Packaged with the confirmation number, Bill was subjected to a series of sales pitches, one by one. Lowe’s. Cable TV. Phone service. Security system. Coupons for something or another. When would the madness stop? Maybe with a timeshare opportunity in Las Vegas?
Maybe Bill is just a little too nice, but he should have asked for the confirmation and left it at that. No e-mailing of coupons, no sales pitches, just a goddamn confirmation number.
Companies are obviously desperate to work the phone for sales, since the Do-Not-Call List makes cold-calling harder. But this is excessive.
And remember, you can always say no. Toughen up, Bill!
Bill’s e-mail, after the jump…
OK, so I’m not 100% sure what’s going on here, but I figured I’d write and hopefully gain some insight into this…
I’m in the process of buying a house. Closing is in a few weeks, but I figured I’d get a jump on things to try and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
I called my “local” electric company, AmerenIP, and spoke to a woman who knew her job pretty well and got me taken care of. She then said she’d transfer me to another company – I can’t quite remember the name – for my “confirmation number.”
I thought this was a little odd – I mean, why can’t she give me a confirmation number herself? Still, who am I to say what might be happening, so I just said sure and waited.
Another lady picked up and said she would email me my confirmation number and a 10% off coupon for Lowe’s if she could have my email address. Erm, okay. What – she can’t just tell me the number? I’m pretty paranoid about my real email address so I gave her my spamtastic email.com account. I plan to fish it out later. Maybe.
Then she starts in with a new offer – that she’ll help transfer over all of my other services. Free of charge, of course. I was getting a little on the paranoid side so hesitantly said “sure” (more out of curiosity than anything else) and she starts going through possible services I might have.
I let her know the cable’s taken care of, along with high-speed internet. Check.
She asked about my local phone service. I told her I don’t have or need local service. “Why?” “My girlfriend and I both have good cell service and don’t need a land line.” Her pitch basically amounted to, “Sir, we recommend basic phone service for 911 emergency calls so the police could locate you more quickly than they could with a cell phone.” Having worked for the phone company before, I already know this is a line of crap – you can dial 911 on any phone that has a dial tone. Still, she continues her sales pitch more or less trying to scare me into signing up for basic phone service.. I make sure she knows we need no such thing.
Next on the menu of marketing offers was a “free home security consultation.” By this point, I knew that Ameren had basically connected me with a telemarketer and told her that I really would not be needing this. I informed her I’d take care of the gas bill myself, and that I was going to disconnect.
Not to be distracted, she asked at the end if she could email me “$100 worth of coupons”. Whatever. It’s a junk account, and I was just ready to get off the phone by that point. I said okay, thnaked her for her time (old habits die hard) and got off the phone.
So seriously – what the hell? Since when did my service call become an opportunity for some third-party to make some money with dubious “services”?