Foreign call center lies and how to annoy them

We have a new phone that tells you who’s calling, it’s great for finding out who you’ve missed while you’ve been out, and also for recognising sales calls.

So the phone rang this lunchtime with the word INTERNATIONAL across the front, now usually that means sales call. This is infuriating as I’m registered not to receive sales calls. It’s more infuriating as you usually pick up and receive a dead tone, because out of the five numbers they’ve called someone else has answered quicker than you.

When I do get an answer, what I normally do is say hello, let them start their speech, and place the phone somewhere. They’ll get to the end, ask “Hello?” a couple of times, and then hang up.

Today though I was feeling good, I’d just been to the gym and I thought I might have a wee play with them.

The Indian Gentleman greeted me in a questioning tone. We exchanged hello’s a few times and he moved onto some questions.

Interestingly he knew I had a non 3G mobile phone and that my name was Brunton, my lord, perhaps he knows me. Seems not, he thought I was pay as you go, and he seriously underestimated my made up free minutes allowance, my monthly rental and the time left on my contract – If you’re reading any of this in the Indian call centre, I lied.

So after these few questions he hits me with the free mobile claim and then launches into his speech. I’m polite, saying yes and no when required too, and then he pauses to let me speak.

I hit him with what I think will end the call. “I have a Windows Mobile and I use the Microsoft Mobile Applications all the time, I have full Windows synchronisation between these and a PC, and I have Blackberry-type Push email. Unless the phone does all this, I’m not interested.”

He returned to explain to me what video messaging would mean, I could see the other caller, and that they were giving me a thousand minutes a month free.

I repeated my statement, and this is where he became angry. Yes, this Gentleman from India is trying to sell me a UK phone and can’t believe that I didn’t say yes immediately. He grows impatient and repeats the amount of minutes I’d get free.

I repeated my statement, and once again he returns to talk about the phones features in an aggrevated tone.

“You’re not listening to me, I need…” and repeated the statement again. I was talked over a few times until he stopped to finally listen. Once I’d finished he repeated as though he had discovered what I wanted, although he hadn’t actually heard what I needed. I repeated it again. This time he had it and his tone returned to a happy one.

“Yes, this phone has all that!”

This is the point that I asked for the model and manufacturer. He gave me the model, going on and on about the free minutes, and I asked for the manufacturer. At this point he asked me to hold. Well, I’d had enough fun. I laid the phone down and went about finishing making my lunch.

Each time that Gentleman called from India, I answered the phone and laid it down, not hung up, just let him struggle to get an answer. Three attempts later and he’s left me alone. Enjoy the bill.

Now, as I look on the Internet at the LG U300 phone, I discover it only has POP3 email, not Blackberry-type Push (not that I use it, but it was a nice spanner to throw in) and it’s not a Windows Mobile.

Of course it probably wouldn’t have mattered a jot because after they sold it to me they would have claimed it was sold from outside the country hence the Sales of Goods Act doesn’t apply.

You have to wonder what other lies these foreign telephone operators are peddling to unsuspecting people who answer the phone thinking they might be getting a good deal.

6 comments on “Foreign call center lies and how to annoy them”

  1. Louise Reply

    Heh. Nice one. I usually just hang up at the earliest opportunity but leaving them hanging on is a good idea. I might try that one next time. Either that or I’ll ask them some really technical questions, which probably won’t have been covered in their script of questions and answers.

  2. Simone Reply

    HAHAHAHA I love it! Didnt know you had a wicked side!

    I always say when they try to switch me to a new phone contract or network that ‘oh I’m sorry but I actually just got this new phone this week, and it’s on a contract and I am not really interested to switch to a new plan because my company pays for it’, that’s it.

    Over a year ago and this is really horrible because the call came from my home country, and this time they wanted me to switch to OneTel, after explaining I only use my BT for line rental so I can access the Internet, he wouldnt let up. Well ma’am you can use the phone to call your family in the Philippines too! I said, ‘well you know what all my family are actually in the US, (bluff) none of them lives in the Philippines anymore so I really dont see the point’, stumped with my reply, he said goodbye with profuse apologies.

  3. pablo Reply

    Can’t really post some of things i do on this “family” orientated site. Most of the time i just do a richard and leave the rude buggers talking to the telephone table.

    An interesting retort is to say that you are busy and can call them back at THEIR home late at night to discuss it further. Its amazing how quickly somebody in a call center(read: phone spammer) can hang up.

  4. Patrick Reply


    I don’t think I have had international sales calls – thankfully, we get very few sales calls at all now.

    When I do, I politely say that I am not really interested, that I will engage them in conversation for ten minutes, and then I will hang up. Most salesmen hang up themselves, at that point…

  5. matt Reply

    My parents used to get a couple of calls a night from one call centre abroad. That stopped after I sold double glazing to the person at the other end.

    I explained I was pleased that they had called and I had been waiting for them to get back to me and enquired if they wanted just the windows or the conservatory also.

    Obviously I needed the guy’s home number so that I could call him at home to discuss more fully.

    He didn’t seem that keen, but I did explain that they were top quality windows backed by a full 25 year guarantee…. You get the idea.

    Hardest bit was trying to keep a straight face as my parents were laughing so much.

  6. suzie williams Reply

    I am actually with 3 & they are infact No.1 for being the worst company I have ever dealt with in my entire life!

    The staff do infact down right lie – at the present time I have a N95 8gb with faults- which they have taken for repair and sent back untouched claiming it works fine…it doesn’t- and I paid them £120 (it was a scottsman whom called regarding my upgrade-and the sales and goods act means nothing anyway- the only way to enforce it seems to be small claims court- which isn’t even worth while for me). I am so angry at all the foreign call centres- the last thing someone needs- is to have to use basic english so as to not confuse someone with a thick accent, I have to speak quite slowly- explain myself at least twice, and I can normally- barely hear them- as their headsets seem to make the call very quiet- and all this will more than likely be on an 0870 or 0845 chargable call!

    If I could meet the person whom made the choice to sack people in the uk and start paying people abroad instead- to close down uk call centres and give work to other countries when ours is in the state it is- I would give him a nice big scottish hand shake!

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