Sunday, January 29, 2012

Operation Cease Telemarketers

My husband and I recently began the process of putting our house up for sale again (which I am sure you will hear plenty about) and being the conscientious buyers we like to think that we are, we contacted our mortgage broker to receive one of those nifty pre-approval letters to submit to a seller when we start to look for a new house. Now I am not exactly sure how, but I suspect that because our credit reports were pulled, other mortgage companies also now know that we have been pre-approved. For the past week, we have been bombarded with NON STOP phone calls from these "competing" mortgage companies and when I say NON-STOP, I had one mortgage company call me 10 times in one day. Multiply that by several other companies also calling us, and you begin to feel our frustration. Even the children are beginning to become a little resentful and keep asking me why our phone is ringing all the time. So the other day, after two phone calls in the 45 minutes I was getting Spiro ready for school in the morning, the wheels in my head started turning.

Now I'm sure that many of you would just pick up the phone and tell the person on the other end that you are not interested and to stop calling but that's just not the way I roll. First and foremost I am horrible with negotiating or dealing with any type of sales people, that's more the hubby's territory. He never minds being bad cop and I like being good cop in these situations, so it kind of works out perfectly.  I don't know what it is about sales people, they just make me nervous and then the next thing you know I have 15 magazines in my mailbox that I never wanted, a "hoveround" that really isn't practical because there is no place for the kids to sit and bottles of Pro-Active showing up at my door step every month. Even the nice old lady that calls from Purple Heart or The Salvation Army can send me into an anxiety ridden tailspin and then I am running around my house trying to fill up a bag to throw on my front porch because I just couldn't say "no, I am sorry, I don't have anything donate". Call me naive, gullible or whatever, but I just seem to cave when these people corner me on the phone.

So I knew that talking to them was not an option, and I didn't want to be mean, but I still wanted to get my point across. I hatched a plan and enlisted the help of the boys. I decided that instead of myself getting suckered into a conversation with the telemarketer I would pass the phone off to my 6 year old, Spiro. (Realistically, he's probably the one who should be talking to them anyway, considering he is the maturest one in the family). I thought it was quite a clever concept myself. We practiced throughout dinner that night to ensure that we would be prepared for the barrage of phone calls we have come to expect each evening and then wouldn't you know it, all the phone calls stopped. Not one phone call in the days following. I knew they were just waiting to strike, so I kept the kids focused and mentally prepared for the challenge. I made sure Billy memorized the lines as well, as a backup in case Spiro chickened out. We practiced in the car, during lunch... and when they came a calling, we were going to be ready.  Low and behold, a few days later we saw that familiar phone number on the Caller ID and Operation Cease Telemarketers went into full affect.

The following is the dialogue from that conversation. Feel free to use our tactics as you see fit and/or share with others who may also find themselves in a similar predicament.

Me: Hello
Telemarketer: May I speak with Mrs. A
Me: This is Mrs A.
Telemarketer: I am calling to offer you a great mortgage opportunity.
Me: Maybe it's best if you speak to my "financial advisor", he just so happens to be right here.
Spiro: This is Mrs. A's  financial advisor. What kind of interest rate are we looking at?
Telemarketer: BLAH BLAH BLAH
Spiro: That's highway robbery, I could get better rates from a loan shark.
Telemarketer: BLAH BLAH BLAH
Spiro: Look, if you can throw in a few Nintendo DS games to sweeten the pot, I might be able to make this deal happen
Telemarketer: BLAH BLAH BLAH
Spiro: I think it would be best if you contacted me at my office, my number is 867-5309 and my assistant's name is Jenny.
Telemarketers - 0                                      Mommy - 1

Ball's in your court Mortgage Companies.

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