Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Actual Semi-Paraphrased Telephone Conversations Heard at My House #9

(I know I'm about to sound like a colossal asshole, but there is a point at the end...)

ME: Hello?

AC SERVICES: Hi, can I speak to JUICE?

ME: This is him.

AC SERVICES: Hi, I'm Curtis with AC Services. We do fundraising on behalf of Cancer Fund of America. I was...

ME: Curtis, I need to stop you at this point to let you know we don't accept telephone solicitation of any kind at this house.

AC SERVICES: But, sir, we were just calling to confirm your mailing address as (SAYS OUR MAILING ADDRESS) so we could send out your donation card.

ME: Ummmm, I don't recall agreeing to accept a donation card in the first place.

AC SERVICES: But, sir, you do understand how this works? We send donation cards out and you send in your donation. The funds go to help cancer patients with medicine...

ME: Yes, Curtis, I do understand how this works. However, what I am saying to you is that I do not recall agreeing to accept such a card from you in the first place. I know this because we do not accept telephone solicitation of ANY kind at this house.

AC SERVICES: But, sir, we gain all of our funding through donations. This is for cancer patients...

ME: I understand that as well, but, again, we still do not accept telephone solicitation of any kind at this house.


AC SERVICES: Well, sir, may we count on your help in the future?

ME: Mmmmmmmmmmm, I think the answer to that would have to be "No."

AC SERVICES: All right, sir. God bless you. Have a nice day.

Of course, after the above exchange, I was livid.

It pisses me off to no end when telemarketing companies refuse to accept our stated refusal to take telephone solicitation. (And praise must go to the companies that do accept our refusal without hassle, because that happens about as often.) I also adore it that these companies almost always seem to think that if they're not asking for a credit card number, but instead for an agreement to a future donation, that this is somehow NOT solicitation so we should just go ahead and take it.

Now, I completely understand that getting money out of people is their job, and not taking no for an answer can be part of this tactic, but I don't have to like it nor put up with it. My wife can't understand why I don't just hang up on them immediately, but Patrick Swayze once told me that I should be nice, until it's time not to be nice, so that's my motto.
The whole reason I have the no telephone solicitation policy stems from a few run ins with actual fraudulent telemarketing agencies. I realize there are legit telephone fundraising services out there, but the assholes ruined the medium for all of them in my book. As for AC Services, their tactic of playing the guilt-card to try and solicit donations is unacceptable and has now permanently secured them a titanium bolted place on my shit list. I have had many MANY cancer-sufferers in my family, including my step-mother, who's several years in remission, and an aunt who recently died due to pancreatic cancer. I do support charities that assist cancer patients. However, I will NEVER do so through telemarketers, and if I ever receive another call from AC Services they will count themselves lucky they are in another state.

Why so? Take a look around.
CharityNavigator.org is a site that rates charities and offers a forum to discuss them. Cancer Fund of America does not receive a very good rating as a charity to begin with and their fundraising service choice of Associated Community Services seems to sound alarm bells in their forum about CFA. It would seem that most of the money AC Services raises goes to AC Services and not cancer patients. So they can go fornicate themselves with a hot wire brush coated in cat shit, as far as I'm concerned.

If you work for a telemarketing call center, believe me I feel your pain. Sometimes it's the only work around. Just don't call my house. And if you do, please take me at my word on the first try. Do me the courtesy of allowing me to remain nice.


crsunlimited said...

But Good Ol' Patrick also said that when it was time to Not be nice to go get him. So unless he fields the call from that point forward I would definitely just hang up.

Wyatt said...

Just received yet another call from AC Services - this time for Firefighters teaching fire safety in schools.

As soon as I asked him to quantify the percentage of my contribution that would go to the charity and how much would go to administration/overhead costs, the guy said, "that's a GREAT question - I'm going to turn you over to my supervisor so he can help you out with that." I asked the supervisor (a very soft-spoken man who could not hope to match the smooth-talking abilities of the initial telemarketer) and he reluctantly admitted that "about 20% [of contributions] would be for immediate use." I told him that ratio was not acceptable and he did not even attempt to pull any of the "it's for the children" crap - he couldn't hang up fast enough.

Avery Smithkin said...

And they're still at it today.

Had to block the numbers on my mothers phone - after many, many repeated calls.

Not a dime from my pocket will go through this organization.