Friday, March 20, 2009

New forms of telemarketing

Thanks to the NDNC (National Do Not Call registry) in India that the telemarketing's nuisance has become really tolerable. There have been days where I would come out of a meeting just to attend a call from an automatic advertisement system. These days I hardly get any message/calls. Great move! This isn't the news, but...

I am starting to realize 2 new trends in telemarketing to get away with the NDNC regulation.

1. When I call the service provider (bank, phone etc.,) for some query, they make sure they advertise at least one product to me. They make use of the customers like me who wouldn't just disconnect the call once the query is answered, but would finish the call completely (including a 'same to you' for a 'have a nice day' from the executive). One good thing about this approach is that, they have become much more pleasing than before -- that's the way to make you listen to their advertisement at the end. That's technically not violating NDNC!!

2. First one is rather acceptable; as this happens only when "I" call them up. The second type is totally ridiculous. These people create a website (or a page in their existing website) to ask them to call us for more info. These days I see a number of websites which have the option of 'Register for a callback for more info' kinds. As earlier, the companies get hold of a database of phone numbers and names. I "guess" that they also have a separate team which would just generate fake requests at the website with those info from their database. Now they are free to call us, claiming that we asked for the call. To make it so formal and legal, they also send an automated SMS which says something like 'Recently you had asked for more info on xxx. Thanks for your interst in xxx. Within 24 hours, our service representative will call you back'. Clever??!! I really got pissed off when I got such a message last week and without surprise they also called me the next day. I finally confirmed from him that the case was registered with a wrong email id but with correct name and mobile number. When I claimed that I never raised any request, he didn't seem surprised; but was rather more interested in still explaining me the product -- this says it all, that it is a practice, not an accident. He claims it coolly that any of my relatives could have registered for me -- I could only LOL!!!