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Consumers Should Soften Their Attitudes Toward Telemarketers

December 02, 2013
By Jacqueline Lee - Contributing Writer

Telemarketing agents do a difficult job, and the public sometimes enjoys being unkind to them. For example, a quick Google (News - Alert) search produces a link to a website entitled, "How to Respond Creatively to Telemarketers (with Pictures)." Another website was called, "Threats and Horrible Rudeness to Get Power over the Telemarketers."

Some consumers label telemarketers as "rude" for calling their homes or businesses without a direct invitation. In truth, according to Matt Ford, writing for, rudeness cuts both ways, and both sides could use a primer on etiquette.

Ford suggests that agents may be unintentionally rude when they forget their customers' names or avoid calling their customers by name. "It's Basic Telemarketing 101," he wrote. "You should never forget the name of your prospect."

On the other hand, customers display rudeness when they invite companies to leave messages and then either ignore the messages or berate telemarketing agents for following up on the invitation.

Ford notes that American customers also seem to save a special vitriol for offshore agents who can be identified because they speak with marked accents. The vitriol is probably less about telemarketing and more about how these agents have become the default face of offshoring in a difficult economy.

In many cases, telemarketers are calling to offer a valuable service. Consumers who want to maintain a business relationship with a company but want to limit the time they spend on the phone can ask agents to only call at certain times of day. They can also ask companies to limit calls not related to sales of certain products and services.

Customers that delight in being abusive to telemarketers should take a look at their motives. They should ask themselves why they're taking out their frustration on an agent that's just doing his or her job, Ford says.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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