Friday, January 10, 2014

Telemarketing Rant

In the last couple of months I've got a handful of calls to "update my business information."  They don't really say who they are, or if they do, it's some sort of ambiguous data service name.

The first few times, I just did it without thinking.  It seemed like a good idea for any business to make sure their name, phone number, type of business was correct, right? Especially that first call who thought I made swimwear.  Or the second call that listed me as a detergent manufacturer or something.  I'm still not sure that the next time it won't be something equally off since I'm pretty sure I don't fit into one of their neat little boxes with a category number.

But then I started getting at least one, if not more calls each day asking for charitable donations.  All kinds of things I've never heard of.  Issues that totally don't relate to me personally or professionally.  And it's getting really annoying.  Plus I hate having those conversations where you turn down perfectly good people who are trying to help out humanity by saying "take me off your list" kinds of things.  It's frustrating and doesn't need to happen.

If only the Do Not Call list were still a real thing.  But I think there are loopholes in it the size of Montana.  And I'm beginning to think that having your business listing updated is code for 'we're selling your business info to any kind of telemarketing gig we can.'  If you willingly give them your name and phone number - to that "data service", ahem - then it must mean you want to be bombarded by anyone who has something to sell you or request money for.

So today I got another one, only this one was a robot with no identifying information. I listened all the way through to see who they were and at the end there was an option to speak to a live operator.  I clicked to connect and asked who they were and what they were doing with my business listing.  She did a lot of hedging around and then said it was perfectly fine for me to opt out.  That cinched it.

Clearly this is not just helping me out by marketing my business to customers. Well marketing my business to THEIR customers.  Slight distinction.  Geez.  I need to get smarter about all that stuff.  Or I'll spend all day on the darn phone just listening to robots, scripts and huffy hustlers.  Caller ID doesn't work anymore because they all have legitimate phone numbers from somewhere, even cell phone numbers, and I can't be sure it's not a customer.

/End of rant.  I know I've probably had this one before.  It's a pet peeve.  Distractions are hard enough when you're in the middle of something sticky.  But unwanted telemarketing is the worst.

It's cold, blustery and wet out there today people.  Wear your warm socks.  How I wish I had a closet full like this: