Just hang up on home-repair telemarketers!

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The call usually starts off with a friendly, “Hello, my name is (insert most any non-aggressive name, such as Tabitha, Rose, or Barbie). I represent Wee Willey Windows, and if you’ve been thinking of replacing your outdated windows, it’s your good luck that we have a salesperson in your area today.”

That’s the bait.

Your first mistake was picking up the phone when the number on the screen seemed unfamiliar to you. However, with only about 20 seconds of your life invested into this conversation, it’s still not too late to simply say, “no thanks, I’m not interested,” and hang up.

I know, it’s not easy being abrupt, or even slightly impolite, and after all, you’re being told that today’s your lucky day by a total stranger, so it might very well be true— right? Otherwise, what are the odds of you being singled out in this manner?

Actually, the odds are pretty good.

Tabitha and her friends at Wee Willey Windows couldn’t pick you out of a lineup if the balance of the subjects were members of the Bulgarian weightlifting team.

But they do know you either live in a mature neighborhood, and as a result, may very well own a home in need of renovations; earn a household income that’s higher than the regional average; or, are members of the national jams and jellies of the month club, and have a past history of purchasing online or over the phone.

So, with the lure of “our salesperson being in your neighborhood, just for today, and just for you,” the information regarding the demographic you represent is telling Barbie you most likely will stay on the line. Part of the lure of you choosing a company such as this, totally unknown to you, and totally out of the blue, is of course your opportunity to save money.

“Sign up with us today and save 20 per cent on both the windows and labour to install,” is indeed a big savings, if of course the discount has been reduced from a real price.

Most companies have list prices or suggested retail pricing, which in essence mean nothing, since this pricing is often significantly higher than what would be considered a fair retail price.

So, where’s the savings when a 20 to 25 per cent discount is being offered from a price that is ridiculously high in the first place? The answer is simple, there’s no real deal to be had here.

If the representative from Wee Willey’s should show up at your door, do you let him enter your home? No.

What if they’re well dressed and seem to be holding a tiny ship in a bottle, or cheeses of the world labelled box, which could be a unique type of housewarming gift, just for you? Then, simply out of politeness, do you allow them to enter?


When the doorbell rings, grab the poker out of the fireplace, or lay your hands on some similar type instrument, keep it behind your back, then open the door and let this person know that unfortunately you will not be entertaining a visit from them today.

If they should move forward in some forceful, aggressive retail-type manner, a determined swing of the poker up between their legs, following through to the neck, should have them re-evaluating the potential success of today’s sales call.

Actually, a sincere “thanks, but no thanks” should have you avoiding any confrontation.

The danger with letting this fly by night salesperson into your home is that they will likely subject you to a 10- to 15-minute video describing the many attributes and advantages of buying a product from a seemingly national supplier. That’s 10 to 15 minutes of you wishing for a power outage, or somebody dropping a bomb on the house, in order for you to be mercifully put out of the misery of having to watch such a rehearsed sales pitch.

Next week, “Why we buy local.”

Good building.

As published by the Standard-Freeholder
Handyman's Hints Standard-Freeholder Cornwall Ontario by Chris Emard

Leave a Reply