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AT&T: Gettting even with telemarketing

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Copyright © Robert Byron
All Rights Reserved 
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One thing that has always bugged me, and I'm sure it does most of
you, is to sit down at the dinner table, only to be interrupted by a
phone call from a telemarketer.  Here's how one person found a way to
be just as irritating to them.  The call was from AT&T and it went
like this:


Me: Hello?

AT&T: Hello, this is AT&T...

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T...

Me: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes. This is AT&T...

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: YES!  This is AT&T, may I speak to Mr. Byron please?

Me: May I ask who is calling?

AT&T: This is AT&T.

Me: OK, hold on.

[At this point I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking
that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone.  I ate
my salad.  Much to my surprise, when I picked up the
receiver, they were still waiting.]

Me: Hello?

AT&T: Is this Mr. Byron?

Me: May I ask who is calling please?

AT&T: This is AT&T...

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes this is AT&T...

Me: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, is this Mr. Byron?

Me: Yes, is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes sir.

Me: The phone company?

AT&T: Yes sir.

Me: I thought you said this was AT&T.

AT&T: Yes sir, we are a phone company.

Me: I already have a phone.

AT&T: We aren't selling phones today Mr. Byron.

Me: Well whatever it is, I'm really not interested but thanks for
calling.

[When you are not interested in something, I don't think you can
express yourself any plainer by saying, "I'm really not
interested", but this lady was persistent.]

AT&T: Mr. Byron we would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

[Now, I am sure she meant she was offering a "rate" of 10 cents a
minute, but she at no time used the word rate.  I could clearly
see that it was time to whip out the trusty old
calculator and do a little ciphering.]

Me: Now, that's 10 cents a minute 24 hours a day?

AT&T: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes
sir, that's right!  24 hours a day!

Me: 7 days a week?

AT&T: That's right.

Me: 365 days a year?

AT&T: Yes sir.

Me: I am definitely interested in that!  Wow!  That's amazing!

AT&T: We think so!

Me: That's quite a sum of money!

AT&T: Yes sir, it's amazing how it adds up.

Me: OK, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big
one at the end of the year for the full $52,560?  And if you send an
annual check, can I get a cash advance?

AT&T: Excuse me?

Me: You know, the 10 cents a minute.

AT&T: What are you talking about?

Me: You said you'd give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week, 365 days a year.  That comes to $144 per day, $1,008 per 
week and $52,560 per year.  I'm just interested in knowing how you
will be making the payments.

AT&T: Oh, no sir, I didn't mean we'd be paying you.  You pay us 10
cents a minute.

Me: Wait a minute here!  Didn't you say you'd give me 10 cents a
minute? Are you sure this is AT&T?

AT&T: Well, yes this is AT&T sir but...

Me: But nothing, how do you figure that by saying that you'll give
me 10 cents a minute that I'll give you 10 cents a minute?  Is this 
some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme?  I've read about things 
like this in the Enquirer, you know.  Don't use your alien
brainwashing techniques on me!

AT&T: No, sir; we are offering 10 cents a minute for...

Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN!  Can I speak to a supervisor please!

AT&T: Sir, I don't think that is necessary.

Me: Sure!  You say that now!  What happens later?

AT&T: What?

Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!

AT&T: Yes Mr. Byron.  Please hold.

[So now AT&T has me on hold and my supper is getting cold. I begin
to eat while I'm waiting for a supervisor.  After a wait of a few
minutes and while I have a mouth full of food:]

Supervisor: Mr. Byron?

Me: Yeth?

Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10
cents a minute program.

Me: Id thish Ath Teeth & Teeth?

Supervisor: Yes sir, it sure is.

[I had to swallow before I choked on my food.  It was all I could do
to suppress my laughter and I had to be careful not to produce a
snort.]

Me: No, actually I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so
that I could sign up for the plan.

Supervisor: OK, no problem, I'll transfer you back to the person who
was helping you.

Me: Thank you.

[I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls.  I
needed to end this conversation.  Suddenly, there was an 
aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.]

AT&T: Hello Mr. Byron, I understand that you are interested in
signing up for our plan?

Me: Do you have that "Friends and Family" thing?  Because you can
never have enough friends and I'm an only child and I'd really like to
have a little brother...

AT&T: (click)

Categories for this item: Smart People, Technology

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