Monday, 15 October 2012

Taking hubby's advice on cold callers

Can you remember it? Those days where as you were getting to grips with a sleep routine. With all three of ours we started with a moses basket in the lounge to be able to put them down once sleep was found.

And there was nothing worse in those early days than getting the babies off to sleep and the phone ringing. Especially when naps were in the moses basket and that sharp interruption would inevitably wake them.

My mum who always has her heart in the right place quickly understood that I'd check in with her rather than the other way round.
But the calls that you can't plan for, of course the most annoying, are the cold callers.
In spite of being ex-directory they still inevitably got through, whether it be seeking someone else or someone (despite ticking the box not to have details passed on) that has gained my details as a third party.

The easiest thing to do is sort out caller id on your phone. We always invested a little extra to have this. It's easy for the obvious dial codes, but for those that come up 'international' calls there's always the need to answer in case it's family.
It doesn't actually stop the phone calling though and therein lies the problem.

The international calls are the worst ones, there's no rhyme or rationale how they've got your number. I recall they were usually about some random survey that I had to respond to- why? who said?!
I also found that car or home insurance companies that I'd used in the past would continue to use your details, so each year they'd get back in contact- really frustrating because they had previously had me permission to access my personal data, but it was unclear to me what the deal is once the contract we had is terminated.

However, I am fortunate to have a husband who enjoys thinking up ways to wind cold callers up as much as they do him.

The favourite, which is ok if you don't need to use your phone, is when they ask for "Mrs Smith", just offer to get them. Go out of the room, call them (oh yes, we like to be convincing) and then put the phone back on the side. At least there might be a little bit of satisfaction that you're costing them money.

The next responses are ok if you've got time on your hands, and you're in the mood to wind people up, it's always good if you've had a particularly bad day.

The first, shoe on the other foot, pretend you can't understand them, get them as frustrated as they're making you. It's not in their interest to stay on the line if they're not getting anywhere- but how rude would it be for them to hang up on you (they all do eventually!).

Every now and again we got calls saying we had been "specially selected", for double glazing or whatnot, it's quite entertaining to have a conversation about how excited you are, that you've never won anything before, that you can't wait to let your friends know. Again, quite a good one to get them hanging up on you.

Mr J often stops them to ask if it's ok to put them hold. Always baffles them.
His other favourite it to rant at them but press a button every time you'd think he was saying a swear word- he likes the idea that people really think phones block swear words. Hmmmm.

The best one, which we've yet to try, but know she's of an age where she loves to talk to people on the phone about her day (admittedly family and friends at the moment), but it would be good to put Squeaks on the phone to them!.. or maybe the boys, they love phones, though conversation would be lacking.

I have to admit, we called it a day when we moved house. A year ago. We've yet to get a landline installed. I've got a landline for work, which I've given to close family and friends, but I've got a work mobile and a personal mobile, and touch wood as yet I don't get the annoying phone calls on my mobile, texts- yes.

And as for my work line, I find it absolutely amazing how many calls I take of the recorded message saying that they've got records showing I'm owed shedloads from PPI- do you think this means my employer has lots of loans and credit cards- or do you think it's unsolicited calls!


Disclaimer: This is a post is part of a campaign led by Bounty encouraging the correct use of personal data. I received a trimphone for getting involved.

1 comment:

  1. I despise cold callers. When the eldest was about three years old, we used to let her answer. She loved chatting away to them. It was sometimes the only time we got any peace. We have registered with the TPF and since then, the calls have reduced drastically. Well recommended.

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