Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fun With Telemarketing 

Buy a new house on the usual 30-year plan and -- regardless of actual finances -- you're suddenly seen as solvent, a newly minted sucker, name re-entered in some prolifically-utilized database intimately known to the world of phone salespersons.

To be fair, telemarketing isn't always a no-win. Though most calls are instantly rejectable, those who keep their wits about them can indeed find gems among the coldcall chaff. Next week's delivery of a deep freeze full of farm-raised meat no more expensive (and much more conveniently packaged and delivered) than our usual half-year ration stands as testament to the truism that the market for every real product there is a genuinely appropriate consumer, so why go looking when it will come to you?

But it's the entertainment value of the average telemarketing call that keeps us from decrying the twice-nightly interruption. Explaining to telemarketers that their products just aren't compatible with our lifesyle leaves the good ones impressed with us, and lends us no end of ego-highs. The ubiquitous dish-network sales pitch, especially, never fails to amuse; though it takes a while for callers to get the idea that we neither have nor desire television service of any type, it's quite probably educational to that heavily-accented guy in some Indian call center to learn that the American stereotype of the media-drunk consumer is indeed a stereotype.

This was even more effective when we lived in the dorm, of course -- explaining to mortgage sales folks that we had no such beast and paid no rent left them startled and us grinning as we hung up the phone. But I can still reject newsdelivery service by pointing to my library responsibilities (how about free -- can you beat free?).

More generally, sharing our satisfaction with our lifestyle choices, from insurer to childrearing proactivity, helps spread the word to telemarketers that the one-size-fits-all pitch is incompatible with the self-driven age of infinite choice and empowerment.

Why bother registering yourself in the national do not call database? Embrace the hilarity of the whole shebang, from pitch and script to the marketer's shiftnumb mindset. It's educational, self-serving, and occasionally brings in the commercial products you actually desire. You'll never need television again.

posted by boyhowdy | 3:29 PM |

When I was a kid, my mom got a call from a telemarketer selling cemetary plots. After a few minutes of trying unsucessfully to get off the phone, she finally blurted out. "Well we don't need any. We're androids."

"That's okay," he said. "We cater to all religions."

beep boop beep beep whirrrrr ding
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