against dishonest sales approaches
“Hello, Mr. Cuno. I’m calling to update your free directory listing.”
Golly. These days it sure seems like a lot of “publishers” want to “verify information” for a “free listing” in a directory I never heard of much less asked to be in. But this caller is refreshingly personable, so I decide to play nice.
She confirms my company name, address, and phone number. That last one always amuses me. You would think the number was verified the moment I picked up and said, “RESPONSE Agency, Steve Cuno.”
Moving on, she asks who our web provider is. I say, “Not telling.” Our phone provider? “Not telling.” Cable or satellite provider? “Not telling.” She says she asks because Comcast is offering great deals on web, phone and TV.
“OK,” I say, “truth time. Is there a directory, or is that a subterfuge for generating warm leads for Comcast?”
She replies, resignation in her voice, “The latter.” I am impressed. For one thing, once she was cornered she didn’t try to weasel. For another, she knew “latter” from “former” without pausing to work it out.
I say, “I consider this to be flagrantly dishonest. Kindly tell your management I said so.” She says she will. I’d be surprised, but of course I’ll never know.
“Hang on,” I say. “Please remove me from your list.” She says she can’t do that, but can give me a number to reach someone who can. I believe federal law requires that she be able to handle my request herself, but I’m not positive, so I let it go. Instead I say, “One last thing. I recommend you leave this company and find an ethical employer because you sound like a very nice person.”
She thanks me, most likely grateful to be able to hang up.
If anyone from Comcast is reading, I suggest you audit the methods of third parties you retain to make prospecting calls. You don’t need people repping you using deception.