We’ve recently added services to your area and have updated our pricing to bring you the best deal in the services available to you.” * I changed her name and am paraphrasing from memory.
“Thanks, but we’re not interested,” I reply, getting ready to hang up the phone.
She jumps right back, a little less chipper, “You’re not interested in saving money on your satellite or cable bill?”
I simply state, “Thank you, but no.”
Knowing that these sales people have a “Rule of 3″ – you must reject them 3 times before THEY will end the call, she comes back again with a very flat voice, “Are you sure you don’t want to get a great deal AND get upgrade to better service?”
I tell her one more time, “Thanks for the offer, but no” and I was prepared to leave it at that. But she had one more in her…
“Who doesn’t want to switch, if they will save money on a great plan with AT&T?” she’s full on snarky now.
Lady, I get that you have a job to do, but I’ve politely told you no three times. I don’t care if I am receiving my TV signal from the moon and paying $1000 a month for the privilege, it’s up to me if I want to switch. And, there’s nothing to switch. We don’t have cable or satellite. We’re those cable TV cord cutting, unlimited cell phone, LED light bulb money saving people that you have been hearing about.
“Ok, here’s how it is,” I snottily say. “We HATE AT&T. At our last house we had nothing but problems with AT&T. We sold that house, in part, to get away from AT&T. I would go without all services if it meant that I had to sign up for anything with AT&T. WE DON’T WANT AT&T. Thank you for your call, but WE. ARE. NOT. INTERESTED.”
To this I got a very clipped, “Haveaniceday.” and then there was a click in my ear.
Tell me, Dr. Internet – what’s the best way to handle these types of calls? Just don’t answer? Block all Toll Free numbers? Tell them no once and just hang up on them? I’m not sure how to handle these, since they get more aggressive as the questions go on, but I’ve always been taught that it’s impolite to hang up on people.
We are on the Do Not Call list and it still came through, so that’s proven pretty much useless – hence the OOMA blacklist and the Google Voice blocking. I’m wondering if other people have noticed the decline of the politeness in sales calls, calls to customer service, etc. Or if I have just been out of circulation in the workplace for so long that the median bitchiness level of all people has changed and I just didn’t get the memo.
Either way, I’m so annoyed with this last one that the next 800 number caller might just find an air raid siren waiting for them on the other end. And ir you don’t like it, you can thank the twit at AT&T that just wouldn’t take the hint.