Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Of Tele-marketing calls and my Workaround

Of late my mobile and myself have been die-hard victims of the tele-marketing menace.
I remember a few years ago, receiving a tele-marketing call was considered a privilege and a status symbol for few. But now with the recent entry of some private banks (off late even SBI is aggressive on this) in India this whole telemarketing calls have become a nightmare, a nuisance. [I have come across a few really professional telemarketers whom I wholly liked talking to]

This was a recent conversation

Caller: "Sir I am calling from XX Bank"
Me: "Are you an XX Bank employee?"
Caller: "No Sir, But I am calling on behalf of XX Bank"
Me: "Ok Tell me"
Caller: "Sir, we are offering you a lifetime free XX Bank Steel/ Copper/ Silver/ Gold/ Diamond/ Platinum credit card. I would be needing a signature of yours. When can I send my executive?"
Me: "But I already have a [metal name] card of the same XX Bank.
Caller: "But Sir U can get one more card which is a [metal of higher value] card.."
I laugh
The caller tries hard to control his laughter, gives up at the end.
This XX Bank wants to offer a card every week.

Next a call from YY Bank for personal loan.

Caller: "Sir I am calling from YY Bank"
Me: "Ok Tell me"
Caller:"We are excited to tell you Sir, we are offering you a Personal loan of (some) lacs, with no documentation. If you agree I can process it right away."
Me: "Sorry, Not needed now. Will let you know when needed (that sentence is
enough for him/her to catch it)"
Caller:"But Sir, If we process it today, I can waive off the processing fees"
Me: "What would make you so happy to see me in Debt!"
The caller Smiles.

The issue with me is I feel a bit uncomfortable to say a harsh "No" to a telemarketer as a I feel I should not be the person who spoilt his/her day. And most of the times the call wouldn't end unless you say that harsh "No".

That reminds me of a bank which has its insurance company, where the folks are extremely keen on insuring my life. After lot of thought on how to handle them with minimal words and in a very soft way I decided the next time they call me, my response would be "Bharath just died a few hours ago. [So there is no point in insuring him now]. I am his brother, just came back after the last rites".
That is the easiest, fastest and most gentle answer I can give.

Postscript: If there are any pretty tele-marketing girls who are reading this post, please do not decide to remove me from your call list. Remember, though the author is still single and has given up looking, he can be looked by others.
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