It was a call like this that made me finally crack:
Disgruntled Commuter: Hello?
Gas Company That Should Know Better: Can you hear me?*
GCTSKB: Is that …er .. Deskroontled GimpEater?
DC: Sort of
GCTSKB: This is Valerie from the Gas company that should know better…
DC: I’m not interested, thank you.
GCTSKB: Why not?
DC (knowing she shouldn’t get drawn into this but doing so anyway): Because I don’t buy things from telephone sales calls
GCTSKB: But we’re not a telephone company, Ms GimpEater
DC: I know that, but I’m not interested
GCTSKB: Not even if it saves you money?
DC: No, goodbye.
GCTSKB: But I just want you to know, we’re not a telephone company we’re the gas company that should know better …
DC: Yes, thank you, I know that, goodbye.
GKTSKB: Just so you know…
DC: (after putting phone down, screaming furiously) But you already SUPPLY my frigging gas!!!
This was the third call in as many weeks from the same company. The problem is I find it very hard to be rude to anyone who works in a call centre because I’m sure it’s soul destroying enough to be doing it anyway without having people screaming down the phone at them. So I end up arguing with them. What’s really pathetic is how bad they are at selling things, or indeed even at making phone calls. I’m pretty sure that ‘hello can you hear me?’ is not part of the official telesales script, nor is arguing back, nor indeed is ringing up your existing customers and pissing them off to the point where I seriously considered changing my gas company just to get them back. Preferably when they were in the middle of cooking supper or having a bath.
But fortunately I had a much more powerful weapon to hand: the Telephone Preference Service. I’ve known about this for roughly a decade but it took me until yesterday to actually sign up. In 27 days I shall be free of Valerie and her useless colleagues. And it was dead easy to do. You don’t even need to provide any proof that the telephone number you were signing up for was your own. It was so easy I even considered going on and signing up all of my friends as well, just as a sort of early Christmas present.
* I should point out, before anyone gets the wrong idea, that either Valerie was English or they’ve massively improved their sloppily enunciated Estuary English dialect classes in Bangalore.