Remember last year when the Royals sold ticket offers on Groupon? If you were like me, you jumped at the chance for very cheap tickets for a weeknight game.
Well, there may have been an ulterior motive behind the sale.
I got a call today from “Grant” (not pictured) who works in the Royals Ticketing Office. He wanted to let me know that he was “going through my ticket history from my recent Groupon purchase.” He wanted to ask me for a quick survey about if the Royals should do Groupon again next year.
“Sure, I said,” while immediately recognizing that something fishy was going on. We chatted for a few minutes and then he asked me, “How many games did you go to last year?”
I refrained from explaining to him that I went several times on press passes and finally settled on about 15 times that we went out with the family – Mostly on tickets from my wife’s work.
“Fifteen, you say?” Grant was eager to get to the next line in his script. “Well, you know, we have some great season ticket packages right now right around that fifteen game mark.”
Boom. There it was. At 3:30 on a Thursday in January. Telemarketing 101. Get the number. Call the number. Execute the script. Make-a da monies.
Listen, I don’t really fault the Royals for this tactic. Times are tough. But the purpose of this article is to educate the public that there’s no such thing as a free lunch or a cheap ticket.
It turns out that Groupon didn’t directly provide my phone number to the Royals. They don’t have my number because if they did, every hot wing place in town would be telemarketing me. No, the Royals mined my ticket history against a list of people who have been out to more than one game. Very simple data mining.
Beware. You’re probably next.
I called back and spoke to Molly in the ticketing office who said that they meant no harm by the telemarketing call and that the phone number likely came from MLB.com or Royals.com – both properties of MLB. They ask you for your phone number a lot. It could have also come from the text messaging competitions you play in the stadium.
Bottom line is – just realize that if you give out your phone number, you’re giving permission for them to call you back – even when it’s not baseball season – to try to sell you something. And this certainly doesn’t just apply to The Royals, but also the Chiefs, Sporting, Comets, Hooters, Dominos, AMC. ANYONE you give your phone number to.
I asked to have my phone number removed. If I get another call next January, I’ll be sure to update it here.