Tuesday, February 2, 2010

phone solicitors

So we registered for Ripley novios last year, and a few years before that I turned in my personal datos occasionally at the neighborhood Bandera Azul to try to win a moped, a cart full of groceries, etc. So by now a thousand phone soliciters have my phone number. Ugh.

I get a lot of solicitting calls and find them super annoying because they are insistant to sell my husband and I things that we don't need. The typical phone soliciter calls asking if we want to get more long distance minutes for our home line for only like 4.000 pesos a month. Or even better, they want us to switch cell phone companies. To which I have responded on various occasions, my husband has 2000 minutes a month to talk on his cell phone for free because he works in coverage optimization for movistar. They ask me, what about you? I have a good plan as well. What's more I use my husband's phone all the time to make calls. You know we've never gone over the 2000-minute limit? That usually shuts a phone soliciter right down. They're Chilean. They know about making good use of scarce resources.

You can always hangup on them too when you realize it's a solicitor. Sometimes I just do that. But it annoys me that they call me in the first place.

Several months ago I was at my sister-in-law's house and the phone rang and her 10 year-old son picked it up and said "qui pa longhi?". He started snickering as he set the phone down and his ma picked it up. That cracked me up and I was inspired by him and the next phone call I got at home, I followed his lead answering the phone with a, "qui pa longhi?" I was sure it was a solicitor, but it turned out to be the secretary from Solaris confirming my massage for the following day. It wasn't even the young secretary who would've gotten a kick out of my new phrase for answering the phone. It was the 50-something secretary who just straight up didn't understand what I said and clearly found no humor in it. Cuak.

And then there are the random surveys calls, comparing super cerdo with other pork brands, or comparing sports drinks, etc. Sometimes I answer those because I find marketing slightly interesting. There was that one surveyor that wanted to get an idea of our household income by asking if we had say, a plasma tv, computers, internet, etc. I know that some studies do ask those sort of things for that reason, but if that was legit, whoever set up that phone survey is an idiot.

The other day Ripley seguros called to talk to V - they always want to talk to V, and I said he wasn't here and that furthermore we are moving out of the country in a month. That got us off the phone in a jiffy. God, why did I just think of that.

And then, it occurred to me, after like 3 years receiving these horrid calls, why don't I just answer my phone in English, duh? God, seriously. This is just occurring to me now. So I told my suegra the other day that from now on I'm answering my home phone in English to webear a los weones molestosos. (Afterall the principal reason for getting the phone line to begin with was so my folks could call me at home rather than on my cell.) My suegra really liked the idea and said, yeah, you should really make them make a HUGE effort to communicate with you, and then when they finally get the message across, working their butt's off to make sense in English, tell them in perfect Spanish: "lo siento mi esposo está de viaje. Llega la otra semana." Click. hehehehehehe.

And ever since I've made this decision, my phone hasn't rung once. Awaiting my chance...

Edited February 8th:
So I've had my chances. The first call was from the firefighters calling us back because we complained about a gas leak in the building. I switched to Spanish right away ;). And now I've just gotten a call from someone who I don't think I know. The conversation went like this:

Alo, alo?
Alo, alo?
Works magic.

Although I'm thinking next time I'll try to figure out who's calling before getting them to hang up on me or at least get more information. I'm thinking the next conversation with a stranger will be more like this:

Alo, alo?
Alo? Alo?
Está __________ ___________?
Rrrodrrrigoouu? What?

And then just yesterday, the 12th, I answered a call:
Like a charm. ;)