Monday, October 09, 2006

Swamped by marketeers

Any regular user of a cellphone in India will tell you about Telemarketeers. Especially if you have committed the cardinal sin of giving your cellphone number to a bank (any bank) or financial institution. Instantly you are deluged by calls offering yet another free credit card, bank account, home loan, demand draft, personal loan (at some atrocious interest - only for you sir). Some of them, even after you politely refuse (I dont need another credit card, bank account, home loan, demand draft, personal loan.), persist, "Why sir, this offer is so good?".

And they are not alone. Airtel has automated marketing calls tuned to trouble you when you trying to grab a quick nap or when your child has gone off to sleep after an hour of trying. Pesky SMS's exhort you to download latest hits when you are busy in a meeting.

Indeed I have not brought a single thing from telemarketeers. I am not sure it is so different with others, but perhaps it is, otherwise this business would have ended long back. The one time I agreed for an upgrade (free, no information wanted), I did not get it. Perhaps this whole thing is about grabbing personal details and may surface as a scam in the near future.

But I digress. My point is that these telemarketeers (and associated tactics like SMS's, automatic calls) perhaps do more harm than good for the brands they represent. Citibank, HSBC marketeers are perhaps one of the worst offenders. I am pretty sure that I will never open an account with Citi or HSBC "do not call" lists notwithstanding. If they call you so much without you having an account with them, I cant imagine how much they could torment you if you did.

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