Sunday, April 23, 2006

WFDD puts me over the edge

For the past month I'd come home to find 2 or three "missed calls" on my home phone every day. The Caller ID told me that these calls were coming from Medford, Oregon. Since I don't know anyone in Oregon I figured that these were solicitor calls. I thought we had put these bastards out of businesswi th the "Do Not Call" laws. I Googled the number and found out it belonged to Comnet Marketing. Comnet is a telemarketing firm specializing in raising funds for non-profits. They are sensitive to the fact that most people believe that telemarketers are something on the evolutionary scale that eventually leads to slime and bed-bugs and so tout on their Website:

RespectCall™ is what separates ComNet Marketing Group from other telemarketing companies.

This may or may not be true but since they were always calling when I wasn't home I never got to find out...until today. Let me just preface what I'm about to say by telling you that my phone had rung 4 times in the past hour and nobody hates talking on the phone more than I do, so when the phone rang for the 5th time and I saw the dreaded "Medford, Oregon" on my Called ID I was ready. I answered the phone and an avuncular-sounding gentleman asked for me. I went off: "What do you people want" "You've been calling me day after day for the past month". The avuncular-sounding gentleman said "we're calling on behalf of WFDD".

WFDD!! My hitherto beloved WFDD was using skells to beg for money. You bastards. OK, so I didn't make my usual annual pledge this year but times were tough and I'm really conflicted these days because I listen to WUNC as much or more than WFDD and I didn't give them any money either.

But this wasn't about listener-supported Public Radio this was about freaking telemarketers. I continued to go off on the avuncular-sounding gentleman until he interrupted me to tell me all I had to do was ask to be placed on the do-not-call list. "OK, put me on the list, whatever, just stop calling me." With this I hung up.

After I raved around the house for a while and briefly considered removing WFDD from my radio pre-sets I envisioned a fund-raising meeting at the radio station where pony-tailed, balding ex-hippies and aging women in Birkenstocks sat politely listening to a pitch from ComNet Marketing (probably including a sample of avuncular-sounding dialog). The general concensus of the meeting is "heck, if they can sell a bunch of old hippies like us they can sell anybody."

Sorry boys and girls. While the pitch might be all mellow and soothing, the relentless phone calls set me off just enough that even if Bob Edwards, Susan Stanberg or even Carl Kassel himself had been on the line when I picked up the phone tonight I would have told them to get fucked. Which I am currently telling you, WFDD.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad your name is "I don't pretend to know", because you don't know a whole lot about comnet marketing. I stumbled across your site(oddly as it sounds) when i was bored and i found what you had to say appalling. the only reason why we get hired to call people is the fact that these NON-PROFIT organisations don't know why you aren't giving them money for the programming that you use on a daily basis. they don't look at the size of your contribution, but the fact that you are contributing...the same as the people who give them grants. they look at the number of supporters they have every year, not the size of the contributions, to determine whether or not they will receive a grant. and as far as your "beloved WUNC" station...we call for them as well.

P.S. we don't seek out companies and give them some sales pitch, they come to us and we tell them the facts.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Non-profits obviously need donations, and it's a standard fundraising tool to call former donors to request continued support. I could understand your indignity if you had previously requested to be removed from their calling and/or mailing list and they continued to call. Let them know you prefer not to be called, and it should solve the problem.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey dude, I work for that company. Guess what? I'm a starving artist, poor college student hustling just to barely scrape by. Comnet is not my dream job, and I do not get off on calling people who do not want to be called, but it's better than fast food. It's the best job I could get in the time frame I had to not be homeless, so I took the damn job. The job itself is not so bad, what makes it so is self-righteous assholes like you who think you are telling us something we never heard before when you give us a piece of your mind. We're human fucking beings on the other line, and we are just doing our damn jobs. Lots of people actually thank us for giving them the call reminding them to donate. Trust me, I understand not wanting to answer the phone as much as anybody, especially as a call-center worker, but let me explain something: if you don't answer the phone and wait for us to introduce ourselves, we have no choice but to pass you through to get another call. We are not being sadists, it is just the way our motherlovin system works. If you wait for us to introduce ourselves and who we are calling on behalf of, or just say the magic words "take me off your list" tada! No more calls. If, for instance, you just answer the phone and scream "why are you calling from Medford, Oregon?"(which, fyi, we aren't always, that is just the location of our main office)and hang up, well sir, we have not introduced ourselves and due to the procedure of our company, HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CALL YOUR ASS AGAIN. Do you understand? People are people, even telemarketers. We are scraping by paycheck to paycheck, and trust me, we are probably cursing you ten times more than you curse us

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the problem, it's Comnet Management. They obviously don't understand that when someone puts their phone number on the "do not call" list, they don't expect to get telemarketing solicitations. When someone does get a call, if it was only once in a great while, it wouldn't be a big deal. The problem is, as any search of Comnet's phone number shows (search the BBB website), the calls can be very frequent with no indication of who is calling or for what purpose. So, as someone is getting called, I don't appreciate being called by Comnet and I don't appreciate the lack of a voice mail to indicate who they are or give me a clue as to how to tell them to stop calling me. I may be driving a car, or in a meeting or doing something else and don't want to have to deal with Comnet at the time of the call, so I am either forced to answer a call from someone I don't know, OR spend time searching the internet for another way. So I'll do the one thing no one else did... here's the link:

2:23 PM  

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