Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tips to tackle telemarketers

Though I completely understand that it’s just another way to earn one’s bread and that in most cases it’s not their fault that they’re tooth-achingly annoying, let me just say that next to autodrivers and bollywood comedians, telemarketers are the bane of my existence.

They’ll call you faithfully right in the middle of a tense meeting with an irate boss, or on a Sunday afternoon when you’ve just got to sleep after a heavy meal.

Yesterday I got a call that went like this:
(Trrring trring)
Me: Hallo? (I would love to have a more stylish way to answer the phone like “Good morning, Ushasi speaking” or just “Ushasi” in a firm voice with a hint of the sensual. Nothing erotic, just enough of it to make an impression. But in the excitement of getting a call I always end up with a high-pitched “halloo?”)
Which is just as well because it turns out to be a call from ICICI bank offering me a personal loan. (Where are they when you actually NEED the loan?)
Telemarketing girl: Who am I speaking to??
Me: You called ME, why don’t you tell me who you are? (A hackneyed but valid question.)
T.G: (Her bank spiel)
Me: I’m sorry I’m not interested right now.
T.G: Oh, OK. But could you tell me who you ARE?
Me: My name’s Ushasi Sen Basu.
TG: Usha what?
Me: Exactly. Tuh-tah!

Today I get a call from Barclay’s Bank.

(Tring tring…humor me on this…I’m trying to write it like a play.)
Me: Us…er…Hallooo?? (Drat! Foiled again, will practice in front of mirror tonight!)
TG: GoodmorningmadammynameisPeskyCallerweareoffering blah blah blah yadee yada yada talk talk talk…read at terrific speed straight off a typewritten page somewhere.
Me: I’m sorry I’m not interested right now.
TG: (SLAMM!!!)

Wow. That really brightened my day. Guess what Barclay’s bank…you’re never getting business from me.

I have a senior at office who was brought up in the US, so has an American accent. Whenever he gets one of these calls he simply says “You’re calling America!” and wait politely for the person to have a minor panic attack and hang up.

Maybe I can try that. “very sorry Pesky, this is Bangladesh...” and hang up quickly before she beats me to it.

Someone once told me that a friend of theirs says completely outrageous things to telemarketers: “Since you’ve called I had something to sell as well. I have a divan that’s just slightly used…”

Apparently he gets 100% results.


Haimanti said...

as usual hilarious. but please dont say "Ushasi" in that stern and sensual voice when i call up. and someone actually says "you are calling america"? what fun.

shreyasi said...

Very funny-and what good ideas! I shall try one or all of those lines next time Pesky calls-"You're calling America and boy, have I got a divan to sell ya!"

Diya said...

awesome post, pussycat! i just might try calling them pesky!

Nisho said...

hahahaha... had a good laugh reading this.... :-)

Roshni said...

You could try pretending to be deaf..they'll give up in no time!Usually works for me!