Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hello? Who is this?

I am thoroughly enjoying Job #1. I've been auditing lately. It's been fun because I get to see some delightful old advertising. I've been working on old telphone books from England, which features half page ads with messages like:

Call Up Your Friends By Telephone


Don't say HULLO
Announce Your Identity

They're wonderful.

(As an aside: If anyone knows someone with images that they would like to have scanned and lots of rolls of old film. Or microfiche. Or very old books... to have scanned. Do let me know. They've started offering our services to the public, and I get an ipod if I refer someone who signs a contract.)

Job #2...Well. I still have mixed feelings about it. Lavish told me that I've gone to the "Dark Side." Hm. I told her that I didn't like it either, but that they were going to be paying me. (She replied, "Would you be an abortion doctor if the pay was good?") So, as penance, I've decided to share some dirty secrets.

  1. Don't click on pop-up ads for Free Laptops! Free Dinners! Free Jeans! or Free! anything else. Just don't do it. If you do, you will enter your personal contact information (for your Free! thing, right?) and then they will ask you to sign up for different offers. One of them may be for school on the Internet. Just say no! Every little button you click means that your information will be sold to other people. Then at the end, they'll force you to either sign up for something that costs real money, or you'll give up. And your information is out there, either way. People will call you like crazy.
  2. If someone on the phone tells you that they got your information from a form you filled out, you probably did it. Even if you don't remember doing it. We really don't call up random people for kicks. ALSO, other people sometimes enter your information in those sorts of things (all it takes is your name and phone number) in order to get back at you for something. We're not asking for your credit card info on the phone, so you don't have to be suspicious about us having shady motivations. Our shady motivation is just to sell your information to more people. Which isn't great, but isn't much worse than you filling out the form in the first place.
  3. Supposing that someone calls you and you're not interested, what should you do? Well, if it's us, you should answer the phone and tell us that you're not interested. We don't try to change peoples' minds about things, we just call to see if you're interested or not. Some people think that ignoring the calls is a good solution. It really isn't. If you never answer when we call, we will call you 8 times (4 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon/evening). And then, you go on a "never contacted" list that we will pull out later when we don't have enough new people to call. If, instead, you tell us that you're not interested the first time that we call, we won't call you again.
  4. If you think that saying "DO NOT CALL ME AGAIN!" will get you taken off of "the list", you're wrong. The only time we put people on the Do Not Call list is if they specifically say the word "list". If people call you, tell them to take you off of the list. By law, they have to do so, and send you something saying that they did within a month. If you don't use the magic word "list" we just write "Not Interested." Which is a little different. (One man here in Utah makes a couple hundred thousand dollars every year by looking for pop-ups all day long, putting his information in EVERYTHING, and telling companies to take him off of their list. If they don't send him something within a month, he sues them. And he wins, over and over.)
  5. Your information is very valuable. Some companies will pay hundreds of dollars for ONE name and phone number. They told us about a list of 20 names that was worth thousands of dollars because they came from a really good survey. Or something. But who knew there was so much in it for other people?

The end.

Calling people is sometimes funny. I'll post some Job #2 stories later. And bus stories.

Right now, it's time for dinner.


Cicada said...

Telemarketers never call me. It's a little sad. Because I would really love to just start singing to the telemarketer until he or she hangs up. It's always been a dream of mine...

That story of the guy who sues is ingenious!

bawb said...

Yeah, that guy is awesome!

Yellow said...

... Still waiting for more humorous stories ...