Tuesday, 5 January 2010
After loosing my blogging virginity just under a week a go, I think it's time I reveal a tiny bit more about myself. I do have a secret very close to my heart and I now feel me, and my readers have a bond. A bond that cannot be easily broken. Yes, it may come as a shock but I now believe you can now cope with the truth. I'm a part-time telemarketer.
I know what you must be thinking. How could he not tell us? What a fucking scum bag, I hope he gets run over in the night and eaten by wild dogs. I'm the lowest of the low. My job is to irritate, depress and sell things.
The worst bit is I'm not just a telemarketer, I'm the worst kind, a cold caller. If you aren't familiar with the terminology, a cold caller is someone who will call random people to attempt to sell them products or services that they may not need, like a scout girl selling cookies but without the smile. That's the downside for anyone who's on the other side of the phone. However there are some positives for me, in this excuse for a part time job. Speaking to random people can bring about some fun, so I am going to tell you some of the truths about what happens behind the phone.
Working in a call centre can be dull. The people there are constantly looking for ways to entertain themselves while also being whipped into making the most sales with constant assessments and training. For a while you can occupy yourself by drafting your suicide note in your notebook, or speaking to people around you, but soon that will start to get dull. You get to the stage where you are so bored that you will want to piss off people on the phone just because you can. Then the fun begins.
Most of the phone numbers we use are off websites that people put their details in to look for insurance. These people are usually unaware that their number is going to be passed on to companies like ours, since they don't feel it necessary to read the terms and conditions before agreeing.
When someone asks where did you get my details from, there are two responses you can give them. One of them is the response people use when they are trying to work to get better commission, and the other is simply to piss people off to get a better laugh at your expense. The first being:
'You will have put your details in one of our sister company websites'.
To me, that sounds reasonable and people usually just say OK and politely ask you to leave them alone. The second response would be:
'What will have happened was a website you have put your details in will have passed them on to us'.
That sentence has caused more arguments than any other I have heard. The worst bit for the customer, if you can call them that, is that what we do as a company is completely legal, meaning that all their arguments are futile and the caller has no chance of winning. People complain and threaten but in the end they will not be able to stop the power of the call centre.
There are also ways we can call people back, even if they don't want the call. If you hang up then we will call you back in half an hour, every half an hour, until you pick up. If you say the words 'not interested', we can actually use it as a loop hole meaning we can keep your details in our system. If you do however ask us to remove your details from the system then, legally, we have to take them off and we shouldn't call you again.
Another way to ruin a persons day is when someone tells us to take off the details when it isn't the person's name on the system. Regardless of who's number it is, we cannot take details off the system unless you are the person that we have written in front of us. This can happen a lot when we call a house phone and someone's wife asks us to take the number off the system when her husband is out, possibly with other women.
Don't try and irritate us. I know people who have then written down the persons number and put it in every insurance site they can find for revenge. You can be rude but be warned, there is another person on the other end of the line.
Why do people become telemarketers? The pay is very good, for a part time and full time job. The hours are flexible and there is usually always work to be had. The downsides are that it is a very dull job. I must have introduced myself to random people over the phone more times than I would want to admit. At least I can eat at my desk and don't have to deal with people face to face, until people actually get fed up and come looking for me. When I can no longer hide behind the headset. However all the threats I have had haven't happened, yet.
Posted by Tim Edwards at 02:53