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    Cold Callers Versus Hot Heads

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

    (It is my first week of cold calling people to try to encourage them to buy a kitchen or windows. I do not want to be there, but I need the money.)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer #1: “Yes?”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think—”

    Customer #1: “DON’T YOU KNOW MY MOTHER HAS JUST DIED?!” *slams down phone*

    Me: “… No?”

    (I put her on to the don’t call back list despite the fact we’re not meant to do that unless they specifically ask us to because I feel sorry for her despite her rudeness, and let the automated dialer tick to the next cold call.)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer #2: “Yes, you are. Who is this?”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think that might be something you’re interested in?”

    Customer #2: “You know, you don’t have to do this. You could go back to college, educate yourself, and get a proper job. You don’t have to waste your life in a call centre.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m studying neurobiology at university.”

    Customer #2: “Oh, well, uh, no. I’m not interested. Sorry. Please remove me from the list. Good luck.”

    (Again, I put him on the no call back list then let the dialer click on…)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer: *sighs* “Yes…”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think you might be interested?”

    Customer: “Actually, maybe. Tell me more. What does it involve?”

    (The customer gets me to answer loads of questions, sounds really interested, and I begin to hope my day might turn round and I might finally check off the measly £1 bonus for getting someone to book a visit for a quote.)

    Customer: “Brilliant, thank you for that. Can you do me one last favour?”

    Me: “Absolutely, sir!”

    Customer: “Good. Can you F*** OFF?!” *slams down the phone*

    (I put him on the urgent call back list, meaning he’ll be called the next day around lunch time, and if he’s still rude to whoever is unfortunate enough to get him they will probably do the exact same thing. If you’re going to be a jerk to cold callers, remember we are human beings, too. Politeness gets you much further and it costs nothing to say nicely ‘I’m not interested; please take me off your lists.’ I started job hunting that night and left three weeks later.)

    Sends You A Kiss By Wire

    | Detroit, MI, USA | Awesome Customers, Musical Mayhem

    (No way around it, no way to glamour it up: I am a telemarketer. I have to call a customer about an insurance offer. It takes a few seconds for us to be able to hear them when they answer.)

    Me: “He—”

    Customer:HELLO, MY BABY! HELLO, MY HONEY! HELLO, MY RAGTIME GAL!

    (I am stunned as she sings the whole song!)

    Customer: “Sorry about that. Been getting calls all day. Told myself and my mother that the next caller is being sung to.”

    (I was stunned for a few more seconds, then I burst out laughing. I laughed so hard it hurt! I had to end the call and then take a 10-minute break to calm down.)

    Channeling Good Customer Service

    | MI, USA | Movies & TV

    (I’m the bad guy in this one. I enjoy messing with telemarketers and wasting their time. Most telemarketers aren’t allowed to hang up on you. They’re required to give the whole spiel, regardless of what you say or don’t say, and wait for an answer.)

    Caller: “Good afternoon, Mr. [My Name]. My name is [Name], and I’m calling from [Telephone Company]. How are you today?”

    Me: “Please hold.”

    (I place the handset down in front of the television, which is turned to a 24-hour news station, and I walk away. Ten minutes later, I come back to hang up the handset, and notice that the line is still live. I can hear the telemarketer on the other end talking to a coworker.)

    Caller: “…apparently we still have troops in Afghanistan. And Kim Kardashian is pregnant. Hang on. I hear breathing! Mr. [My Name], are you there?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but Mr. [My Name] isn’t available. Can I take a message?”

    Caller: “Sure. Tell him to set the TV to Comedy Central next time I call. You have a nice day.”

    Ben There, Done That

    | Norman, OK, USA |

    Customer: “Hello?”

    Me: “Hello, ma’am. My name is Ben. I’m calling to tell you about our special offer that–”

    Customer: “Who is this?”

    Me: “Ben, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Ben? Hey, everyone, Ben is on the phone. Ben, are you still having dinner with us tonight?”

    Me: “I think you mean a different Ben, ma’am. I’m a telemarketer.”

    Customer: “So you’re not in California?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. I’m in Oklahoma.”

    Customer: “Well, okay. I’ve got to keep the line clear for the right Ben.”

    You Couldn’t Make It Up

    | St. Louis, MO, USA | Top

    (My job is to call people and pitch the brand of make-up my company sells. I call and an obviously really young girl answers the phone.)

    Little Girl: “Hello?”

    Me: “Hi, may I talk to the lady of this residence?”

    Little Girl: “That’s me.”

    Me: “I mean, may I talk to your mom?”

    Little Girl: “I have two dads.”

    Me: “Oh well, never mind then. Have a nice day!”

    Little Girl: “Wait! Why did you call?”

    Me: “I’m selling make-up.”

    Little Girl: “Oh! One of my daddies loves that stuff. It makes him look pretty when he goes dancing! Let me give him the phone! Dad! Dad! Some girl wants to make you look pretty!”


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