One thing that has always bugged me, and I\’m sure it does most of you, is to sit down at the dinner table only to be interrupted by a phone call from a telemarketer. And I am a sales trainer!!! What about the man or woman in the street with no experience of these…they must hate it even more! I decided, on one such occasion, to try to be as irritating as they were to me. The call was from BT and it went something like this: Me: Hello BT: Hello, this is BT… Me: Is this BT? BT: Yes, this is BT… Me: This is BT? BT: Yes This is BT… Me: Is this BT? BT: YES! This is BT, may I speak to Mr. Moore please? Me: May I ask who is calling? BT: This is BT. Me: OK, hold on. At this point I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, they were still waiting. Me: Hello? BT: Is this Mr. Moore? Me: May I ask who is calling please? BT: Yes this is BT… Me: Is this BT? BT: Yes this is BT… Me: This is BT? BT: Yes, is this Mr. Moore? Me: Yes, is this BT? BT: Yes sir. Me: The phone company? BT: Yes sir. Me: I thought you said this was BT. BT: Yes sir, we are a phone company. Me: I already have a phone. BT: We aren\’t selling phones today Mr. Moore. Me: Well whatever it is, I\’m really not interested but thanks for calling.
When you are not interested in something, I don\’t think you can express yourself any plainer than by saying \”I\’m really not interested,\” but this lady was persistent.
BT: Mr. Moore, we would like to offer you 10 pence a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Now, I am sure she meant she was offering a \”rate\” of 10 pence a minute, but she at no time used the word \”rate.\” I could clearly see that it was time to whip out the old calculator and do a little creative accounting.
Me: Now, that\’s 10 pence a minute 24 hours a day? BT: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes sir, that\’s right! 24 hours a day! Me: 7 days a week? BT: That\’s right. Me: 365 days a year? BT: Yes sir. Me: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!!! That\’s amazing! BT: We think so! Me: That\’s quite a sum of money! BT: Yes sir, it\’s amazing how it adds up. Me: OK, so will you send me cheques weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full £52,560, and if you send an annual cheque, can I get a cash advance? BT: Excuse me? Me: You know, the 10 pence a minute. BT: What are you talking about? Me: You said you\’d give me 10 pence a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to £144 per day, £1,008 per week and £52,560 per year. I\’m just interested in knowing how you will be making payment. BT: Oh no, sir, I didn\’t mean we\’d be paying you. You pay us 10 pence a minute. Me: Wait a minute here!!! Didn\’t you say you\’d give me 10 pence a minute? Are you sure this is BT? BT: Well, yes this is BT sir but…… Me: But nothing, how do you figure that by saying that you\’ll give me 10 pence a minute that I\’ll give you 10 pence a minute? Is this some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme? I\’ve read about things like this in the papers. Don\’t use your alien brainwashing techniques on me. BT: No sir, we are offering 10 pence a minute for….. Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please! BT: Sir, I don\’t think that is necessary. Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor! BT: Yes Mr. Moore. Please hold.
So now BT has me on hold and my supper is getting cold. I begin to eat while I\’m waiting for a supervisor. After a wait of a few minutes and while I have a mouth full of food:
Supervisor: Mr. Moore? Me: Yes? Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 pence a minute program. Me: Is this BT? Supervisor: Yes sir, it sure is.
I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter and I had to be careful not to laugh out loud.
Me: No, actually, I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan where you give me 10 pence a minute. Supervisor: OK, no problem, I\’ll transfer you back to the person who was helping you. Me: Thank you.
I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I needed to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.
BT: Hello Mr. Moore, I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan? Me: Do you have that friends and family thing because you can never have enough friends and I\’m an only child and I\’d really like to have a little brother… BT: (click)