Review of “The Top Five Reasons People Hate Telemarketers”: Are You Following Suit?

By Alexandra Warner, Platform28 on April 15, 2014

Telemarketing doesn’t have the best reputation. In fact, a survey of “disliked things” by the Public Policy Polling ranked telemarkers in the same company as root canals, colonoscopies, traffic jams, cockroaches, used car salesmen, and Brussels sprouts.

As contact center professionals, we struggle with this widespread dislike among consumers, while managing our daily tasks of delivering customer service and maintaining profits.

Privacy Star recently released a blog on “The Top Five Reasons People Hate Telemarketers.” Let’s take a look at why telemarketers are less than loved.

1. Late Calls: While laws exist to prohibit early and late night calls, some companies may ignore this. According to Privacy Star, “the easy portability of cell phones and VOIP lines between time zones nowadays can cause further confusion, and the resentment level between potential customers and telemarketing facilities can start off on a particularly strained note as a result.”

2. Withholding Relevant Business Information: Consumers are most hesitant to deal with a company who will not disclose how they received their personal data. Let’s face it: we are almost as protective of our personal data as we are of our teenage daughters…

3. Blocking Their Number: Noticing an incoming call to your phone that does not register on caller ID is definitely a red flag for consumers. Per Privacy Star, “by law, telemarketers are required to provide you with their contact information, so be sure that you are aware of this statute if you are the recipient of unwanted phone calls.”

4. Unsolicited Robocalls: The FTC received roughly 2.2 million complaints for these canned, recorded messages last year, which equals 60 percent of all annual telemarketer complaints (source: Los Angeles Times). People get extremely annoyed to realize they have been bothered by a non-human asking them to press “1.”

5. Spamming Fax Lines: Have you ever received an unwanted sales solicitation via fax? What makes this intrusion even worse is that it might cost you money to receive it.

What to Do When A Telemarketer Calls

A seasoned “insider,” a.k.a. call center representative, outlined his tips for dealing with telemarketers in a recent article by Consumerist.com.

  • “Don’t immediately hang up when you find out it’s a telemarketer!
” This categorizes you as an early hang-up and places you put right back on the list to be called again.
  • Don’t get [mad] at the rep.” If you feel the urge to be rude, the rep could maliciously keep you on the calling list, even though you have asked to be taken off.
  • If you don’t want the product, don’t just decline. If you are not interested in the product or service, you need to request not to be called again. Simply declining keeps you on the calling list.
  • Don’t try to trick the rep.” Hey, we’ve all tried these: “No hablo Inglés.” “Mr. Robinson isn’t home.” Unfortunately these tricks also keep you on the list.
  • Try not to get mad when a rep rebuttals a refusal.”
Reps tend to get fired because of not rebutting a customer. The article notes, “If you’re getting multiple rebuttals in a call, it’s probably a less than respectable call center, rep, or product and it’s best to ask for a supervisor to escalate your do not call request.”

Despite the bad reputation of telemarketing, it is still a valuable component for business. We just have to ensure our reps are following protocol and keeping the consumer’s temperament at heart.

About the Author: Alexandra Warner is the VP of Marketing at Platform28, a robust Communications-as-a-Service provider for the enterprise. Since 2001, Platform28 has been helping government agencies, enterprise and US Tier 1 carriers streamline their communications, drive business efficiency, and deliver an excellent customer experience.