Double Negatives



  • I'm a member of Awesome Gym, a franchisee that is actually a nice place to do a workout. A while ago a telemarketer rang as part of Awesome Gym's latest promotion, saying there was now a great offer for ex-members to come back to the gym. I was surprised: I'm not an ex-member, I've told Awesome Gym never to ring me with special offers & promotions, and the number they were ringing is on a Do Not Call register (ie, telemarketers ringing my number get fined by the government). Telemarketer apologised and promised not to ring again.

    Half an hour later a different operator phoned with the same story. I gave the same reply. The same thing happened the next day, and the next day and the next....for two weeks. Of course I spoke to Awesome Gym: they said the Telemarketers should only have a list of ex-members (I've never let my membership lapse), Awesome Gym already has me on their 'don't ring with special offers' list, and of course checking the final list with the government's Department of Anti-Spamming is simply due diligence.

    So let's see: the telemarketers effectively unioned the list of current members AND the list/s of people they shouldn't be ringing, in such a way that the names appeared in their list at least 15 times. Bad SQL structure anyone?

    Awesome Gym complained twice to the telemarketers. When they kept dragging their heels, Awesome Gym pulled their 5-figure contract and warned their fellow franchisers never to use them again due to breach of contract (ie, ringing people they were told not to ring).



  • @KarenM said:

    I'm a member of Awesome Gym, a franchisee that is actually a nice place to do a workout. A while ago a telemarketer rang as part of Awesome Gym's latest promotion, saying there was now a great offer for ex-members to come back to the gym. I was surprised: I'm not an ex-member, I've told Awesome Gym never to ring me with special offers & promotions, and the number they were ringing is on a Do Not Call register (ie, telemarketers ringing my number get fined by the government). Telemarketer apologised and promised not to ring again.

    Half an hour later a different operator phoned with the same story. I gave the same reply. The same thing happened the next day, and the next day and the next....for two weeks. Of course I spoke to Awesome Gym: they said the Telemarketers should only have a list of ex-members (I've never let my membership lapse), Awesome Gym already has me on their 'don't ring with special offers' list, and of course checking the final list with the government's Department of Anti-Spamming is simply due diligence.

    So let's see: the telemarketers effectively unioned the list of current members AND the list/s of people they shouldn't be ringing, in such a way that the names appeared in their list at least 15 times. Bad SQL structure anyone?

    Awesome Gym complained twice to the telemarketers. When they kept dragging their heels, Awesome Gym pulled their 5-figure contract and warned their fellow franchisers never to use them again due to breach of contract (ie, ringing people they were told not to ring).

    FTFY



  • If you're in the US: since you are doing business with Awesome Gym, the DNC registry doesn't really apply. Admittedly, telling the gym you didn't want to be contacted should have been enough, but the telemarketers aren't then going to check the register because they don't have to--they're acting on behalf of Awesome Gym.

    Anyway, telemarketing is boring.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @morbiuswilters said:

    If you're in the US: since you are doing business with Awesome Gym, the DNC registry doesn't really apply. Admittedly, telling the gym you didn't want to be contacted should have been enough, but the telemarketers aren't then going to check the register because they don't have to--they're acting on behalf of Awesome Gym.

    Doesn't it become harrassment when he repeatedly tells them to desist and they persist?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    If you're in the US: since you are doing business with Awesome Gym, the DNC registry doesn't really apply. Admittedly, telling the gym you didn't want to be contacted should have been enough, but the telemarketers aren't then going to check the register because they don't have to--they're acting on behalf of Awesome Gym.

    Doesn't it become harrassment when he repeatedly tells them to desist and they persist?

    Yeah, probably, although it sounds like it was more of a fuck-up than deliberate harassment. Still, my point was just about the DNC registry and why telemarketers don't check it when they're working on behalf of someone you've had a business relationship with in the last 18 months.



  • @KarenM said:

    So let's see: the telemarketers effectively unioned the list of current members AND the list/s of people they shouldn't be ringing, in such a way that the names appeared in their list at least 15 times. Bad SQL structure anyone?

    I think it's a bit of an assumption that they're organised enough to be using a database. Not sure how they got the current members when they should have the ex-members either.

    For truly high-technology, one would need a printed, photocopied list of ex-members from an excel spreadsheet (exported from a database where it's stored in JSONed XML format), photographed on a wooden table, pasted into a zipped word document and delivered by courier to the telemarketers in a USB drive for security reasons.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    If you're in the US: since you are doing business with Awesome Gym, the DNC registry doesn't really apply. Admittedly, telling the gym you didn't want to be contacted should have been enough, but the telemarketers aren't then going to check the register because they don't have to--they're acting on behalf of Awesome Gym.

    Doesn't it become harrassment when he repeatedly tells them to desist and they persist?

    This whole incident happened outside the US, so I'm afraid those comments don't apply.

    @shoreline said:

    I think it's a bit of an assumption that they're organised enough to be using a database. Not sure how they got the current members when they should have the ex-members either.

    For truly high-technology, one would need a printed, photocopied list of ex-members from an excel spreadsheet (exported from a database where it's stored in JSONed XML format), photographed on a wooden table, pasted into a zipped word document and delivered by courier to the telemarketers in a USB drive for security reasons.

    Nah, not enterprisey enough.



  • What happened to people treating cold callers as an opportunity?

    I welcome the odd distraction, and do one of the following:

    1. try to make friends with them
    2. sell them something I've just invented
    3. put them into a cycle of hold-pickup-hold-pickup to see how long I can string them along

    Or if I'm in a hurry, I think of a stupid combination of swear words, and deliver them in a preposterous affected voice.



  • @eViLegion said:

    I welcome the odd distraction, and do one of the following:

    1. try to make friends with them
    2. sell them something I've just invented
    3. put them into a cycle of hold-pickup-hold-pickup to see how long I can string them along

    Or if I'm in a hurry, I think of a stupid combination of swear words, and deliver them in a preposterous affected voice.

     

    I consider all of these things not-fun and a waste of my time.

    I prefer scrolling down my twitter feed.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @eViLegion said:

    What happened to people treating cold callers as an opportunity?

    I welcome the odd distraction, and do one of the following:

    1. try to make friends with them
    2. sell them something I've just invented
    3. put them into a cycle of hold-pickup-hold-pickup to see how long I can string them along

    Or if I'm in a hurry, I think of a stupid combination of swear words, and deliver them in a preposterous affected voice.


    Now I want to try:

    1. Get really excited for someone to talk to and be enthusiastically friendly
    2. Learn their name and address them by name every sentence
    3. Start to volunteer and confide deeply personal/embarrassing information

    If the caller ever shows reluctance or tries to steer the conversation back to business,

    i. Act hurt, start guilt trip

    ii. Become very passive-aggressive

    If they try to terminate the call or just hang around to long, treat it like a painful breakup;

    a. Apologize profusely, promise to change and make things right

    b. Beg; plead; cry

    c. Throw a temper tantrum; blame them for everything



  • @eViLegion said:

    What happened to people treating cold callers as an opportunity?

    I welcome the odd distraction, and do one of the following:

    1. try to make friends with them
    2. sell them something I've just invented
    3. put them into a cycle of hold-pickup-hold-pickup to see how long I can string them along

    Or if I'm in a hurry, I think of a stupid combination of swear words, and deliver them in a preposterous affected voice.

    There has got to be someone out there who is a salesperson for a brand of call center management software who responds to telemarketing calls by saying something like "I'd like to speak to your supervisor. Don't worry, I'm not going to complain about you, I want to try to sell him something." I believe this person exists.



  • @eViLegion said:

    What happened to people treating cold callers as an opportunity? I welcome the odd distraction, and do one of the following: 1) try to make friends with them 2) sell them something I've just invented 3) put them into a cycle of hold-pickup-hold-pickup to see how long I can string them along Or if I'm in a hurry, I think of a stupid combination of swear words, and deliver them in a preposterous affected voice.

    I can't remember the last time I got a human cold (sales) caller. Now it's all just IVRs. That starts 5 seconds after you pick up.

    Oh how I long for the days when I could ignore all non-local area codes.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Nexzus said:

    Oh how I long for the days when I could ignore all non-local area codes.

    I ignore any number not in my contacts.



  • @KarenM said:

    Awesome Gym pulled their 5-figure contract

    For what ($50,000?) the gym expects a quality call center with presumably dedicated IT staff that actually know what they're doing? I'm guessing that half that amount goes to the call center owners, 1/4 to overhead, 1/4 to call center staffers, and probably $1.00 to the IT department. The IT department is likely college-aged students who know how to type queries into a DB and can install the call-center software onto new PCS, and not much else. Or maybe it's Awesome Gym who constructed the call list? They can't have a very large IT department either.



  • There's only one technique you need to use with telemarketers:

    Funny prank call – 03:24
    — sjs2011



  • I always get snail-mail from GEICO saying stuff like "Take this survey and tell us why you didn't select GEICO for your car insurance" and even more stuff telling me how much I could save by switching to GEICO.

    GEICO is already my car insurance provider.



  • @mott555 said:

    I always get snail-mail from GEICO saying stuff like "Take this survey and tell us why you didn't select GEICO for your car insurance" and even more stuff telling me how much I could save by switching to GEICO.

    GEICO is already my car insurance provider.

    My doctor is always trying to test me for syphilis, even though he knows goddamn well I already have untreated syphilis! Then he's like "Dear Lord, we need to get you on powerful antibiotics right away before the brain damage is any worse!" and I'm like "I already tol' you, I purposefully gave myself syphilis so I could be more like my personal hero, Benjormin Franklington!"



  • @KarenM said:

    @shoreline said:
    I think it's a bit of an assumption that they're organised enough to be using a database. Not sure how they got the current members when they should have the ex-members either.

    For truly high-technology, one would need a printed, photocopied list of ex-members from an excel spreadsheet (exported from a database where it's stored in JSONed XML format), photographed on a wooden table, pasted into a zipped word document and delivered by courier to the telemarketers in a USB drive for security reasons.

    Nah, not enterprisey enough.

    You win this round.



  • @gramie said:

    There's only one technique you need to use with telemarketers:

    Funny prank call – 03:24
    — sjs2011

    That is just beautifully done.


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