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.