Saturday, December 02, 2006

Human Junk Mail

You know them. They're those people that knock on your door trying to sign you up to contracts/ sell you things/ or gather your personal information for surveys. Disturbing the peace, invading the time we spend in our own homes.
I talked to one of these guys for about 40 minutes the other day, while I was supposed to be working. He was successful in signing me up for a new gas & electricity retailer by giving me false information. Not only did he waste my time there at the door, but further time was wasted ringing up my original billers, then ringing up the new one's to cancel the account. I told him I was on a contract with my other company, so I could not sign up with him. He told me that it didn't matter, and had a look at my bills and told me I was not on a contract with them anyway. Which I was. He said it would still come from the same place, so it wouldn't matter about the contract even if I was on one.
At the start I didn't care what he had to offer, I didn't want to sign anything. I told him my partner looks after all that stuff (a lie to try to shake him off) and I didn't want to hear about it. He would not take this for an answer. He laughed down at me like I was stupid for not taking the offer; like he couldn't believe his ears that I didn't want to save 7% on my bills. He told me that my neighbours had signed up. I told him, "I don't care what the neighbours do!!" If my neighbours jumped off a bridge, I wouldn't be there joining them.
At the end of the stressful emotional encounter, I had signed up for the new retailer. Emotional because at one point, I felt like bursting into tears of fraustration for him to just listen to what I was saying and to leave me alone. I was also checking the driveway frequently as Jim was due home and I was hoping. The stress was at the start of the encounter, later on we somehow ended up chatting for a while about people being ripped off by dodgy salespeople. We talked about his study and how he'll return to India one day. We talked about how the rough suburbs of western Sydney were quite a contrast to the nice and friendly streets of Warragul. We talked about sunburn.
My dislike for the door to door salesman started off at a normal level on opening of the door, which peaked with the early fraustration. Then he made me think that he wasn't so bad. We parted on friendly terms. The dislike has returned twofold now, after ringing up & finding out that I was on a contract and I would be charged a $90 exit fee. Dislike because he wasted my time. They come to your door and do not take no for an answer. In future I don't care what they're offering me, I don't want to give my money to companies that bully people into buying from them and knock at the door at 7pm.

Jim came home soon after and I spent more precious time telling him about the story! He came up with the term "human junk mail." (Feel free to use it, I think that one's a keeper.)

My mobile phone rang the next day, and I answered it wondering who it could be. I thought, maybe it's a client? Or maybe it'll be one of my mates ringing for a chat? Instead I got "Congratulations. You have been chosen for a special promotions offer..."

They get you from every avenue they can. I especially hate it when it's invasive like these two examples.

On a lighter side it reminds me of a Futurama episode where Fry gets outraged that they project advertising into your dreams in the year three thousand. Leela asks him, "didn't you have ads in the 20th century?" with which he replies: "Well sure, but not in our dreams! Only on tv and radio...and in magazines...and movies. And at ball games, on buses, and milk cartons, and t-shirts, and bananas, and written on the sky. But not in dreams! No sirree."


futuregirl said...

This is totally cracking me up. Human Junk Mail! I love it. (i don't love them, though)

What about the people in our lives that just fill up the time talking about the dumbest stuff (the TV they watched, their kid's/pets/plants, their tragic shoe incident, whatever)? I have one that walks by my cube at work with a different, meaningless, and dumb story every day. Maybe Jim can come up with a great name for them, too. :)

Jenn said...

So sorry that happened to you.

I got a door-to-door gal the other day that wanted my signature for some petition for lower health care costs for low income people. I don't sign petitions, period. When I told her that I wouldn't sign, she said "Oh - so you don't want low income people to have access to health care?"

Ah... just because I don't sign your list doesn't mean I want bad things to happen to people!

And I love my Lightspeed briefs!

: ) ha!