Author Topic: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.  (Read 10385 times)

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Hurricane Marathon

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Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« on: March 20, 2014, 02:18:57 PM »
I have a story about an "interesting assumption" that happened to me many years ago.

I hadn't gone to church since I was a little kid so I decided to give it another try.  I found a church that seemed pretty laid-back so I went to a few services and actually enjoyed it.  One day I picked up a pamphlet for a church softball team because I figured that would be a good way to meet people. I called the number on the pamphlet and it went like this:

Man: "Hello?"
Me: "Hi, may I please speak with Mr. <Name>?"
Man: "WE DON'T WANT ANY!"
*click.*

I thought "Aw man, he thinks I'm a telemarketer. I'll call back and explain."

So I called back.
Man: "I SAID WE DON'T F-ING WANT ANY!!" <-- with the full F word
*click.*

I called back AGAIN and their voicemail picked up.  I left a message and said "I'm not a telemarketer.  Your name is on a pamphlet I picked up at <Name of Church> about a softball team and I'd like some information about it.  You can call me back at <Number.>"

A few minutes later my phone rang and it was the man's wife.  She never apologized for her husband's behaviour, just said that it's a Men's Only softball league.  I thanked her for calling back.  I double-checked the pamphlet and nowhere on it did it say it was for men only.

I really should have written a letter to the church's pastor at the time, because he was a great guy and would have been horrified to find out that someone from his congregation treated a new person like that.  But it felt like "tattling" so I didn't.  But I never went back to that church, or any other one for that matter.

alice

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 02:21:44 PM »
WOW....I wonder how he would have responded if he had heard a male voice on the other end of the phone.

He was very rude!

lakey

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2014, 11:09:43 AM »
Letting the pastor know about the fact that you were sworn at when calling a phone number in the church's pamphlet would not have been tattling. It would have been doing the church a service. The only way an organization can fix problems is if they are made aware of the problems.

By the way, I've had some real problems with certain telemarketing schemes. If you start out with a reasonable response to a telemarketer, "Sorry, I'm not interested,", you can tell which type you are dealing with. The ones who are just legitimately trying to make a sale will say, "Thank you," and hang up.

The problem with the telemarketing industry is that there are a few who are deliberately trying to get around the "Do Not Call " list, and will continue to harass you. If you press "1" to have your name taken off the list, you will get even more calls. There are a couple of these schemes where you will get 3 calls in one day. You also get calls from the same scheme from different numbers from different area codes. If you answer one of their calls, they know that someone is there and will keep calling. I did some internet research on a couple of these numbers and they are well known for they do and there is very little you can do about them. You can ask for their information to report them for breaking the "Do Not Call" policies, but they simply give you false information.

One of them has to do with alarm systems for the elderly, another starts with "Hi, my name is Heather". The thing is, by getting mad and swearing at a caller, the guy from your church is upsetting people who nothing to do with the harassment, including cold callers who don't deserve to be treated like that.

jedikaiti

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2014, 11:36:51 AM »
Actually, I believe many if not most legit telemarketers are required to NOT take the first no, and if they do so on a regular basis, won't be working there for long.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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TootsNYC

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2014, 11:10:30 PM »
The whole problem would have been avoided if you had first identified yourself--or the purpose of your call--before asking for that person. That's actually proper etiquette--they have no idea who you are, so you are supposed to say, "Hello, this is ...."

In your case, proper phone etiquette would have been for you to say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball league at XYZ Church, is Mr. So-and-so there?"


veronaz

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 11:36:31 PM »
The whole problem would have been avoided if you had first identified yourself--or the purpose of your call--before asking for that person. That's actually proper etiquette--they have no idea who you are, so you are supposed to say, "Hello, this is ...."

In your case, proper phone etiquette would have been for you to say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball league at XYZ Church, is Mr. So-and-so there?"

POD

OP, you should have identified yourself.

JenJay

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 12:15:43 AM »
I don't think OP had a fair chance to identify herself. I mean yes, she could have said "Hello, this is Hurricane Marathon, may I speak with Mr. Whatshisface?" but I think the guy was far more rude to not say "Who's calling, please?" or "Speaking, how can I help you?", etc. He did provide his name and number for the pamphlet so I think he should have been prepared for the possibility that people from church may call to inquire, and those calls might be more casual in tone.

OP's phone style might not have been professionally proper but I don't think she deserved to be hung up on and cursed at. When I receive a sales call I always say "This is Jennifer." and give them a chance to speak. That seems like a much more polite way to deal with an unknown caller.

jedikaiti

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 12:55:39 AM »
Or, OP could have ID'd herself and Rude Guy might well have hung up anyway, since OP is not a personal acquaintance of his.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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MrTango

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 10:43:00 AM »
Personally, I think that if the guy didn't want to be bothered by Telemarketers, he should just let all calls from non-familiar numbers to go voice mail.

perpetua

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 10:48:43 AM »
The whole problem would have been avoided if you had first identified yourself--or the purpose of your call--before asking for that person. That's actually proper etiquette--they have no idea who you are, so you are supposed to say, "Hello, this is ...."

In your case, proper phone etiquette would have been for you to say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball league at XYZ Church, is Mr. So-and-so there?"

POD

OP, you should have identified yourself.

I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

It is not necessary to start your conversation with "This is X, may I please speak to Y about...". The above version is just as correct and polite.

The people on the other end of the phone, on the other hand, were *monstrously* rude.

TootsNYC

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2014, 10:56:21 AM »
I disagree completely.

The etiquette-approved way to begin a phone call is to idenitfy yourself first.

You are a stranger until you do so. You have created the interaction, and while you know at least something about who is on the other end (bcs you're initiating the phone call; in the OP's case, she knows it will be this man or his family members, since she's calling his home), they know -nothing.-

You are a stranger--in a way, an intruder--until you identify yourself.

That is why the first thing you are supposed to say is, "hello, this is ZYX" or if you are a real-life stranger as well, "hello, this is ZYX from ABD[company/reason/etc.]."

In the OP's case, since her name would be unknown to them, she should say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball team; is Mr. KJLS there?"

You have interrupted them; they have been kind enough to answer the phone call. The least you can do is to indicate right away that you are not a threat, to establish your bona fides before you start prying into the presence or absence of whoever is in the household.

This is basic--identify yourself first. Then you can get to the business of your call. No one should ever have to say, "may I tell him who is calling, please?" That's a defense tactic that indicates that the person who initiated the phone call is in the wrong already.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2014, 12:23:35 PM »
The guy was extremely rude.  I'm not sure that Hurricane Marathon identifying herself would have made any difference.  The lack of apology when the wife called back cements it for me.  This person has no business being in charge of a church team where strangers would be calling to sign up.

I would have reported it to the church.
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MariaE

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2014, 12:28:59 PM »
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the story I doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.
 
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JenJay

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 12:37:38 PM »
The guy was extremely rude.  I'm not sure that Hurricane Marathon identifying herself would have made any difference.  The lack of apology when the wife called back cements it for me.  This person has no business being in charge of a church team where strangers would be calling to sign up.

I would have reported it to the church.

Exactly

perpetua

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2014, 12:52:11 PM »
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the story I doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.

Correct according to who?

This may be regional.

I have never started a phone call with 'Hello, this is Perpetua' and I have very rarely taken one that starts with 'Hello, this is X, may I speak to Perpetua?'

I was always taught to say 'May I speak to X' and then the receiver of the call would ask 'Who's calling please' and at THAT point I identify myself. \Whenever I take a call it usually starts as per the above. That is very common here and there's nothing wrong with it at all so please be careful with blanket statements that something different is 'incorrect' (I was very careful NOT to say that in my post).

'Hello, this is Perpetua, may I speak to X' is a very American way of doing things, to my mind. I would not do this on the phone here.