Muse readers and friends who know me well understand that I'd rather have my nether regions bitten by a Laplander than deal with sales people over the phone. However, as a (usually) caring person, I try not to let my personal ire show too forcefully when one of these hard working sales folks call. I know they are just doing their job. Recently however, one phone company has caused me to rethink my "no throttling the sales person" position. I won't say their name but it begins with a Q and ends with est - and in a twist it does not have a U in it. I guess these folks don't know how to spell NO either because they keep calling.
Usually it is pretty typical stuff like "are you happy with your phone service". I'm actually not happy with my phone service but I prefer not to discuss it with strangers over the phone. Still I'm usually pretty nice and say something like "we are not ready to make a change right now." The last 2 times however, the salesman has chosen a new tack. They are now trying to wheedle additional proprietary information out of me. Today things did not go so well....
- Muse: This is Mark...
- Steve: Hey this is Steve from Qw... uh... from Acme Communications. How are you today.
- Muse: [keeping it short] Fine thanks.
- Steve: Mark, we are just calling you to ask when your current contract for phone service expires.
- Muse: Uh... look, you guys have called like 3 times this month.
- Steve: Are you a current Q... uh.. Acme customer?
- Muse: No we are not, but we know who you are and if we are ever looking for a new phone company we might consider calling you. Although it would probably take several annoying phone calls over the course of a month.
- Steve: [Irony is lost on most sales people] We just need to know when your current contract expires.
- Muse: Really? Who's my current contract with?
- Steve: I don't know that.
- Muse: You don't know who it's with? How about the terms? Do you know the terms?
- Steve: No we would have no way of knowing the terms.
- Muse: Hmmm... ok, tell me something, when does Q.. uh... Acme's contract with ATT & T expire?
- Steve: I'm not sure we have a contract with AT&T.
- Muse:Sure you do, all these big tier one providers have to work together just to keep data and voice traffic flowing. All I want to know is, when does the contract expire?
- Steve: I don't know that.
- Muse: Are you sure you don't know, 'cause I might like a piece of that action. I have 20 megs of fiber here and I'm not afraid to use it.
- Steve: I uh... well...
- Muse: Steve [I called him Steve] you seem undecided. Tell you want, I'm going to mark you down as a probable. Give me your cell phone number and I'll call you tomorrow.
Now hopefully Steve put a big red X or something on my account so no one calls again - but that's probably about as likely as Dick Chaney winning Miss Congeniality (sigh).