Land of Aggressive & Pesky Marketing Tactics: Telemarketers, Flyer Distributers and Beauty Product Promoters

The marketing tactics in Singapore will drive you bonkers, the worse culprit being telemarketers.  This is because there is no protection for consumers against such pesky callers. They are pesky because they don’t seem to listen to you at all, rattle off from a script and never take no for an answer. It totally feels like the worse kind of spam and an invasion of privacy.  It makes me regret filling out any online forms or lucky draw coupons.  How the heck do they always manage to get your telephone number?  And they always mispronounce your name and call you at night when you’re having dinner.  It’s super annoying.  They also seem to be calling from China or India these days where the calls are outsourced to.

The other marketing tactic I find annoying is being assaulted by paper. This happens especially along Orchard Road where marketers shove papers at your face. It’s not very green either as most people throw these away at the nearest bin they can find. At first I felt sorry for the people handing out the paper as they are just making a living. Then I encountered flyer distributers who are really aggressive and rude. So visitors beware.

What people who drive find annoying is the advertising flyers left under the car wipers on their windshields. This can be a hazard as you sometimes don’t realize they put it there and it flaps and blocks your vision when you drive. You then have to stop to remove it, cursing all the while. This guy got it real bad as the flyer got stuck on his windscreen.

The latest aggressive marketing tactic I encountered is at the malls where ladies selling a moisturizer try to stop you to give you a free sample. When you refuse, they say, just take it to try, no obligation. Then once you take it they grab your arm and say that the sample comes with a treatment that will just take a while. It’s the whole deception tactic that infuriates me. When you refuse they take back the sample that you didn’t want in the first place!  I find that some beauty and hair salons always try to make you buy additional stuff you don’t need.  Hard selling is the name of the game. Upselling as well.

Banks and credit card companies set up shop and try to make you sign up for a card promising no fees forever.  Yeah right.  And insurance agents make me want to run and hide.  When I was younger I stupidly just bought the policy so that the agent would leave me the heck alone.  The strange phenomenon is, once you buy the policy they vanish into thin air.  The most successful agents are also the most persistent.  The nicer ones who actually care about your well-being rather than the commission they make sadly don’t make it. I had a friend who tried to be an agent, but she just couldn’t bring herself to sell me a policy she knew I was better off without.  She soon changed fields.  In Singapore, insurance agents are some of the highest earners around.  I know because I have friends who have relatives who were rich agents and even about twenty years ago they were earning an unbelievable S$10,000 a month.

Are the marketing tactics as bad in your country? Do the same things infuriate you as well?

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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10 Responses to Land of Aggressive & Pesky Marketing Tactics: Telemarketers, Flyer Distributers and Beauty Product Promoters

  1. kirsten says:

    I was given a free coupon for a facial mask treatment at this new place. Then they asked me to fill a lucky draw thing. As I was doing that this salesgirl came and tried to make me buy a package.

    Yes, it was a good deal. But I just didn’t want one. I have no time to go, and if I do go I go to the one right next to my place, not the one I have to take a bus to get to. So I told her that I work all the time and I have no time to go and she was like “365 days, at least you must have 1 day off right?”

    Well, if I did have 1 day off a year, it’s not really up to you to tell me what to do with it, right?

    Then I told her I don’t know, because I might not want to use it, not even the free mask. Maybe my mum will take it, and then it’s up to her if she wants to buy. Then the woman was like “You should buy it for your mum and be a filial child.”


    And then I just said no and stood up and left and she gave me this dirty look and said, “Oh, so if you have to pay then you don’t want it?”

    Well, yes. I don’t want it. And you can’t guilt trip me for taking the free voucher. You gave it to me. Before you sprung all this crap.


    • bookjunkie says:

      Aw man!! How annoying & bossy can they get. Guilt trip on top of that. This is why I don’t like going to get my hair cut and stuff, there will always be someone hard-selling and if you don’t buy they look at you like you’re a cheapskate! Also they don’t allow you to buy the cheapest possible option and say things like your hair and skin are awful and stuff like that.

  2. kirsten says:

    Oh yes, and she also told me that I NEED this facial, because my skin is not so good and I have big pores. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

    • bookjunkie says:

      Aw man!!! Looks like they will say anything to get you to buy. When will they learn that hard selling puts customers off. If this wasn’t so incredibly infuriating it would be funny.

  3. Crystal says:

    The US has aggressive sales techniques as well. However, there is one advantage there…you can sign up for a “No call” list, which prohibits telemarketers from calling you. I miss that, especially as my number attracts WAY too many spam texts.

    • bookjunkie says:

      It’s one of the main reasons why I don’t like telephones. Yes!! we should have a no call list as well.

      When I unsubscribed from companies sending annoying text messages they never do unsubscribe me.

  4. Al says:

    Pesky marketeers are so common in Hong Kong! I remember picking up a flyer on a new condo development and I was quickly whisk away (as if I had commited a crime) to see a unit! The salesperson started with “Oh, this is an educated decision! We have various types of loan packages with your bank and this is the best condo you can ever invest in…bla bla bla…” When I firmly told them I wasn’t keen anymore, the salesperson asked for the flyer back. Hahaha.

    • bookjunkie says:

      That sounds so bad. I sometimes don’t walk in a straight line so as to avoid these hard sellers. Don’t they realize soft sell works best?

  5. bonnie says:

    gawd, exactly the same in HK and I hate telemarketers & people that shove fliers into my face when I walk down the street. It gets really frustration espeically since I have to walk by the “hot spot” everyday and get harassed non-stop by people what want to “do a survey”, who want to give you fliers, and so many many many charities seeking donations everyday! I always want to get a tshirt with a big ass NO on the front. Pesky callers are even more annoying, the most in my agenda! Honestly, I don’t even understand why companies hire young people to do random calling only to have the phone slammed on them every second! Who the heck buy or even talk to ppl from telemarketing?

    • bookjunkie says:

      Yes I think it is so counterproductive and gives me such a bad impression of the company. I don’t mind if it’s mailed to the house but getting it shoved in my face is too much. And it’s awful if you can’t avoid the hot spot!!

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