RSI and Sales tactics

Question: I am very distressed to read your message about cold calling and entirely agree with your attitude to this. Please let your subscriber know that we do not accept this type of action. In fact as Company policy we never make cold calls and only respond to enquiries. If you are able to let me know who made the call I will be happy to look into this event more closely. As you have noted, our objective is to provide a possible way to overcome keyboard related RSI problems and we quite accept that our keyboard may not be suitable in all cases. It is for this reason that they are available on hire for trials. As a rough guide about half our hires are returned, but the other half provide the hoped for relief and are bought either by the user personally or by their employer or other supporting organisation. The longest continuous use of one of our keyboards is now just over 10 years. I hope your subscriber has not been put off trying one if thought possibly suitable by this unwelcome event.

Answer : I have received a complaint from a subscriber to RSI-UK. This subscriber was cold-called at work by someone selling Maltron keyboards, who had culled the subscriber’s telephone number from the mailing list. The caller was annoyingly persistent, and difficult to get rid of. The subscriber comments, “I consider this an abuse of the list.” So do I. I also think it shows a deplorable attitude, on the part of the salesperson, towards people with RSI. Anyone who has had the misfortune to encounter this damnable condition has more than enough to cope with already. They don’t need to be hassled at work by salespeople, and they certainly don’t need to feel that their messages to this list, or any other RSI forum, are being scanned by salespeople for telephone numbers and other contact information.

I confess that I am baffled as to why anyone selling Maltron keyboards would adopt such tactics. The keyboard has clearly been helpful to many people. I don’t see why someone who is selling it cannot be content to let it sell itself on its merits. Why damage its credibility by trying to sell it in this fashion? I am also concerned because, however helpful the keyboard might be to some, it’s not going to be the answer for everybody. I don’t think that salespeople should be trying to sell it indiscriminately, by tactics such as these, when they have no way of knowing whether it will be suitable for the person they are trying to sell it to. This goes beyond the question of abuse of this list, to a more general question of the attitude adopted towards people with RSI, by the sellers of ergonomic equipment.

RSI is a complex, multi-factorial medical condition, with as many different manifestations (it sometimes seems) as there are sufferers. These problems deserve a more thoughtful and considerate approach than a high-pressure unsolicited work time telephone sales call. I do not know whether the salesperson who made this call, and trawled the list for the phone number, is employed by Maltron or not. However, I would hope that the company would be concerned, whether the person is directly employed by Maltron or not. I would be interested to know what Maltron’s policy is toward cold-calling, and towards these methods of gleaning personal information with a view to making sales.

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