Fun_People Archive
12 Feb
Re: Telemarketer Torment Techniques

Date: Sun, 12 Feb 95 13:39:20 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Re: Telemarketer Torment Techniques

[Some of you may not remember the article "Telemarketer Torment Techniques"
that went to Fun_People on 3/17/93, so I'm resending it ("Damn!  Are we into
re-runs already?"  "No, dear, they call this an 'Encore Performance.'") so I
can include a much-delayed reply.    -psl]
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 93 13:25:05 PST
Subject: Telemarketer Torment Techniques
Forwarded-by: <>
Forwarded-by: (Rich Schaefer)
Forwarded-by: (Mike Fleischner)
Forwarded-by: (David L. Cathey)

	Tormenting Telmarketers - A Game You Can Play at Home!
    Everyone has gotten a call from a Telemarketer, the new Scourge of
the Telephone System.  Previously when the phone rang, you wondered
if it was someone you knew, or another schmuck with something to sell.
Well, the time has come to turn the tables.  We need to take control
of our own phones.  We need to take the "market" out of Telemarketing.
Premise: Telemarketers take the brute force approach to making sales.
	If you talk to a whole bunch of people, someone will buy
	what you are selling.

Counter-Tactic: Waste as much of their time as you can.  For each
	minute that you waste means several potential customers that
	will not be reached.  Make Telemarketing unprofitable.  
	Hanging up only increases the changes for them to
	make a sale.  Don't let this happen!

Hints: Most of the preliminary stuff is done by someone making
	minimum wage who reads a script.  Let them finish.  It's
	easy points, and you were watching Star Trek and weren't
	using your phone anyway.  It's easy to keep them interested
	using "attentive grunting", similar to when your mother calls.


  Basic Point System:
    For each minute spent on the phone               10 pts.
    Getting transfered to someone who makes
	    more than minimum wage                   15 pts
    For each minute spent on the phone with
	    person making more than minimum wage     25 pts

  Bonus Points:
    Getting them to repeat part of the "script"       5 pts/each
    Getting answers to stupid questions              15 pts/each
    Changing the subject                             50 pts/each
    Making the sales person angry                   175 pts
    Getting them to hang up on you                  500 pts
    Making the sales person use profanity           750 pts
    Get their boss on the phone, to complain
	    that the salesman used profanity       1500 pts
    Getting their 1-800- number                      10 pts
    Posting their 1-800- number to as
	    a free "Phone Sex" line                  50 pts
    Checking the number a week later and it is
	    busy or disconnected                   5000 pts

		Me:	Yes?
		Them:	Hi, I'm with Fly-By-Night Carpet
			Cleaning and we're in your area [...]
[start clock]		[...] to know if you are interested?
		Me:	Sure.
		Them:	Well, we are currently offering [...]
			[...] depending on the size of the rooms.
		Me:	Well, how much for the whole house?
[15 bonus pts!]	Them:	Let me transfer you to Mr. Dealclincher.
		Me:	Okay
[25 pts/min!]	Them:	[new voice] Sir?
		Me:	Yes?
		Them:	How large is your house?
		Me:	Oh, about 2,000 sq. ft.
		Them:	[...] Well, that would be about $xxx
[stupid ?]	Me:	Gee.  It won't hurt the floor, will it?
		Them:	Oh, no! We use a patented process [...]
			[this usually takes some time!]
			[...] and is completely safe.
[stupid ?]	Me:	Even with my pets?
		Them:	Oh, yes. The chemicals we use [...]
		Me:	Do you have to pre-treat, with the pets?
		Them:	Yes, and we do that with [...]
[repeat!]	Me:	But you said it would cost $xyx,
			[note small misquote of price]
			does that include treating for pets?
		Them:	[...]
[new subject]	Me:	Well, it is kindof dirty.  The guys were
			over for the game.  Did you see the
			Cowboys vs. the Rams?
		Them:	Yes.
		Me:	What a game!  That last touchdown pass!
			Wasn't that a great play?   And ...
		Them:	Yes, well, back to your house, sir.
		Me:	Oh yes, what about moving the furniture?
		Them:	[...]
[new subject]	Me:	Do you clean furniture, too?  The guys
			spilled some beer.  Have you smelled old
			beer on furniture before?  Phew!  But what
			a game!  I couldn't believe they couldn't
			move the ball in the second quarter...
[angry???]	Them:	Ahem... Would you like us to come out?
		Me:	Well, when could you come out?
		Them:	How about next week?
		Me:	Hmmm...  Morning or afternoon?
		Them:	Either would be fine.
		Me:	Do you have anything the week after?
		Them:	Sure, can I put you down for Tuesday?
[Okay, now let's try for those last big bonus points:]
		Me:	Wait, I just remembered I have all
			hardwood floors!  Neeever mind.
[Yes! 750 pts!]	Them:	Dammit!   
[Yes! 500 pts!] <click!>

[Of course, your mileage will vary, but this phone call should
net a neat 1700-1800 points (and keep 2.7 other people from having
their contemplation of the tube interrupted).  As a Seattlite
(No, not like Sputnik), I am required by law to point out that the
PC (political correctitude) rating of this counter-tactic has not
yet been ascertained; so use at your own risk  -psl]

Date: Wed, 17 Mar 93 15:29:19 PST
From: (Daniel Steinberg)     [an updated address -psl]

Actually, i accidentally discovered a much simpler technique last night.
I got a call from somebody wanting money for something, and they started
out with:

	"Hello, i'm calling from Citizens Deploring Zebra Stripes.
	 How are you this evening?"

to which i replied:

	"I'm tired and i'm drunk."

(Technically, i was neither.  I was drinking a glass of wine and was
tired of having to get up to answer the phone.)

It worked like a charm, though:

	"Heh heh.  Well, we'll just call back at a more convenient
	 time.  So sorry to bother you."

Makes me wonder how she would have reacted if i'd said,

	"Well, i can't talk right now.  I've just started the candle
	 dripping on my wife and i have to go loosen her gag.  But if
	 you'd like to drop by, i'm sure we could discuss your cause
	 at great depth."

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []