Sunday, November 11, 2007

Respect The Silence

Not long after the two-minute silence, while wreaths were still being laid at Edwin Lutyens’ Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall, the telephone rang. I muted the Dimbleby to find a telemarketer on the line, asking if it was a convenient time to ask me some questions about my leisure time.

I told her now wasn’t the best of times. Instead she could call back in the week, preferably when I’d be out. I put the phone down. Just before midday the telephone rang again. A different voice asked pretty much the same thing. No, not now. When could she call back? I checked my diary. How about... never? That would suit me fine.

The third caller, not long after, wanted to talk about conservatories and whether I wanted one. I asked if she had purloined my address along with the phone number. The question threw her. Because if she had the address, she would see a letter immediately after the street number.

What does that suggest? I asked. She still didn’t get it. How about an apartment that’s not on the first floor? Silence. Which means...? No garden and therefore... no need for a sodding conservatory. Okay? Good. Goodbye.

10 Comments:

At 12:22 am, Blogger Jon Peacey said...

Three words for you: Telephone Preference Service. Since signing up to it the number of cold-callers has dropped to maybe 1 every 6 months. And when they do call you ask them what the company is and that you're on the service and they suddenly become very apologetic and virtually beg you not to inform on them... the fines for ringing an exempted number are really quite high. I tell everyone when I think of it...

 
At 8:23 am, Blogger Ian said...

I signed up to TPS several years ago. Unfortunately it hasn't helped much. As soon as you mention it the caller either hangs up immediately (usually as I'm caught mid-rant having asked who they are) OR they say they are calling from outside the UK and are therefore exempt.

 
At 11:05 am, Blogger Clair said...

I particularly enjoyed a Sunday morning call from a book club, saying it was a 'courtesy call' telling me about their offers. I told them that far from being courteous, they'd got me out of bed on a Sunday morning to try and sell me books, so it was in fact a rude sales call, wasn't it?

I must admit, I do quite like riling telesales people, by either pertending to be insane or asking if I can call them back at my leisure.

 
At 11:36 am, Blogger potdoll said...

Sorry Good Dog. I'll stop calling you. Well, I'll try anyway.

 
At 1:26 pm, Blogger Jon Peacey said...

Ian- that's strange. As I said it's virtually removed all the cold-calling here. You're right that it doesn't cut out overseas calls. Odd!

 
At 2:58 pm, Blogger Lucy said...

TPS doesn't work. In one rented place I lived the previous tenant got into a row with the landlord and signed the address up for every calling service and mail service imaginable (like that'll make any difference to the landlord, he lived in frigging Singapore). My solution? Get dial up to silence the fone and shred EVERYTHING. Apart from my own mail of course. Tho some of that too.

 
At 12:41 am, Blogger Good Dog said...

Suggestions from a couple of the gals at work:

1. Blow a whistle down the phone.

2. Tell them you have to check when is a better time for them to call back, put the receiver down and go sit in another room for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Dolly, if I'd known it was you I'd have signed up for everything!

 
At 10:39 pm, Blogger Brian Sibley said...

Other possibilities:

Just keep saying Hello...? Hello...?

Say nothing, just breath heavilly..

Give a series of maniacal laughs...

Ask if they know Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour...

Get a cap pistol, fire it and scream...

Or----

Try and sell them something...

 
At 12:30 pm, Blogger Robin Kelly said...

TPS has worked for me and it's maybe worth a try.

The whistle down the phone when used for sex pests, general harassers and Aston Villa fans is fair enough but it seems a bit harsh for minimum wage call centre bods.

Find the managing director's phone number, however, and that'll be a different story...

 
At 1:42 pm, Blogger Jon Peacey said...

"The whistle down the phone when used for sex pests, general harassers and Aston Villa fans is fair enough but it seems a bit harsh for minimum wage call centre bods."

Agreed. I know quite a few minimum wage call centre bods... quite a few are unemployed screen-writers. It'd be a pity if they never got to hear their words on screen for the wrong reason!

 

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