Posts Tagged ‘sales calls’

I’ve invented a new game. You can play it on your own, but you have to be in the right frame of mind, or in a certain sort of mood. Son doesn’t reckon it’ll catch on, he says I’m just being embarrassing but I like to think of it as a game we grow into as we age. I’m naming it ‘Beat the Sales Call.’

old Ericsson phone -picture from Wikipedia

old Ericsson phone -picture from Wikipedia

Even though I signed up for the Telephone Preference Service, which is supposed to block unwanted calls from companies trying to flog their solar panelling (with the summers we have – are they kidding?), or charities attempting to sign you up as a direct debit donor, we still get plenty of nuisance calls. Usually at the most inconvenient time.

Occasionally however, I’ll answer and engage with the hapless souls who are trying to sell me something, the game being that I’ll waste so much of their time our number will be put on some sort of blacklist and we won’t be bothered in the future.

Now, regular readers will know about the love-hate relationship I have with my mobile phone. I still regard it as a device to be used in an emergency and not as something to have welded to the side of my face as do most of the people who hog the pavement space on our narrow high street. Or use loudly in restaurants as if the rest of the clientele are remotely interested in hearing their one-sided conversation. I receive and send minimal text messages and hardly ever use it to have a conversation, so when it rang yesterday evening, (just as Son and I were about to unwind with a cup of tea in front of a mindless TV comedy show), I answered it automatically, thinking it was an emergency. It wasn’t. It was Brendan. And poor old Brendan had stumbled unwittingly into my new game.

 So, to give you an example of ‘Beat the Sales Call,’ here’s a transcript of last night’s conversation.

“Hello there Jennifer, how are you today?”  (Jennifer? Whatever happened to good evening Mrs Pellett, I hope I’m not disturbing you? And incidentally, the only stranger I’ve ever not minded calling me by my rarely used full first name was the midwife who delivered my son. She could’ve called me anything)

 “Fine, thank you.”

 “Well, er, good. This is Brendan here, from Yodafone.*  How has your day been so far, Jennifer?” (Give me strength. Full of argumentative stroppy teenagers, actually. I’m so ready for you, Brendan).


“Good, good. Perhaps I can make it even better for you, Jennifer. This is just a quick call to see if I can do something for you today.” (Well, there’s a dishwasher that needs emptying, supper to attend to and about a hundred Christmas cards to write, Brendan, but I don’t suppose that’s what you have in mind).

 “Okay, so what are you trying to sell me then?”

 “Oh, no, no Jennifer, this is to look at the tariff you’re currently on and to see if we can help you out with a few discounts today…”   (Yeah, right)

 “Which I‘ll have to pay for.”

“I must just remind you Jennifer, that all calls are recorded for training purposes.”  (Oooh, goody. I wonder what they call staff trainers these days? Human Resource Furtherment Facilitators? – don’t get me started on that one).

“First up, Jennifer, I see you don’t have a four digit pin number set up.”

“Why would I need one of those?”

“So that I can talk to you about your account, Jennifer…”

“But you are talking to me about my account.”

“Okay, so we don’t need to set up a pin number Jennifer; if I could just have your date of birth and post code then.”

“Why do you need those – you phoned me, remember.”

“It’s just for data protection, Jennifer, I have your details on my screen.”

 “Whose protection are we talking about then? You phoned me, – how do I know you are who you say you are? I can see that if I phone say, my bank, I‘d expect to have to identify myself somehow, but you phoned me, Brendan. So what is the point of this call?” (Note that I’m beginning to sound like Brendan now).

 “Well, Jennifer, as I said, this is to see if we can help you save money on your tariff by offering you discounts.” (I’m beginning to feel sorry for Brendan now. He has such a lovely voice).

 “Yes, but to get to these so called discounts, Brendan, I’m ultimately going to have to spend more money, aren’t I?”

 “In all honesty, Jennifer, yes you are.” (Chuckling good naturedly, bless him).

 “Nice talking to you Brendan, goodbye.”

Of course, there are other ways to deal with unwanted sales calls. You can answer the phone, put it down and walk away or you can just not pick up at all. But neither of these options are nearly as much fun.

*Not a typo

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