Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller

Scamming the Telemarketers

Will Edwinson PhotoIt’s 1 p.m., the phone rings.  “They’re right on schedule,” I say to myself.  I pick up the receiver and say, “hello.”

No one answers.  I repeat my hello, still no answer.  “Yep,” I say to myself. “It’s another one of those calls,” and I hang up.

Whenever I receive a  telephone call, that has a two or three second delay before the caller responds to my answering it, I can bet there’s a  Telemarketer on the other end of the line waiting for the computer to finally connect that person with me.  And I can set my watch by these marketers’ schedules.  I know the phone will ring again at about 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m.

Once in awhile, one of ‘em will catch me before I’m able to hang up.  The caller usually  asks to speak to William.  “Another red flag.” Telemarketers are trained to engage their potential customers by attempting to put the conversation on an intimate personal level.

So… my immediate response is, “Who is William?”  I’m greeted with momentary silence.  Finally, the caller responds.

“I’m calling for William Edwinson, is he home?”

I then say, “May I ask who’s calling?” The caller then asks me if I am William.

“I asked you first,” I say with a smile in my voice. More silence. Then the  caller tells me his or her name and the reason for the call.

Woman on phone

Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

I say,  “I’m   Mr. Edwinson, but the Mr. Edwinson  you want is presently engaged in a telephone conversation and is unable to speak with you at this time.” More silence on the other end. (Actually this is not a fib, because I am engaged in a telephone conversation—with this telemarketer.   And I’m performing a public service by keeping this person from bothering someone else.)

Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I’m one of those people who is turned off by anyone who doesn’t know me, calling me on the telephone and addressing me by my first name, especially, William.  I only use William for formal legal matters.  Anyone who knows me, knows I answer to Will. Now, if they were to ask for Mr. Edwinson, I might be fooled into taking their call, but asking for William is a dead give away that it’s a telemarketer.

Finally, the caller responds again. “When would be a good time to call back?” he or she asks me.   “I can’t answer that,” I tell them.  “He’s in and out.” By this time they realize they are being teased,  and  they usually end the conversation.  Sometimes quite abruptly, I might add.  They’re not always as polite to me as I am to them. 🙂

Occasionally—due to my being a bit slow on the uptake—a political solicitor will succeed in discovering that I am in fact, the person they are trying to reach. I no longer contribute money to either of the major political parties.  Both are corrupt and drifting dangerously close to socialism—albeit one much more so than the other, however. Their tactics are so predictable.  The callers will proceed to explain the reason why I should donate to the latest great  “save the nation cause,” and  “can they count on me for a generous contribution of one hundred, or perhaps seventy-five dollars?”

They start out asking for what they know is a ridiculous sum, fully expecting to be turned down. If you tell them that amount strains your budget, they ask for a lesser sum; which is really the amount they hoped for in the first place.  Their response is,  “we understand money is tight and we respect that people have budgets and should live within those budgets, but could you possibly find it in your heart to pledge a smaller contribution of say, thirty-five, or even twenty-five dollars?”

The psychology of this tactic is, you will feel so much better about having talked them down from a hundred bucks that you’ll gladly contribute twenty-five or thirty bucks. I tell them, no, I have my favorite candidates to whom I send money direct, and I’m fully budgeted for the year.

Now, I’m not comfortable being rude to people, but one caller was really persistent. After being told no two or three times, she finally resorted to “how about fifteen or even ten dollars. ”I finally had to remind her that I had twice said I had my political contributions budget set for the year, and “what part of ‘no’ does she not understand?” I might add here, also, that when you do contribute to all these so-called “desperate and needy causes,” this puts you on the sucker list and they share your name with other solicitors.

My little scamming game didn’t stop those calls, and since I didn’t have caller ID at the time, I was pretty much bound to pick up every call, lest I miss one from a daughter or a friend.  But on the other hand, I will have to admit it was kinda fun scamming these callers; especially when I’d had a slow boring day or if I was looking for material to write about.

LouIsa Cover PhotoSpeaking of solicitation, here is one of my own.  I promise I won’t ask you for any money, but I would like to tell you about a new novel I have coming out a little later this Fall, entitled LouIsa—Iron Dove Of The Frontier.  You can go up to the “Books” page or the “In The Works” page  of this Website and read all about her, and even some excerpts from the book itself.   LouIsa is a very interesting Lady.  I think you’ll like her. The book will be available at www.amazon.com later this fall. 

You can also click on the free download button at upper right of this page and receive a free copy of another of my books, “Buddy. . .His Trials and Treasures.

“Buddy” is s a book of adventures about a young boy growing up in rural America during the 1940s.  Buddy is somewhat reminiscent of a twentieth century Tom Sawyer in that he often finds himself in hot water for which he must pay the consequences.  Unlike Tom, however, Buddy’s misdeeds are without forethought.  They happen because Buddy is…well…he’s just Buddy.

There, you see, as promised, I didn’t ask you for any money.  I even offered you a free gift.  The Buddy book is also available for purchase at  www.amazon.com. if you should want to purchase a print copy as a gift for a friend, or have a print copy for your own library.

—Will

 

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