I get at least 10 calls a week asking me to take part in surveys.
Usually I say something (relatively) polite and hang up.
But yesterday I had a moment of weakness. I don’t know what it was. I was in the park walking the woofer at lunch time and the cold wind was blowing right through me. Whatever it was, when the lady at the end of the line asked me if I wanted to take part in a short survey, I said ‘yes’…
But first here’s a little background. We all know these are sales calls but they get around the Telephone Preference Service regulations on making unsolicited sales calls by dressing up the contact as a ‘survey’; which is nothing more than a thin veneer.
Immediately the lady started talking I got annoyed. She had an Indian accent, which is fine… I have a Suffolk accent. But her opening words (in her Indian accent) were ‘Hello, my name is Katie.’
I felt like saying ‘No it isn’t. What’s your real name ‘cos I can cope with names other than Katie or Mike or Peter?’
Anyway, be that as it may…
We got into the body of the call and, after the preliminaries about whether I was a bloke and how old I am, pretty much word for word here’s how it went:
Katie: Would you like to receive a call from Scottish Power to save money on your power bills?
Katie: would you like to save money on your broadband and land lines?
Katie: I’m sorry?
Me: How are you proposing I save money on my broadband and land lines?
Katie: It’s a yes/no question
Me: Oh. Yes
Katie: Would you like a call from Talk Talk to discuss how they can help you save money?
Katie: Do you have a mortgage?
Me: Is this another yes/no question? (The sarcasm was a wasted effort!). Yes
Katie: Would like a call from RBS to discuss your mortgage requirements?
Katie: (now with a little desperation creeping into her voice) Are you considering changing your car in the next three months?
Me: No – I got a new one two weeks ago (which I did)
Katie: Do you have life insurance?
Katie: Do you have Sky?
Me: No… in fact we don’t have a TV
Katie: (who perked up a little at this) Would you like Sky to call you about their packages?
Me: Errr… no, I don’t have a TV
Katie: Have you got a will?
Katie: Thanks for your time. Goodbye
And the moral of this story. You, like me, might get tempted one day to bow to the unceasing pressure of these calls and decide to answer the questions in their ‘survey’.
But in Heaven’s name… DON’T!