Here's the Scoop: Feb. 13, 2008
‚ÄúYo, listen up!‚Äù
If you want to grab my attention, those are not the words that make my ears swivel around and have me eagerly awaiting the wisdom that‚Äôs sure to follow.
On the on hand, a perky girl announcing, ‚ÄúHi, I‚Äôm Amber Reilly,‚Äù will have me listening intently to her reason for calling. But only once. And briefly.
‚ÄúHello, I‚Äôm John from‚Ä¶‚Äù doesn‚Äôt make me want to drop what I‚Äôm doing either.
The fact is, I find it hard to believe that anyone would hear these automated telemarketers and actually call what I‚Äôm assuming are real people to find out how they can get involved with what I‚Äôm guessing is a money-losing scheme. Of course, the money deficit only applies to the caller‚Äôs finances.
My first reaction when I pick up the phone and hear these recorded messages is to swear. I do this, on occasion. And I do it well.
I realize that swearing at a taped message is not particularly effective, but it feels good. Of course, cussing at real people isn‚Äôt that constructive either.
But these recorded messages have become so prevalent that there‚Äôs no option but to offer some choice words aimed at the telephone receiver.
If I had the patience, I would listen keep listening to see what great offers lie ahead from these calls. But I can‚Äôt.
On the other hand, I suppose recorded telemarketing messages are superior to having a real person call and try to sell me something I don‚Äôt really need. I could be wrong, but I‚Äôve got to think that telemarketers have a bit of trouble sleeping.
With the ‚ÄúDo Not Call‚Äù registry in effect, homeowners are pretty much protected from these annoyances. The door has been left pretty wide open, however, from calls to businesses.
I recently got a call from a real person who asked for ‚Äúthe person who buys the copier supplies.‚Äù That would be me, I informed this person who I immediately recognized as a slimy character.
What I failed to tell him was that I don‚Äôt even have a copier in my office, letting the fax perform those functions.
Still, when he asked me what model I have, I quickly replied, ‚ÄúOh, it‚Äôs the 390.‚Äù For effect, I added, ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs a smooth running machine.‚Äù
What brand was that, he asked, inspired that I apparently had no clue that he was about to sell me a decade‚Äôs worth of toner cartridges. And probably inferior cartridges, at that.
‚ÄúKonica,‚Äù I responded.
He knew something did not add up, but he wasn‚Äôt sure of the problem.
‚ÄúIs that the 390A?‚Äù he asked, figuring I didn‚Äôt know a copier from an impersonator.
‚ÄúYes, it is,‚Äù I said.
Since the toner was probably crap anyhow (if I received any at all after giving up my charge card information), he was going to proceed with the sale. And still sleep like a baby.
Being an experienced scam artist, he ultimately started sensing that he was on the wrong end of the misdeed.
Finally, tired of wasting my own time, I replied that I really didn‚Äôt even have a copier.
‚ÄúBut, thanks for trying to sell me toner for a machine that doesn‚Äôt exist,‚Äù I remarked.
Then I swore and told him I hoped someone selling a conscience would call him. I felt better knowing that I had his number.