Monday, May 26, 2008

Telemarketers - get a real job.

The fire was on, Monty Python was on the telly, the wife was out having a wine with the girls, and a cold beer was enjoying the view down the back of my gob. Then the phone rang, breaking my Pythonesque revere, and jolting me back to reality. Ah ha, I thought, twill be the missus, reminding me to wash the cat or feed the dishes. Alighting from my warmed seat, I moved purposefully towards the telephonic speaking device. I lifted the device from its cradle, and spoke into the receiver...

silence for about 5 seconds
"Hello sir my name is and I am ringing you tonight to talk about your holidays which we would like to book for you 2 years..."
"No thanks I'm not interested"
"Shut up! You stupid English person!" - dial tone.

Yep - not content with ringing you up at dinner time, and trying to push their shitty insurance, stupid gotcha holiday deals, tedious seminars and crappy real estate hocum, they are now resorting to abuse. Well, thats gotta be the final straw. And on that particular night it was - because not 5 minutes later I got a call from Stone and Associates trying to sell me insurance. Unfortunately for the poor bloke, I gave him both barrels - the last part of the call being "and so you can just bugger off!".

Now, this job telemarketing. I am aware that there are plenty of people who use it to make a crust while between being a slacker student at school, and becoming a slacker student at Uni. And there's plenty of people who may have no skills (leet or otherwise) other than breathing, speaking English and the owners manual to a DIY Cold Calling device. But as far as I'm concerned they can all fuck off. I don't care what happens to the employment figures if all these people are out of work - I'm pretty sure as a nation we can hack it if there's a mass unemployment of wankers who ring at dinner time to talk about some of the dullest shit on earth.

If I want insurance, I'll look into it. If I want to go on holiday, I'll look into it. If I want pretty much anything, I will look into it when I want to. And at that point they can feel free to bombard me with Internet adverts, spam in my inbox, pamphlets and handouts out the wazoo. But not a second before. And not a minute after either.

New Zealand is lagging here - Australia and the US have all started Do Not Call registers, whereby if your details are on the book, and a telemarketer rings you, you can ping them to the tune of $11,000US or $2000AUS. Canada started to implement this as well, but stopped short, making it a subscriber funded service - which is stupid. You have to pay to stop people you don't know ringing you trying to sell you shit?

The UK and New Zealand have a Marketing Association led initiative which essentially says "give us all your contact details and we promise not to call". Yeah right. Why do I not believe that? We need to catch up here and stop this annoying marketing before someone cracks out the AK and goes postal at the nearest cold calling centre. Well, that probably wont happen as most of them are in Bangalore or Pakistan or wherever, and you just can't travel internationally with an automatic rifle any more.

So what can I do? My options are limited at this point really. Change and unlist my number (check), have a big whinge online about stupid telemarketers (check) and email my local MP to get this bill introduced....who's our MP again? Its pretty uncertain whether any such bill would ever be introduced here - we'd need some pretty strong support. But one thing I do know - the next prick who rings me up will not get a nice "No thanks, I'm not interested." From now on its all cold hangups, or "FUCK OFF!" The gloves, as they say, are off.


Mooghead said...

These people have been the bane of many lives for many years and if everyone gave both barrels when they received such a call then the calls would stop. The scary thing is that somebody somewhere must initiate conversation with these people, sales must be generated for it to continue otherwise it wouldn't be a viable option. We should switch this thing around and go after those that give in to the telemarketers. I suggest anyone who stays on the line with a telemarketer for more than 7.8 seconds should have their numbers flagged on and then they should be publicly executed.

I can see absolutely no problem with that solution.

Spankermatic said...

I agree - we shouldn’t encourage these bastards. But they do have a good strike rate among the elderly who can't hear what’s being sold, or immigrants who can’t understand. Its dishonest and disgusting the way they prey on people. They’re as bad as door-to-door salesmen going round ethnic communities using scare tactics to sell shit to low wage non-English speakers. I agree, get the gun out – but turn it on the seller, not the buyer.

Mooghead said...

Nah, nonsense. If i couldn't hear or understand what is being said to me down the phone I would hang up. The elderly get newsletters and other patronising literature about these things and if you dont speak english then stop saying 'yes' down the phone. Shoot the buyer.

Wayne said...


Anonymous said...

We have laws against the distribution of unsolicited marketing emails/faxes but not unsolicited marketing phone calls. Talk about hypocrisy

and I thought telemarketing was defined as "misuse of a telephone" after all regular telemarketing calls from the same number is intent to annoy which is exactly misuse of a telephone.