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to be rude to people on the phone?

(58 Posts)
MrsTerryPratchett Fri 12-Oct-12 23:31:22

I'm so sick of this. By nature, or possibly inclination, I am a polite person. However, because of all the bloody sales calls and surveys and people calling at annoying times, I have become rude. Someone called today from an unknown number to ask about a recent transaction I had made. It was probably the insurance company like the woman said but I hate being called and asked questions by strangers.

I ended up saying, "I don't like talking about this sort of thing over the phone, so I'm not going to" and hung up. I would never have hung up on someone before but the constant, "can I ask why" or "this is not a sales call, madam" responses have rendered me incapable.

So, AIBU to talk to people this way I think I am and should I just deal with the inevitable annoying follow up questions from people who don't get paid a lot. I used to work in a call centre so may be over-thinking this.

Jinsei Fri 12-Oct-12 23:35:10

YABU to be rude, they are just doing their jobs. And in the current climate, it may be the only job they can get.

YANBU to find it annoying. You need to find polite strategies for cutting the calls short and letting them know that you're not interested. It is possible to be polite but not really engage.

tigerdriverII Fri 12-Oct-12 23:35:41

If its relating to an actual transaction then you should take the call. If its a cold call, then just put the phone down. But don't mess about being clever with a cold caller for the sake of it.

cerealqueen Fri 12-Oct-12 23:37:10

Depends who it is. Legitimate, I'm happy to talk. Sales or cold calls, I say 'Hang on' and leave them hanging on till they ring off. I'm finding we get less calls. grin.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 12-Oct-12 23:37:54

It was a 'calling to find out how our customer service was' call. I am one of those people who writes in if the service was particularly good or bad so they would already know...

How do I act polite but disengage? When I try to I get the stupid off a typed sheet responses.

MrsVamoOOOOOs Fri 12-Oct-12 23:39:24

This is why caller id and answerphones are good.

Repeat the mantra : if I don't know the number, ignore.

Anyone making an important call will leave a message and you can get back to them when you are ready.

I never answer the phone if I don't know who it is.

cheekydevil Fri 12-Oct-12 23:39:53

I had this too today. She pretended she was sorting out details for delivery and then tried to sell me an insurance policy but not actually stating that. I just got an idea that she was being ingeniously polite so I asked her....ggrrrr!
Yesterday a guy was trying to sell me insurance for satellite box and I said "No thanks, we are not idiots" he answered with "well what would you do if it broke?" (stupid question as they are replaced for free hmm ) so I just said " we would break down in tears obviously" and put the phone down.
I don't mind when the are just trying to do their job but they always pretend they are just phoning you to be great customer relations people that care that you are being looked after properly and then stealth sell you something that you don't need angry

Yddraigoldragon Fri 12-Oct-12 23:40:27

Just say - sorry I am busy! and put the phone straight down.

MummysHappyPills Fri 12-Oct-12 23:40:31

I just tend to say, I am just sitting down to dinner, why are you calling?

Salespeople won't bother if they know you are distracted, so will offer to call back ime. Then do the same next time! grin

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 12-Oct-12 23:42:53

cheeky you feel my pain. i know it is their job and as I say I have worked in a call centre. I can't stand the way they are made to keep you on the line and lie about selling you things.

I'm not as bad as DH. I heard him at the door the other day. Some lovely young men had come evangelising. He said, "what are you selling" they said "nothing" he said "yes you are, religion" and shut the door. Maybe he is getting to me.

fluffypillow Fri 12-Oct-12 23:44:38

TBH I think you are worrying about this too much. I now see a cold call as an opportunity to have a bit of fun. If they can waste my time whenever they choose to, I can sure as hell have a go too.

Jinsei Fri 12-Oct-12 23:45:34

Just say "I'm really sorry but I'm afraid I can't spare the time to answer your questions. I'd prefer it if you didn't call me about this kind of thing in future, but thank you anyway."

Or something to that effect. Works every time.smile

MyCatHasStaff Fri 12-Oct-12 23:51:20

Register with TPS here then the first thing you say is "I'm registered with TPS where did you get my number?" It won't stop the call you had today because you are their customer, but it will cut alot of the cold calls.

Jinsei Fri 12-Oct-12 23:52:38

If I think they're selling something, I cut straight to the point and ask if it's a marketing call. (Don't say sales as they may not actually be selling!) Sometimes they say yes, more often they don't answer directly and explain that they want to share some information about a new service/product or whatever. I don't let them get into the details, just say "oh sorry, I never consider anything like this on the phone, you're welcome to send me some information in the post but I really can't talk about it right now."

I know some people who are really quite aggressive to cold callers. I don't think it's necessary really. They're just trying to earn a living.

cheekydevil Fri 12-Oct-12 23:54:07

Am already registered with TPS, made a difference for about 1 month

alcofrolic Fri 12-Oct-12 23:55:33

Love these calls! Just be creative!
You have fun and the people on the other end don't care if you're telling the truth or not, so it doesn't affect their minimal wages.

SirBoobAlot Fri 12-Oct-12 23:56:18

I would have always said YANBU but then my friend started working in a calls center. She hates it, but its a job. She regularly has people being rude and nasty to her, even swearing at her. So tell them you don't want to talk to them by all means, but don't hang up - they're people too.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 13-Oct-12 00:01:18

I worked in shelters, rehab and prison for years. First time my life was threatened was in the call centre job. So yes, I do know they have a hard time. However, I just hate it. It's a bit like being asked for money in the street. I would sooner give money to someone who had a sign saying, "money for alcohol, please" than some nonsense about food or shelter. Possibly because I have wasted my time too many times telling people about food and shelter resources then they tell me they just want vodka.

TPS and and asking if it is marketing. Check!

ihearsounds Sat 13-Oct-12 00:04:08

I just ask them how I'm supposed to make money if they are on the line and no-one can get through for phone sex.. Another favorite of mine is to try and flog them something.
Seems to work a lot longer than tps.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 13-Oct-12 00:04:44

I wouldn't be rude to someone who phones, they are doing a job.

But I get annoyed if they phone late or a Sunday (I had a call on Easter Sunday)
I ask "Do you think it's appropriate to phone this late .Or even legal? No. I don't think so" . And hang up.

The ones who scam really feck me off and I've asked them hopw they can look themselves in the eye, knowing what they do (They usually hang up on me )grin

Sometimes, if I'm bored and because I know it'll waste their time so they can't con someone else- I'll play along with the Computer Virus ones.
Pretend to put the computer on and go along with it but be completely cack handed and deliberately obtuse.
Until I tell them I've wasted 20 minutes of their time and their phone bill grin

imperialstateknickers Sat 13-Oct-12 00:04:49

90% of mine are to do with the business. So I tell them to call back between 9 and 10 in the morning.
And if they do call back between 9 and 10 in the morning I either take the call (if it really is something I'm interested in), or tell them not to call again soon as we have that aspect of our business covered and are not considering changing it in the foreseeable future.
The joys of running two businesses from home...

LadyFlumpalot Sat 13-Oct-12 00:09:02

I left BT over a year ago, and I get a phonecall every month asking me to come back. I have started being a bit tetchy now.

The last one ended abruptly when I said I wouldn't be coming back because I was happy with our Talk Talk service. He asked me how much I paid, I told a complete porky and said £7 a month for phone and unlimited broadband. He went quiet, then he rang off!

alcofrolic Sat 13-Oct-12 00:16:44

Lighten up everyone! Enjoy these calls!
My friend gives her name is Miss T Windows or Miss Ing Child. Get creative!
No-one gets upset that way.

CoolaSchmoola Sat 13-Oct-12 00:32:44

cheekydevil....Sky don't replace broken boxes for free if they are over a year old, they only replace if they are within the years warranty....and then they only replace them with a reconditioned one which they only give three months warranty on.

Been bitten by that particular badger more than once. and now have insurance as the HD Sky+ boxes are bloody expensive to replace!

trixymalixy Sat 13-Oct-12 00:39:49

Coola, they do if you threaten to cancel the contract if they don't fix it for free/replace. I've had several replaced for free out of warranty, by insisting I was going to cancel and following it through. They always capitulate at the last minute.

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