Anyone else in North America get a call from Planet Power Saver? These guys try to sell some bogus 'Power Saver' device that supposedly saves power (whodathunkit?) and reduces your energy bill. I got a call from them last night. Stereotypical Indian telemarketer accent, I might add. He asks for the Mr or Mrs of the house:
He asks if I pay the hydro bill. Now, I'm getting a lot of telemarketers lately, so I'm able to fuck around with them more right from the start:
Me: "Let's pretend I do."
Telemarketer: "sir. DO YOU pay the hydro bill in your household?"
Me: "...Yes. Sure."
So hes already raised his voice at me. I'm thinking, okay, I don't know what this company is but I'm going to rip it to shit. He starts telling me that I can save up to 40% on my energy bill with some device they have. It's a part of their 'go-green' project. This device somehow saves energy:
Me: "Yeah, I'm skeptical. Go on."
Telemarketer: "sir. do you own a computer?"
Me: "Yeah, sitting right in front of it."
Telemarketer: "would you like to see my website"
Me: "Your website? Is this a one-man operation?"
Telemarketer: "...our website."
Me: "There you go. Sure, lay it on me."
By the way, I don't know why, but I tend to leave out capitalization, commas, and some punctuation when typing out quotes from an Indian telemarketer. It just happens. So he gives me the website. planetpowersaver.com:
Me: "If this was to convince me your product is legitimate... you have a long way to go, my friend."
Me: "This website. It's garbage. Let me tell you what I see. I see stock images of '100% Guarantee' with no sources on such claims. I see a stock template provided by a cheap webhost. I see violations of the English language structure."
Me: "Hang on, I'm not done. I also see a 'Declaration of Compliance' image here... says your product complies with European standards EN 60335-1: 2002. In other words, Part 1 of standards detailed a decade ago. That part being 'House-hold and similar electrical appliance-Safety -- Part 1: General requirements.' And this 'declaration' was supposedly made 6 years ago."
Telemarketer: "sir do you not believe"
Me: "You give me no reason to! Frankly, your website claims you are a certified, recognized company... by who?"
Telemarketer: "we are certified by the ISO."
Me: "Yeah I don't know who that is."
Me: "Now, I don't see any reason why a supposedly certified, legitimate Canadian company would be using telemarketing to advertise their product. And especially not from long distance with a phone number listed as Unavailable."
Telemarketer: "sir would you like my callback number."
Me: "...yes? Okay. Keep going. I had it down 5 seconds ago."
Me: "Come on..."
Telemarketer: "what is it sir"
Me: "That's not a phone number."
Telemarketer: "what do you mean"
Me: "That's 9 digits."
Telemarketer: "oh. i read it wrong."
I should mention by the way, he pronounced 'read' as 'reed', not 'red'. Again, stereotype, but using present tense when it should be past sounds hilarious in an accent. Don't deny it. So he gives me the number again:
Me: "I already have that, I'm just missing one number. Say it faster."
Me: "There you go... thats 10 digits. Now. One moment..."
Telemarketer: "what are you doing?"
Me: "Accessing the magic of Google."
Telemarketer: "sir do you not believe me still"
Me: "I don't think I should, given that this number resides in Oakland, California. You said you were a Canadian company?"
Telemarketer: "we are an international company. this is our canadian branch."
Me: "Fair enough, I'll give you that one. Now, your company name was what again? Power Saver Canada? That's what I saw on the website..."
Telemarketer: "planet power saver."
Me: "That's the website name, not the company name... Or , if that is both the website AND company name, what is Power Saver Canada doing on there?"
Me: "But I digress... Oh, here we go. Several news articles here about your company. You guys are famous!"
Telemarketer: "yes, we are well known."
Me: "I'll say! Says here you guys are a shady company, and that households across North America have been getting calls from you guys about a bogus product that doesn't work."
Telemarketer: "sir, the product has 3 capacitors --"
Me: "Oh, you're going to tell me how it works? Okay, I'm listening..."
Telemarketer: "come on man. dude, let me explain."
It looks like the telemarketer got out of 'professionalism' mode... he's switched to 'dude' and 'man' suddenly:
Me: "Go on then, you have the floor."
Telemarketer: "the power saver device stabilizes voltages and reduces currents, enhancing power efficiency of your house equipment, avoiding electrical waste and extends the life of appliances."
Me: "Skeptical. Go on."
Telemarketer: "its accomplished with specially designed capacitors that store additional electricity needing for stabilizing your electricity."
Me: "I'm going to stop you right there. Do you know what a capacitor is?"
Telemarketer: "man let me explain."
Me: "Because that sounds dangerous."
Me: "A capacitor doesn't store energy to just release it slowly when needed. It fills with energy and releases it extremely quickly. If your product actually performed as you described, this would cause serious power fluctuations. It can lead to equipment malfunctioning, not lasting longer. And what if a side effect of that equipment malfunctioning is something serious, like a fire?
Me: "Not to mention the capacitors needed to even come close to accomplishing what you claimed would be huge. Not able to fit on a small plug-in device. Your device wouldn't do anything but warm my leg as I walk by."
Telemarketer: "sir do you believe in going green"
Me: "Yes, I do! And this isn't green. Going green is about reducing environmental impact, not paying less. This product supposedly redirects power that I didn't use back into my home. That isn't saving energy. It's stealing it."
Telemarketer: "we are--"
Me: "A power grid can collapse like that."
Telemarketer: "sir would you like to speak to my supervisor."
Me: "Sounds like a good idea. Yes. Please."
I get on hold for less than a minute. A woman answers this time. She says she heard I have some questions about the product. I told her what I understood about the product, and how it does the opposite of what they claim:
Supervisor: "...how do you know this?"
Me: "Reading college and university textbooks on electricity and electronics can teach a lot. Now, hear me out..."
Me: "You're nicer than the other guy. And I think, more reasonable. I believe that you have no idea about this scam. I believe you are innocent. But you company is not. And if you believe me, then I think you should seriously start looking for another job. Once you find one, quit this and work there, before the police crack down on your company. Even if you don't get implicated, you may be without a job for a few weeks, and that could ruin you financially."
Supervisor: "okay.... thank you sir. i will."
Me: "No problem. Have a good day."
Supervisor: "you too."
And the call ends. In other words, I'm a Phoneline Superhero:
Posted on Wednesday, June 20 2012.
I get telemarketers calling me. A lot.
The annoying or rude ones get trolled, or have their sales pitch thrown in their face.