A telemarketing company (from 802-878-3477) keeps calling to tell me my vehicle is about to be out of its warranty period: eight times in three weeks. Every time their machine calls me, I press ‘2’ to be deleted from their call list.
Today, I decided to speak with them. The entire call took nearly eight minutes.
Vehicle Make and Model? Trek 7300
Dave asked for vehicle’s make and model: Trek 7300. Dave asked for the model year: 1998. Dave couldn’t find ‘Trek’ in his database. I told him it was a bike. He asked how much it weighed. I wasn’t sure but guessed ’28; maybe even 32 when fully-loaded’. He asked if it was heavy. I explained that it was twice as heavy as I’d like — a serious rider would like a bike that weighs half that amount.
Dave was very confused. Dave asked me to describe my bike. I told him it was a hybrid bike — tires of a road bike, straight bars and thick frame like a mountain bike — with 27 gear combinations, about its generator hub for lighting and the sweet, melodic bell.
How Big is My Motor?
Dave wanted to know if it had a motor. Yes: the Trek’s motor can do 100 watts for several hours at one time but could push two or three times that for short bursts. I’m looking forward to tuning up the motor this summer before I ride the MS 150 in Memphis.
Dave asked if I was talking about a bicycle. Yes, of course, what did you think I was talking about? He didn’t know.
He was simply calling because my vehicle had a warranty that was soon to expire or had already expired.
My Trek Has a Lifetime Warranty
I explained that my vehicle only had a lifetime frame warranty but that the components were no longer covered. I asked him what it would cost to add a warranty to my Trek 7300. He asked how much the bike cost and how many miles it had on it. My answers: $550 or so and, pitifully, fewer than 10,000 miles.
Dave explained that his company only sells extended warrantees for cars and light trucks used for non-commercial purposes.
Worse Than Road Rash and Harder to Get Rid Of
I asked him how he could know that my vehicle’s warranty was expired or about to expire but not know that my vehicle was a bicycle. It was then he admitted that his auto-dial machine was just dialing every number in sequence and that he had no idea if I even had a vehicle, was old enough to drive or if I was even a human and alive. His honesty was refreshing and he was polite throughout the phone call.
He said he would take me off their call list. Since it hasn’t happened the last seven times, I doubt it will happen this time around.
(Update for July 30, 2008: They just called again, this time from 215-542-4930.
Them: How many miles do I have on the vehicle?
Me: About 8,000 miles?
Them: What year?
Them: Wow… you don’t drive much do you?
Me: I wish I could put more miles on the vehicle I just don’t have the time.
We went round and round for about six minutes. They couldn’t find the Trek brand in their database. Finally they asked if I rode a mountain bike. I said ‘no’, it was a road bike. The guy made a disgusted noise and then hung up on me. Imagine that!)
(Update for August 13, 2008: Now they are calling from 731-588-2771.
I gotta fudge my mileage from now on. My vehicle age is right in their wheelhouse but with just 8,000 miles on the machine, I didn’t make their minimum requirement of 25,000 miles. Next time, instead of quoting my Trek, I’ll use the Bianchi Talladega which has over 25,000 miles. Most of those miles aren’t mine. But, still, the odometer has the requisite miles. The call lasted just four minutes. He eventually hung up on me.
I managed to record this call but I’m not sure if I want to run up my bandwidth bill to put it online. If enough people are interested, you’ll get to hear this call.)
(Update for August 14, 2008: Same call: this time from 954-369-1828.)
(Update for August 21, 2008: Same call: this time from 804-417-1867.)
(Update for August 25, 2008: Same call: this time from 484-220-1177. A new record: Just under 22 minutes. The company making the calls is Warranty Services, Inc. out of California according to today’s caller. When I spoke to a supervisor, I told her I was worried about the reputation of the company, had heard their warranty service was overpriced and that the company uses abusive telemarketing in order to sell their product. She agreed that is what a lot of people are saying! Wow. The entire call was recorded. If enough people are interested, I’ll put it online.)