EVERYONE has experienced one of those idiotic and highly annoying marketing calls that phone companies and other firms like to torture us with.
The latest one I received yesterday was from Oi, the operator of our two landlines. They charge us R$42 ($24) a month for each line, which is rather expensive. I told my mom that I saw an ad for a TIM fixed-line that was only R$20 a month, and which included 1,000 minutes of local calls.
Now I know that many of you will say that many people today survive with only a cellphone, which is what I did when I lived in Saudi and the UAE. But here in Brazil whenever you make a doctor's appointment, or buy something major in a store, they always ask for a fixed-line phone number. Some doctors' offices even refuse to call a cell number because it costs them more! So having a fixed number is something of a necessity here.
Anyway, here is how my annoying call went, which I've translated from Portuguese:
ANNOYING MARKETING WOMAN: Can I speak to Mrs. Joyce Abualsamh?
ME: Who is calling?
ANNOYING MARKETING WOMAN: I'm calling on behalf of Oi and would like to offer her some promotions.
ME: You can talk to me, I'm her son.
ANNOYING MARKETING WOMAN: I'm sorry, I can only talk to the owner of the line. Is she there?
ME: Yes she's here but she lives in the house next to mine. So go ahead and tell me about your offers.
ANNOYING MARKETING WOMAN: I can't, I can only talk to the owner of the line.
ME: But I pay this bill!
ANNOYING MARKETING WOMAN: I can only divulge this information to the owner of this line.
ME: X@!!!!!*&^%$!!!! We don't want your offers!
Upon which I hung up. The woman's tone of voice and accent were extremely grating, which just made the conversation even more annoying. If only she had been kinder, used her mind and told me what offers they had, I could have passed on the information to my mother. But here once again big business fails yet one more time in connecting with one of its customers, creating a negative impression instead of a positive one. Perhaps we may just switch to a TIM landline after all.