Brand Faux 'Pa': Fred Thompson
“Hello Senior!” The distinctive voice of Fred Thompson, former U.S. Senator, talk show host, author and former “Law & Order” actor, boomed into my ear through my cell phone.
At first, I was merely offended at being called a Senior — and from a man I didn’t know!
But Fred didn’t hesitate for a moment before launching into his sales pitch for some Medical Alert device. His pre-recorded voice chattered on for about a minute and then told me to “press 1 to take advantage of this offer.”
Sure thing, Fred.
I pressed “1” because there was no other way to opt out and I’m sure that was simply an oversight (Fred’s so busy with his many responsibilities as a columnist and radio host).
Do Not Call Registry
Apparently Fred was unaware that my cell phone is registered with the FCC’s National Do Not Call Registry, so I wanted to make sure his staff knew they were not in compliance. Considering Fred used to be Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, you’d think he’d want to make sure that any company, for whom he was a spokesperson, would be in compliance with the law.
I hung on the line, patiently waiting about 45 seconds to be taken off hold. Then, after Doris identified herself and asked me for my name, I politely told her I was on the “Do Not Call” list and – BAM! She hung up on me. Mid-sentence no less!
Gosh Doris. Do you think Fred is aware of your inexcusable rudeness?
Fred tried calling me again a few days later. I guess he thinks I’m deteriorating quickly and he’s doing a public service by contacting me again. This time it was from a phone number in Michigan.
“Hello Senior!” boomed Fred.
“Hello Fred!” I shouted back.
Fred kept up his patter and we danced the same dance. Me pressing “1”, and “Joan” answering the call, and then promptly slamming down the phone when I politely tell her my issue.
In a one week period, I got FIVE calls from Fred (all from different states – so I guess Fred has a busy travel schedule too!). And every time I waited patiently hoping that someone would actually listen to my plight. Sadly, they all hang up on me before I can even spit out the words. And finally, I’d had enough.
Shame on You, Fred
I found Fred’s twitter handle (@fredthompson) and I started tweeting at him on May 22nd. I started off politely enough, and got a few of Fred's followers to favorite my tweets. But when I started getting two to three calls a day from Fred, my tweets got more aggressive.
I quickly realized that Fred doesn’t read my tweets (not that I really thought he would). But I’m truly dumbfounded that a former U.S. Senator and “distinguished” author/actor and former Presidential candidate would lend his voice to this scam.
I’ve tried calling the number(s) back and texting the number – but all in vain. Fred and I are bound together by his regular phone calls. One day I will be a Senior, but I have no plans to purchase a Medical Alert anything. Because if anything happens to me, I just plan to call Fred for help ... over and over and over again.
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.