Playing With Telemarketers

  • I was at home the other night in the middle of my dinner when the phone rang.
  • ME: Hello.
  • AT&T: Hello, this is AT&T.
  • ME: Is this AT&T.
  • AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ...
  • ME: This is AT&T.
  • AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ...
  • ME: Is this AT&T.?
  • AT&T: Yes! This is AT&T, may I speak to Mr. Byron, please?
  • ME: May I ask who is calling?
  • AT&T: This is AT&T.
  • ME: OK, hold on.
  • At this point I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, they were still waiting.
  • ME: Hello?
  • AT&T: Is this Mr. Byron?
  • ME: May I ask who is calling, please?
  • AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ...
  • ME: This is AT&T?
  • AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ...
  • ME: The phone company.
  • AT&T: Yes, sir.
  • ME: I thought you said this was AT&T.
  • AT&T: Yes, sir, we are a phone company.
  • ME: I already have a phone.
  • AT&T: We aren't selling phones today, Mr. Byron. We would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • ME: Now, that's 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day?
  • AT&T: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes, sir, that's right! 24 hours a day!
  • ME: 7 days a week.?
  • AT&T: That's right.
  • ME: 365 days a year.?
  • AT&T: Yes, sir.
  • ME: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!!! That's amazing!
  • AT&T: We think so!
  • ME: That's quite a sum of money!
  • AT&T: Yes, sir, it's amazing how it adds up.
  • ME: OK, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560; and if you send an annual check, can I get a cash advance?
  • AT&T: Excuse me?
  • ME: You know, the 10 cents a minute.
  • AT&T: What are you talking about?
  • ME: You said you'd give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1008 per week and $52,560 per year. I'm just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.
  • AT&T: Oh, no, sir. I didn't mean we'd be paying you. You pay us 10 cents a minute.
  • ME: Wait a minute, how do you figure that by saying that you'll give me 10 cents a minute, that I'll give YOU 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme? I've read about things like this in the Enquirer, you know.
  • AT&T: No, sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for
  • ME: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please?
  • AT&T: Sir, I don't think that is necessary.
  • ME: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!
  • AT&T: Yes, Mr. Byron. Please hold.
  • At this point, I begin trying to finish my dinner.
  • SUPERVISOR: Mr. Byron?
  • ME: Yeah.
  • SUPERVISOR: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.
  • ME: Is This A T &T?
  • SUPERVISOR: Yes, sir, it sure is.
  • ME: (I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter and I had to be Careful not to produce a snort.) No, actually, I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.
  • SUPERVISOR: Ok, no problem, I'll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.
  • ME: Thank you.
  • I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I need to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.
  • AT&T: Hello, Mr. Byron, I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan.?
  • ME: No, but I was wondering - do you have that "Friends and Family" thing because I'm an only child and I'd really like to have a little brother...
  • AT&T: *click

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