Brrrrr Brrrrr……Cold Callers

Posted on: 15/02/2011

courtesy of Markuso /

We used to have one of these phones as a kid. I love their heavy feel, and miss letting the pips trickle past your fingertips.


So the phone is ringing.  The caller ID is ‘withheld’. It’s either my mum, an international call, or a cold caller.  Let’s focus on the latter.

Now, I’m on the TPS (telephone preference service), which basically means it’s illegal to call me for marketing purposes unless I have specifically requested it.

If my man answers the call, he’s liable to do all sorts of clever things.  One is get the name of the company so that he can fill in the form and get them into trouble.  However usually they just hang up.

Other times he’ll keep them interested, by pretending to be into whatever it is they want.  (A friend of mine kept one cold caller going for 9 minutes.  Wonder if any of you can beat that?)   There was one occasion where he said ‘hang on a minute’ right at the start of the call, then left them hanging for 5 minutes…

Amused as I am by these antics, I can’t be that cruel.  I once spent three miserable months in recruitment and we would cold call every morning for two hours.  I didn’t like myself much in those three months, and nowadays I tend to think of those telemarketers as people unfortunate enough not to be able to get a nicer job.

So I’m straight to the point in my refusal to talk to them.  Blunt.  Polite if at all possible, but if they start to answer back, I’ll get lippy.

But I never, ever remember to ask them for their company name.

Scatterbrain again.


5 Responses to "Brrrrr Brrrrr……Cold Callers"

It is one of the greatest pleasures of life to give these people hell. And yes, I was once someone who worked cold calling people for purposes they wouldn’t want to talk to me for. So no, I have no reservations about doling out what I received. The world exists on up and down, give and take, yin and yang. I didn’t get a chance to take revenge on those poor, downtrodden souls that I had to ring and who just wanted to vent their spleen on me. So I think it’s only fair that I take my vengeance now. And those who ring me will get their chance in the not too distant future when, within 2 minutes of them arriving home from 8 hours trying to speak to people who didn’t want to waste their time on whatever the poor unfortunate needed to ask them about, they get a call from some other pointless marketing or market research company. People, when you get these calls, tell them exactly where to get off. Make their lives a misery, insist they take you off their contact list, and they will stop calling. Eventually. And if not, you have genunine cause for complaint. Examine the regulations of the MRS (Market Research Society)

How interesting that you take the opposite view. I can see your point – having been on the receiving end does give one more right to be particularly forthright with your opinion. I guess I’m just a softie at heart…I probably would say ‘boo’ to a goose. I just couldn’t curse at a cold-caller.

Since we signed up for the TPS, we’ve not had a cold call from a UK firm afaicr. Unfortunately we get absolutely heaps from India. My tactic for these is usually #3 (leave phone off hook and them waiting for you to return).

That’s true. I tend to give the more colourful accents rather less than the time of day. The more Queen’s speech they can muster, however, the more I am likely to soften to them! I got sucked into a subscription to the Times this way recently… His nibs will be delighted that you have the same tactic as him, by the way!

[…] is it illegal to swear at cold callers (no! but it’s much more fun to subject them to mind-games) […]

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