Ending Phone Solicitation – Gorilla Style

One time a couple years ago, some wind damaged our building roof. We got estimates from several companies. We selected one of them and they did the job. Over the next few weeks, we got calls back from the other vendors asking what we had done. We told “Star Roofing” that we had chosen another contractor and the job was completed. In a reasonable world, you’d expect this business to invest no further sales efforts into customer with a repaired roof. However…….

Over the last two years since the repair, we’ve received solicitation calls from “Star Roofing” numbering in the 30’s. Each time asking them to remove us from the list, our roof is fine. Yet, they just keep calling and calling and calling. It’s a terrific waste of money and time to be interrupted many times. Each interruption could lead to an error, or at the very least the person that answered the phone has to find their spot again to continue the project they were working on. Over time, our conversation and tone grew more and more insistent they they never call again. We even tried begging. After each call, there is another disruption in the office while somebody laments to others, “Can you believe those dumb SOB’s called us again”… So, time for a new tactic….

I instructed everyone in the office; whomever answered the next unwelcome “Star Roofing” call to please invite them out. A couple more calls came and in the irritation of the moment, my strategy was forgotten and replaced by the well practiced “Please don’t call use anymore and remove us from your list” was employed. Then finally, somebody remembered our plan under the duress of yet another phone solicitation. “Come on out they said”………

A few minutes later, we get a call from the solicitors supervisor asking some question about our roof. Of course, to prevent phone solicitors from padding their paychecks by claiming appointments that are not real, the supervisor must verify that it’s a real appointment. I don’t know what the solicitor gets paid, but lets assume it’s $20. Probably not far off. The company then provides the leads to the company that hired them at some sort of profit. So, lets say “Star Roofing” might have had to pay $35 for the verified sales appointment. Imagine all the paperwork involved and costs of this visit.

After not showing up one day, they called then next, we’ll be out in an hour or two. We’re in Dayton, they mention they are driving from Cincinnati. I’m pretty sure this sales call is going to make an impression on them. Sure enough, about an hour later, the 50-60 mile trip is complete and the salesman arrives……

I introduce myself while shaking his hand. “Let me tell you why you’re here. We’ve been trying to get off your phone solicitation list for 2 years. We’ve done the Christian thing and asked nicely many times, the calls continue…We’ve insisted in not to nice tones “never call us again” and still the calls continue. After 2 years of this torture, let me tell you what we are going to do. We’re going to invite you out every time you call.”

The salesperson was gracious and understood our irritation. Never apologized, however I thought he handled the situation respectfully. Mike (person has has fielded most of their calls) asked if anything will be done about the calls as he is exiting the building. He replies “I’ll never be back here again.” to which Mike says “So that means you won’t be stopping the calls?” At that point he’s so uncomfortable hiding is embarrassment and anger for the waste of his time that he just heads on out the door…….

Rather obviously this incident isn’t going to go unreported. About 20 minutes later we get a call from “Start Roofing” office. An angry manager of some sort is giving Mike the “what-fore” on the phone. I can only hear one part of the conversation and it’s things like “maybe you should be in better control of your business” and “what do you think it does to your reputation..” and “Why do you have to be such and ass-hole” and etc. After Mike gets off the phone he told me the manager said he was going to put us on speed dial. What a professional approach he is taking in representing his company. Needless to say, I’m fairly certain, we won’t be hearing from this roofing company again. After paying the phone soliciting company, paying the salesman, paying for fuel and wasting all their time, I’m pretty sure we made an impression.

Don’t be afraid to use gorilla tactics to get action when your being ignored. It does not mater if it’s a business or government institution. If they won’t cooperate, don’t just lay back and take it.

My name is Dave Thacker and I’m doing something about it.

PS:The companies name was altered. It’s not my point to hurt anybody, just to end the ringing phone. (And perhaps suggest a little confident action goes a long way) 😉