Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Sequel - Just THREE Questions!


Following up my last blog post, where I ranted about being asked "just two questions" by a person in telesales, I was rung up the other day - at dinner time - by a lady who promised that she just had three questions to ask me.

As may be obvious, particularly to anyone to read the last post, I have a very low tolerance threshold for telesales, but, thinking that I might be able to get another blog post out of it, I decided to run with the call and see how far I could manage.

 So, the lady asked "Can I ask you just three questions?"
 "Yes."
 "Do you live at [my address]?" she asked.  Nice easy one for starters.
 "Yes, I do."
 "What's your age bracket? 20s, 30s...?"
 "30s." I said. Again, no problem with this.
 "What bracket is your household salary?" she asked, following this up with a list of options. I picked whichever bracket we fall in.
 "Have you EVER had a loan or mortgage?"
 "Yes."
 "Are you interested in recovering the cost of Payment Protection Insurance from any of those products?" she asked. (side-note - one day, people on this planet will have no idea what PPI was. You lucky people, future humans)
 "No." I responded.
 "Who is your broadband provider? Sky, Virgin, or TalkTalk?" she asked.
 "None of those, " I said, "we're with Kingston Communications."

 Something you need to understand for the next bit - in Hull in the UK, we're on a separate landline phone network to the rest of the UK.  The rest of the UK is with British Telecoms, but we're not. In times gone by each city would have its own phone network, but over time all of them, except for Hull, formed a single big network.
 The effect of this is that 99.9% of the internet providers in the UK don't offer internet in Hull. I just tried using uSwitch to search for broadband providers, and instead of the usual choice of 70-80 deals, it gave me a choice of one.

 So, she then asked me "Would you be interested in saving money on broadband?"
 "No, I can't change my broadband." I said.
 She helpfully explained "I'm not saying do you want to change your provider, I'm asking would you like to save money on your broadband?"
 "No, I wouldn't, I'm in Hull and there's only one provider, so no thank you." I explained further.
 She repeated "I'm not saying do you want to change your provider, I'm asking would you like to save money on your broadband?"
 "No, thank you, I don't want to." I said, hoping this was the end of this question - particularly bearing in mind the call had definitely included more than three questions at this point.
 Yet again, she repeated herself. "I'm not saying do you want to change your provider, I'm asking would you like to save money..."

 I hung up on her.

 I hope for another call in a few days which this time will have just four questions, so I can keep the blog material coming.

Before I go, I should say that Marketing 4 Startups has kindly let me blog on their website about what makes a good blog post, so do feel free to take a look.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Just Two Questions...


I got a phone call on my mobile at work the other day. I didn't recognise the number, but I use my mobile phone for both work and personal calls, so I took the call anyway.
 "Hi, is this Michael Raven?"
 My heart sank. You can immediately tell from the background hum of a busy call centre, the slightly poor quality of the line and the persons demeanour that they are a telesales operative, using a cheap headset, in a large room full of telesales operatives using cheap headsets.
 I don't have a great tolerance for telesales, but I try to be polite initially.
 "Yes, it is."
 "Great! Now before you hang up, can I just ask two questions, and then you can go about your day?"
 This was a different approach, I thought. Two questions is pretty brief.
 "Yes."
 There was a silence for several seconds, until the telesales person said "Mr Raven?"
 "Yes?"
 "Am I ok to just ask you two questions, and then you can hang up?"
 "Yes."
 "Yes?"
 "Yes." I said once again with slightly more emphasis, hoping that the guy would pick up that the emphasis was me saying Get On With It.
 "Okay, so first question, do you live in a house?"
 "Yes."
 "Yes?" he said. He seemed surprised, as though every other person he ever asked answered that actually no, they live on a narrowboat.
 "Yes, I live in a house." I said, again, emphasis building further. If the emphasis was shown you would have seen a small sign on the ground saying "Yes", and immediately behind it a forty foot swaying tower of large, heavy, jagged rocks, and painted on each rock would be "GET ON WITH IT".
 "Now I'm going to ask you the second question, and then you can go about your day Mr Raven, is that okay?"
 "Yes."
 "So, I'm just going ask this one final question and then we're done Mr Raven, as you'll see it's only taken a couple of minutes out of your day and I think you'll find-"
 I don't know what the rest of his spiel was as I was so bored I just hung up on him. I don't know who drafted his sales script but I would have been quite happy to skip the parts where he told me how quick the call was.

But it has made me wonder what the second question was - while it was probably something like "Do you want to save money on your home energy bills?" I live in hope that it was actually something far more exciting like "Would you like to have in your home a cat that knows karate?"

What do you think the second question was?  Feel free to drop your second question in the comments below :)

Finally, thanks so much to everyone that's subscribed to this blog via email or via an RSS reader, I just seen that I've now got over 300 subscribers which is really awesome :) If you don't subscribe yet but would like to, there should now be a "Subscribe by Email" box at the bottom of every page of the blog, with a Subscribe button, or if you use an RSS reader you can subscribe through that. Thanks again!

The caption for an RSS feed. Exciting stuff!



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