Friday, June 10, 2005

How Not to Do Business

Surreal experiences are not foreign to me of a Friday morning. After all, I am a public school teacher, and for some reason Fridays are the most difficult day of the week.

But I digress. I digress far and wide, because this is SUMMER, and I should not be talking about school.

I'm back.

Okay, here's the scenario: Yesterday I got a phone call about my new soap business, "Olde Crone's Bewitching Bath Soap." The person left a message specifically asking for my business. This intrigued me, because I have not been advertising as such, so I was thinking this person was referred by my group of friends who have purchased my soap.

Silly, silly me.

You see, last week I went downtown and procured my state and local business licenses. I now have to collect sales tax on my purchases, etc. etc. No big deal. I should have seen the influx of phone calls coming.

The phone call mentioned above was from a woman who works for a merchant credit processing company. She was soliciting me to set up a merchant account, so that I could receive credit cards as payment for my business. While I feel this is a good idea, I'm not really ready to sit down and pursue it, yet. However, the woman yesterday was quite pleasant and seemed to know her business very well. Unfortunately, I was on the road at the time, so I asked her to email me about a potential meeting with her next week. I have yet to receive that email, but that's no big deal; I bet she'll call me back.

Okay, fast-forward to this morning. My phone rings yet again, saying, "Private Number," on the display. At that point, I figured it was another credit company, and I was right.

*deep breath* Now, the details I am about to impart to you are a bit shocking, so brace yourselves. Refer to the title of this entry to assist the bracing:

The woman began with her spiel, and immediately I asked her, "Can you send me the details in an email, so I can read it at my leisure?"

She responded, "Oh, well, I don't know how to use the email, so I prefer to talk to you about it over the phone."

At which point, I blinked. Twice. I then shook my head a little bit to clear it, and responded, professionally and calmly, "Well, if you don't know how to use email, then I don't think I want to do business with your company." I thought this was fair; the year is 2005, after all, and I should be able to do business via email, if that is my preference, ESPECIALLY since she was soliciting me.

After I made this statement, she said, "Oh." AND THEN SHE HUNG UP ON ME AS I WAS SPEAKING.

*closes eyes, shakes head again*

Which proves that my instincts were correct about that business.

p.s. She called back immediately afterward. I declined the call to send it to voice mail. She didn't leave a message. I presume she was going to give me some bullshit about how we got "disconnected." *snort!* Yeah, right.


  1. Wow. Clearly a telemarketing slavey, but where does anyone get the gall to say, "I don't know how to use the email"? An even more horrifying thought, what if it were TRUE?

    I know. She went to the gall store.

  2. The real problem lies in the fact that Americans are taught to use credit to pay for things that they can't afford from a ridiculously early age. A problem which is branded as Patriotism, Supporting the Economy and a whole lot of other BS phrases that do nothing for the economy other than put more and more people into debt that they cannot afford...

  3. Well, Yon, I agree that purchasing things on credit is a problem in America. Whether or not it is the "real problem" here remains to be seen.

    What about folks who want to use their debit card to pay? That money comes straight out of their checking account, and is as good as cash.

    As a business owner, I would make more money if I accepted cards as payment. Is it my responsibility to govern how my customers spend their money?

  4. No it's not your responsibility to govern your customers spending habits.
    My point was that people here are encouraged to go into debt, to buy things they really can't afford (like new cars), in order to get a credit history, so that they can in turn purchase even more things that they don't need.
    I'm really not one to preach. Just thought I'd make a point.
    Great blog by the way.

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