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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Bizarre phone call of the day
delirium happy
Well that was bizarre. I just had a phone call, which went something along the lines of the following:

rho: Hello.
Woman: Hello, is that W Walmsley?
ρ: Yes, this is Walmsley.
W: W Walmsley?
ρ: No, he's my father.
W: Is he in?
ρ: No. Can I ask who it is speaking please?
W: It's OK, I'll ring back later.
ρ: No, my father doesn't live here. He co-owns the property, but he doesn't live here.
W: Oh...
ρ: Can I ask who this is speaking please?
W: Is your mum there then?
ρ: No, I live here on my own.
W: Oh. Bye then.

Woman hangs up

The huh?

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W: Is your mum there then?

WTF?! Like you're 5 or something. It's insulting. You just implied you're the one he co-owns the property with, but obviously you must be just a kid, so she'll speak to your mum.


Yeah, smells like the BT marketing syndrome. They'll ask for the billholder, but accept billholder's wifey, on the assumption that she's probably responsible for bill-related decisions or can influence billholder later. Billholder's children are not to be talked to, on the basis that BT will face the wrath of Billholder and his lawyer for letting a 12 year old sign them up to premium prepaid pr0n or whatever.

This also applies to "I'm phoning on behalf of my mum who's a card-carrying luddite[1] and not to be trusted with anything telecoms related..." calls, so at least they're consistent.

[1] Do luddites carry cards? Strikes me that they'd find the printing and laminating technology objectionable...

They accept billholder's hubby as well, but not billholder's long-term-partner etc...

I was assuming that if Billholder was a Mrs they'd ask for hubby by default, though I've no personal experience of that, not being a Mrs[1] (most of my parents' bills were in my father's name, but managed by my mum, so they'd ask for him in the style outlined above).

[1] Well, the DVLA (elbows dept[2]) seem to think I'm a Mrs, but that's the exception, not the rule.

[2] DVLA (arses dept) have me down as Ms. You'd think they'd share a databa... no, you wouldn't, would you?

About 3 years ago, myself and my wife, and two friends moved into a shared house together (we've since moved out of it again), and due to excessive disorganisation ended up with all sorts of combinations of names on the bills, so got to experience pretty much the whole gamut of potential "rules".

In her defense, I have some sort of upper respiratory tract infection at the moment, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that I might sound as if I'm 5. Even so, I'd have thought that what I actually said might have been a clue. Strange person.

I think 'the huh?' is a totally appropriate response to this. The way she treated you was demeaning. And how hard is it to just say "this is so-and-so, please have him call me"? Some people.

To be honest, I don't mind. Random phone calls like that from people who clearly don't know me/my dad/anyone connected to us are very seldom from people I'd actually want to speak to. Best guess would be some sort of telemarketer wanting us to upgrade to new! shiny! expensive! package for telephone/electricity/whatever. If they don't want to talk to me, then I'm not going to complain.

The phrase you want is 'This number is registered with the Telephone Preference Service. Where did you get it and why are you calling it?'

*goggles the Telephone Preference Service*

Thank you.

On a related note "BT Privacy" == free caller ID ('caller display' in BTese) and automagic TPS registration. Signupforable on the BT website. If you have the existing couple-of-quid-per-month caller display, you can cancel it at the same time. BT are of course bastards and not transfering people automatically.

It isn't really free; you can only get it if you make enough billable calls. We mostly use the 18866 prefix and have call charges of about £3 a quarter, so we're not eligible.

Ah, true. I'd forgotten about that. I believe the wording is "continue to make calls with BT", or similar (ie. not do everything through another provider), which we do to obtain the 60% typetalk rebate and have call charges of about £3 a quarter ;)

YMMV, I guess.

No, *first* you(or, well, whoever answered the phone) ask who they are, and where they are calling from, and why. Once you get an answer you tell them you're registeered with the Telephone Preference Service.

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