20 February 2007


Today I received our first telemarketer call in Switzerland. I speak just enough German to know that is why he was calling. Plus, the tone of voice for telemarketers seems to be the same worldwide despite the language and accent. An annoyingly cheerful blast of words that allows for no polite interruption.

Using the broadest American accent I could muster, I interrupted his spiel with "Ich verstehe Deutsch nicht. Verstehen Sie Englisch?"


Then he replied "Nein. Guten Tag." Click.

Wow! What an easy way to end a conversation that would likely have been an insistent sales pitch otherwise. It's also the first time a telemarketer has hung up on me instead of the other way round.

I believe that even when I am more comfortable with German I will continue to use that line with telemarketers.


I said...

Guy called me one time with a "Special Offer" for a credit card, with the "low introductory rate" of, like, three or four percent for six months. To follow your format:

Me: What's the rate after six months?

Him: 23.9 percent.

Me (Agasp): Twenty...four...percent?!?!?!?!

Him: But your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

Me: How could I possibly be satisfied with a 24% interest rate?

Him: I see your point. Thank you.

And that was it.

gls said...

I don't get telemarketer calls. So until they start calling my cell phone, I think I am off the hook. At which point I might just have a little fun with them.

Expat Traveler said...

yes I'm happy about that too... But I still deal with stupid people calling daily. I think they happen less in Europe than North America... We have 3 that never stop calling at the house I tutor at!

CanadianSwiss said...

HA. I'm wondering why I never used it, because that's what O-X does, too.

Now you just have to say the same in German whenever you're in the States and get a telemarketer on the line.

swissmiss said...

Oh I don't even use my German - I flat out lie and say in English, "I'm sorry, I don't understand you." Works great for people trying to sign you up for something on the street, too.

Global Librarian said...

And let us not forget -- the occasional panhandler!