Many of you have probably had cold callers wasting your time.
Rather than putting the phone down on them, you might want to waste their time. My most recent call (the second one today) went like this.
First, he asked about ‘my recent minor car accident’. So I asked him what made him think that I had a minor car accident.
Encouraged, he told me that he got my number from the Road Safety Authority and went on to ask me if I had a minor car accident. The inconsistency of his question was completely lost on him, so I wasted a few more of his minutes by pointing out that he just told me that I had ‘a minor car accident’.
After a while he hit on the line that he needed ‘to validate it’ to help me out with compensation. As he floundered I was writing down what he was saying so that I could compose this blog. Usually I simply carry on with my own work while they talk away into thin air.
Eventually he asked if he was speaking to the right person so I said: “Probably not.” So he asked if I would “find out who at this number had a minor car accident”. I said: “No, as I don’t see why I should do your work for you.” So then he wondered if this was a home number or a work number and when I would not tell him he began to realise he was getting nowhere and rang off abruptly, as they usually do – such is their love of helping people.
Another way of handling such calls is simply to put the phone down beside you and carry on working. Let them speak into thin air and eventually they will realise that they are talking to no-one and will ring off. Don’t put the phone down at that stage, for then they can simply phone someone else. Keep the phone off the hook as this keeps the line busy and prevents them making another phone call. In a short while the phone will begin to buzz, reminding you to hang up your phone again.
Have fun instead of getting annoyed. You might even find the opportunity to put across the Gospel to them – for free. It is all part of the Christian service.