Pitch Fail

The phone rang, at suppertime as usual.  Hubby and I both know what that means:  Either it’s a telemarketer or it’s Hubby’s mother, who belongs to the generation that always called at mealtimes because there were no answering machines and you were more likely to catch somebody at home then.

We have call display, so we knew it wasn’t Mum.  But we also have some new acquaintances whose numbers we don’t know at a glance, so I picked up.

Before I could even utter the second syllable of “Hello”, the world’s most obnoxious voice interrupted:  “Hi!  I’m Bob Shit-For-Brains (I admit I might have made up his last name), and I’m calling on behalf of the Society of-”

I hung up.

We’re in the Do-Not-Call registry, but nothing stops the idiot telemarketers.

I hate telemarketing companies; but I feel sorry for the poor employees who actually have to make the calls.  If our caller had been a real human being, I would have at least stayed on the line long enough to politely say, “Not interested”; but it was a recording, so I felt zero guilt about my abrupt disconnect.

(Well, okay; not zero.  I’m Canadian, so I did feel a teensy bit guilty even being rude to an obnoxious recording.  Sad, but true.)

But I wonder:  Who in their right mind would hire a voice actor who sounds like a cheesy good-ole-boy used car salesman?  Even if I might have been interested in their society, that voice killed any chance of me listening to their pitch.

But maybe it was the International Society of Cheesy Used Car Salesmen calling.  If they were doing a recruiting drive, then their choice of voice actor was a brilliant way to qualify their respondents… unless even cheesy used car salesmen can’t stand the sound of their own voices.  That would explain a lot.

What’s your favourite solution to automated telemarketers?  I like the idea of getting an autodialler of my own and setting it to call their company’s CEO at home, every ten minutes for the next five years…


Thank you to everyone who voted in my poll last week!  I’m a creature of habit so I’ll probably continue posting on Wednesdays, but apparently I can stop obsessing about word count and schedules.  🙂  (To see the responses, click on the “View Results” link at the bottom of last week’s poll.)

Trolling For Cars

Every twenty years or so, I subject myself to a painful and annoying ordeal.  It’s that time of the vicennium again, and yes, I’m navigating the perilous waters of car shopping.  So far I’ve battled new car dealers sharks, used car salesmen morays, and private sellers bottom-feeders.

I’ve done a ton of research and narrowed my choices down to a shortlist based on my analysis, and now I’m in the process of looking at actual cars.  The research was interesting and enjoyable, but the actual car-shopping is inefficient and irritating as hell.

The problem is that any sort of pressure tactic annoys me to the point where I’ll walk away and go to a different dealership just to look at an identical car.  Salespeople who know less than I do irritate me.  Liars irritate me.  And a large proportion of the salespeople I’ve encountered so far have been ignorant, high-pressure, liars, or some combination thereof.

I’ve only been shopping for two days, and already I’ve encountered these pieces of work:

  • A private seller who bought an accident-insurance write-off, fixed up the body, rolled back the odometer (there was no way that vehicle only had 39,000 kilometres on it), and had his brother the mechanic ‘certify’ it for safety. You know how you just need a shower after dealing with some guys?    Yeah, that.
  • A salesman who asked what I’m looking for and before two words had left my mouth, turned his back on me to talk to my husband instead. No, I didn’t buy a car from him.  Go figure.
  • A saleswoman who demanded my contact information before even letting me get near a car, despite the fact that I’d already told her I only wanted to sit in it to see if the driving position was comfortable enough to remain on my shortlist. She was quite snippy when I refused to give her my phone number and email… but not as ticked off as I was when I finally convinced her to let me sit in the car and the headrests could have qualified as torture devices at Guantanamo Bay.
  • A salesman who, when I told him about the other vehicles I was considering, sagely shook his head and said, “I’m not the kind of guy who’d badmouth the competition, but…” Then he proceeded to badmouth the competition, and all but patted my hand and told me to take his advice and not bother my pretty little head about such complicated things.  Listen, dipshit, I know more about cars than you do.  And it really pisses me off when you lie to me.

So I don’t have a new car yet.  And I’m afraid to even speak the words “new car” within earshot of my good old reliable beater, just in case its feelings are hurt and it decides to break down and dump me in the middle of nowhere.

But I’m still trolling the car-sales waters.  I’m not the chum they think I am.

Anybody else suffered through buying a new vehicle lately?

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New discussion at the Virtual Backyard Book Club:  Sacrifice Or Selfishness?  Considering what John has given up in the name of duty, is he being selfish now? Click here to have your say!