Friday, July 20, 2007

The New Telemarketer – Magazine Subscription Promoters

I noticed the other day that I rarely receive calls at home any more from telemarketers aside from my university alma mater and a few charity organizations. Telemarketers had demonstrated such egregious behavior that they actually incited Congress to pass a law allowing people to opt-out. Getting anything through Congress is well . . . an Act of Congress – a very substantial undertaking. The telemarketing industry took a hit for it.

While I no longer receive many calls at home, I notice that a call coming to me through the company’s direct line is a call I don’t want to take – it’s what I consider to be the ‘New Telemarketer’. The call begins with

Caller: “Is Mr. Martin there?”

Me: “Yes”

Caller: “How are you doing today, sir?”

Me: “Fine”

Caller: “I’m offering you a free subscription to our magazine. All I need to do is verify your address and ask a few questions.”

And so it goes. I’ve often wondered how print magazines are getting along these days now that the Web is the media of choice – especially for engineers. The fact that they are calling to beg me to take their magazine (free of charge) tells me they are not doing that well.

Until we get another act of Congress to create an opt-out list for magazine subscription promoters, I’ve learned to manage the situation somewhat. In the current situation, when I suspect it’s a magazine subscriber the call goes as follows:

Caller: “Is Mr. Martin there?”

Me: “Hello”

Caller: “Are you Mr. Martin?”

Me: “I’m afraid he’s not here.”

Caller: Pause. “Do you know when he will return?”

Me: “In about two weeks.”

Caller: “I’ll call back later.”

It’s not exactly honest but it gets me off the hook for now. Where’s Congress when you need them?

Best regards,
Hall T.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of saying "he is not here", say "he is not available".

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