Friday, April 29, 2005

Do Not Disturb

If anyone has ever had unsolicited calls from various companies asking if you are interested in their products, then you know how I feel. Yesterday I had FOUR calls (and I think I’ve hardly ever got any before that) from HDFC, Tata Indicom, Idea Cellular, and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance asking me whether I’m interested in their credit cards, phone connections, or insurance. I’ve worked with a market research company briefly and I know for a fact that they have a database of landline numbers whom they call to conduct research on various topics. But calling mobile numbers to sell products is another thing altogether and that is what I call complete invasion of privacy. In fact, where I used to work, the system did not permit mobile numbers to be called (but that of course was the UK and not India where privacy is almost non-existent).

The first call I actually bothered to respond to because I was interested in what they had to say. I said I’d think about it and put the phone down. To the others I just kept parroting 'Not interested'. Now my theory is that there must be a central database where these people pass on all unsuspecting fools for other companies to harass, because somehow the other three all called the same day. Having been disturbed from my sleep (which is the worst time to call anyone, by the way), I angrily asked the fourth chap where he got my number from, and the answer was a ‘marketing research’ company.

Someone should tell them that market research is very different from hard-selling products. India needs to get professional and follow a publicly accepted system.

1 comment:

Raccoon said...

yeah...totally irritating! Theres a huge floating population of salesmen who shift from one co to the other or simply sell the numbers they have to other companies...give a credit card salesman your number once and its out in the market...!

I was on roaming recently and got 3 calls from SBI cards in a single day...I threatened to complain to the authorities and only then did the calls stop.

Sometimes, however, these cold calls are quite useful..I got a fab insurance package from one of them...so cant decide if its bad or good....and ummm..I'd have thought privacy in India is much better than UK...wasnt that the land of the paparazzi?