Hong Kong thrives on consumerism, therefore sales efforts become even more important. Unfortunately, salespersons are relentless here! You have the incredibly obnoxious real estate sales agents, who will skulk about in troves at major passageways, asking anyone they hope is rich enough if they would like to see a showroom flat for one of their outrageous properties (it got so bad at the Kowloon MTR station that police had to restrict the sales agents’ access). You also have lots of tree-killing advertisements being handed out every day – but sometimes when a sweet old lady or man is doing such a rough job, you can’t help but accept their flyer. Then the worst (in my opinion) are the phone calls!
I cannot tell you HOW many telephone calls I must get a month of marketers trying to persuade me to get a loan at a great interest rate! It’s not that these calls aren’t difficult to dismiss – you can just ask them to speak in English, and then the caller will either hang up or say they will call back (it’s a real pity how many of these telemarketers are not fluent in English) or you can just interrupt and say – no thank you, and hang up, OR just plain hang up!
I have a colleague who is just too polite to ever do any of the above. Each time he gets a call he will hear the telemarketer out and then politely say he doesn’t need their services and hang up. Incredible! But I have heard of some telemarketers being very pushy (unlike the MTR real estate agents) – and even ask in reply to you saying “no need”, “why not?”. I mean – who cares, I don’t need a loan and if I did, why would I want to take a loan out from someone scouring for would-be borrowers from random telephone numbers!
The oddest telemarketing effort my colleague received was a call to sell facials for men – to which he politely declined.
It’s incredibly excessive, really, and there isn’t much you can do about it in HK. BUT you can and should register your number(s) on the do-not-call registries which will prevent you from receiving SMS, fax, and recorded voice telemarketing efforts.
Navigate yourself here for more info, and DO IT. I just wish I could stop the live telemarketers from calling me. I don’t mean to be rude to who are probably poor kids with limited job prospects, but STILL – please stop calling me!