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Source: (consider it) Thread: Cold Callers!!!
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I am on the TPS. So the last thing I want, when expecting dire tidings, is some prat calling from who knows where, causing me to drop everything, rush for the phone and pick it up only to hear silence and then a tiny click.

qwiurtfgoiwopdehnivdsuroaesfpiqdw!!!

(I forgot it was Tuesday - they usually call on Tuesday. I have a long list of barred numbers from Tuesdays. I added this one, then rethought it as it was a proper number not a made up one, so deleted it from the memory altogether. Hospitals always withhold, though.)

It was Manchester. Nowhere near anyone I know.

[ 07. February 2017, 11:42: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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A friend on Facebook has just commented that he got a cold call from someone asking if he gets too many cold calls.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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I never answer my phone unless I specifically expect a call. All calls go to the answering machine, and if it's important, I call back.

My phone rings six times before it goes to the machine, and the majority of callers hang up before that. Most others hang up as soon as the machine's message starts. I assume that these are mostly cold calls.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20190 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
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# 14768

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Manchester rang again while I was out. I called back. Dead tone.
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Penny S
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# 14768

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There is quite a funny story about Manchester, and my first mobile phone. For the benefit of non-UK people, Manchester is towards the top left-hand part of England, just inland from Liverpool. I am in the bottom right-hand part of England, just east of London.

I bought the phone, and shortly after started getting odd calls. People wanted me to sell them double glazing. Eventually, I managed to answer one of the calls before it went to voice mail, and got where they had got the phone number from. The local paper. I called the local paper, and they had been given my number. They could not contact the advertiser, because they only had my phone number! But the string of calls stopped. That was Birmingham, about halfway between me and Manchester.

And then I started getting calls again, about money. At one point, I changed the message to say that if they were calling about double glazing, they had the wrong number. And, eventually, a request to call the Manchester Police. I had a very interesting call with them from the Sainsbury's car park in Northfleet, in which I managed to persuade them that I was not the person who had been taking orders and money and not doing work. (I do wonder how the arrangements had been made if they had the wrong number.)

It was worrying for a while, but funny in retrospect. Probably not for the people at the other end.

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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In my experience it's the people who are selling double glazing who make lots of cold calls. Too bad you couldn't have somehow patched together the ones calling you wanting d.g. with the ones selling it.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Robocalls I allow to run their course, by laying the phone down on the counter. You waste my time, I can waste yours.
Real live callers are an invitation to improv theater. If I am in a kind and tolerant mood I might shriek, "THIS IS A HOUSE OF MOURNING!" and then slam down the receiver. If I am feeling creative the sky's the limit.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Penny S
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# 14768

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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
In my experience it's the people who are selling double glazing who make lots of cold calls. Too bad you couldn't have somehow patched together the ones calling you wanting d.g. with the ones selling it.

Absolutely. I was not unaware of the irony.

(I used to enjoy telling the d/g lot that there was no use my buying a conservatory as I was one floor off the ground.)

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kingsfold

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# 1726

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quote:
posted by Penny S:
(I used to enjoy telling the d/g lot that there was no use my buying a conservatory as I was one floor off the ground.)

A former colleague of mine went one further. He went along with the salesperson, and was eager for them to come visit etc before asking if stilts were included....
He lived in a first floor flat.

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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I rarely get cold calls (lucky me!), but I have on occasions enquired of the d/g caller, after letting him/her waffle on for a while, exactly how their company proposed to fit d/g, conservatory, or whatever, to a small Dutch motor-ship (equipped with rather nice trad brass portholes).

On an example of which I live.

And I do quite a good Dutch accent.

[Snigger]

I think I've mentioned before that my late Auntie Ethel used to express interest, say that she needed to consult Uncle Tom, wander off to walk the dog/visit a friend/make a cuppa tea, and return much later to the dialling tone.

Uncle Tom didn't mind. He was sleeping peacefully in the cemetery.

I like Brenda's idea of being histrionically creative, though - such larks we shall 'ave, Pip, such larks!

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
I added this one [to the banned list], then rethought it as it was a proper number not a made up one, so deleted it from the memory altogether.

It was Manchester.

There are a number of Manchester numbers that are known for cold calling to offer you the opportunity to get massive amounts of compensation for the accident you were recently in. Even if you weren't recently in an accident.

Various "who called me" websites exist that you can check the number against if you're not sure whether to block it or not. I tend to just type the number into a search engine and see what comes up.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Penny S
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# 14768

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Yup, it's come up with the same behaviour, plus questions about car accidents. It is now blocked.

A relief, because I had remembered the last Manchester call I had. I had employed a man to fit a kitchen in my last place, and he had got very slow, and eventually claimed more money needed for rewiring. I asked for a quote on paper, and he said he couldn't do it then because he was in Manchester. Investigations revealed that the shop next door had been besieged by people who had given money and received nothing. I had at least got the units, and a couple of boxes of tools. Though I have been told that the tools looked like what would be left if someone wanted to give the impression they woukd be back. I changed locks, left letters in various places to inform him his services would not be wanted, and I wanted the money for the work not done to be returned. (Not that I expected it.) He hasn't been seen hereabouts since. But I had the horrid thought that he might be coming back for those rubbish tools.

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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The other day, I got a call from a representative of a professional association I was intending to quit.

They were so desperate that they were offering me 1/2 off of dues.

I decided to politely explain that I never use their website, never read their journal or emails, and never take advantage of their group discounts, and that I was going to take a year off to see if I missed them enough to justify the cost.

It must have been the first time that anyone was polite with this caller about canceling their membership, because he sounded utterly confused at first. Although he was quite nice about taking me off the call list.

Not to say that cold callers aren't extremely annoying. Just suggesting a different way to really confuse them.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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Manchester is getting a bad name here....we're not all rotters you know!
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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My very favorite response was to a gent phoning to tell me there was a dangerous bug in my computer. I used my best bland office receptionist voice: "You have reached the home of a US Army officer, please hold." (True!)
After a short delay I said, "Thank you. Drone targeting locked in, starting now... Thank you. You may hear a loud noise. Do not look up. You may feel some slight pain, but it will pass. When you see a bright light, walk towards it." He hung up, alas! Before I could conclude, "The bearded gentleman at the gate will direct you."

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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And there is, of course, the classic 'Murder Scene'...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttrzG5F4R3o&nohtml5=False

[Overused]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 9124 | From: Passing The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Just don't say yes during any call.

quote:
A new scam relies on your voice to answer a simple question: "Can you hear me now"? The scammers try to bait callers into answering "yes."

Anti-fraud agencies say that simple verbal acknowledgment can be used to make it sound as if you signed on for a purchase or service,



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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Australia has a do-not-call register.

It was one of the most popular pieces of legislation ever introduced.

It doesn't completely solve the problem. For one thing, it doesn't prevent overseas scammers who've got disregard for the law anyway, and the politicians didn't make it apply to themselves. But it's something.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Penny S
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# 14768

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I'm on our register. But it obviously doesn't apply on Tuesdays.
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MrsBeaky
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# 17663

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In the recent run up to my departure back here to Kenya, in the middle of the crisis with my newborn grandson being in intensive care, despite being registered with TPS I received three such calls.

I remained polite ( but only just) as I feel sorry for the poor people having to earn their living doing such a crap job but I let them know I wasn't happy.
I just wish I could reach one of the bosses and give them a proper download of my thoughts and feelings.
Bloody idiots the lot of them!

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"It is better to be kind than right."

http://davidandlizacooke.wordpress.com

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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We get about one a day. I say little. As soon as I hear "is that Mrs Smith?" I simply say "no thank you" in a friendly voice and put the phone down.

If they know me they will know my name.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12651 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I admit to responding to "Is Mr P there" with "he's dead", and fantasizing about saying "I killed him".

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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My late F-in-l, back in the days when cold calls were not such a nuisance as now, would nevertheless often answer the phone in Sepulchral Tones, saying 'Wandsworth Mortuary, Slab Nine. How May I Help You?'.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
# 13049

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Someone I know has been left disabled by a stroke. He has lost the use of his left arm and hand, and most of the use of his left leg. His sight and speech are also affected. Despite this he volunteers in a charity shop.

He was summoned to a "fitness to work" interview on the basis that if he could volunteer, he could get a paid job and come off benefits.

He sometimes answers the phone at the charity shop. Anyone calling that charity is not surprised to have the phone answered by someone slurring their words, and is prepared to listen more than once until they understand.

The panel suggested he look for a job in a call centre. They thought that people receiving a cold call from someone not easy to understand would react with the same sympathy and patience as someone phoning a charity.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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I've just had one pretending to be doing a survey. I quoted my consultancy rates (a very reasonable £100 per hour or part thereof) and he seemed happy at that point, but then hung up when I asked for the address to send the invoice to at the end of the call.

Strange and rude.

The next one I'll probably insist speak to me in Welsh.

[ 08. February 2017, 14:45: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
We get about one a day. I say little. As soon as I hear "is that Mrs Smith?" I simply say "no thank you" in a friendly voice and put the phone down.

My wife tells me that, if it's a recorded message, I should listen through to the end, as there's often a "Press button 5 if you don't want any more calls from us". It sometimes seems to work.
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I live in a swing state in the US, which means that last year we were tormented nightly with people phoning us and trying to get our opinions. I took to replying, "My opinion is so valuable, I charge for it. My rate is $10 a minute, and I take Paypal." They always declined to invest.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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I've always asked the survey takers how much they pay and explain that they're getting paid to ask the questions, so I should get paid to answer them -- my time is worth at least as much as theirs. I actually had one go ask her supervisor! (The answer was 'no.')

An unlisted number, the Do Not Call list, and caller i.d. have all helped. For the few months before Election Day all the calls were robots, giving me no opportunity to interact. I turned off my answering machine around mid-October, in the hope that if the robo-callers received no response at my number they'd assume it was not a working number. Persistent callers had their numbers blocked. (I would check caller i.d. regularly to see if someone I knew had called so that I could return the call.)

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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HCH
Shipmate
# 14313

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Most telephone calls I receive are from people wanting me to donate money. While I do make various charitable donations now and then, I dislike the calls so much that I have considered making a list of all such callers and blacklisting them: no more donations ever. I don't think that would help unless I inform them, and I don't want any such contact.
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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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I do so wish I was good at remembering some of the creative responses listed in the above posts. [Big Grin]

[ 08. February 2017, 17:29: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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An easy response is (no matter what the query or pitch): "Do you want to have sex?" It is important to say this in the flattest and most business-like bored tone you can contrive, the same tone you would use to ask whether you want fries with that, if you worked behind the counter at McDonald's. Any response should be met with the monotone query, "What are you wearing?" And perhaps a sigh of ennui. This never fails. They always go away.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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The ones I really hate start with someone all-too-jovially asking how I am today, then continue by assuring me that "This is just a courtesy call and we're not trying to sell you something". I also hate being called by charities who know I already support them asking me for more.

Although I didn't "bite", I was much happier with a local builder who was simply ringing round looking for jobs. He was polite, up-front and honest.

Two calls though were useful. One from my phone provider, offering a (genuine) better deal than I was on. I took that up.

The other from my credit card company saying that I hadn't paid my bill and would I like to - I was extremely suspicious but it was perfectly kosher. What amused me was what happened when I asked the man on the line, "But how do I know you really are the XYX Bank?" He was totally flummoxed, ummed anderred, and eventually said, "But we are!" And he was.

Posts: 9404 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Stercus Tauri
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# 16668

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
Most telephone calls I receive are from people wanting me to donate money. While I do make various charitable donations now and then, I dislike the calls so much that I have considered making a list of all such callers and blacklisting them: no more donations ever. I don't think that would help unless I inform them, and I don't want any such contact.

My response to that, as politely as I can manage, is that I choose my charities; they do not choose me.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
We get about one a day. I say little. As soon as I hear "is that Mrs Smith?" I simply say "no thank you" in a friendly voice and put the phone down.

My wife tells me that, if it's a recorded message, I should listen through to the end, as there's often a "Press button 5 if you don't want any more calls from us". It sometimes seems to work.
Dangerous - it is likely to take you to another line that charges you 45p a minute or more.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

Posts: 23054 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
leo
Shipmate
# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
. I also hate being called by charities who know I already support them asking me for more.

I have warned all my charities that if they cold call me I will cancel my standing order.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Stercus Tauri
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# 16668

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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Someone I know has been left disabled by a stroke. He has lost the use of his left arm and hand, and most of the use of his left leg. His sight and speech are also affected. Despite this he volunteers in a charity shop.

He was summoned to a "fitness to work" interview on the basis that if he could volunteer, he could get a paid job and come off benefits.

He sometimes answers the phone at the charity shop. Anyone calling that charity is not surprised to have the phone answered by someone slurring their words, and is prepared to listen more than once until they understand.

The panel suggested he look for a job in a call centre. They thought that people receiving a cold call from someone not easy to understand would react with the same sympathy and patience as someone phoning a charity.

Tangent... Is this an Aberdeenshire speciality? That's not the first "fitness to work" interview story I've heard from there that followed the same idiotic plan.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

Posts: 881 | From: On the traditional lands of the Six Nations. | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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Indeed Leo and on one occasion i followed my threat up.
They then phoned back and asked me why i had done it......
[Mad]

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Ann

Curious
# 94

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My sister was phoned when she was busy doing the hundred and one things a mother has to do and meant to tell the caller she was on the telephone preference service. What came out was an loud "I'm on the Witness Protection Scheme!"

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Ann

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Anna B
Shipmate
# 1439

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My husband once got a call from the alumni office of his alma mater asking for a donation; he was very polite to the student on the other end right up until the moment when said student remarked, "I see here that your record of giving has been most irregular."

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Bad Christian (TM)

Posts: 3069 | From: near a lot of fish | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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I used to have my local phone service with company ABC, and my long-distance service with company DEF. (This is the ways things were done when the Big Monopoly phone company was broken up.)

Company DEF started offering local service and called and called. I told them if they called me one more time, I was not only not going to switch my local service to them, but I would cancel my long-distance.

A few days later, sure enough, another call from them asking me to switch. I responded with a big "Thank you so much!" I explained that they had just made my decision for me, and I would be cancelling my long-distance service. I hung up on their arguing with me and immediately made another call to change over my phone service.

Surprisingly, they never called me again.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9435 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Robocalls I allow to run their course, by laying the phone down on the counter. You waste my time, I can waste yours.
Real live callers are an invitation to improv theater. If I am in a kind and tolerant mood I might shriek, "THIS IS A HOUSE OF MOURNING!" and then slam down the receiver. If I am feeling creative the sky's the limit.

I'm in this category too. I like to try to sell them something back and ask to speak with someone who has purchasing authority.

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Human

Posts: 1172 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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Oh, you must be a natural salesperson! I am naturally flaky and creative, so I play to my own strengths. Once had (yet another) guy who was going to fix bugs in my software promise to me that his download would make the cupholder in my hard drive turn ninety degrees so that I could set my mug into it.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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My phone rings six times before going to message. It takes me about five rings to get from this computer chair to the land line phone in the kitchen. I've noticed that almost all callers, even businesses who are calling me back per request, hang up after three rings. They all think everyone has a cell phone permanently attached to their left palm.
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Vulpior

Foxier than Thou
# 12744

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I tend to get the "technical support" from "Telstra" telling me there is a virus in my computer. If I'm in the mood, I'll string them along for a while before doing one of the following (1) asking them to wait a moment and put the phone on the table (2) asking them what colour underwear they are wearing (3) telling them I know exactly what they are doing with some very choice vocabulary (4) suddenly shouting at the top of my voice. I gain some satisfaction from wasting their time.

We get robocalls as well. After receiving a robocall from a politician I call their office to lobby about how politicians should not be exempt from the Do Not Call Register. I usually get bored after around 20 successive calls.

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I've started blogging. I don't promise you'll find anything to interest you at uncleconrad

Posts: 944 | From: Mount Fairy, NSW | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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When I'm particularly mad I speak Vietnamese at them.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19988 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Vulpior:

We get robocalls as well. After receiving a robocall from a politician I call their office to lobby about how politicians should not be exempt from the Do Not Call Register. I usually get bored after around 20 successive calls.

Several years ago I received a robocall during the primary elections for state legislature. I emailed the candidate and explained that I did not live in his district and was not a member of his party (meaning I couldn't have voted for him if I wanted to), and asked to be removed from his calling list. I received a polite email in reply saying I would be removed from his list.

A few months later, during the actual election, I saw his name/number on my caller i.d. and sent a less polite email to him (attached to our previous email correspondence). He was quite snotty, saying the call could not have come from him ("As you probably know, I lost the primary election!"), and another candidate must have assumed that phone number. I reminded him that since I was neither in his party or his district, I had no reason to know or care if he'd won the primary, and his name did appear on the caller i.d.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9435 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by Vulpior:
I tend to get the "technical support" from "Telstra" telling me there is a virus in my computer. If I'm in the mood, I'll string them along for a while before doing one of the following (1) asking them to wait a moment and put the phone on the table (2) asking them what colour underwear they are wearing (3) telling them I know exactly what they are doing with some very choice vocabulary (4) suddenly shouting at the top of my voice. I gain some satisfaction from wasting their time.

We get robocalls as well. After receiving a robocall from a politician I call their office to lobby about how politicians should not be exempt from the Do Not Call Register. I usually get bored after around 20 successive calls.

Oh, oh, I got the Telstra scammer the other week. I was going to string them along, but then the guy said that the virus in my computer was going to damage the main server for the internet. I asked where the main internet server was, and he said it was in space. This got me a little too interested and happy, as I was picturing the IT Crowd episode when the guys got a small metal box and told their boss that this was the internet. Anyway, the guy just hung up after the space thing. I am always a little disappointed when they do that.

Brenda, they try to sell solar panels here all the time. One product I try to get them to sell for me is a personal wave generator, where you fill up the bath, put a big fan on so that it creates waves, and then attach my device to the bath to collect and store the wave energy. Quite a few times people have listened to me, but I think more to gauge my level of insanity than anything else.

[ 10. February 2017, 13:39: Message edited by: simontoad ]

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Human

Posts: 1172 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Cathscats
Shipmate
# 17827

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When I lived in Chicago and got these calls, I would put on my broadest Scottish accent and say "Do you know where you are calling? My, won't this cost a pretty packet?" (This was decades ago, when international calls were much more expensive.). They always hung up.

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"...damp hands and theological doubts - the two always seem to go together..." (O. Douglas, "The Setons")

Posts: 147 | From: Central Highlands | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged
Beenster
Shipmate
# 242

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I've started answering the phone with a fictitious name. That helps.

Then, I was asked about a car-crash I was in. I had such fun, the office was in hysterics so I had to hang up. I asked if I was hurt, I asked when it was and why I couldn't remember. I asked how it had happened and where and then finally, had I stolen the car as I don't have one ...

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The Scrumpmeister
Ship’s Taverner
# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Robocalls I allow to run their course, by laying the phone down on the counter. You waste my time, I can waste yours.

Hehe. I do that.

If it's a withheld number or one I don't recognise I usually accept the call but don't speak.

I started that when I had bad anxiety problems and found phone calls difficult. That was years ago but I learnt the lesson that genuine callers usually speak first in those situations and will often identify themselves.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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