Navigating commercial constraints in a service call

Márquez Reiter, Rosina (2019). Navigating commercial constraints in a service call. In: Garcés-Conejos Blitvich, Pilar; Fernández-Amaya, Lucía and De la O Hernandez-Lopez, Maria eds. Technology mediated service encounters. Pragmatics & Beyond New Series (300). John Benjamins Publishing.



In this chapter I examine a call from a telephone agent to a client in which the former tries to obtain a sale irrespective of the client’s interest in the product and, the latter seizes this opportunity to obtain access to a product that she is not entitled to. A central aspect of the organization of the exchange examined is, on the one hand, that it is never clear if the client is ready to proceed with the depositing of one of the products, and, on the other hand, that the agent remains ambiguous as to the rights that depositing the product in question would give the client. In view of this, the chapter explores how the conversational participants avoid explicitly stating what each will do or indeed offer before they can determine what the other party will give in exchange. The chapter thus contributes to the literature on (mediated) service encounters by shedding empirical light on the conversational participants create and maintain ambiguity to pursue different commercial agendas.

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