Thursday, July 5, 2012

Call Centres are out of line - and out of hand

Your cell phone rings. Unknown number. You answer. A garbled voice tells you they’re updating their details. Can they ask you a few questions. AND THEN… Would you be interested in the latest promotional offer?

I get sooo many…

“Hello, Mr Tch-less?” (I assume she means Cheales). Here we go, I thought. This time, I’m going to take it all the way. “I am calling from Mercedes-Benz..” – NONSENSE!

It turned out that Eva was calling from Direct Channel (011) 399 6000/6319, a call centre outsourced by Mercedes Benz SA . The “campaign specialist” Lesego Maolusi from MB apparently supplied Direct Channel  with hundreds if not thousands of numbers to phone under the pretext of updating details, then ….


Here goes… “Would you be interested in receiving information about the exciting new M-Class..”

I never give anyone permission to use my contact details. In fact, I expressly forbid it.

And I Bet You Do Too.

How dare Mercedes Benz SA or any other company contract a call centre to tell me about a product launch after I specifically requested NO COMMUNICATION?

I spoke to Riandrin Thulkanam from MB (012) 677 1500 – he promised to look into it. Guess what? I left messages for Selvin Govender (no response) and Eckart Mayer (“He’s our Vice President of MB”). Phew, that sounds important! Far too important to call me.

To get hold of anyone is impossible. They’re in meetings or away on two-day conferences. What do they talk about in all the meetings? What do they learn at the conferences? The do’s and don’ts of Customer Service?

Please report any spam calls. Select “spam” (nature of complaint). This activity has to stop.

By the way, I lay no blame at the door of Direct Channel. They were contracted by Mercedes Benz. The fault lies with Mercedes Benz and Eckhart Mayer Vice President, who’s also billed as Director of Sales and Marketing. He should know better!

Oh, and guess what? Mr Mayer’s assistant wouldn’t give me his cell number. Perhaps Eckart Mayer doesn’t want to hear about the launch of the new ML? Especially from someone who doesn’t work for his company, and who might even pronounce his name incorrectly.


Registering on this database will mean that you will not be contacted by members of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association of Southern Africa).

This helps you to make sure your address, email address, telephone and cell number are no longer available to organisations, who are members of the DMA, who want to make offers and send information that you do not wish to receive. You can also do this by contacting companies directly and asking them not to contact you.

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