22 April 2018

Kranky Kalls
Telemarketing Tales 2

by Leigh Lundin

Last week, Elizabeth wrote about a New Jersey telemarketer phoning Hawaii at 3am to sell siding. Her comment presaged my own brush with wall-to-wall telemarketers.

As mentioned previously, I worked nights but was responsible for answering a business tech support line any time of day. I had little patience or mercy for phone solicitors. When the calls came, the games began. A handful of Disney cast members suggested I write up the dialogues.

Kustom Kottage Kolouration and Kraftmanship

With a stucco house, siding should mean nothing to me, but when awakened, surprising opinions surfaced.
Judy Hopps © Zootopia
Zootopia • Judy Hopps © Disney
“Good morning, sir. Kustom Kraft would like to tell you about our Salubrious Siding products, each government approved by HUD, FHA, FTC, FAA, and PTA. Today only, we can make available our entire product line at 63% savings for fine customers like yourself. How does that sound to you, sir?”

“Timely, yes, timely. I’m grateful you called. I’ve been thinking about siding after a visit to the Southwest.”

“Thousands of happy customers from the American Southwest love our Salubrious Siding. All our products use patented, copyrighted, trademarked, UL-underwritten, GSA-approved Elastomeric©™ technology. We can provide any kind of siding, any kind at all.”

“That’s great news. I want cowhide.”

“Wuh? Did you say cowhide?”

“Of course. In Arizona and New Mexico, you see all these dwellings wrapped with hides. One quonset building sticks in my mind with beautiful tan and white cowhide. I made up my mind I wanted that look.”

“But sir, cowhide?”

“It has to be the right color combination, kind of a golden tan, not too brown and certainly not black. My wife will want to see samples. Is this afternoon suitable?”

“But sir, I don’t think we can purchase cow side hiding… I mean cow hide siding.”

“That’s a brilliant play on words, but let’s get this moving. When can you meet?”

“Sir, I’m not certain…”

“Am I sensing hesitation? If a customer gives you the business, you shouldn’t judge them.”

“No, no, but…”

“You can’t back out now. You claimed your company has extensive coverage in the Southwest, so you can obtain hide siding much easier than I can.”

“I… I’m gonna have to call you back.”

“I suppose if you must. Are we still on for this afternoon when my wife returns?”

“No, no sir. I have to run this past management.”

“I appreciate it. If you can sell me so easily, I bet you’ll impress your managers. You got my number, right? Hello?”
According to the YouMail Robocall Index, Americans receive in excess of 100-million unwelcome solicitation phone calls a week. This number is verifiably close to the FTC estimate.

Krafty Katalogue Kallers

Officer Judy Hopps © Disney Zootopia
Madness runs in the family. My brother Glen contributed the following examples.
“Hello Glen. How are you today?”

“With whom am I speaking?”

“I’m with your friends at Krafty Kunning Katalog Kompany and my name’s Patty.”

“Hello, Patty. How may I help you?”

“I’m calling to tell you about our latest promotion, an offer only our best customers can take advantage of.”

“Tremendous, Patty. What is your surname?”

“My… er, what?”

“Your last name.”

“I”m not sure I’m supposed to give that out.”

“Patty, you know my name and as you said, we’re all friends.”

“Well… okay, it’s Peón, Patty Peón.”

“Thank you, Miss Peón. What is your address?”

“Our company is located at…”

“No, no, your home address. You have mine, don’t you? You said we’re friends.”

“Er, yes, but I’m not allowed to give out my address.”

“Okay, what is your bank card number? That’s sixteen digits, plus the expiration date and the 3-digit code on the back.”

“What do you want that for?”

“You know my financial details, it’s only fair I know yours, seeing how we’re such good pals. Companies call it a reciprocal relationship. What is your home phone number?”

“Sir, I’m not giving that out. People I don’t know might harass me.”

“Irony isn’t one of your strong suites, huh? Patty, we’re such close friends, don’t let something like this spoil our relationship.”

“Sir, I’m not giving out personal information.”

“Sounds like sensible advice.”

*click*
Telemarketers hide behind ‘spoofed’ numbers, often appearing to originate in your area, but deriving from obscure corners around the globe.

Klogged Kolon Kleanser
Officer Judy Hopps © Disney Zootopia
“Sir, this is a courtesy call to inform you about the advantages of Kustom Kleanse Kolon deKlogger, the latest, space-age product to relieve those embarrassing symptoms of…”

(Glen with bored, condescending monotone) “Your billing info?”

“Er, that would be Burp-o-Lex Corp.”

“B-u-r-…”

“As I was saying, Super Kolon Kleanse brings you the latest innovation scientifically formulated…”

“-o-l-e-x, right? Your account number?”

“Er, what do you mean?”

(impatiently) “Your account number or a credit card number will do.”

“What? Why?”

“For billing $3.95 per minute or fraction thereof. The first four digits please?”

“I thought this was a private number?”

“Why would you think that? Anyway, we’re two minutes and nineteen seconds into the call. I’ll also need the credit card’s expiration date and CSV.”

“I don’t understand. What have I reached?”

“Sylvia Slattern’s Slinky Sex Salon, We do phone sex right. If you prefer Rod’s Leather and Chains…”

“You’re not actually billing me, are you?”

“Of course, $3.95 a minute. Remember, Slinky Sylvia Slattern puts the oral in immoral. Now if gay is your way…”

“I’m not gay.”

“Don’t feel embarrassed, Queer Vibrations is only $3.95 a minute. Your credit card number, please?”

“I’m not gay and I’m not paying for phone sex.”

“Sir, billing started the moment you phoned. Remember, you called us, we didn’t call you. In the absence of a credit card, we shall directly bill your phone number.”

*click*
What are your favorites?

Kold Krafty Kallers will return.

8 comments:

O'Neil De Noux said...

More funny stories. All right.

janice law said...

Now what we need is a phone program that recognizes telemarketers and goes into such a routine automatically. Would make you a fortune!

Leigh Lundin said...

O'Neil, I'm glad you liked.

Janice, there are smart phone add-ons that try to figure out bogus calls with various degrees of success. There used to be a gadget you could hook up to your land line that would answer immediately and generate an out-of-service signal, that would cause robo-dialers to terminate the call. The downside, besides annoying legitimate callers with that signal, was that it interfered with answering machines. YouMail (mentioned in the article) generates a similar signal if it doesn't recognize a number in your contacts list.

Elizabeth said...

I'm secretary of our block club so I always answer calls that supposedly originate here in Buffalo because it's possible the person is calling on block club business. But we get spoofed an awful lot. It seems to me that the technology exists, or could be invented, to defeat spoofing attempts, but there's probably no money in "preventing" such calls.

Several years ago I got a call from an Indian-sounding man who said he was calling from "Windows Corporation" because my computer was sending out a distress signal that he could hear in Mumbai or wherever. When I finished laughing I explained very patiently that the company was Microsoft, the product was Windows, & there was no way in hell my puter was sending any kind of signal. Now, years later, I still get those kind of calls but at least they are allegedly from Microsoft.

The grandparent scam is popular in this area, I see notices about it all the time, but I don't have grandchildren.

I'm going to steal that idea of pretending to be a phone sex line charging $3.95 per minute ... HAHAHAHAHA, can't wait to try that!!!

Leigh Lundin said...

Elizabeth, thanks for seeing ahead last week. It's really fun when Windows Corp claims my computer has a problem… and it's a Mac. I should mention this article to Fran Rizer. In her Callie Parrish series, Callie's blind best friend works as a phone sex operator.

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, Fran's sassy, smart character Jane is exactly the type of person who could make a telemarketer sorry he ever thought of ringing her number! She'd solve the case, with Callie's help of course, & have a wonderful time too.

Leigh Lundin said...

Amen to that, Elizabeth. I enjoy the Jane character and Callie of course. I read a novella recently– trying to think of the title– in which a central character was part of a petty crime / psychic hot line / phone sex schemers if not scammers. I'm probably thinking of Gillian Flynn's The Grownup.

Fran Rizer said...

Thanks for several laughs, Leigh. Don't want to hurt your feelings, but Glen sounds like more fun to harass by phone than you do. Just glad the cowhide and sex number responses didn't get crossed. I may have laughed my head off.