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Friday, February 10, 2012

Aggressive Marketing: Are You Game For A Ride?


Even if you put your cell phone number in the National Do-Not-Call Registry you can hardly escape from this aggressive tribe of telemarketers. Somebody somewhere somehow will find your number and call you up asking you for a minute to describe the offers that have to be taken immediately. You can cut the line rudely, but because most of the callers are ladies you cannot be too rude either. Banks are becoming masters of this art and they have the ability to shower you with pre-sanctioned personal loans, credit cards and the like anytime. Not that only your mobiles are vulnerable, they stalk you in every corner of your everyday existence. Sometimes you win and sometimes they make a perfect fool of you.

That day my mobile rang and on answering the same sweet-talking lady voice resonated through it.

‘Sir, I am calling from ----finance company. Can I talk to you for a minute?’

‘Well, regarding what?’

‘We have pre-sanctioned a personal loan of -----rupees for you on the basis of your home loan repayment performance. This comes with a very attractive rate of interest…’

‘What home loan?’ Honestly I never took a home loan so far.

‘Sir! It’s based on the home loan you are repaying now’.

‘I never took a home loan! How come?’

‘Sir, what is your name?’ At that very moment I cut the line!

                                                                   ***

Another day we were shopping in a supermarket. Our bill became a big one due to long-pending purchases of a variety of items. The moment I paid the bill with my card one lady appeared out of nowhere and took us aside promising a 200 bucks voucher for our big payment. She took Xerox copies of my credit card, my bill and my income tax ID card. ‘Where is my voucher?’ I asked getting suspicious. ‘Just a minute Sir, you will get it. First sign on here..here…and here.’ She had been doing it in a break-neck speed and by the time I knew that was an application form for a credit card the process was over. I asked indignantly now,’ Where is my voucher?’ ‘You will get your new credit card in two weeks sir!’ ‘But where the hell is my voucher?’ ‘It will come with the card sir! Thanks a lot!’ ‘You see, you have given me a card I don’t want. I’ll never use it, I promise!’ And, we stormed out.

The new card came indeed in two weeks, but no voucher as I had already presumed. I put the card unsigned in my unused files vowing never to use it. ‘You have made a fool of me and got your commission! But I will not allow the marketer behind you to profit from it!’

The lesson? Never give in to the temptations of low interest rates, discounts, one plus one, vouchers and all that! But we are only human beings! Next time around this could be the deal of your life! Or we may think so!

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