Thursday, 17 November 2011

Nuisance phone calls.

I am not on the whole a rude woman. I listen usually with great patience to people explaining their difficulties  most days of my life but recently I have started to respond to certain calls in a fairly unsympathetically  way.
The phone rings. I pick it up to find no one on the either end. I say hello. Nothing. I put the phone down.
That scenario may happen several times in a day. Sometimes I hear the sound in the back ground of a busy office. Other voices speaking , phones ringing.
Sometimes the phone goes dead the moment I answer.    If I was a suspicious woman I'd assume it to be "The other woman"
Then sometimes someone speaks to me. They say. "Hello Mrs .... how are you today?"
This simple question makes me very cross now. Its obviously being used as a way to get people to respond...I have often wondered if you started to tell them how you really are it might put them off a bit.
Next time I could tell them about a bad back or an anxiety about a trivial problem.  I could stretch it out a bit  to see what happens.
They don't really want to know how you are though. Its just to get the ball rolling so the ball goes no further with me. I pick it up and lob it back!
This morning I said in answer to the question....."Look just tell me what you want please."
The young man with poor English asked me to repeat the question at the end of which he went into his spiel about getting me 40 % off my electricity bill for the rest of my life......which might not be long at this rate.
Why do they do it? Who thinks its cost effective to have a call centre in India?
The real  problem here is that I have twice now responded badly to a genuine question as to my well being....  then its difficult to explain!  If the number says International its usually a sales call. If its says the number is with held..same thing  but just occasionally its a call you really need.....this whole selling by phone thing is an actual do we get it stopped?


  1. Like you Jean, I am not in general a rude woman, but I am beginning to make exceptions to the listen politely rule.
    The calls where you hear no individual voice are electronically generated and the correct response, albeit with a hefty sigh, is to hang up.
    My response to the "how are you today" question is "how are you"? When they stumble I then add, "to save your time and mine, i do not want to buy anything ever, and I have no intention of changing any of my service providers, THANKYOU!"
    The thankyou is loud and clear and I then hang up.

  2. We are registered with the various lines to stop unsolicited calls, but still get a few. I'm afraid that my stock response is "I don't care who you are, or what you are selling, stop ringing me" and hang up.

    As you say, it might be a genuine call from family, friends, partishioners etc, that you might be waiting for. It's an unnecessary distraction and worry, particularly when you get those calls with nobody at the other end.

    I've noticed more recently that my mobile is targeted. We changed our provider and took our numbers with us (as we have done on several occasions) only to receive calls from our previous provider asking us to come back. I had to threaten them with a harassment complaint to the Ombudsman before they stopped calling.

    The most annoying thing with mobiles in the stupid text messages or adverts that clog up your phone and have to be deleted constantly. We've referred them to the telephone preference service for mobiles, but nothing seems to get done to stop them.


  3. In January I had a little shunt in my car. I was completely unhurt, not so much as a bruised toe or a broken nail, hardly a hair out of place. My rear bumper was dented, it got fixed, it cost me nothing, end of...

    Suddenly at the end of September I started to be besieged by calls from several Manchester numbers offering to help me claim compensation for my injuries. I think the record was ten calls in one day. I have explained politely that I have nothing to be compensated for. I have told them to go away. I have shouted and hung up. I am still getting calls, either from 0161 numbers or 'unknowns'. So I don't now answer any calls unless I know who is ringing.

    I might as well not have a phone.

  4. As an antidote to my angst of yesterday we had a call last night from my husbands old college. It was a young lady who asked him about his career in engineering, what he had built, how he had benefitted from his time at Uni...It was a longish call which of course ended in the inevitable request for money. She had been so good that I nearly said I would give them some!
    The approach really does make all the difference!
    Door keeper I am sorry you've been hassled in this way! I can not believe that it ever pays them to do it!