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No spreadsheet tells you when you’re being an ass

My wife calls one of the biggest investment firms to ask about rolling over her 401k. She asks a bunch of questions — but doesn’t give her name or phone number. She didn’t fill out any forms.

And then we start getting phone calls from a high-pressure salesman.

There is an official program at this company to harvest callers’ phone numbers from caller ID and turn them over to the sales team. ICK.

Somewhere there is spreadsheet that says that this is a good idea. It reports on sales conversions and total revenue from this tactic.

But it doesn’t track how many people vow to never do business with them ever again.

Because no spreadsheet tells you when you’re being an ass.

Who is in charge of making sure your company isn’t being sleazy? Who tells you when you’re doing the wrong thing, even when it’s profitable? Whose job is it to draw the line and hold the line?

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  1. chris sandoval September 24, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    your wife should call USAA (my employer) – no hassles, no BS. 1-800-531-USAA.

  2. Katie graf September 26, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Totally agree about the icky auto harvest, but your wife is trolling for free advice without giving her name. I guess I fall on the “if you are talking to someone who makes money on commission about business, you should give your name and expect follow up” because that is how they make a living. She can always decline on the follow up.

  3. Andy Sernovitz September 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Katie –

    Calling the 800-number of a major company asking to buy their service is not “trolling for free advice.” It’s an honest inquiry for more information before making a purchase. This had nothing to do with commissions or salespeople. Shouldn’t we be allowed to call a company and ask questions before giving them our life savings?

  4. Katie graf September 27, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    ABsolutely if it is an 800 number – that is what they are for. And they should never swipe a phone #. Period.

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