I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Have you ever received phone calls from telemarketers trying to sell you something? If so, what was the product or service that was being advertised?

HELPFUL TIP: Telemarketing is big business, but it can be annoying to those who receive such calls. If you don’t want people to call you, tell them to put you on their do-not call list.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

I. Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. What product or service is the telemarketer promoting?

A. a stay at a new condominium

B. a membership to a sports club

C. a hotel in Hawaii
2. Which special feature is NOT part of this offer?

A. access to free meals and beverages

B. use of fitness rooms

C. unrestricted use to a swimming pool

3. Why does the man turn down the offer?

A. He doesn’t have extra money to spend.

B. He never buys things over the phone.

C. He doesn’t need the service being provided.

4. What statement is true about the “do not call” list according to the conversation?

A. It will take four to six weeks to remove the man’s name from the company’s phone list.

B. The man might be called by another company representative in the coming weeks.

C. The man can request that his name be added again to the company’s database.

5. What is the man’s name?

A. Mr. Phillips

B. Mr. Jones

C. Mr. Williams

Score =

Correct answers:

Man: Hello.Telemarketer: Good evening, Sir. Is this Mr. Charles Philips?

Man: Yes, it is.

Telemarketer: Well, Mr. Phillips. This evening, I’m calling to offer you a special discount on . . .

Man: Ah, no, let me guess. You want to sell a subscription to the newspaper or a great deal on airfare to Hawaii, right? [Well, . . .]. Or, you want to offer me an unbelievable bargain on flamenco dance lessons.

Telemarketer: No, no, actually . . . Mr. Jones. [Huh?] Oh, sorry. That was the last guy. [Ah, great.] Uh, we want to offer you a free trial membership to our sports club downtown at the introductory price of $39.95 . . .

Man: Thirty-nine ninety-five?!? I thought you said free! Uh, listen. I’m not interested.

Telemarketer: Well, it includes unlimited access to all our facilities, including the gym, weight room, racketball courts, and swimming pool.

Man: Again, I’m not interested. I have my own fitness program I do around the house anyway.

Telemarketer: Well, this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

Man: Nah. Like I said, I’ll pass this time. And please put me on your “don’t call” list.

Telemarketer: Okay. It’ll take between four and six months before your name will be removed from our database. [Months?!?] You might be called by another representative during that time.

Man: Ah, man. Ah, great.

Telemarketer: Have a nice evening, Mr. Williams.

Man: Ah, man.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • offer (verb): to provide or make available
    – This hotel sometimes offers on rooms on weekdays.
  • subscription (noun): a payment for newspapers or magazines for a specific period of time
    – I bought a subscription to the city newspaper for the rest of the year.
  • flamenco (noun): a style of dancing common to traditional Spanish gypsies
    – I recently joined a flamenco dance club at the university.
  • trial (adjective): the process of testing something to find out about it
    – My brother decided to accept a trial membership to local health club.
  • access (noun): the right to make use of something
    – Only members have access to the swimming pool in the morning.