Cold calling is the marketing process of approaching prospective customers or clients—typically via telephone, by email or through making a connection on a social network—who were not expecting such an interaction. The word “cold” is used because the person receiving the call is not expecting a call or has not specifically asked to be contacted by a sales person.
I detest cold calling and everything about it. Even more so I hate the companies who promote it, either by selling or passing on our details.
I had a call today on my folks number asking for me. The gentleman told me he was going to do a survey and it would only take two minutes to complete. Well that was a lie!
Because I did not have a chance to get a word in edge ways I found myself partaking in the survey whether I wanted to or not.
The enemy, referred to hereafter as T.E proceeded to rhyme off all my details, name, address and phone number. I was a little taken a back and asked how he had been able to obtain them. I got a garbled reply that made me none the wiser. From that point on I was on the defensive.
I don’t intentionally like being rude to people, but I find it hard to restrain myself when confronted by pushy arrogance. I know these people are only doing the job they are paid to do and lets be honest it is probably not a very easy job considering the abuse they must take, however, some have no respect for privacy and their unrelenting forwardness is enough to make you want to slam down the phone there and then.
T.E in a vain attempt to butter me up said I sounded young and he needed my Date of Birth to continue. I promptly told him I did not feel comfortable supplying that information or in fact continuing with the survey and this led to a 5 minute debate while he tried to wangle out of me my age bracket at least. He says I sound very young for 65. In my defense I was getting annoyed, so that may have been the first of many little white lies! Most other people would have probably hung up.
There then followed a barrage of questions; would I donate to this, would I donate to that, do I own a washing machine, have I ever had PPI, have I ever had an accident and not claimed, am I healthy and so it went on. From what I can recall I have been married 5 times, own 4 washing machines, a house, a yacht and the household earnings are off the scale.
They don’t need to know that the only thing of value I possess is a 5 year old Xbox. My alternate reality is much more fabulous and exciting.
T.E then foolishly asked if I would be agreeable to other people contacting me with offers that may interest me. WRONG QUESTION!! I went off like a rocket on fireworks night. I told him in no uncertain terms that I certainly did mind him passing on my details for other people to contact me, telling him this was not even my number. I explained also that my mother, who is unwell, found it distressing to receive these calls and that I was trying to get them stopped not promote them. I think he got the message, I have his assurances he will not pass on my details. I have a feeling that may have been his second lie.
I’ve contacted British Telecom, enrolled in their privacy scheme and also signed up for the Telephone Preference Service but nothing seems to stop these pests.
If you are a cold calling center employee then my apologies. It is nothing personal, but if you want me to remain calm on the phone trust that when I say No I mean No!
(Picture credit Bryce Johnson – click picture for more info)
- Citizens Advice urges cold calling ban after Ofcom study (guardian.co.uk)