We used to get junk phone calls, I’m talking years ago now. Double glazing, that sort of thing. My favourite was from people trying to call “Service Washing Machines”. These weren’t trying to sell me anything. The company had misprinted an advertisment with our number instead of theirs so we would get their calls. It did get a bit tedious after a while though.
Once (and you might not like me for this) I was at home during the day showing a builder around to get a quote. The phone rang and I said “watch this” – there was no way that call was for us as we were never in during the day.
I answered “Service Washing Machines, how can I help you?” and blow me down it was one of their customers – a little old man who had just taken delivery of a brand new washing machine. These things are heavy – it took two burly blokes to haul it off the back of the van and into the old boy’s kitchen.
Anyway apparently when he was buying the appliance in the shop the door had a fault but the customer was reassured that it was just a problem with the display model – the one being delivered would be ok. Blow me down if the one just hauled by the two big lads didn’t have the same problem – a chance in a million I’m sure.
I clucked sympathetically and told the man that I’d heard of this problem before and that there was nothing we could do but if he brought the machine back to the shop we’d give him a new one on the spot – no questions asked.
Of course the old man nearly fell off the purpose built seat next to the telephone table in his hall. There was no way he could get the machine back to the shop himself. I bid him a cheery farewell and told him my name was Peter if he ever needed to call back for anything else.
It was my small way of getting back at the unwanted nuisance calls but I guess after all these years I hereby make an official apology to the old man for causing him stress over and above that he must already have been suffering with the faulty washing machine.
That was a bit of an aside really. Sometime after that incident I found out about the Telephone Preference Service, registered our home number and for years now have not had any unwanted cold calls.
However in the last few months this has changed and we get them with seemingly a growing frequency. This afternoon I had an automated call from someone purporting to provide loft insulation services subsidised by a government scheme. I pressed 2 to “speak to an advisor” – I wanted the details of the company so that I could complain. This turns out to be a mistake as I got music on hold and will now probably be hit somehow with a premium rate call though I’m not sure how that works though if it was their originating call and server but we shall see.
Anyway my point is that the TPS is clearly no longer working. Someone needs to sort this out. It is rubbish.