Alexander Graham Bell (or whoever really invented the telephone) was a genius, he really was. I can't deny that. I couldn't imagine a world without telephones in some form. Living in a different country from the majority of my family has been much easier thanks to our ability to simply pick up the phone and have a chat whenever we so please.
There are, however, the negatives. Telemarketers and scammers, mostly. They get hold of your number and they call and they call and they call, and even when you scream at them to stop calling, they call some more.
Sometimes, like today, even my mobile line isn't immune.
And the conversation always begins the same way: "Hello Madam, my name is X and I am calling you from Y. How are you today?" I don't know you, you're not interested in how I am, get to the point (this is not generally a silent thought). "Now, I must inform you that this conversation will be recorded for training purposes." (Lovely - I'm helping to create more of you.)
Today's call happened to be someone claiming to be calling from my internet provider. "Are you happy with the service, Madam?" (If I weren't, believe me, you'd have heard).
He started out by trying to get me to change my land line provider. I wasn't having any of it. He then claimed that my internet contract was about to end and said that he could renew it for me while giving me three free months. "Can you please confirm your full name and your address?"
"Data Protection, Madam."
Sir, while you may be the most honest man on earth, you may also be the biggest liar and not in fact calling from X at all. Why should I give you my personal details when it was you who called me?
"But I'm telling you I'm calling from X!"
Yes, but that doesn't necessarily make it truth.
"I cannot help you without this information, Madam."
Well, I'm quite certain that if you were calling from X, you've already got all that information displayed on your computer screen and therefore do not need any further information from me. Again, may I remind you that you called me. I am quite sure that were my contract about to expire (I have since checked and it was automatically renewed back in October), I'd have received some form of correspondence informing me of such.
"OK, Madam, goodbye." :)
Call me paranoid, but wasn't there something just wrong with that picture?
And what on earth possessed me to answer the phone?!
The other day someone called the landline (a few times) claiming to be calling from some obscurely-named place that dealt with our "computer warranty". He claimed that our computer was at risk and he needed us to... (we didn't let him go on. I can only assume that he was about to ask us to give remote access to someone there to allow them to "fix" our computer. Big joke.) What didn't help his case was that he had no idea which of our computers he was actually referring to... "the Dell" was all he could say.
Gullible, we are not.
And when it comes to genuine telemarketing calls, despite having registered with TPS, it's made no difference whatsoever. I am one of those people who will instead just let the phone ring. As a general rule, I never answer the landline at all. And when it comes to mobile calls, I do not pick up if it's a number I don't know. My reasoning is that that's what my answering machine is for (failing which, my curiosity takes over and that's when google and sites like whocallsme come in handy).
David is appalled by this and always has been. He hates watching as I put my phone away when it's still ringing. He, like many others, believe a ringing phone is to be answered. Personally, I think a phone is there to assist me, not have me be it's slave. It's there to make my life easier, not to fill me with rage.
Then again, maybe next time I'll take this approach... or this ;)
This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for reading.