Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Ring, Ring, Ring!! Another telesales call!

Little man has been under the weather the last couple of days and his sleep has been very unsettled.  With his sleep being affected mummy’s sleep has also been disturbed so after a couple of nights of not getting enough sweet dreams this morning I felt very tired, wishing I could make little man better with a simple loving kiss and cuddle and for him to get some much needed sleep after a long night without much sleep.  As we were both very sleepy and feeling under the weather we cwtched up in bed to watch a film on the laptop.  I hoped that cuddled up to mummy in a warm cosy bed little man would drift off and hopefully get a few hours of decent sleep.

It wasn’t long before little man drifted off to dreamland, looking peaceful in his slumber.  The lack of sleep and feeling a tad unwell myself I couldn’t resist laying down next to little man in the hope of catching some zzzzzz’s myself.  No sooner had my head hit the pillow and I was drifting off to the land of nod the house phone started blaring; “ring, ring, ring, ring!!!”  Arrrggggh!!

With the phone shrieking through the quiet house I leapt up to answer it to silence the house once more before little man got woken from his sleep.  I felt annoyed that the phone was threatening to wake my little man up from his sleep as I stumbled across an assault course of toys to get at the phone.  Once I picked up the phone, my annoyance rose as it turned out the phone call wasn’t even important as I straight away I realised it was from a call centre with the person on the other end of the line starting their sales patter with polite conversation enquiring could they speak to the owner of the household and how was my day…….How was my day?!  Not very good to begin with and now even worse thanks to your annoying, very unwanted call was what ran through my head, especially when I heard a cry come from the bedroom signalling that my poorly little man had indeed been woken by the ringing phone.

Filled with annoyance that this infuriating phone call had awoken little man and overwhelmed with tiredness I simply did not have the energy or desire to response to the caller, as much as I wanted to rant and rave at the caller for their call being totally unwanted and that they have woken my son I knew it would be wasted on them and not affect whether I keep getting the calls, so with a huge sigh I simply hung up on them and unplugged the phone before rushing to little man to soothe him and hopefully lull him back to sleep.

These nuisance calls are not new to our house; even though we are ex-directory and I am carefully with my number, making sure to read the small print and always tick the relevant box that says explicitly that I do NOT want my details passed on for marketing purposes and for third party contact, we still get these unwanted calls.  I suspect in spite of stating that I do not want to be contacted using the relevant boxes, that some companies are ignoring this and that my details are being sold.

Thankfully the calls aren’t so frequent as they once were or perhaps I have just become immune to them and they just happen without me even realising anymore as they are so common that I automatically hang up especially once I have learnt that they are trying to sell me somethingl and not even once has it been for something I would need. 

When I first had little man we would frequently get nuisance, cold calls and they were extremely bothersome!  Little man was never a fantastic sleeper; he just didn’t sleep that much so when he would finally settle we would get some much needed rest ourselves.  In those rare moments when little man was sleeping soundly after hours spent trying to get him to drift off, usually the damn phone would ring and it was never a wanted call from friends or family (who understood we had a new baby and would kindly text instead of ring or wait until we rang them so that they didn’t disturb us), it was always an unwanted call.  We don’t have caller id as we only have a cheap phone that does not facilitate this feature so I couldn’t see who was calling and even though I strongly suspected that when the phone rang it would be yet another telesales call I would still feel that I should answer it just in case it was important but it was always from a call centre with the person on the other end of the line going into their sales spiel at full throttle to try and persuade me to take up their brilliant offer so that they got their sale. 


Their calls always seemed to be perfectly timed to happen at an inconvenient time, never was it when little man was wide awake and happy so that I was free to take a call (even though I still wouldn’t be interested then), it was always when he had just found sleep and their call would wake my baby so I no longer had a little one sleeping ‘like a baby’ or my hands were full and I just did not have the time to deal with their sales pitch.  I also found it maddening that their calls were not restricted to normal office hours of 9-5 and found it incredibly rude that we were still getting calls at night.


I used to find the calls particularly annoying when I was sat breastfeeding little man.  I would settle on the sofa, creating a little nest with everything I needed to hand as I breastfed little man and frequently not long after we were comfy on the sofa the shrill of the house phone would cut through the quiet and disturb little man who had been until then feeding peacefully.  As our cheap house phone is a fixed one rather than a walk-about I would have to consider whether the call was going to be important enough for me to get up from the sofa and further disturb breastfeeding.  Unsurprisingly the answer would always be no it wasn’t worth disturbing breastfeeding for, always being a telesales call trying to persuade us to claim any outstanding PPI, switch energy suppliers, answer a survey or do a quick quote for insurance.

The times I did get up to answer the phone I found the telesales callers where often polite to begin with as they tried to reel me in with their well-practiced sales spiel, turning pushy when I would say no thank you and totally ignoring me when I would inform them I have no PPI to claim back or my insurance is not due for renewal for many months and the such like.  When I first started receiving these calls I tried to be nice and polite, simply telling them I wasn’t interested and it wasn’t relevant to me or I would tell them I was in the middle of breastfeeding or a nappy change or that I was a new mum and I simply did not have the time to take their call.  Their calls where simply not worth wasting my time on and even though they would say it will only take 10 minutes I most definitely did not have 10 minutes to spare and if I did I wasn’t going to waste precious time that I could use to rest or do some chores on the telephone listening to a sales spiel. 

It did not matter whether I told them that their service wasn’t relevant to me or that I was busy or asked them to take my details off of their system I would still get their calls.  After a few days of getting calls numerous times a day, disturbing little man, my politeness soon evaporated and I would harshly tell them I wasn’t interested and hang up.  Even if I ignored the calls, the phone kept ringing which still disturbed little man and getting used to motherhood, getting to grips with breastfeeding and trying to get into a routine, this disturbance just added to the stress and was an extra obstacle I definitely did not need.  In the end I simply unplugged the phone and informed friends and family if they needed me I would only be reachable on my mobile.

I realise that the people at the other end of the line are only doing their job but the calls are still unwanted and it’s hard not to get annoyed especially when their call has disturbed your baby.  I find so many of the telesales callers to be extremely pushy and just don’t seem to understand ‘no I’m not interested’.  They are trained to build up a friendly conversation leading up to their sales pitch and I’m sure as most of them are desperate for commission to add to their pay this means they push even more to get a sale.

Even though the calls are annoying what makes me most angry is that my details must have been sold onto these companies.  I don’t remember getting nuisance calls before I was pregnant and I suspect that my details where passed on from some of the companies I registered with for pregnancy and baby offers and clubs.  I obviously don’t know this for sure as I really don’t know where or how they get my details but I strongly suspect some of the calls must have originated from my details being sold from some of the companies I registered with when I learnt I was pregnant.  When I had little man the calls sky rocketed and were extremely frequent, happening at a time when I was getting to grips with a new baby and life as a mum and when I least need to be having them and getting disturbed again and again.

It appears to be a majority of stay-at-home parents and older people who bear the brunt of these calls.  It is most probably due to the fact that people who are home more often get burdened with these calls more than other people.  What sadness me about theses nuisance calls is that stressed and vulnerable people may agree to anything and get duped into something they don’t want just to get the pushy telesales callers to go away.

This type of cold call targeting is never going to appeal to me, it puts me off of companies and if I wanted to do any of the things they try and sell I would source companies myself rather than wait for the phone to ring from a call centre offering me a fantastic offer that they say is one I simply can’t refuse and just what I need.

The calls have dwindled and are not as frequent as they once were but they do still happen every now and again.  My standard way of dealing with them is to simply hang up once I realise that it is a telesales call, I find it’s a waste of my time and breath to try and attempt to tell them I don’t need their service and that it is not relevant to me.  I personally don’t scream obscenities down the phone at them but I can understand that the calls are that annoying that it would push people into doing so.  I have been tempted to confuse them by speaking Welsh to them but they usually catch me when I am busy so it’s quicker and easier to simply hang up instead.

Little man loves phones and is a right little chatter box so I am tempted to hand him the phone when I get a nuisance call and see how long the telesales callers stay on the line!  I know little man would love chatting on the phone and it may be a great way to get the telesales caller to hang up….sounds like a win, win to me so I may just adopt this method of dealing with telesales calls from now on.

Do you loathe telesales calls?

How do you deal with nuisance telesales calls? 

Or perhaps you have had a good experience and a telesales call has gone from being unwanted to being good and useful for you?

Get involved in the discussion about nuisance telesales calls on twitter using the hashtag #dontcallus

Oh and if any telesales companies are reading this #dontcallus we are NOT interested in claiming PPI back, changing energy suppliers, getting a new conservatory or windows, answering a survey, getting a quote of insurance or any other service you want to try and sell us!!

*  I wrote this as part of Bounty's "don't call us" campaign against the selling of parents' phone numbers to third parties.  I have not received any payment for this post however I did receive a funky trimphone as a thank you for taking part and sharing my views on telesales.  I have written an honest post and all words and opinions are my own *

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