Telemarketer Types

He (or she) sounds nice
In my time, I’ve experienced at least four kinds of ‘telepest.’ The artful, benevolent presenter: the caring telemarketer who attempts to mitigate their intrusion by qualifying their call with, “I’m not selling anything. This is only a courtesy call.” He or she is, in all likelihood, facilitating ‘lead generation’ (obtaining information from screened prospects who will be re-contacted by salespeople for generating orders). Mind you, there are cold callers whose job it is to gather statistical data from household consumers. Yeh, they’re not trying to sell me anything, but that only makes the interruption slightly less annoying and still just as intrusive.

What accent is that?
Then there’s the common interloper: the telemarketing salesperson who phones to prospect for potential customers and then promote or sell specific goods and services (at inconvenient times, offering unwanted products, and using humdrum parley). The telepest’s rationale is to sell or promote products and services, with minimal overheads, for maximum profit (no newsflash there).

Danger, danger Will Robinson!
Degenerating from pitiful contact to no human contact at all, i.e., the inhumane: Is there a more insensate form of cold calling than that of the pre-recorded sales pitch? The computer autodialler rings my home number; I answer only to be affronted by verbal spam. These heartless machines, talking at me and not with me (known as ‘robocalls’) are, to me, the most offensive; however, the most grievous caller is the scammer.

Mr Olea Ginous
Whereas a telemarketer may inconvenience me andtry to coerce me into buying something I wasn’t even looking for, or something of inferior quality; moreover, the scammer

Hermanuslemmer: flickr

will seek to swindle me something with an exorbitant price—that never arrives.These calls (used to) instantly inflame the cringe-factor when I heard their alien voice pretending to be my helper or friend. Where is the wonder in the findings that have telemarketers ranked lowest in the 2011 Readers Digest poll for “Australia’s most trusted professions”? Professions in the poll that are more trusted than cold callers include politicians, car salesmen, real estate agents, and sex workers.

The Residential Résistance
The pervasive and impersonal approach of the telemarketing fraternity is one of the banes of our capitalist society, and it is here to stay. But the good news is that like asthma it can be effectively treated; you don’t have to suffer from it—in fact there is a coterie of people who actually like telemarketing calls (if you can believe it or not). They are the faceless, unsung heroes: the telepest vigilantes of the twenty-first century who use their lounge rooms as backdrops to the battlefield of the phones: with an ardent sense of residential patriotism they bunker in amongst sofa cushions, to wage war against telecommunication tyranny. They’re the anonymous, laid-back comedians who practice their repertoire of phone pranks for their own amusement at the telemarketer’s expense. If you want a piece of the action, grab a phone, slump into your lounge and blog this site.

Cheers Jimmy.

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3 Responses to Telemarketer Types

  1. philebersole says:

    I’m on a “do not call” list, but this doesn’t filter out telemarketers making charity solicitations or representing organizations with whom I already have an existing relationship.
    They generally begin by asking me to identify myself.
    I respond by asking, “Who are you and what is your purpose in calling?”
    Very often they will respond by saying something like, “I represent an organization you support.”
    At this point I say, “I am not interested in talking to you and I don’t want any more calls from your organization” and hang up.
    There is a particularly annoying organization here in the USA called Card Services. They make recorded telemarketing calls. They begin by saying they have an urgent message about my credit card, then that there is no problem with my credit card, and then that it is urgent I call their toll-free number about getting lower interest rates. Sometimes I hang up. Sometimes I let the receiver off the hook until the call plays out. But they keep coming back.

  2. Hi Vanessa,
    Thanks for the reply. Last night 60 minutes reported that Australians are handing over 10 million dollars per month to online dating scammers. I would not have thought that we were so gullible, however the schemes are elaborate and target vulnerable people. The funny thing about scammers, for me, is that I find them less offensive than the robocalls; for some as yet unfathomed reason. I trust in a ‘gut feel’ for diagnosing a scammer, and after their first call I usually find web or blog data about it. This has me ready for their next call, as they seem to bombard a locality before moving on. It’s okay to play along as long as I don’t give out personal or financial details.

    Yes, I’m getting your email and I found your insights very helpful. I’ll email you with further specific detail.
    Cheers Jimmy

  3. nessafrance says:

    I like your typology, Jimmy. We’ve not had any scammers yet, although we have had scams in the snail mail – you know, where they pretend to be an official organisation and you have to pay x thousand euros for your company to be listed with them. We’re wise to that, luckily.

    BTW I sent you some thoughts about your excellent short story via email. I hope you got them. Your email address with a dot in the middle (first name.surname @ etc) didn’t work but the one without a dot appeared to. You never know; sometimes it just disappears off into the ether.

    Keep those anti-cold calling schemes coming.



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