Saturday, September 16, 2017

One parent that should never be called back

I received an email from my office staff indicating a parent had called and wanted to talk to me, but I was teaching at the time. The parent requested I call her back.

When I did, it turns out she was a telemarketer keen to offer me a private business group travel "opportunity".

"I'm sorry: what is the name of your son or daughter enrolled in my class?"
"I don't have one."
"So you're not really a parent here, are you?"
"I have children."
"I don't appreciate your deception and am not interested in your opportunity."
"Do you know another teacher who might be interested?"
"If I did, I would not tell you. As we speak, I'm composing an email to my colleagues warning them of your deceptive tactics."

Thus ended the conversation. The email was sent out shortly thereafter. The blood pressure remained high for some time.

I get it: times are tough in the world of group travel sales. Maybe. But posing as the parent of a student to a teacher in order to trick them into calling you back is beyond the pale. It disrespects what we do and our commitment to maintain communication with parents.

I cannot imagine this tactic works for her, but if it doesn't why does she do it? She presents an example for those who consider "business ethics" to be an oxymoron.


Unknown said...

With me they leave cryptic voice mail messages, never saying who they are with and why they are calling. Then they call the department phone and leave messages there. Your experience really takes the cake. What company was it?

Jeff Wagg said...

New travel agents are often encouraged to push group sales. But generally, they go after groups with excess money and lying is no way to win a client's business.

She works on commission, so she got paid what she earned.

Dean Baird said...

I didn't get the name of her company. But if you're keen to take advantage of the opportunity she's offering, the name she gave was Mary Forbes, and the number was 831-459-9217. You'd think the area code should have been a tip off, as I'm deep in the 916. But with cell phones, mobility, and divorce being what they are, area code barely registers with me anymore.

Mr. F said...

I get about a call a year from "Mary Forbes" with the exact same message. Fell for it the first year or two. Now it's an automatic delete. Grrrrrr.