To Market, To Market...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 2:10 PM

Drought-striken farmers are now being forced to plant Telemarketer crops.

Recently at Chez Statler, we've been bombarded from all angles by Telstra asking us to sign up for that scurge of television, Foxtel. Over the last week, we've received four or five calls for "various reasons" (including an inquiry during a call we made to Telstra regarding billing), an imaginary brochure which no-one recieved but according to the good people at Telstra is reason enough for discussion, and finally, a house call.

I was lucky enough to be the one chosen to deal with our door-knocking friend.

Statler: Yes?
Friendly Salesman-type: Hello, er... sir... (Ah, the delights of a one-way screen door) I'd like to talk to you about the Foxtel brochure you recieved...
Statler: Look, we're not interested.
Friendly Type: (without batting an eyelid) I understand you're not interested, sir, but I'd like to take a survey...
(The door was closed at this point)

Immediately after this, I was lectured by a visiting friend for being a pure incarnation of evil and was told I was going to hell (I think the words she used were "going to see Richard Carleton") for "slamming" the door in the poor guys' face. I was forced to make a three point rebuttal:

1. I object to being targeted by such a transparent marketing campaign. It's insulting to my intelligence.
2. I object to being as questions such as "Can I ask why you're not interested?" and "I'd like to take a survey...". I'm under the suspicion that such questions are designed to make me question my own choices and I consider it an insult to my intelligence.
3. I can clearly see that they look to take advantage of the "Let's Be Polite And Hear Them Out, Because That's The Australian Thing To Do" mentality of most people. And who would've thought? I find that insulting to my intelligence too.

And besides, it's the guy's job. I'm sure there are people out there who are a lot more mean than me, and I'm sure he didn't go home and cry about what I did to him.

So blogreaders, is this reasonable, or just silly paranoia? Where is the point where it's time to shut the door in their face? And to those who have worked for these companies (I'm looking at you, students), are these genuine marketing strategies, or would I be better off using my imagination to write the next Da Vinci Code-style conspiracy thriller?
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