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"
"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.