Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Telemarketers from Hell

Every morning I arrive to work, set my stuff down, and check the voicemail. Every morning, a voice greets me from Debt Eleven Solutions wanting to rid "me" of credit card debt. What DES fails to understand is that they're calling a major university. They're calling a department that has zero debt (and we're not even taxpayer funded!). They're taking up my time each morning, taking up the time it takes for me to listen to and delete their 30-second messages, and then taking up the time it takes for me to call them back and firmly tell them to never call again.

When I do call them back, a nice woman answers with her thick fake southern accent. If I tell her the truth, that I have no debt and want her to stop calling, she hangs up on me before I can get the third word out. If I lie and tell her I have "lots of debt and want to speak to anyone else," she'll hang up on me. I think I've called more than fifty times (conservative estimate, no joke) in the last two weeks trying to get them off our backs.

Today, I'd had enough. I arrived to work to find two messages from DES over the weekend. I lost it. I dialed their 866-number and gave the nice lady my information: "Hi, yes I'd like someone to help me reduce my credit card debt. Yes, I have $30,000 of debt on my credit cards. My name? Um, I don't think I should give that to you... oh, you're going to verify my debt using my name, oh, okay. My name is Sally. Sally Smith. Oh, you can see I do have that much debt, that's fantastic. You're going to transfer me to an agent--great!"

So whatever-her-name-was transferred me to Emmanuel. He took my info again and verified my debt. Well, he verified Sally Smith's debt... and then I let it fly. "Emmanuel, my name isn't really Sally Smith. My name isn't important because I'm calling from a debt-free department at a major university. I've sent four complaints to the FCC, and our phone number is on the Do Not Call registry. Do you think you could see to it that we are never called again by your ilk? If we receive so much as one more voicemail from 'Bill at Debt Eleven Solutions,' I'll be informing the FBI, the Texas Rangers, and maybe even the Canadian Mounties. Do I make myself clear?"

"Sally... we're very sorry to have taken your time, but we cannot remove your name..."

"Excuse me?! What part of 'my name isn't Sally' and 'we have no debt at all' did you not understand? Emmanuel, what part of the Do Not Call registry did you not hear? The FCC will be hearing from me personally... oh, oh, you can take our number off your list now. Ok, no more calls? Good. Have a wonderful day."

It remains to be seen whether that worked or not, but at least I know how to get through to an agent. Sally Smith and her load of debt win again!


Eric said...

Personally I'm a silver lining type of person when it comes to telemarketers (repeat offenders). If I can't get them to stop calling me by being polite, I'm sure I can get them to stop with a combination of expletives, ranting about the stress of my day, and long winded detailed reports of my political views. I suggest you try it, and if you can hit all three concepts at once, more power to you.

Guy said...

Jaggy, did you remove your RSS feed? You no longer show up on my bloglines.

Jaggy said...

Yes, I removed my RSS feeds. Some of my posts have been so short lately that people don't even have to visit to finish reading them. Sorry to cause you an inconvenience.

Eric: my favorite people to mess with are the OSU Foundation student callers--because I was one. I know how to screw them over sooooo badly on the phone. It's hilarious!

The Guy Who Writes This said...

If I don't see in on my RSS feed reader I am never reminded to check in. Your hit counter will suffer either way.

Michael said...

How's your phone system set up? At work, I'm able to configure my phone to send a disconnect signal to the bad guys.
Check with your IT staff to see if this can get configured. Good luck!