Following my blogpost on cold calling, another issue is the problem of identification.
Occasionally British Telecom (BT) phone me. The most recent call was to remind me to renew my broadband with them. This needs serious consideration because tonight I sent an email which did not go through. What was the reason? This is what the email said:
“Technical details of temporary failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the relay smtp.btinternet.com.
The error that the other server returned was:
421 Too many messages (126.96.36.199) from …”
So one email is ‘too many messages’. This is not uncommon, and it is sporadic and unpredicable. This deserves investigation and consideration before I renew my contract with BT.
So when the BT caller phoned about renewing my broadband, I was ready to ask some questions, but before we could begin, the caller wanted to go through some ‘security questions’ with me first. Could I confirm my name, address and postcode for identification.
So I reminded the caller that I would like to confirm their identity. She repeated that these questions were simply for security. So I pointed out: “If I answer them, you have a name, a telephone number and an address – very useful for cold callers and others.” So I repeated by question: “You claim to be BT. Of all people, you should be able to confirm your identity on a telephone.” As I probed who they were, I discovered that it was not BT but a sub-contracted business claiming to do BT’s work for them.
So I pointed out to them that as they cannot prove their identity to me, and I cannot establish their identity either, the call will need to end.
I periodically have this phone call with BT personnel, or their subsidiaries. If BT cannot address this issue, why should we bother? Telecommunication is their business, and it is their responsibility to prove their identification in their cold calls. Let BT and other cold callers address this.