Written By Galen White
A few weeks ago I received a phone call at home that began with, “Attention Visa and Mastercard holders. Your interest rates are scheduled to go up, yet you can reduce those rates by pressing 6 and speaking to one of our associates.”
First off, I don’t have any interest charges; secondly and more importantly, my phone number is on the “do not call” list. Well, you know me. I figured I would tell this turkey just which limb he could take a flyin’ leap from, so I punched 6. It rang a couple of times and a female came on and asked, “are you wanting to speak to someone who can help lower your interest rates?”
I replied, “No, I just want to know why you called me when my number is on the ‘do not call list.'” For 30 seconds it was dead silence. I then asked if the women was going to answer my question. She then began talking, but seemed to be talking to someone else; maybe someone there beside her.
Of course, this got my goat so I asked, “Hey! Are you gonna talk to me or your friend?” She continued to talk in a level tone, yet still to someone other than me. It was about this time my blood pressure began climbin’! But I kept my cool and said, “Ohhh, I get it. You are trying to be cute and impress your supervisor and make them think you are doing such a fine job of getting information from me, right?”
Once again, dead silence. About 45 seconds later, she replied, “You’re the only clown in this circus!”, and she hung up. Well, obviously I couldn’t say anything…, well, I could and did. The only problem was no one heard me by me. So, I hung up.
Well, it just so happened that last week I received another call from this same solicitor, and once again I punched the number six. This dude came on and asked if I wanted to talk to someone who could help lower my interest rate, and again, I replied, “No, I just want to know why you continue to call me when my number is on the ‘do not call list'”.
As was true in the first case, I once again was met with total silence. If my blood pressure climbed before, this time it spiked at 450 over 385! I know my ears and nose billowed smoke and fire just like the space shuttle when launched.
I asked in a not very polite and agitated voice, “Hey, turkey! You gonna say something or are you just gonna sit there and wow me with your dead man imitation?” Whooieee! Talk about lightin’ his fuse; my remark sent this guy into orbit.
At first, I was somewhat taken aback, but for once in my life I did the right thing. I lay the phone down and went on with what I was doing before the phone rang – dilly-dallyin’ on my computer. After several minutes of this turkey’s tirade, he hung up. I didn’t.
You see, he called me, and when the connection was made, he couldn’t hang up. Well, he could and did, but it didn’t cut off the connection. Once I realized this, I had him. So, I just left the phone layin’ there. About every couple of minutes, ol’ turkey breath would come back on sayin’, “Hang up the phone! Hang up the phone!” I just laughed loud enough that he could hear me and went on about my business.
A few minutes later, and he was back, rantin’ and ravin’ about how big an idiot I was. I just laughed out loud again and let him rant. Thirty minutes later, a female voice came on asking if I wanted to speak to someone who could lower my interest rates.
Well, I figured the call had cost them enough, so I said nothing but hung the phone up. I really don’t think they will call back, but if they do, it’ll cost them an hour next time. And it will increase each and every time they call.
You know, it kinda felt good to strike a blow back at inconsiderate solicitors. What about my actions? Well, I didn’t ask them to call me; in fact, I prefer they didn’t call me. Havin’ my number on the “do not call” list should be plain enough that I don’t want ’em callin’.
Galen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.