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No Cause For Alarm

Tuesday, Jul. 25, 2006 12:56 AM

This afternoon, I had a visit from a door-to-door salesperson for a nationwide alarm company. He was a clean-cut young man who, unfortunately, mumbled when he spoke. Though he was only a yard away from the front door, I couldn't hear him clearly when he identified himself and his company.

It should be noted that I am not an inherently trusting sort when people start asking intrusive questions. I have driven one telemarketer to screaming fits because he refused to identify the agency for whom he was calling, or the nature of the call. (The problem was that he made certain assumptions about who he was calling, and if you don't know the correct answers there, you're a clueless hack who needs to find a real job.)

I have � twice, now � berated telemarketers from my bank, because they are trained to ignore a polite no and make a second attempt to sell 'complimentary' accident insurance. When I say, "Thank you, no," I mean it. The correct response is, "Thank you your time, Sir. Goodbye."

So, back to the kid from the alarm company. You can imagine my response when he asked:

Alarm Boy: "I'd like to ask you about your neighbors ..."

Me: "I'm not going to share that information with you."

Alarm Boy: "We're only interested in whether there's been a lot of turnover in the neighborhood, you've lived here a long time ...?"

Me: "I see no reason to share that information with you."

I close the door.

Alarm Boy: (as door is closing) "Do you have a home security system?"

I didn't even bother with that one. If Alarm Boy doesn't understand why those are poor questions to ask, it doesn't say much for the company he represents.

(Incidentally, we are signed up for the no-call registry. A lot of the calls that come through are political and charity fundraisers, or from certain institutions with whom we do business.)

The Ministry has received 1 comment(s) on this topic.

Brin McLaughlin - 2006-07-25 07:27:41
Telemarketers are fair game. One of them called me here about a decade ago offering coverage for a funeral, and since it was within a few weeks of my mother's death from cancer, I showed no mercy. I told the caller that I wasn't going to need a plot or a cremation plan because I was a Zoroastrian and that we put our bodies out for the birds to eat because we believe the birds take our souls to the world above. I could hear him turning his script pages! "Um... Uh... Goodbye." (click)