Um... VERY interesting phone call

We just got a home (land line) phone. We haven’t had one in over 9 months. Suddenly I am reminded why I disliked having one in the first place. In the last 2 months I have talked to more telemarketers and “bill” collectors (I’m not in debt) than ever before.
The other day I answered the phone. It was a guy named Daniel something arather… Didn’t catch the last name. Definatly not from America… The conversation went as follows:
him: "Heelo, this is Daniel … Is Traaayccee … availible?"
me: "No sir, I’m sorry she’s not."
him: "Oh well, I will talk to you then ma’am. I am from an afiliate of dish network. I have a new plan that I think might intrest you…"
He paused and I rudely interuppted him.
“I’m sorry sir, we don’t need any tv providers.”
“You don’t want a television plan?”
“No, you see, we don’t really even have a TV”
“well, we do. But we rarely ever watch it. Maybe once every few months.”
“What?!? You are an American, and you do not watch TV???” You could hear the incredulity in his voice.
“Yes, I am an American and I do not watch tv.”
“oh… well… thank you for your time. I am sorry to bother you…”


This is a real life, true story that happened to me last Tuesday. Is “tv” really synonymous with “American”? What other words are synonymous with “tv” and are therefore associated with us? Man, it bothers me to think that this is the case… What are your thoughts on it?

I get the same incredulity when I reveal that there is only one tv in my house, we only have 6 channels, and we don’t watch much tv. And I have two small children who love to read and play outside. :slight_smile:

Well first off, you should add your number to the do not call list, I used to get atleast 5 calls a day until I added my number to this list.

Second, what he said was offensive I would have hung up on him. I worked for Direct t.v (taking inbound calls)for 2 years and basically he was using a sales tactic. The main reason I quit is because the cable/sattelite industry is cut throat. I am sure his boss has told him to say that. The number one thing that customers will say if they dont want to purchase right then is I need to talk to my spouse first, if it was a male my boss actually encouraged us to say “oh I understand your wife wears the pants in the family you can’t make descions without her” therefore making the husband feel not so “manly” and a lot of times he would end up getting the service.(only for his wife to call back later, mad as hell and cancel:teehee: )

Although what he said was offensive if it had been coming from an american in a joking manner chances are it would not have been takin in the same context. Another reason companies should not outsource jobs.

I meant to hit reply, not thanks. I wanted to say, no wonder you are so smart and not just smart for your age. I am hooked on t.v., but I know it is a waste of my time. My brother said that he and his wife have stopped watching, she can’t deal with it, because she has Schizophrenia. Anyway, he says he gets a lot more reading and studying done and he is glad they quit watching.

You answered his question wrong. When someone asks if Tracy or whoever is there, say “there’s no one here by that name, you must have the wrong number. Goodbye” and hang up. They way you answered implied there was a person by that name there who’s just not available and that engages you in more conversation. It’s not rude to hang up on telemarketers, they’ve interrupted whatever [B]you’re[/B] doing. I usually just say “not interested, goodbye” and hang up before they can get to the next line in their script.

Well, actaully my mom’s first name is Traci, and she wasn’t availible.

I know, I drive my mom crazy with the fact I listen to people before I hang up. I am weird that way. I have this weird trait of analyzing speech and writing patterns, and I find listening to people fascinating.

Puddinpop - thank you. :aww: What a compliment!

I put myself on the no call list…

But before we had a no call list…we would get so many calls in the day…9 out of 10 of those calls I would just hang up on once I realized it wasn’t for anyone specific…

Charities are exempt from the do not call regs, so we still get them for police organizations, school for the blind, etc. Lately we get a bunch of autodialed calls where there’s no one there to tell them to buzz off, so I just hang up.

I would have been offended too. Although I usually don’t let them get that far. We have one tv with no antenna and no cable/digital. We watch VHS or DVDs that way we can really be sure what our children are watching. My dh and I love to watch movies on the weekends. We love Netflix.

What is really aggravating is when the phone company gives you a number that formerly belonged to a family who it seems never paid a bill. I would love to get rid of this phone but it is how I get on the Internet and it is a must, it seems, for our Dish TV service. We live in a rural area where there is no Cable Service. For 3 years we have been deluged with calls from Collection Agencys for these people. If they leave a number I call them back to explain that they are calling my number, not the people they are looking for. The calls stop for a while and then start up again. We have to use an answering machine and get caller ID to protect our sanity. Telemarketers are another menace!!!

cindycactus - make sure your voice mail or answering machine message says “This is not the ____ residence” (inserting the name of the people who don’t pay their bills. That was how I got the calls for the bill-shirkers who used to have my phone number to stop calling.

I do hate those calls, though. I should at least get caller ID so I can screen some of them out.

Edited to add: I’m another odd-ball who doesn’t watch TV. I don’t have my TV hooked up to an antenna, but I do watch DVDs.

We’ve been registered on the DO NOT CALL list since its inception…but we still get about 5 calls per day from some sort of advertiser or another.

No, we don’t pick up…but we see the number on our caller id.
When our answering machine picks up…the auto-dialer for the advertiser hangs up. The auto-dialer somehow knows when an answering machine has picked up. I have picked up in the past and there is NOT a human being at the other end of the line right away. It takes a few seconds for the board to light up that a person has answered. Then someone grabs your call.

The annoying thing are the calls…we look up from whatever we’re doing, look at the caller id…and wait for the whole mess to end.

Sometimes though…if some advertiser-auto-dialer is particularly relentless…we will pick up the receiver, hold it in the air away from our ear for a few seconds…then hang up. It satisfies the auto-dialer. And we’re off that list for the time being.

Sometimes if I’m feeling particulary evil…I’ll pick up, lay the receiver down on the arm of the sofa…and let the advertiser listen to Judge Judy with us! After I think he’s had a good dose of Judy, I hang up. :teehee:

Here’s how they get around the DO NOT CALL list. If they feel they are in some way affiliated with you…they consider you a customer, and therefore, they are exempt. For example…let’s say you have a Chase credit card. The auto-dialer is calling to sell you credit card insurance in that card. Therefore, they feel justified in calling you. That’s what I heard.

The TV guy was a jerk. He shouldn’t have persisted in promoting his viewpoint. Bad customer relationship skills.

Every once in a while we get a message that says “Don’t be alarmed, I have important credit card information for you” which is a come on for a lower rate or something. But they try to hook you over concern about your card. Geesh…

I guess TV is synonomous with American to an American who watches a lot of TV.

I don’t watch that much either, well except for my Netflix movies, but only on weekends.

I would much rather pick up a book or knit to music.

Has anyone heard the studies about kids that watch a lot of TV having a higher incidence of ADHD, doing poorly in school, and other such grim statistics?

Yeah- not too much for me and my kid.

Luckily, my son would rather play outside.

We are on a do not call list. But somehow once in awhile we still get calls. I just get them off the phone and hang up.

But my husband, oh goodness, he is mean!! And he starts out so sneaky about it. If he gets the call he totally gets them off the script right away. He first will clarify the persons name and the company. He writes it down and tells them he is. The he asks if they maintain a do not call list. The usually tell him there is some reason why they are exempt from having to maintain a list. Once in awhile an agreeable person will say they do and make a note not to call. But that is the exception. Anyway after a brief argument about the do not call list he asks to speak to the supervisor. He may or may not get a real supervisor but he gets another person. He takes down there name. He always addresses the person he is speaking to by there name. Like “Bob, can I call you Bob? Do you maintain a do not call list?” He then proceeds to demand that they do not ever call us again and he threatens a law suit, which I think is technically legal to file if some one calls you and you are registered on a do not call list. Anyway usually it takes a good 5 or 10 minutes. He never ever swears at them or anything, he might get a bit loud but he is very clear and persistent in his argument. If the kids and I are home we are thoroughly entertained by his performance. By the end I start to feel kind of sorry for “Bob”. But list or no list they never call us back after dealing with my husband. You know we haven’t had any annoying calls in awhile…

I love what Jerry Seinfeld does:

“Hello? Oh I’m sorry, I’m busy right now…could I get your name and home telephone number so I can call you back when you’re home from work and having dinner?”


We’re on the ‘do not call list’ but it doesn’t always work. If someone is insistent, I have a Bobbie’s whistle from a trip to London. I hold it slightly away from the phone, just so all you tender hearted people won’t worry about their ear drums.

Good thread!