Author Topic: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.  (Read 9498 times)

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whatsanenigma

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2014, 07:39:49 AM »
I think another important point here is that the guy, I assume by his own free will, put his number out there as the contact for more information about the softball league.  So, there should be some expectation on his part that calls will occasionally come in for him, that probably pertain to this league, even if the caller is not using, as another poster put it so well, "optimum politeness". 

I personally happen to be the type of person who is very uncomfortable taking calls from people I don't know.  For this reason (among other reasons) I don't list myself as the point of contact for anything using my phone number, and on the rare occasions when it is necessary, I use my email address  as the way to do it.   So, I understand that someone would be sensitive to callers possibly being telemarketers or such.

But if you put your phone number out there like that, I think you have to be open to getting calls that are possibly a bit awkward, that are good faith, legit calls, about the thing you are the contact person for.  Not everyone is on e-hell, and not everyone knows standard phone business procedures (which seem to vary a lot anyway). 

So even if there was a better way for the OP to identify herself and purpose of the call (I think it's a good point that it might have been best to mention the softball league as the first thing coming out of her mouth) that's not really the point. The point is, he agreed to accept these calls, and while, of course, this would be no excuse for someone to make abusive or "crank" calls, he has to understand that not everyone is going to answer his answering of the phone with whatever script he has decided means "not a telemarketer".

rose red

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2014, 03:19:57 PM »
I think saying the OP did not use correct telephone etiquette is blaming the victim.  Could it have gone better if she identified herself from the start?  Maybe (that is, if she even had a chance to speak further before being told "we don't want any!")  But that's no excuse to cuss someone else, even if she is a telemarketer. 

Margo

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2014, 04:32:37 PM »
I think saying the OP did not use correct telephone etiquette is blaming the victim.  Could it have gone better if she identified herself from the start?  Maybe (that is, if she even had a chance to speak further before being told "we don't want any!")  But that's no excuse to cuss someone else, even if she is a telemarketer.

Of course. I don't think anyone is saying he wasn't rude, simply that if the calls had been started slightly differently, he *might* have been less rude. Of cours, he might not have been.

jalutaja

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2014, 09:17:10 AM »
The way I have found best is to reverse the order of the facts.  Whenever I have said, "Hello, this is whatsanenigma, may I please speak to so and so?"  the conversation usually circles back and I am eventually asked "who is this?", whether it be that the person is going to transfer me to so and so, or take a message for so and so, or whatever the case might be.

Thank you for telling this! I was feeling so bad, as I need some time for warm-up during phone calls, so I usually lose the first sentence. So, yes, I am the person who has to ask later on (if I do not end call fast, as it is something I have no interest in).

It was good to know I am not the only one and, in fact, people with good phone manners, like you, have already found ways to make the phone calls easier for people like me!

Wintergreen

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2014, 08:05:10 AM »
OP may not have been at optimum politeness in asking for the guy before IDing herself, but as Library Dragon pointed out, there can be good reasons for not IDing oneself until the person you need to talk to is on the phone - maybe you have a houseguest/roomie who doesn't need to know you're talking to an attorney/seeing Doctor X/other private info, but also, if they have a wrong number, the person at that number* doesn't need to know that sort of thing either. OP was in no way actually rude, however. Maybe not optimum, but not actually rude, IMHO.

*Probably a total stranger who won't care, but you never know, especially if you live in a small enough town.

I agree with you. I feel that very little information should be said before you can make sure you are speaking to person who is allowed to have that information. I do think that saying your name is must, but after that it is slippery slope of how much personal information you might reveal to stranger about other person. Church softball team is maybe safe topic for some, but many other topics, even if seemly safe, might not really be so. Of course in this case the man had voluntarily given his phone number so it might be mostly safe to assume he is fine being associated with the church and the specific team.

Most importantly however, it is not my place to judge what information can be told to someone who might not be the person the information is related to.

Hurricane Marathon

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2014, 10:48:39 AM »
I think saying the OP did not use correct telephone etiquette is blaming the victim.  Could it have gone better if she identified herself from the start?  Maybe (that is, if she even had a chance to speak further before being told "we don't want any!")  But that's no excuse to cuss someone else, even if she is a telemarketer.

No way on earth was I "rude" for not immediately stating who I was.  Since when has simply calling someone on the telephone become a huge invasion of their privacy?  I politely asked to speak to the man who's name was on the pamphlet. 

The reason why I didn't tell the pastor was because I used to have a very bad habit of always giving someone the benefit of the doubt.  My parents had a landline and constantly had telemarketers calling them.  I'm not exaggerating - I was at their house for 4 hours once and 5 telemarketers called within that time.  I admit I wasn't exactly polite to the 5th caller.  I figured that this poor old guy might have just had that happen and was at the end of his rope.  Or stressed out about something else, I don't know.  In retrospect I totally should have told the pastor and if something similar happened now I would.


Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2014, 12:58:27 PM »
Going slightly off topic, I don't know how common this is but I'm aware of telephone SOP having changed. Until maybe 20 years ago, the standard sentence from pretty well anybody (in the UK - I can't speak for elsewhere) wasn't to identify oneself, but to identify the phone number. As a child, I picked up the phone and said '654321?' with a decided questioning tone. If one lived in a city this was enough; people in smaller towns that shared exchanges said 'Smalltown 654321'. (It would be the same code as LocalVillage and SmallHamlet, but one gave the name rather than the code '0987 654321?' Too many numbers, I suppose.) That established that the caller had called the correct number; after that we would enter into the negotiation of who precisely the caller wanted to speak to because it was one number per household, and I don't recall there being anything particular about whether the caller would say 'this is Caller, may I speak to Hippy Chick?' or 'may I speak to Hippy Chick? This is caller'. I think the split between answering just with the number, and answering '654321, this is Hippy Chick' was fairly even and tended to depend on other factors, such as the tendency for callers to assume that I was my sister.

Then we started being advised not to identify ourselves on the phone. I can remember this being advice from someone fairly official - the phone companies? - but I don't totally remember why. It might have been the start of telemarketing, but at the back of my mind I remember it being advice aimed particularly at women so it might have been to do with nuisance calls. At that point, I started answering my phone with 'Hello?' and waiting for you to tell me who you were and what you wanted. I don't actually like it, it seems abrupt, but I can't think that I would have broken the earlier habit without a definite reason.

Now, of course, when so many of us have mobile phones, it's changing again, because whan you ring the Hippy Chick landline, you might get any of the four of us; when you ring my mobile, I'm not going to identify myself because nobody shares that phone with me, so I assume that you're expecting to speak specifically to me.

I've had a clunky conversation with somebody in which each of us is failing to identify the other - a recruitment agency, where the caller wasn't going to tell me why he wanted to speak to Mr Chick, or even that he was from a recruitment agency, in case I was somebody who didn't need to know that he was looking for a new job. Equally, if the only message I had was 'John called, this number, wants you to call him back,' then while the job search was active, Mr Chick would probably guess that it was one of the agencies and call; three months later, when he had a job, he's not calling because John might be an agency, and might be trying to sell him life assurance.

So yes, in Hurricane Marathon's case, the man was rude, but I do sometimes think that phone etiquette hasn't quite kept up with changes in telecommunications.

Hurricane Marathon

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2014, 02:08:08 PM »
Then we started being advised not to identify ourselves on the phone. I can remember this being advice from someone fairly official - the phone companies? - but I don't totally remember why. It might have been the start of telemarketing, but at the back of my mind I remember it being advice aimed particularly at women so it might have been to do with nuisance calls.

When I was little my mom taught me to answer our home phone with "Hello this is Hurricane speaking."  When I got older I just answered with "Hello?" because it was faster.  I also remember hearing something about not identifying yourself when answering your private line, I believe it had something to do with creepers then knowing your name and using it to make like they know you. (As a "latchkey kid" in the 80's personal safety was very important.)

perpetua

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2014, 03:05:55 PM »
Going slightly off topic, I don't know how common this is but I'm aware of telephone SOP having changed. Until maybe 20 years ago, the standard sentence from pretty well anybody (in the UK - I can't speak for elsewhere) wasn't to identify oneself, but to identify the phone number. As a child, I picked up the phone and said '654321?' with a decided questioning tone. If one lived in a city this was enough; people in smaller towns that shared exchanges said 'Smalltown 654321'. (It would be the same code as LocalVillage and SmallHamlet, but one gave the name rather than the code '0987 654321?' Too many numbers, I suppose.) That established that the caller had called the correct number; after that we would enter into the negotiation of who precisely the caller wanted to speak to because it was one number per household, and I don't recall there being anything particular about whether the caller would say 'this is Caller, may I speak to Hippy Chick?' or 'may I speak to Hippy Chick? This is caller'. I think the split between answering just with the number, and answering '654321, this is Hippy Chick' was fairly even and tended to depend on other factors, such as the tendency for callers to assume that I was my sister.

That's very true. We said "Townname 1234?" when we answered the phone. My dad still does.

The identifying thing depended on who we were phoning. If I was phoning a friend, for example, and their mum answered and I recognised them, I'd say "Hi Mrs FriendsMum, it's Perpetua, can I speak to Friend please?" or some variation thereof. But I might also say "Hi, can I speak to Friend please?" and then Friend's Mum would ask who it was.

Again, this might even be regional within the UK. I grew up in a small place. Everyone I knew did it this way.

Nowadays, if I'm phoning a friend, I don't have to identify myself because of caller display.  If I was phoning a specific person at a business, I would ask to speak to that person before identifying myself, because the receptionist is going to ask who's calling anyway. So, the conversation would go:
 
"Hello, Company Name?"
"Hi, could I speak to Susie in accounts please?"
"Who's calling please?"
"It's Perpetua at XYZ company".

If a company calls me, it's the same but in reverse. Just this afternoon an estate agent called me and the conversation went

"Hi, is that Perpetua?"
"Yes?"
"Hi Perpetua, it's Dave at XYZ Estate Agency"

This is fairly SOP in the UK. You still identify yourself, just not in the same way. There's an extra step to it. That doesn't make it wrong, though.

DanaJ

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2014, 01:01:25 PM »

No way on earth was I "rude" for not immediately stating who I was.  Since when has simply calling someone on the telephone become a huge invasion of their privacy?  I politely asked to speak to the man who's name was on the pamphlet. 
I also do not think this is rude. I've lived in the U.S. and Canada, and the typical telepone "ritual" I am accustomed to is identifying yourself to the person you are trying to reach. 95% of the phonecalls I experience (whether as the caller or callee) go:

"Hello, may I speak to Ms. J?"
"Speaking."
"Hello, this is Dr. Smith's office calling about your x-ray results."

In my experience, the caller identification part comes as soon as you verify that you have reached the intended person. But perhaps I live in a world where 95% of the population is rude. I work for a company that does B2B calls and it's only in the business context that we say: "This is Dana at company X, calling for Fred in HR."

I figured that this poor old guy might have just had that happen and was at the end of his rope.  Or stressed out about something else, I don't know.  In retrospect I totally should have told the pastor and if something similar happened now I would.
I would still have notified the pastor. If the man is prone to flippng out on callers whenever he is stressed, then he is an inappropriate contact person to be put on a pamphlet, particularly if he is representing a church in some respect.

Hillia

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2014, 01:23:57 PM »
And I don't think it would have helped in this situation anyway.  Just as many telemarketing calls (especially robocalls) start with 'Hi!  I'm Susie!...'

So I  can hear 'Hi, this is Hurricane.  I'm calling about...'
'WE DON'T WANT ANY'

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perpetua

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2014, 04:28:29 AM »
And I don't think it would have helped in this situation anyway.  Just as many telemarketing calls (especially robocalls) start with 'Hi!  I'm Susie!...'

So I  can hear 'Hi, this is Hurricane.  I'm calling about...'
'WE DON'T WANT ANY'

Very good point.

The more I think about this actually, the more I think 'identifying yourself first' should be reserved for people you know.

I mean, if you phoned a friend and they answered, of course you'd say "Hi Jane, it's Perpetua" right off the bat. If you weren't sure of who had answered, you might say "Hi, is that Jane?" first, but generally I think this is how the interaction would go.

But if you phoned, say, a business, why would the first thing you'd say be "Hi, it's Perpetua"? They don't know you from Adam, so this information would be completely useless to them. You'd ask to speak to who you needed to speak to, surely. Then if they asked who was calling, you would identify yourself.


whatsanenigma

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2014, 10:53:52 AM »
And I don't think it would have helped in this situation anyway.  Just as many telemarketing calls (especially robocalls) start with 'Hi!  I'm Susie!...'

So I  can hear 'Hi, this is Hurricane.  I'm calling about...'
'WE DON'T WANT ANY'

Very good point.

The more I think about this actually, the more I think 'identifying yourself first' should be reserved for people you know.

I mean, if you phoned a friend and they answered, of course you'd say "Hi Jane, it's Perpetua" right off the bat. If you weren't sure of who had answered, you might say "Hi, is that Jane?" first, but generally I think this is how the interaction would go.

But if you phoned, say, a business, why would the first thing you'd say be "Hi, it's Perpetua"? They don't know you from Adam, so this information would be completely useless to them. You'd ask to speak to who you needed to speak to, surely. Then if they asked who was calling, you would identify yourself.

Also, I think when calling a business, it's not so important to identify your self as to identify your purpose.   "I'm calling about a problem with my bill" will get you to the right person who can help you, or give the person on the other end time to pull up the correct computer screen to be able to help you.  And then when it's sure you are speaking to the one you need to speak to, then your name becomes important.  Said unprompted at any earlier point, I think it would just get lost in the shuffle and would have to be repeated anyway.

Raintree

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2014, 02:39:36 AM »
Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business.

Exactly!! If I am calling for Person A, it's really none of Person B's business who is calling. It's Person A that I need to identify myself to.  Of course, Person B may say, "May I ask who is calling?" in which case I can tell them, or not, but I don't think it's automatically their business to know. If my doctor calls, and another family member picks up the phone and the doctor says, "It's Dr. So-and-So; I'd like to speak with Raintree" then several problems can occur: nosy family members wanting to know why my doctor's been calling, worry-warts hovering and wondering if everything's OK, etc. You might be waiting for the results of some highly sensitive and private medical test.

So this guy was totally rude; if he's going to put a pamphlet out there with his name and phone number on it, he's got to be prepared that people might, you know, call with inquiries.

veronaz

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Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2014, 10:17:16 AM »
Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business.

Exactly!! If I am calling for Person A, it's really none of Person B's business who is calling. It's Person A that I need to identify myself to.  Of course, Person B may say, "May I ask who is calling?" in which case I can tell them, or not, but I don't think it's automatically their business to know. If my doctor calls, and another family member picks up the phone and the doctor says, "It's Dr. So-and-So; I'd like to speak with Raintree" then several problems can occur: nosy family members wanting to know why my doctor's been calling, worry-warts hovering and wondering if everything's OK, etc. You might be waiting for the results of some highly sensitive and private medical test.

So this guy was totally rude; if he's going to put a pamphlet out there with his name and phone number on it, he's got to be prepared that people might, you know, call with inquiries.

How often does your doctor call you at home with or without relatives hovering and worrying in the background?

Most people can count on less than half of one hand how many times their doctor has called them.

As far as the identity of the caller not being the business of the person answering the phone, the fact is that (in business) many employees are instructed to get the name of the caller before putting the call thru.  Its part of their job.  Many are also instructed to find out what the call is concerning.

That aside, this thread was not initially about a call to a business its about a call to someones home.


« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 10:20:04 AM by veronaz »