Viet Nam News
by Chu Lan Hương
We’ve all been woken up by an early morning sales call, right? Good morning, I’m calling from so-and-so, are you interested in buying land/an apartment or taking out a loan?
The callers speak to you like long-lost friends, but once they get your attention they won’t stop talking until you finally realise it’s a sales call.
If you are in good mood, you answer and refuse gently and politely, but if that call catches you at the wrong time, all hell breaks loose.
Unfortunately for the telesales staff, they’re just doing their jobs.
Telesales staff are often given a script they have to learn by heart and lists of telephone numbers for them to reel of their patter. It is easy to understand why their unsolicited calls are sometimes met with abuse.
Phương Linh (not her real name), a student from the northern province of Nam Định, said: “My job was to phone to potential clients to ask them to use my company’s services.”
“If I was lucky, I’d get the chance to explain my company’s services and persuade them to use it,” Linh said.
“On a bad day, people shout and swear at me, but I still have to say ‘thank you and sorry’ and then hang up,” she said.
Trần Quang Tùng, an engineer in Hà Nội, said: “I get annoyed when I get marketing, especially when I’m busy at work”.
“They really make me mad and sometimes I get 10-15 calls a day. I’ve had to block many numbers.”
Lan Chi, a nurse, said: “I don’t know how they get my phone number. It’s a kind of privacy violation.”
However, at the end of the day, these people are just trying to make a living.
Most telesales staff are young people from the countryside who need to earn money to pay for tuition fees and expenses.
Many students have part-time jobs, but some say they should be looking for more high-end employment rather than working in bars or as xe ôm (motorbike taxi) drivers.
However, students think differently.
“Each job has its value as long as it is legal,” said Phạm Mạnh Tuấn, a fourth-year student.
“Of course, we all want a good job with a good salary, but not everyone is that lucky,” he said.
Telesales is a tough job because the staff have to put up with abuse that shouldn’t be accepted in a civilised society.
Despite this, many young people are determined to stick with the profession.
“My parents have asked me to quit on numerous occasions because of the abuse I get,” said Đặng Vy Anh, a telesales worker for an insurance company.
“In my first few days, the abuse I got over the phone made me cry,” she said.
“But now I love the job. It’s taught me many things that were not included in my university course such as patience and conversational skills,” she said.
Telesales is a popular option for many students because it brings a good income, but very few people understand how difficult it is.
“In general, I’m not rude to telesales workers. I sympathise with them. Everyone needs a job to live off so it’s normal for telesales staff to call customers,” said Lê Mỹ Hạnh, a secondary school teacher in Hà Nôi’s Hà Đông District.
So, on a beautiful morning, if you get a sales call, don’t be grumpy and gently refuse because who knows who’s on the line? It could be a hard-working student who is trying to earn every penny to pay for rent, food and their studies. — VNS