The other night, I was sitting at home, getting amped for the Lost season premiere. I saw “American Media” pop up on the bottom of the screen, on Cox Cable’s new TV-caller ID service (which DirecTV had years ago). This wasn’t the first time it had done that, so I decided to go ahead and answer it this time. Below is an almost accurate transcript of our phone call.
American Media: Todd Ramsey?
Me: Yes, this is Todd.
AM: Hello, I’m calling about your Men’s Fitness subscription renewal. (NOTE: Yes, I do get Men’s Fitness. No, it hasn’t greatly impacted my abs, diet or exercise routines.) I want to let you know about our 86% discount off of the cover price.
Me: Oh, I’m not interested in renewing the subscription this year. Thanks.
AM: Oh really? That surprises me, because you’ve been such a valued customer (I haven’t). And this is such a great deal (it wasn’t). But since you’re such a valued customer, I’m going to go ahead and get you signed up for a year’s subscription.
Me: No, I don’t want the subscription. I just said that.
AM: Oh, really? Well, thank you for being a valued custo-
Me: Click. (I didn’t say “click,” I hung up the phone. And I didn’t really hang it up, I just pressed “Talk,” so it was more like “Beep.”
I wonder how many times that sales “tactic” – doing the exact opposite of what a customer asks – has worked?
American Media, if you read the Internets, and you stumble across my blog, you’re going to have to give me some* free subscriptions before I’ll ever consider answering the phone when you call again. Seriously.
*”Some” is greater than or equal to three free subscriptions.