Friday, June 12, 2009


We're refinancing. Which means a sudden uptick in the junk mail from financial companies. And today I got my first cold call. It came this morning, while I was on the phone with my father in law talking about the tensile strength of concrete (it's a foundation thing). The voice mail said, "Hi, this is Paul from Redacted Mortgage Company and I need to speak with you. My direct number is Thank you." As far as I know, I've never done business with Redacted, but I figure I better be sure. Ten seconds into the conversation, it's clear this is a sales call.

I am inclined at this point to tell him never to call me again and go back to my life. I don't want to be a customer of a company that uses deceptive sales tactics, because if they'll bullshit me to get my business, what will they do once I'm a customer? But I'm trying to do my due diligence, so I tell good old Paul to call me back in a week once I have my appraisal, and we'll talk options. He makes a note and hangs up.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I'm at Target, shopping for the big birthday party, when my phone rings. It's a 314 area code, and a familiar-looking number. I'm pretty sure I know who it is, but we have guests coming from St. Louis tomorrow, so I answer it.

Him: Hi, this is Paul from Redacted Mortgage Company, am I speaking to Michael Terry?

Me: Yes, you are. What can I do for you, Paul?

Him: We notice that you recently submitted a mortgage application, and we're wondering if we might be able to help you do a little better in terms of the rate and terms?

Me: I actually talked to you this morning, and I'm going to have to ask you to put me on your do not call list, Paul. If this is the level of attention to detail you bring to your sales calls, there is no way in hell that I am going to enter into a financial relationship with you.

Him: You talked to us this morning? May I ask who you talked to?

Me: You.

Him: Me?

Me: You.

Him: Can you remind me what we talked about?

Me: You know, I think I'm just going to stick with "Put me on your do not call list."

Him: Okay, I guess we can do that.

I wonder if I'm going to hear from him next week.

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