The Norman Transcript


June 6, 2014

Pranking telemarketers

NORMAN — Can we all agree that from the recipient’s point of view most sales calls are unwelcome and annoying?

Yes, you may have caller ID, but experience a momentary lapse when you do not recognize the number, and you answer the phone. Even if you added your number to The No Sales Calls Registry, the calls keep on coming. One reason the persistent ones get around the no-call rule is that if you ever bought anything from a company, that one purchase means you are a bona fide customer and fair game. Admittedly, it is twisted reasoning, but then sneaky is the name of their game.

Let’s look at a few examples of calls and how they were handled.

Several years ago, when “The Highlander” movies and television series were popular, I purchased a pair of silver scimitar earrings from their catalog. Those unusual, curved earrings are one of my favorites. The earrings are heavy and when I walk they swing and poke the side of my neck. A minor inconvenience caused by the rapidity and pace of my walking style, which is akin to military marching. In fact, I wear them for our company’s Thursday meetings. It is a somewhat subtle commentary on my less than delighted anticipation of meetings in general.

For years after that purchase, I received monthly calls from “The Highlander” folks suggesting that I buy more of their products. The conversations went something like this:

“Hi, Elizabeth, I see that you bought our sword earrings.”

“Yes, I love them.” (Note: Big mistake to show enthusiasm.)

“Great. So you’re a Highlander fan?”

“I guess.”

“What is your favorite episode?”

“Uh. . .”

“That’s terrific. We also have CDs available of the entire first season. Would you like me to send you a set so that you can enjoy the shows anytime?”

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