Telemarket-saurus

You know what gets me angry?  Telemarketers. People or machines that like to call me to offer their wares in the middle of dinner, when I’m watching a movie, trying to focus or just want to be with my family.  We all know the feeling of a cold call.

What they are telling me is that I don’t know what I need or where to get it. (For that matter, what I care about and how I wish to support it.) But it occurs to me that in this day and age, if I have even the slightest whim to purchase, I have a dazzling array of  places I can go to research and to put down my money.  I don’t need to be told.

“Did you know, Ma’am, that this new dishwasher can save you 10 hours a day in washing dishes by hand?”  Reminds me of the film Tin Men about selling aluminum siding in the early 60’s.  This seems like a way of selling that is falling by the wayside. The idea today has to be: Why should I buy from you when I have zillions of other options?

Not, do I need what you’re offering?  For if I did, I would know that without anyone telling me.  I am aware of most new breakthrough products.  If not, I can watch multiple shopping channels to be shown them. In a trice I could look on the Internet and find all I need to know about any new directions.  With a few clicks I can find out where to purchase and how to get there.  As long as I have the readies (in some cases I don’t even need that) I can purchase on the spot! The question has to be: Why should I buy from you instead of the next in the search?

Or the guy down the street? Hand-in-hand with the Internet spreading its wares in front of us, we have the proliferation of shopping malls and mega stores. Let’s not forget that hardy bunch of local small businesses.  Why then, would I need anyone calling me cold?

Some would say, if it wasn’t working, they wouldn’t do it.  But I don’t think that’s true anymore.  Most of the calls I get are robo calls with predictive dialing.  It’s probably cheap to do. Even if you only get one sucker.

We get a call regularly, sometimes twice a day, that informs us this is our  “…second and final call to lower your interest rate.”  I have, on occasion, waited around to press 1 to lower my rate and asked them not to call me anymore.  Usually that is followed by a hang up and no fewer calls.  Over the last week, though, they’ve come up on the caller ID as “Marketing Fraud.”

How can these continue to exist?  What has happened to the Do Not Call List? I’ve been told it wasn’t enforceable.  These clever Scammers must just change places and keep on.  Why can’t they get the message?

They are much like Spammers on the Internet – the dark side of Internet Marketing.  Perhaps this is what those bothersome calls are morphing into. The only thing Spammers hold over the Scammers is at least they do not shout at me through the voice mail.

Junk mail doesn’t bother me as much.  At least that is the written word. You can quickly choose to fold it up and put it in recycling.  Like the Spammers, it is less intrusive. And you can choose when and where you are ready to absorb it.

I suppose there will always be cold calling in some fashion – on the phone, in print or in the Internet – but maybe we can find a way to extinct the oldest dinosaur and stay off my phone!

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