Bullitt's Bros

Friday, December 15, 2006

How do you handle telemarketers?

Something is wrong with me.

Don't worry, it's not physical, except for my neck, which always hurts. No, it's psychological: when the phone rings, my brain pauses.

See, I spend a lot of time in my apartment. This is because it has Internet, TV, delivery options (DVDs from Alan's Alley, chicken wings from Tebaya) and darkness, in which I can conceal my shame.

When the phone rings, I cannot help but to drop whatever I'm doing. Normally, my instinct is to answer the phone, but it rings something like fifteen times a day, and if I were to answer it each day, I'd be out of time.

So, whenever it rings, I pause: I stop playing Text Twist, or reading philosophy, or third thing which is also a joke.

But sometimes, I can't take it, and I have to answer the phone. Like a cat, I have to know what I'm missing and also sometimes shit in a box.

So the other day, in the hopes that all these phone calls were my long-lost friend Jeff Eaton who lives in Queens or is dead, I answered the phone.

Me: Hello?
Dan the stranger: Rob?
Me (thinking it was Mikey Y, but not entirely sure): Yes?
Dan the stranger: Hey, it's Dan.
Me: Oh, hey, Dan, long time no see!
Dan the telemarketer: Uh ... yeah ... ha ha!
Me: So what's up, Dan? Just wanna chat?
Dan the uncomfortable telemarketer who wants only to make a sale and not be bothered by me, so he's a damn hypocrite: Rob, I've been looking over your records, and I see that you've been paying too much for text messaging.
Me: Who is this?! How did you get a hold of my records?!
Dan: Uh ... what? I work for ...
Me: No, I'm kidding. I figured you work for an organization.
Dan: Uh, yes, I work for Verizon Wireless.
Me: Oh, you work for Verizon. So I have to buy this deal regardless of what I say, right?
Dan: No, no ... I just think that you could save some money if you get our new text messaging deal.
Me: Okay, what's the deal.
Dan: I've noticed that you've been paying an average of $6 a month with text messaging, and what I'm offering is a deal where you can get 250 text messages a month for only $5!
Me: No, I was asking, "What's the deal?" like Seinfeld.
Dan: What?
Me: What's the deal with telemarketers?
Dan: ...
Me: Seriously, I pay for text messaging?
Dan: Yeah, you pay 10 cents per text message.
Me: Okay, but I don't really text message that much.
Dan: Well, actually your records say otherwise.
Me: Really? Well, things have just been nuts around here lately. It's not usual.
Dan: Well, over the last two months you've been sending and receiving an average of 26 text messages each way.
Me: That's only $2.60.
Dan: Well, yeah, but it's $2.60 each way.
Me: Okay, so that's $5.20.
Dan: Yeah, that's more than $5.
Me: But less than $6.
Dan: But our records show you've been steadily going up with your text message usage.
Me: Oh yeah? The records show that? So, you've done, like, a regression?
Dan: Well, over the last month, you've averaged 26 text messages each way, and the month before that, you averaged 21.
Me: Wait...that's only $4.20.
Dan: Yeah, but it's been going up.
Me: Uh...well, how many text messages did I send the month before last?
Dan: I don't have access to that.
Me: Wait...you're basing my increasing usage on two data points?
Dan: I don't have access to information before the last two months.
Me: ... Is this Brent?
Dan: What?
Me: Never mind. Dan, you've been a gem, but I don't think I want the deal.
Dan: Wait, wait ... I get a commission if you agree to this.
Me: But I lose my commission. I get paid $5 every time I resist a telemarketer.
Dan (laughs): You know, you've been using the same plan for the last two years ... actually, over two years. You got your plan in June.
Me: I know, I need to get a new phone. My phone has a crack in it.
Dan: Well, anyone who uses the same plan for more than two years can get a new phone with a $100 discount. You can get a Razor.
Me: Holy shit!!
Dan: Uh, yeah, you can get a Razor.
Me: No, I just saw a fat guy. What's a Razor?
Dan: It's a very thin phone that can take pictures.
Me: Really? Can I send pictures to people?
Dan: Oh yeah! And if you get this deal I'm talking about, you can send up to 250 pictures a month before you have to start paying.
Me: How much does it cost to send pictures?
Dan: 20 cents, but on this plan you can send up to 250 a month.
Me: Well, the thought of sending pictures is tempting.
Dan: Good.
Me: ... Dan ... I'm going to take the deal!
Dan: Oh, good!
Me: Okay, bye.

I should say, this phone call was to my cell phone, so at some point I started walking while I was talking. Hence the fat guy.

But also, Dan's number was mysterioiusly left on my phone. It was: (216) 970-4370. So after a couple of minutes, I called him back.

Dan: Hi Rob.
Me: Dan, were you just making up the stuff about the phone?
Dan: Uh, what stuff?
Me: The stuff where I could get a new phone.
Dan: No.
Me: Well, how do I get a new phone?
Dan: Just go to your local Verizon dealer, and they'll have your information in their computer.
Me: Okay, thanks Dan.

So three or four days later I go to my local Verizon dealer, in this case an Indian woman.

Me: Hello, local Verizon dealer, I've been told by a very reliable source that I'm due for a new phone. See, I've been using the same plan for two years and six months, so I've been told I can get a new phone.
Verizon dealer: Well, actually, if you wait more than two years and six months after you get your plan, the offer expires.
Me: Bye!
Verizon dealer: Wait, don't you want to see if you can still get the deal?
Me: Oh ... well, okay.
Verizon dealer: What is your telephone number:
Me: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Verizon dealer: What is your social?
Me: xxx-xx...
Verizon dealer (laughingly): I just need the last four digits.

She said this like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Mentally, I punched her.

Verizon dealer: What is your area code?
Me: It's an Ann Arbor area code.
Verizon dealer: I'm sorry, we don't have that in our computer.
Me: Well, I can assure you, I have a phone. (Taking it out*) Here it is! It says "Verizon" on it.
Verizon dealer: You can take advnatage of the deal, but you have to go ...

I mentally prepared for her to say "the mother fucking moon", but she said ...

Verizon dealer: ...34th street.

So I went to the 34th street store, past the throngs of people, getting ever more anxious as I approached (crowds stress me out--I always fear my poor wallet will get abducted). I eventually got the phone.

So be prepared for a lot more pictures on this blog, if I ever figure out how to use the damn thing.

*--The phone, silly. She wasn't that attractive.


  • This may get my vote for 'Best Post Not Involving Bob's Parents'. 'Is this Brent?' Priceless.

    By Blogger Professor Mouth, at 1:32 AM  

  • Soon I too will see a fat guy...

    When you visit in 5 days.


    By Blogger Joe, at 2:58 AM  

  • I love you.

    By Blogger BIG, at 11:46 AM  

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