Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wanna buy a... toothbrush?

I am a sucker for a telemarketer, mainly because I did it once (in French) and I hated the rejection and I feel bad for those poor people. And of course, heaven forbid a virtual stranger thinks "ill" of me.

But lately, I've been fortunate. Because I live in Sweden and the telemarkers are Swedish and when I hear that quick silence on the other end before the speaking starts (a tell-tale sign of a telemarketer, where it's all auto-dial), I can simply reply, "I'm sorry, I don't speaka dee Swedish" and they get all flustered, mutter something in Swedish and promptly hang up. And back to the kitchen I go (cuz they always call around dinner time).

But not yesterday. Yesterday, I answered, I rolled my eyes while repeating my get-out-of-jail-free line and just as I was about to hang up, "Oh, you speak English? Great. Well I'm calling from Dentablah and would like to ask you a few questions about your dental hygiene habits."

Now I'm the one who's all flustered. Say what? Did you, Swedish boy, just speak in almost perfect English to me while simultaneously puncturing my balloon of impenetrability? And then I thought, meh, it's just a survey, no biggie.

From "How many times do you brush your teeth a day?": 2 to "Electric or Manual Scrub?": Both, I answered the questions with honesty, integrity and a pinch of humour. He laughed at all my jokes. I was puffed up sufficiently. So thanks for the ego-boost buddy, gotta run.

Not so fast. "As a thank you for completing this questionnaire, we would like to send you a free electric toothbrush at no charge with an extra replacement head. You are still at INSERT address?"

Wow! You mean all I had to do was talk about my oral hygiene for like 2 minutes and I get a free toothbrush? SOLD!

And here it comes: "You know, dentists recommend you change the head of your electric toothbrush every 3 months to avoid bacteria buildup." Well DUH. "We will send you a replacement head for your free electric toothbrush every 3 months."

Well GOLLY! Is it my lucky day or what? "Great, sign me up," I say while counting all the money I'll be saving on toothbrushes and wondering if I can get one in pink.

"For the low cost of 399 SEK (like 40 euro), you'll get these replacement heads shipped to your address free 3 times."

Stop. You lost me at the words "low cost".

"Great deal isn't it? So I will now start the voice recording to confirm that you have actually agreed to this....blah, blah, blah"

Mind time to object.

Did I do it? Did I buy in? Was I duped?

You better believe it! Buddy deserved it. That company deserved it. That was some smooth talking and clever sales tactics. I mean, who backs out after all that? That company is betting on very few. I am in the majority.

He sold me. I was sold. But here's the thing: Had I not been so cleverly blindsided, I could have easily turned the tables. Actually, if I had been quicker on my feet, I could have flipped him. "I get your game. You won. But there are two adults in this house with teeth that need brushing with your revolutionary spinning toothbrush. So how about sending two toothbrushes, we go with the same deal at 400 SEK and we call er' even? Now start that recording with my amendment."

Counting the days until my one toothbrush arrives, along with the invoice, and planning to change my force field to:

"I can't hear you. Sorry, can you repeat that? What was that? You're breaking up. Where are you calling from? Bob, is that you? You lying son-of-a-B, I knew you were seeing her behind my back all along!" Click, and back to the kitchen.


Den said...

Ha ha! Excellent post!

septembermom said...

Too funny! Love how you throw that priceless Jenn humor into that call :)

Michelle said...

Haha, I love it! That was clever telemarketing for sure, glad you can have a great sense of humor about it!

Hyacynth said...! I so needed that.
I hope you enjoy your toothbrush. :)

sapphire said...

Those sneaky bastards.

Maybe you can call them back and cancel the order. Very smart and sneaky on their part though...

Mon said...


Oh Jenn, now you just HAVE to learn to accept that a total stranger might think ill of you - it'll save you money!! lol

I hate that sort of sneaky sales tactic though. Because they'll dupe people of low income, the elderly.... grrrr

SwedishJenn said...

Glad y'all enjoyed the post. I was actually writing the post in my head while getting sucked in deeper and deeper. And Mon, I know, I know. Two steps forward, one back ;-)

Rebecca said...

Well I hope you don't get ripped off in this regard? I hear stories about that. I never give my credit card info to salespeople in that regard. (unless I'm calling them from something I saw on tv ;-))

I like chatting with telemarketers. I've had them hang up on me, actually. Kind of hurt my feelings. :p Some of the best ways to either hang up on them or have them hang up on you are:

ask them personal questions - things like what school are they going to, how old are they, what career are they studying for - and then start asking them for advice on how to get into the profession they mentioned.

ask if their call center is hiring and where is it located.

ask for their website or work address because you are looking for a job and want to relocate.

if it's a gender of the opposite sex (or heck, even not) tell them they sound realllllyy cute and ask if they're single. either for yourself, your friend, or your child. If you really want to give them a turn - for your spouse, it's his/her fantasy.

go "omigawd....omigawd..." then catch your breath - and cover the mouth piece and wait for their reaction. They will usually hang up - depending on how you say "omigawd".

Say, "oh hey *insert name* I'll call you right back, making dinner!" - this makes them think you thought they were one of your friends and that you're a brainless twit.

My personal favorite? "I'm on the national do not call registry. So don't call me, thank yewww.."