This morning at 5:00 a.m., we were awakened by a ringing phone. You all know what that means--emergency!! MrBrown answered the phone with his calm, everything-will-be-fine-don't-panic voice only to hear an electronic voice advertising "Please Mum", a clothing store for young children. There was a number to call for customer service. I called it when we got up later at 7:00; it's now after 11:00 and the line has been busy the whole time. I guess that everyone who got a call who is west of, say Newfoundland, is calling the customer service line to complain.
I hate those begging phone calls but I especially hate the electronic ones. I usually let them begin their spiel and then tell them I'm far too busy to entertain their call. They ask me when a better time to call would be and I answer "never". What I really want to do is put the phone down without hanging it up and walk away. I also like what Gideon Clarke does in WP Kinsella's novel "If Wishes Were Horses", a sequel to "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy". When a salesperson calls, he listens and then doesn't answer the questions. The salesperson gets very confused because the line is still open.
I know in the US, there is a number to call to get taken off of begging phone calls. Is there such a thing in Canada? I'll sign up as soon as it's available.
originally a starblvd post by llizard, Apr/28/2004 18:00:36 [-05 EST]
that is horrible!! 5:00 am???
Yes, you can ask to be removed from the calling list. Apparently, they are obliged to do so if you ask. I believe this is Canada-wide policy.
When I'm feeling perverse, I have told telemarketers that I can't talk and say I'll call them and ask for their number. Of course, they can't give out the number and generally they give up in frustration after I say over and over that if they give me their phone number I'll call them.
originally a starblvd post by CAM, Apr/28/2004 18:39:48 [-05 EST]
related page: http://www.pleasemum.com/_html/contactus_default.asp
I have put the email address of Please mum in the email place -- so you can rant by email instead of troubling yourself by phoning. Nowadays you have to run the gauntlet of many automated voice messages to get through to anyone human.
originally a starblvd post by MrsBrown, Apr/28/2004 21:35:59 [-05 EST]
I sent a strongly worded email at about 10:30 (when I had time what with going to my son's school to watch a very funny play entitled "Cinderella Refused the Glass Slippers" where my son shone in his part as 'party-goer'). I used words such as "colossal blunder" among others. It was polite but annoyed, I think. I wonder if the marketing manager will lose his/her job over this? It's going to cost Please Mum a lot of money since what they'll probably do is offer coupons to shop at their store. I gave them my assurance that I wouldn't darken their doors--not that I would have anyway as their clothing is for children younger than mine and rather expensive as well.
originally a starblvd post by blm, Apr/28/2004 22:54:10 [-05 EST]
5 am? Yikes, and double yikes. I bet someone bought some electronic ad software and didn't set it up right.
I've heard of a few things people have supposedly done to fend off sales callers:
- - say "could you please hold on for a sec", and walk away with the caller still connected
- say "sorry, I don't speak English"
- say "can I call you back at home tonight?"
- say "I'm glad you called. I just _have_ to tell someone about what I found out at the doctor's today. You see, I have this constant ache in my back, and ..."
originally a starblvd post by blm, Apr/28/2004 22:58:04 [-05 EST]
A few weeks ago, the police were doing a phone campaign donations to an underprivileged youth camp they run. The policeman on the phone was many times more aggressive than phone sellers usually are - I bet lots of people felt intimidated into coughing up. I almost did myself, thinking "what if they put a checkmark by our name, and take their time in answering if we have to call them". But I don't want to respond to phone solicitation even when it's the police, so I managed not to.
originally a starblvd post by CAM, Apr/30/2004 11:36:17 [-05 EST]
If police solitication sounds aggressive, you should complain... This is inappropriate and coercive, and it not just a minor issue. Find and call the police civilian complaint office if they haver one... if not, consider writing the police commission that is composed of civilians and police "brass."
originally a starblvd post by MrsBrown, May/7/2004 22:10:36 [-05 EST]
Earlier this week I received a phone call on our machine with a mumbling voice obviously reading a script telling me that Please Mum was sorry for the inconvenience and that they would be sending me a $25 voucher towards my next purchase at Please Mum. I was also sent an email saying the same thing. Here is the reason: "Due to a technical error, the calls were placed 4 hours earlier, based on Atlantic time rather than Pacific time."
I'll believe it when I see it although I'm not sure what I'll use it for since my son is too big for their clothes and $25 won't go very far at that overpriced store. Perhaps I'll give it to the neighbour whose daughter just had a baby. Well, at least I got an apology!
originally a starblvd post by MrsBrown, May/16/2004 21:02:27 [-05 EST]
I received the $25 gift coupon and turned it over to my neighbour. She was very pleased as she had gotten the same call at roughly the same hour. Apparently 20 000 people were called and every person received a $25 coupon. What an expensive mistake!
I just relayed this information to my cynical husband who thinks this was a marketing ploy. He said that companies sink massive amounts of money into marketing and half a million dollars is child's play to big companies. hmmm, now I don't know what to think.
originally a starblvd post by blm, also cynical, May/16/2004 21:52:57 [-05 EST]
The cost to the store of the gift certificates is way less than actually forking out $25 to each victim. If you don't redeem it, it costs them nothing. And for those who do redeem the certificate, the store will be ahead if they buy either more or less than the $25.
My guess is that it will be more. If you buy say $50 dollars worth of stuff, it will effectively all be half price - hard to resist if you actually want that stuff.
originally a starblvd post by llizard, May/17/2004 10:26:46 [-05 EST]
Yes, it sounds like a scam to me too. Especially if even those who didn't call to complain about the ridiculous hour for the call received the coupon. (At least I'm assuming that your neighbour did not call to complain.)
originally a starblvd post by CAM, May/18/2004 21:29:07 [-05 EST]
It was very clever marketing to send the gift certificates. As I recall, this store's clothes are very expensive, and it might get some people into buy things hoping for a bargain. Possibly better marketing than the phone calls!
But I would't say it was an actual scam unless the phone call happened again at a terrible hour.