This afternoon, while I was making lunch for Lucy, the phone rang. Now we only have a phone because you need a BT line to get broadband, so the handset is pretty cheap and we tend not to give the number out. Only three people ever phone me on the phone, apart from the telephone scammers.
I answered the phone but didn’t immediately speak. A male native english speaker asked to speak to Mr or Mrs Kemp. I asked him who was calling.
“Mr Kemp, I’m just calling from the local office of Safestyle to follow up a request for a quote.” he claimed.
I hadn’t said who I was, my policy is to neither confirm nor deny anything to people on the phone until I’ve worked out who they are. “Oh, really?” I commented.
“Mrs Kemp requested a quote from us.” came a practised lie.
“I don’t think she did.”
“We don’t do cold calls, Mrs Kemp asked for a quote to replace eight windows.”
“I don’t believe you. I replied, hanging up the phone (my SOP when dealing with unsolicited sales calls). I put the phone on the kitchen counter and grabbed the loaf to make a sandwich.
The phone rang again.
I tried to reject the call with the ‘off’ button, but it didn’t work. So I pressed ‘talk’, waited for the display to change to count the call duration, and then I pressed ‘off’. Back to the sandwich.
The phone rang again.
I wondered if the sales guy had perhaps not understood that I wasn’t falling for his script. So I decided to speak to him again.
“That was very rude of you. Let’s start again.” he opened with.
“You called me to try and sell me something I don’t need or want.”
“Mrs Kemp asked us to call with a quote.”
“No she didn’t.”
“She must have, how else would we have got your details?”
“You’re just a spammer.” I said, and hung up the phone.
The phone rang again.
I couldn’t quite believe the brass neck on this guy, in fact I was beginning to wonder if perhaps my wife had asked for a quote.
“Stop being rude, we’ve both got better things we could be doing than wasting time” he started.
“I’ve been very clear than I think you’re a dirty scammer and I’m not buying anything from you. If you don’t stop calling me then I’ll report you to the police for making nuisance calls.”
“Don’t you want the quote you asked for?”
“Do NOT call me again.” I hung up for the fourth and final time.
The persistence and bare faced cheek of this guy is almost unbelievable. I knew double glazing salesmen have a bad reputation, but this was a new level even by those standards. What sort of salesperson thinks that hassling someone who has already hung up on you twice and calling them unreasonable is going to persuade them to buy something?
I did check with my wife and she denies ever asking for a quote for new windows, so it was definitely a cynically scripted cold call made to look like it wasn’t.
Spam callers can get pretty aggressive here too, the rule I strictly follow is don’t call me I will call you when it comes to services.
I used to hang up on them, but now I play with them. I love the ones who say there is a problem with my computer. I tell them I have a brand I don’t have, and pretend I am trying to follow their instructions while I make a cup of coffee or eat an ice cream or whatever, well away from my computer. I keep them on the phone for 10 or 15 minutes or until I get bored with them before laughing and hanging up. 🙂
I also love the ones who lose their temper and swear at me or threaten to kill me or whatever. I just laugh and say come on over before hanging up.
I could go on with repeat calls, etc, but I mostly say I am not me, but could take a message for me when I get home, if they give me a phone number to call. Some of the idiots do give a 1800 number, and a name, (no telling if real name or not) then hang up. Never sent the phone number to the police to trace yet, but may do one day. Fun and games. 🙂
I’d follow the same rule as you jrj1701 if I had a phone with caller ID. In the past when I did that’s exactly what I used to do. I do the same on my mobile phone.
Like D J Mills I have once or twice played with the chaps pretending to be from Microsoft. I run ubuntu linux on the machines at home, but I don’t tell them that, I just play dumb and let them run through their entire diagnostic script to no avail.