I had a phone call the other day from an Indian gentleman. It happens quite often these days, but this particular caller was really something special. He was calling on behalf of a well-known bank/building society (who can tell the difference these days?) with whom I already have a business account and a debit card. Let's call them "Cathedral" for the sake of argument.
He wanted me to help him fill out a quick application form so that he could send me a new credit card offering 0% interest for five hundred years or something - I wasn't listening too carefully. The conversation went something like this .
"I already have an account with you, and a debit card. I don't need another one, thanks."
"This won't take long. It's a very quick application form."
"Anyway, I would never carry out a transaction like this over the phone. You can send me some literature if you like."
"I should tell you that this telephone call is being recorded for training and security purposes. Now, can you confirm that you are Mister .."
"Yes, I am, but I am not prepared to make an application over the phone."
" and that you live at .."
"Yes, but there's no point continuing this conversation as I'm not going to ."
"Good, now there are just one or two other questions. What is your combined income, please, so that we can configure your new card to offer the greatest possible credit limit?"
"I don't want a credit limit. I don't want a new card. I'm happy with the ones I've got".
"Now all I have to do is enter this information, and your new card will be on its way to you within the week".
"I don't want it. Please go away".
"Now can you just confirm your date of birth, please?"
"I'm putting the phone down now .." CLICK.
After a few seconds, the phone rings again.
"Now so that I can complete your application " CLICK.
I realise that I could ring a certain number and have myself removed from the need to answer such calls, but why the hell should I? That's my own private telephone line, installed in my own house and paid for with my own money for my own convenience. My number is listed in the phone book so that people who want to talk to me about interesting things like boats or music, can find me. Why should I be forced to hide away from the world?
I think rudeness and foul language are my only resort in future. They probably won't reduce the number of cold calls I get, and certainly won't do any good for Anglo-Indian relations, but they'll make me feel better.
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