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  • Paul Davidson

Revisiting Solicitors, Part 99B

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller’s Cameron Frye: “They’ll keep callin’… They’ll keep callin’…”

And that’s exactly what they do.

Apparently, the people over at Pitney Bowes who thought I was a small business owner have passed along my phone number to a group of phone solicitors in a time zone that is seven hours ahead of Los Angeles. And the only reason I have determined that is because when they called me at 7:45 AM in the morning, and I angrily asked them what time they thought it was, they said a quarter to three. Go figure.

The new company in question informed me that my small business had been chosen to receive a free (yes, Free!) web site through their company for the next month. No charge, no fees, no nothing. Well, you can imagine that I jumped at the chance to get involved.

Of course, that’s when the chaos ensued.

Her: Okay, sir. Now that you’ve agreed to take us up on the amazing free web offer, I’m just going to need to take care of some business. It will only take about thirty seconds, and all I ask is that you just don’t press any keys on the phone. Okay?

Me: Sure. No problem. Great!

Her: Okay. One second.

Computer Voice: Please enter your salesperson I.D. and press pound.

Well, the salesperson starts to enter their I.D., with the keypad, and I decide that I want in on the action as well. I quickly press a bunch of buttons and the pound key.

Computer Voice: Invalid entry. Please hang up and try again.

[A beat, then-]

Her: Sir?

Me: Hey. Hi!

Her: Did you press any buttons on your phone?

Me: No, why?

Her: OK. Like I said, this will just take 30 seconds. Don’t press anything on your phone, OK?

Me: I didn’t press anything on my phone.

Her: OK. One second.

Computer Voice: Please enter your salesperson I.D. and press pound.

This time, the woman is racing against time. She quickly tries to enter the I.D., pressing the buttons as quickly as she possibly can. But I’m faster. I tap away at as many buttons as I possibly can.

Computer Voice: Invalid entry. Please hang up and try again.

Her: Sir?

Me: Hey! We all done now?

Her: Sir.

Me: What?

Her: SIR.

Me: Yes, I’m here. What is it?

Her: Don’t press anything on your phone. Don’t press pound. Do you understand?

Me: Listen, I have a meeting to go to. Is this going to take long?

Her: Sir, it’s just going to take thirty seconds. That’s all it takes to finish the transaction. All I ask is that you do not press any buttons on your phone.

Me: That’s not a problem for me because I never HAVE pressed any buttons on the phone.

Her: OK. One second.

[A beat, then-]

Computer Voice: Please enter your salesperson I.D. and press pound.

She starts to press a button, but this time I just hit POUND straight away.

Computer Voice: Invalid entry.

Needless to say, the phone call ended fairly soon thereafter.

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