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Association of Marketing Survivors

Grind rant and create international phenomenon
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I got cold-called today, it took about as long for the caller to get through their preamble as it did for me to explain that I make it a personal policy to decline any offer or service presented to me through an unsolicited channel.

I have set up accounts and replied to spammists along the same lines.

Same thing goes for store-cards, loyalty points, customer 'drives', competitions and all the other ploys wherin a bored media-studies graduate tries to promote the profile of their tedious widget providing employer.

So, enter the AMS. A support group dedicated to the automatic no-explanation cancellation of any transaction that is interrupted by an upsale ("do you want fries with that?"), loyalty, storecard, voucher, competition or whatnot - same goes for cold-calls, spam and other unsolicited offers.

All that would be required is a short statement, that could be delivered perfectly politely:

"I'm terribly sorry, I'm A.M.S."

That's it, done, no more nonsense - you just declare yourself AMS, and they can't touch you - more, they know that you are honour bound not to take up any time- wasting offer so presented. For phone callers, you can get it in quickly, to save everyone time and embarrassment, and it can be quickly uttered prior to closing the door on any religious salesmen that may be outside.

There's a magazine, and regular meetups, where members of the marketing profession are publically forced to explain the principles of marketing expenditure vs generated revenues and then symbolically stoned with rolled-up items of direct mailing brochures, and glossy newpaper inserts.

zen_tom, May 16 2011


       This is like the Miss Manners Response ("I'm afraid that won't be possible.") but with the added elements of (a) confusion and, with luck, (b) marketer embarrassation. Excellent.
calum, May 16 2011

       A special time limited offer only available to you, Mr ..._tom... - with this annotation you receive a free [+]
hippo, May 16 2011

       Love it. Not sure how effective that statement would be on the religious faction, however. In my experience, contradictory interruptions only serve to spur them on.
squeak, May 16 2011

       I have a 'stock' response for cold callers - it works so well that I used it a couple of times 3 or 4 years ago and have had virtually no sales calls since (except recently the pre-recorded type appear to be on the rise).   

       On receiving the sales call, point out that you may be recording the call, ask for the name and address of the companies registered office, then state that further calls from that company to this number will be charged at a rate of X (make up your own number) and that the initiation of such a call will constitute acceptance of this charge as a binding contract.   

       This kind of response could well be incorporated into the AMS service, possibly with a call forwarding service that enables the recipient to divert a sales call to an AMS operator who will give a version of the above response and follow it up with legal enforcement.   

Twizz, May 16 2011

       Just hang up the phone. No additional comment or explanation is required.
tatterdemalion, May 16 2011

       The do-not-call list program has largely solved this problem for me.
tatterdemalion, May 16 2011

       Telling them" Sorry, not here- call this number" and then giving the caller the switchboard number for the local jail is pretty effective.
8th of 7, May 16 2011

       How do you intend telling the great unwashed about your grand scheme, [zen_tom]?
infidel, May 17 2011

       It could go viral, [infidel].   

       I think it would work well for many people in certain situations but i prefer to waste their time directly because the more time they must spend on each call with no result, the less cost-effective it is.   

       [Twizz], i've considered doing that too but not with direct marketing so much as the Performing Rights Society.   

       As it happens, the Telephone Preference Service simply no longer works because they now just ring from overseas.
nineteenthly, May 17 2011

       I'm with nineteenthly on wasting their time. Even with pre-recorded crap, I'd assume they are still paying for minutes, and maintaining whatever junk they use to make the calls. Also, it's great fun to get the jackalope that has to take my order on the phone, and then not actually give them an order to take. They get almost as uppity about having to answer the phone as I did when I realized the call was a sales pitch.
ye_river_xiv, Sep 13 2011

       In a jo b where we were told to upsell, it was pretty clear that it does nothing but piss off customers. Nobody ever buys anything from an upsell, it serves no purpose but to waste everyone's time. But for some reason managers don't see that.
DIYMatt, Sep 13 2011

       I think where this scheme falls down is in assuming that the caller/salesperson is actually listening to a word that you are saying. Until you either agree to buy what they are selling or cut them off or, if it's a door-to-door scenario, beat them to a bloody pulp, they'll just keep doggedly trying to sell you stuff you don't want. I'm for the time wasting solution myself. Not only does it offer the opportunity of payback but it also stops anyone else from cold calling whilst you are doing it.
DrBob, Sep 14 2011

       Even sales staff are human. The guy I was buying insurance from yesterday tried to upsell. At his first attempt, I said that I just want the insurance, nothing else. From that point, he started each attempt to upsell with 'I have to offer you...". Clearly, he had become aware that I wasn't going to fall for it and was simply going through the motions. All that is required is to pass this information to his managers and allow him to save time and money by not flogging that particular dead horse.
Twizz, Sep 14 2011

       // Even sales staff are human //   

       I'm honored, truly honored, to be the first of many who will dispute this statement.
Alterother, Sep 16 2011


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