I've had a lot of calls lately where I answer the phone and then the person on the other end of the line hangs up. Nicholas Johnson explained to me that the Telemarketers now have computers that dial five numbers at a time, the first person to answer gets to speak to the Telemarketer, the other four lines are hung up on.
Today I got lucky.
First person who called asked to speak to the manager. I said the manager wasn't in, and they said they'd call back later. Weak effort.
Less than a minute later the phone rang again and I was greeted by the sweet pre-recorded song of the Telemarketer hold music. This lady was more persistent. She wasn't put off by the fact that the manager wasn't in, she'd talk to anyone who was authorised to discuss phone accounts. I yelled out to my "boss" and got authorised on the spot.
I couldn't hear her very clearly (as she was calling from a garbled internet line) and I asked if it was her 'Claris Telecoms' line or my Telstra line. Of course it was mine she said. She could hear me as clear as a bell. (I assumed she said "bell". All I heard was "berwww"). I suggested I should change from Telstra to her provider but she insisted I stay with Telstra as they are fantastic. She then explained she had a great deal and quoted me the following rates:
Mobile 29c per minute, National calls 14c per minute.
I explained we were paying:
Mobile 15c per minute, National calls 11c per minute.
She replied saying that, because I wasn't happy with the quality of my line I should try her offer, and I'd get better sound quality.
I asked her how that was possible... was she calling from an internet line. She admitted she was. She told me she was calling from a long way overseas.
A place called "Albushka". (That's how it sounded). I asked her to spell it for me, so she put me on to her supervisor.
He reiterated the rates, I reiterated that they were more expensive but the lady said I'd get to use the internet line instead of my bad quality Telstra line. He said that I wouldn't change lines, I'd stay with Telstra, I'd just get his fantastic rates.
I asked him if he was also in "Albushka" and he said he was. I asked him to spell it and he asked me if I wanted to take advantage of their fantastic rates.
This exchange went on for 6 times.
I said "Can you hear me?" He said he could, so I asked him to answer my question and spell "Albushka". He spelled it.
A L K B N C D
He said it was in India. I asked if it was near Mumbai and he said it was.
He then explained that he was only allowed to continue conversations with customers who expressed interest in signing up.
I said, "Well you called me, take your time."
He replied "You are obviously not interested. Goodbye."