While You’re on their Website, the Phone Rings (The Call is Coming from inside the Internet)

By March 10, 2011Social Media

Photo credit: A National Acrobat

Last night, my husband began planning some yard work for the spring. In calculating what we spend on fertilizer and seed, he began to wonder just how much more it could possibly be to hire a lawn service.

He went online (as we do for absolutely everything in our house) and entered some basic information into a well-known lawn service’s website, including his e-mail address as his preferred method of contact. Since he didn’t want a phone call, he did not share our phone number with the company.

While he was still on the site, the phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID and told him the lawn care company was calling.

Well he just came unglued — understandably, I thought.  I’ve had similar scenarios come up when I’ve been visiting a web page and while I don’t like it, it doesn’t fire me up as much as it did my husband.

What do you think of this aggressive type of web + phone marketing? I am less inclined to work with a business that contacts me in a way other than how I’ve requested they do so — and in fact, this company has so thoroughly disgusted my husband that they’ve permanently lost us as prospective customers.

Has this ever happened to you? What was your reaction?


  • Annie says:

    Ok, I’m missing something. How did they know your phone number if he didn’t provide it? Did they look it up based on his name? Or is there some way to automatically find out a phone number based on his location?

  • I agree with your husband and would have reacted similarly. My business never contacts anyone without their express permission, and always via electronic means these days than phone unless we are responding to a complaint. I relish my privacy and personal life and feel very violated by solicitation.

  • KMay says:

    That’s kind of creeptastic. I remember when I was looking for cars, I emailed one listing to myself from a dealer’s website and was suddenly inundated with “hey come take a test drive” emails from one of the salespeople.

    It was annoying enough over email, if they would have chosen the phone, I probably would have told them off…

  • Marijean says:

    Annie — that’s just it — they must have either looked up the phone number or found it based on online profile information available on social networks. Either way, it’s an invasion and not at all welcome.