The Banal Brazenness of Telescammers

in Random Rants

One challenge we face in using the phone as part of our sales process (or as the main method of communication) is overcoming the neagtive perception by many people of sales reps using the phone. This negativity is perpetuated and reinforced every time they receive a call from a "telescammer," as you’ll see below, or even a horrible salesperson, as I so often point out examples of.

Larry Bradley, a reader of mine, and author of the book, "Neither Liberal nor Conservate Be," passed along this blog post from Seth Godin.

The Banal Brazenness of Telescammers

By Seth Godin

I got a call a few weeks ago from a telemarketer at Premier Impressions. (Her number is 800 778 6304).   She told me she was selling ads for a free directory being published by my local library. Actually, first she said she was calling from "Westchester County," but when pressed, said she was working with the County, and then when pressed further, acknowledged that she was working with the local library. I was Googling and taking notes the whole time. I told her I was concerned about her approach, and that I was going to write a story about what she was doing. I even read to her from a website complaining about stuff like this her firm had done in the past.

Well, I know the folks at the local library and asked who she was working with. She told me the head of the library’s name (!) and I said I’d check with her and call back. The telemarketer insisted on giving me her full name and number so that after I checked, I could call her back and do business.

You’ve already guessed this: My library had never heard of these guys. But plenty of other organizations have. I called the company for comment, was transferred to their parent company and they refused to comment.

I’m just astonished by this organization. Astonished that the telemarketer would be willing to do this all day–defrauding small businesses in the name of a local charity or institution. Astonished that a company in the US can do this for years and years without someone shutting them down. Most of all, amazed at how trivial the whole thing is. Drip, drip, drip it apparently ends up with enough money on the table for people to sacrifice their ethics.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Vern M. May 4, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Very good points on this subject, as pretty much any variety of scammer will have lowered themselves before accepting the “job.” It’s a really unfortunate state of industry in general and I can’t wait until someone comes up with a way to identify them all!

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Art Sobczak May 5, 2009 at 12:53 pm

So here’s another one that is annoying the hell out of me: I’m getting calls at least every other day from a recorded message about my car warranty expiring. I stay on the line to talk to a live person, then I ask questions about who they are, where they are, etc., and they hang up. Did some quick research on the web, and, of course, another scam. Also, they use bogus originating phone numbers so what shows up on caller ID is not a working number.

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