Friday, 17 April 2015

Mr Rodri's Opinion

I got a cold call from a nice young lady from India. She Assured me that she wasn't going to sell me anything and that all she wanted was my opinion. I fancied a bit of a break so I decided to treat her to the full range of stalling tactics.

The first thing she wanted was to confirm my details, so of course I made sure that I gave her the wrong address.

Her next mistake was to ask me how I was doing. So started to tell her that I've been stressed at work and feeling a bit anxious. To be fair I wasn't feeling that creative and didn't keep it going for long. Next time I get asked how I am I'll make up some sort of debilitating illness.

After she got over the awkwardness of me actually telling her how I was feeling she wanted to know my occupation. I started heading down the embarrassing job line. I told her that I was embarrassed to tell her my occupation. I was working up to telling her that I was a fluffer, but before I could get to the punchline. My daughter came in the room and wanted to know who I was on the phone to.

We were on speaker so I let Christina have a conversation with her. Then there was a bit of a struggle as Christina and I fought over the phone.

We moved onto some boring questions about pension providers and I had some fun with phonetics.

P for pneumatic? Wait, that's confusing isn't it? P for Phase.

I got upset because I thought she was trying to sell me something and then I decided to give her my opinions about how we should strip the banks of the power to create money.

She asked me about my lunch so I was able to tell her about the great noodle soup my daughter had made and offered to give her the recipe,

Finally she gave up and got her supervisor on the line and the process started all over again.

I do wonder how much a 20 minute call from India costs them?


Friday, 20 March 2015

When Harry Met Mr Rodri

I was working from home today and got a cold call from a chap called Harry. Harry assured me that he didn't want to sell me anything and would only need a few minutes of my time.

So I gave him my time and a load of lies.

I told him I was a 75 year old unemployed burglar, squatting in a vacant house. I steal all the utilities off the neighbors. When I need a mobile phone I just nick one I drive a stolen Porsche and keep a pot bellied  Vietnamese pig in my Garden.

You have to hand it to Harry he had his eye on the prize. I suspect that all he really wanted to do was keep talking for as long as possible and get through as many questions as possible before I hung up.

I don't understand how any business that uses these services can ever get any useful information out of it. Even if they manage to find someone willing to endure it, the callers are more interested in getting to the end of the call that getting the right answers.

The recording is kind of long and boring. But its difficult to make these types of call fun when they don't want to listen and talk over you.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

How quickly can you consolidate my debt?

I had a the day off yesterday and after completing my errands and enjoying some time with my eldest daughter, I was feeling happy and relaxed. Imagine my joy when the phone rang and I was greeted by the phrase "Hello Mr Rodri"

I put the phone on speaker and my daughter buried her face in a pillow so they wouldn't be able to hear her laughing.

"Yes I'm Mr Rodri" I replied.

The hapless droid started on his script. "Are you aware that under section 9 of the UK blah bla blah...". He was trying to get me to sign up for a consolidated loan.

Have you any unsecured personal loans?" he asked.

"Oh yes, yes I do, but I've already consolidated all my loans", I gleefully replied.

"Which entity do you owe money to Sir?"

"Mickey Fingers down the road. He says if I don't pay it back he's going to break my fingers." Yeah, I know that was a bit lame but I don't rehearse this stuff

"How much do you owe?"

"Seventy two thousand pounds. But it keeps going up every day. He says after he's done with my fingers he's going to start on my legs. Can you help me?"

"Certainly sir I'll just get my supervisor"

The supervisor comes on the line and starts asking me to confirm my details. So I use every delaying tactic in the book. I give him the wrong telephone number, the wrong address and I tell them my name is Charles Ponsonby Smythe and spell it phoenetically but with words that aren't phonetic. "That's P for pneumatic" All the while the sofa is shaking from my daughter's laughter.

When we get to the postcode we have a new twist that I was sure would make him realise that I'm winding him up. but he perseveres.

"The postcode is WC3 2N8"

"WC3 2N8?"

"No" I reply "WC3 2NA"

"WC3 2NA" he confirms

I patiently correct him "No it's WC3 2M8"

We go around the houses a few more times and my new friend tries to take control by using the phoenetic alphabet. "So that is WC3 2 Nancy 8?"

"What! Are you calling me a Nancy? How dare you? I have never heard anything so unprofessional!" I exclaim.

"No Sir! Please! I was just trying to confirm your postcode. It is Whisky Charlie...."

"Are you accusing me of drinking and taking cocaine!" I bellow.

"Please Sir, the line is very bad, I'm not accusing you of any such thing. I'm just trying to confirm your postcode."

"I suppose it was the drink and drugs that got me in this mess" I conceed.

I calm down and we sort out my details.

All of a sudden, I start hammering on the living room door. I pull the phone from my ear and start yelling in a deep voice. "Open up! Pay up you bastard"

"Oh my god! He's here! He's going to break my fingers. Please can you help me. How quickly can you consolidate my debt?"

"I just need to take some more details and then I can help you"

The hammering on the door resumes.

"Please! He's going to break the door down"

My new friend sounds concerned and suggests that he should phone back later.

"Oh yes Please" I reply, "I'll try and buy some time" and  I hang up.

An hour later the phone rings and my daughter answers it. "What? Who? Pondcherry-Smith? There's nobody by that name here"

The funny thing is whenever customer service offers to call back, its always the last I ever hear from them. But these guys at great at calling back if they think they might get some money.

Friday, 4 October 2013

CSI: Callcenter Scene Investigation

I'm not worthy. This is a genius way of handling a cold call. If you can convince the caller you are the cops they will be to afraid to get off the call.

Mike the call center guy phones up in the middle of a crime scene investigation and gets a grilling from the homicide cop. He's kept on the line until the cop starts getting weird about vegas and midgets.

I wish I had thought of this one myself. Of course impersonating a police officer is a crime. Keep em peeled.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Are you the hostage negotiator?

Hopefully I haven't gone too far this time. I got a call from a crackly line and knew immediately that it was going to be a cold call from somewhere in deep darkest india.

As soon as he started to say Hello Mr Rodri I immediately barked back at him "Are you the hostage negotiator?" silence... "I'm sorry?" said the confused sounding survey droid. "I said, are you the hostage negotiator, because I'm going to start killing the hostages if you don't co-operate"

"Get me chief inspector Crack on the line!" More confused silence. "Who are you?"

"I'm calling from Consumer Lifestyles Magazine" said the tremulous caller who had probably now truely gone cold.

"Are you kidding me? Listen I've got a bank full of people here and someone is going to die unless there is a helicoptor outside the front door in five minutes" I could hear some stammering from the other side of the line. "That's it, too bad, they're all gone" and I hung up.

I actually feel terribly cruel doing this for real. Though I had the idea while ago it wasn't something I thought I would ever do. Now I feel sorry for the poor guy who might now feel that he has doomed a bank full of people.

And what if he calls the police? I don't think it would be fun explaining that one. I wish now that I'd told him that I was only kidding before hanging up

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I'm sorry your home is not suitable

I'm working from home today and was interrupted by a cold caller. He said he was from Solar Panels. I had no time for a proper windup so went straight to the ridiculous

"Hello, can I speak with the home owners?".
"Im from Solar Panels. Are you the home owner?"
"Do you own your own home?"
"That's right I'm the home owner."

I'm not sure what the source of his confusion was but he wasn't convinced.

"Do you live in a flat?"
"No" I replied, " I live in a secret underground bunker."

This didn't seem to worry him as much as the sneaky suspicion that I might not be the homeowner.

"Do you pay rent?"

"No of course I don't pay rent. Its a secret underground bunker. You don't rent decommissioned nuclear missile silos"

This seemed to satisfy him so he asked me for my address.

The Secret Underground Bunker
43 Horseshoe Lane
Enfield EN1 4PS

"Oh thank you very much sir have a nice day" "Wait! what about the solar panels?"

"I'm sorry sir, your home is not suitable"


Saturday, 22 September 2012

A Severed Head

We frequently get calls from people asking about personal injury claims. I should probably follow through one of these days to see what the scam is because it must be a scam if they are dishonest right from the start of the call.

So a few months ago I got a call from some guy with an indian accent who sounded like he was reading from a script and didn't have a good grasp of the english language. He told me that his records showed that I had had a personal injury. I very enthusiastically confirmed that I had indeed had an injury recently.

"Can you tell me the nature of your injury please sir?"

"Yes, my head was severed"

There was a long silence that I felt I had to fill. "Of course I'm much better now"  

There was another long silence. The line was completely dead and I was about to hang up when the supervisor came on the phone. This new guy sounded as though he had a much better grasp of english language and he sounded much more on the ball.

"Sir I understand you have had a personal injury"

"Yes" I over enthusiastically replied "My head was completely severed"


"Yes it was completely cut off"

"And how did this accident happen sir?"

"I was walking past a building site and someone dropped a sheet of glass, I was bending over to pick up a penny and the damn thing came down and cut my head clean off!"

"Your head was cut off?"

"Yes, completely severed.. Some passers by picked up my head until the ambulance came. Its amazing what they can do with microsurgery these days. The doctors just sewed it back on"

The supervisor was clearly impressed. "Sir. In all the time I have been doing this job I have never heard of someone having their head cut off"

"Well it surprised me me as well. It was bloody inconvenient and took me months to recover. Do you think I could claim compensation?"

"Oh yes sir you are going to get lots of money"

I'll confess that I can't recall how the call ended, but but he seemed to find the whole thing amusing and we both had a good laugh.

But while I was entertaining him and his trainee, he wasn't scamming someone else.