Phone Conversations in the Texting Era
Many people seem to lament the decline of phone conversations in the present era of texting. I for one am glad that SMS, Whatsapp and BBM have killed phone conversations, mainly because I seem to have bizarre phone conversations.
When a stranger calls me it typically goes something like this
“Hi ma’am. Do you like jewellery?”
“You’re a woman. You must like jewellery and when you sign up for our credit card you get jewellery at special rates”
“That’s nice but I’m not interested”
“Ma’am maybe you didn’t understand. Let me explain again”
Then there are phone calls from people you know. Like co-workers who call you on your day off…
“Is this a good time to talk?”
“Not really. I was sleeping”
“Okay good. So the reason I’m calling is…”
I don’t tend make long phone calls, but when I do, they are usually angry phone calls to my telecom provider. The reason they are so long is because I typically spend 20 minutes on hold waiting to talk to someone who will somehow achieve the impossible by making me more frustrated than I was at the start of the call.
“Can you tell me the reason I was overcharged?”
5 minutes of me yelling about how about I would switch to another service provider if I had the option
“So how do I get the false charges reversed?”
“You need to file a complaint”
“This is me filing a complaint. Is there anything else I need to do?”
“Yes you need to file a complaint”
“How do I file a complaint?”
“By telling me”
“Isn’t that what I just did?”
3 minutes of me ranting about wanting to file a complaint about their system of how to file complaints
“Okay, can you tell me how to follow-up if my complaint is not resolved within 7 working days?”
“There’s no need to do anything”
And then there are follow-up calls.
“I received a text message saying the extra service was cancelled but I didn’t get my money back”
“The system says your complaint was resolved”
“How is it resolved if I didn’t get my money back?”
“Well right now the complaint is just resolved. If you don’t get your money back after the complaint is closed, you can open a new complaint”
As unpleasant as it can be to make or receive certain calls, there is one type of call that is even worse. I’m referring to the calls you cannot participate in, but can clearly hear on speakerphone. Calls which make you unsure about whether to laugh or cry. Calls which feature gems like
“Isn’t it at the company’s discretion about whether they want to follow the labour law?”
Perhaps we need to fast forward to the days when cellphones can only be used to tell time, take pictures, play games, watch videos and listen to music. Phone calls are simply too taxing.
Oh, I agree with you totally. What really gets me angry though, is those calls you get which are recorded and give you the option to press a number to talk to someone. They go along the lines of something like this.
“Do you need a loan?, Press 1 now to talk to one of our friendly agents”.
I press 1 on the phone.
“Hi, this is Thelma, how much would you like to borrow?”
“Nothing thank you”
“Then why did you press 1”?
“To ask you to stop calling me”
“Oh, stop wasting my time” and Thelma slams the phone down on me.
Shouldn’t it be me saying that to Thelma?
Oh wow! Thelma doesn’t sound like a particularly nice person.
Then again, I’d blame the company more than Thelma. It’s the company who set up the stupid system to call you and they are probably paying Thelma a really crappy wage which could explain her poor behaviour.
And since the only way to really get in touch with the company is through people like Thelma…
In Canada a “no call list” was created by the government. You could register with the service and have solicitors stop calling you. But the government cocked it up (big surprise) and the list, with numbers and names, was accessed by every marketing company in god’s half acre. People went from recieving one or two calls a day upwards of twenty. Eventually the service was fixed.
I’ve actually had the (dis)pleasure of working at a Canadian call centre. When people said ‘put me on the do not call list’ my boss would complain that I was ruining the conversion rate by listening to these people.
We have a similar service here in the UK where you can register not to receive cold calls. The only problem is that the ban only applies to cold calling companies based in the UK, so we still get cold calls from those outside the UK.
It was???? I’m still getting calls, up to 4 or 5 a day!! (Oh, did I mention I’m Canadian ?) I’ve been getting the ” I’m from MicroSoft and you have a( Fake) Virus on your computer,”
I got the guy good yesterday, I think he was in tears by the time he hung up! I asked him if he would be calling his Mother or Sister about this Virus, he stammered and stuttered and tried to keep with the script, then I hit him with ” I’m really sure your Mother and Grandmother are really proud of you? ripping people off by telling them they have A phoney virus!! Then I hung up! We’ll see if they call again!
Once I had a guy try to sell me a Florida Vacation, he wanted a credit card #, I didn’t have one, then he started calling me names and asked me why I stayed on the phone so long if I wasn’t interested, I said “I was being polite and didn’t want to interrupt you! lol…boy did he get mad!
Sorry this was so long, I had to get these out!
Oh wow. I thought they had fixed it but I guess not. I never registered because it seemed such a mess. We get a few calls a week but nothing as bad as what you’re getting. The ones I hate the most are the recorded messages. Really? You don’t even have the decency to be a pain in the ass in person?
How did we live before call display?
We got tired of all those unsolicited calls, so installed an answering service. When the phone rings, a man’s voice politely tells you what number you have reached, that no one is available right now, to please leave a number and we will return your call. That screens a lot of litter. We get a lot of “hang ups,” indicating that solicitors did not get through. The ones who do manage to get by and leave messages are easily deleted .
Back when I worked in a call centre I remember that we weren’t allowed to stop calling a person until they specifically told us they weren’t interested or to not call again. Unfortunately we weren’t even supposed to listen to a spouse when they said stop calling. Crazy, eh?
That’s why I have a tendency to put down fake phone numbers when I fill out forms.