Usually I’m the person that hang up the phone the minute I noticed the call is irrelevant. My personal policy is not taking any unexpected calls.

So, why I would fell for this telemarketing call?

Because it sounds relevant, at first.

The story started with the first call

Before the call, I have applied for a credit card from Bank X through online. My online application was rejected. However, Bank X called (this will be refer as the first call) a few days later and informed that they would send my application for review after they confirmed that I am clear about the terms and conditions of the credit card I’m applying. In the phone, I was requested to confirm that I am well aware of the terms and agreed to it. The application was completed without any signature or paper work.

Just a few days after the first call, I received another call from Bank X (with a different number, which I encounter before, banks do have different lines with different phone number). With the experience of the first call, I didn’t hang up the telemarketing call as usual(which is the second call and the call that I fell into the telemarketing trap).

The second call, the telemarketing call.

When I answered the second phone call, the telemarketer (which will refer as “Q” in this post) started by mentioning the credit card that I just applied for. I thought Bank X have further verification or details to go through for the credit card application. So, I did not hang up or notice any suspicious intention (at this point it still feels relevant to me).

Q continued by stating that I did not apply credit card protection insurance for my recent applied credit card. When I applied online, I opt out of the insurance as I have no idea what it is for, so I continued to listen Q explain about the credit card protection insurance.

Q did clearly explained and mentioned about the coverage amount, the insurance premium, the insurance coverage and so on. And, here is where I started to slowly fell into the trap. Here, I would like to clarify (disclaimer) that Q did clearly provide the important information of the insurance. It is on me (I should bear the responsibility) that I fell into the trap of saying yes.

Here’s a few reasons that I concluded why I ended up saying “Yes”

  1. Although all information are clearly provided during the call, but the call are only 15 minutes long. While in the call, Q speech rate is consider fast (my guess is the telemarketers are afraid that the target client might hang up the call).
  2. When Q was providing the information, instead of usual conversation, the information was provided by Q in a way of reading script or insurance policy. The sentences were formal and long.
  3. The Pros (benefits) of the insurance was mentioned frequently in the phone call.
    Such as
    (Disclaimer: Sample sentences, the sentences might not exact the same in the phone call but with similar meaning)
    “This (the insurance) is to protect your credit card.”
    “It’s RM0.60 for outstanding balance of RM100.” Sounds very affordable when they put in this way.
    “Of course, if there is no outstanding balance then you no need to pay anything.” Sounds like you can reap the benefits for free.
    “Yes, you cancel through customer service.” Sounds like you can change your mind anytime.
  4. Questions such as “Please answer “Yes” or “No”.” or “Please say “Okay” if you are okay.were asked multiple times in the phone calls.

Although important information was communicated in the phone calls, but at that moment, I’m not thinking clearly and I don’t have the time to process through the information before making the decision. The telemarketer, Q was asking to confirm “Yes” or “No” questions throughout the phone call.

After the call, I just realised that I signed up for an insurance without even read the insurance policy. I regretted. (Fortunately, I got to cancel the application before it is processed and takes effect.)

I’m not blaming anyone or anything. It’s not a scam or fraud. It’s on me as it is my responsible to reject if I’m not interested.

However, as a human and when life gets a bit messy, there’s tendency that we human might make a mistake of agreeing to the things that we don’t meant it.

Moral value of this story

One simple rule to keep in mind.

If you don’t have the intention of getting the product (that the telemarketer selling) before answering the phone call, then you should just say no. Most of the time, it is easier to sign up for the product after the call. And, it is more difficult to cancel the deal after the call.

It took only one call to get this insurance, but it took 4 calls to cancel the deal. And, I was able to cancel it with only 4 calls because I acted fast enough (before the application is being processed).

What to do if you regret of getting the product?

Sometimes, we make mistakes. It’s fine, stay calm and find solutions.

You could try to:

  1. Call back the telemarketer to cancel the deal or contact the company or business. (As soon as possible)
    Explain nicely and try to negotiate.
  2. Ask the internet. Ask Google.
    Search online and see whether is there anyone that face the same issue before you. If yes, refer to their solutions. If the solutions are not listed, you may try to contact the person privately to see whether they can offer any advice. Just try your luck, be nice and don’t spam.
  3. Ask others for help.
    Check with others and ask for advice or help. Ask on Forum is an option too.

Hopefully the above helps.

I learnt the lesson myself.

Featured image by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Please note that this post is to provide information and for references only. As usual, please do your own due diligence. Always refer to official sources and relevant authorities for help or clarification.

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