I’ve done it! I am officially the cold caller’s Most Unwanted.
After years of murderous fury towards that disembodied voice on the phone: “Is that Miss Lay Bonks?” I’ve beaten them – those irritating miserable myopic moronic maddening faceless fatuous thoughtless fools who want me to do their stupid surveys or buy their leaky double glazing.
Yes! The world’s tyrannous cold-call centres have finally banned me.
It happened on Friday April 16, 2010. My last ever cold call was at 12.33pm precisely. The beeps are still ringing in my ears.
Yes, yes I can hear you say: “But you should have gone to the Telephone Preference Service.”
Rollocks to the Telephone Preference Service, they couldn’t stop trouble in an empty house – no, harangue the callers! Hound them! Harass them! They’ve been doing it to you for a decade!
Here’s a good one … tell them your dog just died. That gets them every time. It’s not that they care one jot, it’s just that a dead dog’s not in their script.
Here are a few others to get you through the long journey to escape cold caller hell:
Forget about Big Brother
Ask them why they are withholding their number even though they are asking for personal information about you. They have no idea why their number is withheld – but I do. It’s because all call centres are call centres within call centres and the Big Daddy call centre has only shelled out for one switchboard and lots of different companies have to share it.
Hang on a minute
Put the phone down but leave the line open. It takes them ages to catch on…
Tell then you’ve only got three weeks left to live.
tell them to come round after 7pm because of your ankle-tag, you have to be in by then. Tell them you can show your Asbo as proof of identity.
Hello, are you Mrs Blanks?
No I’m the burglar…
What are you selling?
We’re not selling anything, Mr Blonks, we just…
Well, what are you ringing me for – I only buy things.
Cook up a plan
“Can you hold on a minute? I need to take something out of the oven. You can even pop back every couple of minutes and say “nearly there luvey”.
If you’ve got a child, pass them the phone, children love to chat. Or if you don’t have a child give the phone to your granny – or your dog
Fax of life
Call a fax machine and record it. Keep the recording next to your phone.
If a double-glazing salesman calls, tell him you live in a tent. If he’s selling central heating, tell him you’re moving to an igloo.
“Praise the Lord. Have you heard about Jesus?”
Ring of truth
Thank the cold caller for ringing, confirm that the call is important to you and offer a menu of options.
Ask the centre for ‘the password’.
When a double glazing salesman calls tell him you need 123 windows. He’ll hang up.
Sprechen ze Deutch?
Pretend you don’t speak English.
Tell them you’ve just died.
“I’m in the middle of having sex”.
A bit of a hiccough
Pretend to be drunk – or actually make sure you are drunk.
Agree to buy masses of whatever they are selling – then explain that you will need credit as you’re on the dole.
It has been a tradition for many decades that double-glazing salesmen stood head and shoulders above all others in the pantheon of the world’s Most Hated. But they are rapidly slipping down the list as anonymous callers coldly invade your privacy like it’s never been invaded before.
Each cold caller – and there are millions of them across the world – is expected to make 100 calls every day, that’s a mind-boggling number of people being got at any one time by these professional opportunists.
So, let’s get them – tell them you are recording their conversation for training purposes, ask them if they own their own home, how many children they’ve got, are they married or divorced, single or living over the brush, do they own a dog or a duck … ask them if they would like you to come round and put their windows in!