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Telemarketing?


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#1 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 20 December 2001 - 12:27 PM

The discussion on ABT touched on telemarketers calling for subscription renewals and I was curious how people felt about telemarketing in general.

I loathe getting unsolicited calls passionately, even from organizations I support (I usually put instructions not to call on donation forms, or place a voice mail number for my phone number, where they are welcome to call to their heart's content.)

Some questions: How do others feel about phone solicitations, either to buy tickets or donations? Have you ever bought a subscription or made a donation via a phone pitch?

For people with managerial or marketing experience, I gather telemarketing has to pay for itself, or it wouldn't be done, correct? Is there much negative feeling surrounding phone campaigns, and if so, what makes up for that? Are there some people you just can't get to resubscribe unless you call them?

#2 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 20 December 2001 - 12:56 PM

i've always wondered about that, leigh. i notice that on sundays, the nycb will invariably have ads for telemarketers for certain fund-raising campaigns. i can't imagine they'd keep doing them if they didn't justify it. but i cannot tolerate telemarketing calls, which offend me on principle and always seem to come when i'm doing something which is particularly difficult to interrupt!

#3 Calliope

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Posted 20 December 2001 - 01:49 PM

I'm indifferent to it.
I guess my feeling is it can't hurt to ask and on one occasion I had forgotten to renew a theater subscription, so I was glad they called.

#4 sneds

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Posted 20 December 2001 - 03:00 PM

Hi!
I tend to dislike telemarketers and my feeling is that if you want my money, put it in writing!

In general, I find that telemarketers tend to call at very inconvenient times, putting me in a less than generous mood. Also, I prefer to see something in writing, so that I can decide whether or not to spend $$ without the pressure of having someone waiting for my answer.

While The Met Opera deserved kudos for sending me written material ASAP, I was less than happy at being repeatedly called by their telemarketers. True, I have a tendency to hang up when I hear the long silence and click that is typical of computerized/telemarketer calls, but their rep called back twice in a row, declining to leave a message.

As I mentioned in another thread, I have yet to get a call from NYCB. Guess they realize that I don't need to be encouraged to buy tickets redface.gif )
Kate

#5 piccolo

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Posted 20 December 2001 - 03:14 PM

I work for a non-profit organization and we will call subscribers if we haven't heard back from them after we send them at least two renewal notices in the mail. Since they have already heard from us in the mail, our subscribers are rarely unhappy to hear from us by phone. They are usually glad we called to remind them. Or, we get useful information about why they've decided not to renew, at which point we stop contacting them.

My personal feeling is that I don't mind being called occasionally by organizations that I support. I definitely loathe getting calls (and usually at dinnertime) from organizations that I have never heard of. My husband has gotten quite adept at turning the tables on the telemarketers and making sure they never call again. For example, if you are getting a lot of calls from long distance companies, try this: Tell them you are moving to Bahrain (or some other faraway country.) Then when they counter that you'll need long distance to call your friends in the U.S., you say that you have a government job and will be using Bahrain's phone system. Honest, it works. We haven't been called by a long distance company in three years.

#6 OttawaMom

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Posted 20 December 2001 - 03:54 PM

I had purchased my last theatre tickets on-line where I guess I had provided my office number and a telemarketer called me at work - I thought that was pretty bold and I had a very hard time to get the caller to hang up. I understand that they need the support from the general public - and with a daughter in the arts world, I can certainly appreciate how important donations are - but PLEASE - don't solicit people at work!

#7 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2001 - 09:23 PM

I eventually stopped answering my phone at dinner time because of such calls -- San Francisco Ballet and Opera, I'm looking at you -- but I confess to having bought tickets from such calls, which only encourages them. I also once got a really good deal on the NY Times from such a call. However, it's still my practice not to leap for the phone in the early evening unless I'm expecting a call. Some people get annoyed at being "screened" but after a certain point there's no other option, because even if you pick up the phone and say "no," it will be noted for the record that a) you were at home and B) you answered the phone.......

#8 vagansmom

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Posted 21 December 2001 - 12:55 AM

Geez, OttawaMom, I assumed when I got MY telemarketer call (from ABT) at work that they'd mistakenly called me there. Now it sounds like they just don't care or don't bother to check which number is the home number. I was pretty annoyed - I'm a schoolteacher and was taken out of class for the call. She apologized for it and then said she'd call me at home later (which she did).

The ABT caller was quite persistent. When I mentioned that it's too soon for me to know which dates would be free for my daughter, she kept asking when I'd know. Although I was polite (not so to the average telemarketer but I WANT ABT to succeed) and I tried explaining why I won't know till last minute because my kid won't have her rehearsal schedule till March or April, she continued to press me as to when. Finally she said she'd call me in January and frankly, I'd reached the point where I just plain wanted her off the phone so I agreed. But I won't know my kid's spring schedule in January.

I read an article by George Will ages ago where he compared any phone call, but esp. the telemarketer call to a mail carrier who barges into your house unannounced, shoves a letter in your face and demands that you read it and respond NOW, no matter what you're doing. Sounds about right.

#9 colwill

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Posted 24 December 2001 - 12:16 PM

I find it amazing that attempts to sell ballet is done by telemarketing in the USA. It is uknown in Britain although double glazing, new kitchens etc. are regularly telemarketed. Perhaps the Royal Ballet could try this for their regular attenders and take away the anguish of waiting to hear if you have been successful in your postal application. I regularly receive postal fliers from the theatres I attend ballet, invariably long after I have purchased tickets.

#10 vagansmom

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Posted 22 January 2002 - 06:09 PM

OK, I'm reviving this thread because of the phone call I received from an ABT telemarketer last night. Last month someone had called me about buying series tickets, stating that it could no longer be done via the Internet and she asked if I was interested. I said I didn't know my daughter's schedule and so couldn't commit till I had her schedule in hand which wouldn't happen till early spring. She persisted in trying to get me to commit and finally after she suggested calling me again in January, I agreed-solely to be able to hang up without being rude.

I received that new call last night. This woman was even more persistent than the previous caller (who may have been the same person-not sure). In fact, this time it took downright rudeness on my part in order for me to hang up. I once again explained my reason for being unable to buy tickets now although I fully intend to later, but she interrupted me constantly, asking when I'd know, and then ignoring what I said. There was an edge to her voice as if to imply that I really wasn't going to buy tickets which certainly isn't true and of course which I resented. I finally told her that I'd buy tickets when I (louder voice on the word "I") was ready and that wouldn't be till early spring. She told me that they weren't going to run this campaign for much longer. When I asked for how long, the response was "April"! So I said I'd call back by then, and I quickly hung up with her in mid-sentence.

I'm not a rude person. I like ABT, I personally know a couple dancers in the company very well, and I want them to succeed. But I feel that both telemarketer calls I received on behalf of ABT were conducted rudely. And if I weren't committed to them, I'd refuse to buy tickets just BECAUSE of those calls. There was a desperateness about each call. It seemed that once I'd mentioned that I WOULD be buying tickets eventually, the telemarketer was unwilling to hang up until I'd done it through her. Period. Does anyone know how these calls are conducted? How do these telemarketers work? Is it on commission as with other telemarketers? (She did mention that she's a former dancer.)

#11 Calliope

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Posted 22 January 2002 - 07:30 PM

The telemarketers technically are not employees of ABT and they do work on a commission, which is why there is persistance.
If you call ABT's administration, they can take down your information so that you don't get the calls anymore. Telling the telemarketers is pointless as they don't control the lists.
An alternative, in the future, is to not give your phone number out.

#12 vagansmom

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Posted 22 January 2002 - 08:04 PM

Yes, I've been thinking that I ought to call ABT just to let them know how disrespectful the caller(s) were. They'd gotten my number from my having ordered tickets from the ABT website the last couple years. According the telemarketer, that's no longer an option. Hmm, I think I'll mosey on over to their website to see if that's indeed true before placing my call.

#13 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 22 January 2002 - 08:05 PM

Actually, at least in New York, I believe telling the telemarketer "I don't take unsolicited phone calls, please remove me from your list." legally obligates them to do so. It's what I do on the few sales calls I get, and it is effective.

#14 Mel Johnson

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Posted 22 January 2002 - 10:44 PM

Actually, Leigh, in New York State, phone customers can avail themselves of the NYS Attorney General's "do-not-call" list.
This is a service of state government that will inform all telemarketers that you do not wish to be contacted by telephone and, with only a few exceptions, a violation of the list will result in a $1000 fine PER CALL on the telemarketer. Just get their name and address.

#15 fondu65

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Posted 23 January 2002 - 04:32 AM

To Leigh's question about being contacted by telemarketers for donations or subscriptions, I hate telemarketers calls and usually screen calls with Caller ID / Caller Name, because I have difficulty saying no once I have answered the phone. However, in April of 2001 I received a very welcome call from the telemarketing group working for Kennedy Center, enquiring as to my interest in the 2001-02 Ballet program. We had previously had a ballet subscription, with splendid seats, from 1991-96, but after that the Kennedy Center Ballet program deteriorated to the extent that we decided to not to renew. With Michael Kaiser just having assumed the Presidency of KC and the announcement that the Kirov and Bolshoi were participating in the 01-02 season we had considered subscribing once again but thought that with all the publicity good seats would be hard to get. I believe that I was speaking with a KC volunteer because she was courteous and knowledgeable and there wasn't the hard sell as with the ABT effort mentioned in previous messages above. I told the telemarketer where our seats had been and asked if it would be possible to have them again. She said that she couldn't promise but that there was a good possibility that seats were available in that area. We subscribed. The tickets arrived in October and we have the exact same seats as before. Perhaps that says more about how badly KC needed subscribers than my powers of persuasion. Whatever the reason we are very pleased.


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