Letters to Holly

Thursday, December 13

Christmas Cheer

Because of some transaction loophole (either from the car dealership or the registration process), a third-party telemarketing group found out that we bought a new car. Beginning within the month we bought the car, we've been inundated by recorded telemarketing calls warning us that we have to act fast to extend or renew our car's warranty. It's crap. The real warranty lasts two years or 120,000 miles.

The calls tend to come when we're at work, suggesting the company thinks we're still the original retired homeowners. Not unusual. We get a lot of daytime calls that target an older demographic -- health insurance, gutter guards, home security, etc. The message doesn't identify us by name or the make/model of the car. It's as generic as possible, hoping to reel in some confused older person with ready access to their hopefully packed bank account.

But tonight, we got the call while we were gobbling dinner (homemade pizza). I answered, and the call instructed me to stay on the line so I can reactivate my warranty. I didn't hang up, and a voice asked for the make and model of my car. Here's how it went:

Him (bored and mumbling): Make and model of the car?
Me: I don't think you're connected with the company that sold us the car. Who is this?
Him: Are you [my first and last name]?
Me: Yes. And if you're connected to my warranty, tell me the make and model.
Him: Sir, we --
Me: What's the make and model?
Him: [pause] Alright, buddy ...
Me: No, buddy. Tell me the make and model.
Him: Go to hell, alright.
Me: You go to hell too, pal. This is a scam.

And I hung up. I really hope they call back.

Your Sis is sometimes surprised by how rude I can be to telemarketers, but I'm not by default. I know folks who did this for a living. It's a shit job, and folks gotta eat. I've even done the job myself, making fundraising cold calls for my first college. When the callers make the sales pitch, I say by habit "no, thank you, I'm happy with the [product] I already have. Good bye." If they realize the pitch is over, they usually thank me, skip to the script section of the company's phone number, and we exchange good byes.

But sometimes there are the folks who refuse to acknowledge the denial and assume that my courtesy means I'm a customer who wants to be wooed. When they continue the pitch by interrupting my farewell, then, yes, they are free game, and I give them hell. Doesn't matter how much pressure they're under to sell the merchandise. A smart salesperson knows when it's not happening and moves on to the next number.

And let's be honest here: If I have a bad day at work, and I can't tune into Your Sister's wavelength, an unwelcome sales call is a great outlet for frustration. But I normally, usually, mostly don't look for someone to kick just 'cause they have a shit job.

The scrapbook is 90% done. A few more printed pages, and I can wrap it up.

Picture of the Day
A new image from next year's Where the Wild Things Are film.

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