Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Telus Calling--To Sell the Elderly a $100.00 Phone

Well, actually, the phone wasn't $100.00. It was only (ONLY????) about $80.00 but the marketing person told my client that it was only about $5.00 per month on time, which made it add up to over $100.00.

Now, Telus thinks they are doing people a favour because they got burned a few months ago when the papers reported that they were charging monhly rental fees for years and elderly people didn't realize what was going on. So now, when they find a customer paying a monthly fee they will offer this deal.

I suppose they have the right not to tell people that they could just go out and buy a phone for $20.00.

the excuses they gave me were amazing. Some people don't want the trouble of having their own phone in case it breaks down. We don't know if someone is in a nursing home or not (well they could figure it out fairly easily). They are being compassionate because they are not endlessly charging a monthly fee. Oh, one good one was something like, maybe she feels she needs all of the features. (Maybe, but the lady receives about four calls a month, and makes not many more).

When a company is telemarketing, they are doing so blindly. It seems to me that maybe there is some kind of ethics that could be employed.How hard would it be to figure out that a person is elderly, in a care facility, may not be able to make good decisions. It is kind of like the charities who blindly send out solicitations for funds, and elderly people with cognitive impairment end up sending money they can't afford until their relative or someone figures out what is going on.

I finally said to one of the Telus representatives--who sounded like a nice young man who probably has a grandmother or two--how would you feel if your grandmother bought a phone for $100.00? I think he got the point.