Hello, My Lovely

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The phone rings and a pleasant female voice says cheerily: “Hello, my lovely, how are you this evening?” Either you have developed an amazing, magnetic personality, or they are trying to sell you something. I know which I plumped for. I was wrong, she was trying to sell me something:

“Have you got an electric and gas smart meter, my lovely?”

My response:

“What has that got to do with you?”

I can be as sharp as a new pin. My granny used to say I might hurt myself. But the lady on the phone had an answer, not a good one. It was obviously outside her script; it must be listed under ‘reply to all other questions.’

She said:

“I have a job my lovely, so I have to ask.”

What did I do:

1/ Say, “that’s OK my lovely, how can I help you?”

2/ Ask how she was doing?

3/ Lead her around the houses with a long chat?

4/ Hang up?

Anyone who said no.4 is right. Normally I just hang up when people say what company they are from and I don’t recognise it. She caught me out with such a strange question; I had to throw a question back first.

I know many of you will say, it’s just her job she was doing; don’t be rude by hanging up. But my answer to that is: I never asked her to phone, yes, it’s her job, but not a good one. Why should that company cold call people pressurising them to change energy company? Even if you think they have a right to do that; why use such underhand tactics? After all her opening question about smart meters was irrelevant. She was only asking about that to get a conversation going. Whether I had a smart meter or not was not her real question. What she wanted to know was, would I change to her utility company. I have deliberately missed the company name off this blog. There are many others that use this technique.

Then there are also many companies that employ people to actually lie on the phone. Companies that phone you and say: “I am calling about your accident Mr Nevin.” What accident, when? Or “This is Microsoft Technical and we have monitored a fault on your PC.” No, you haven’t. I hang up on all of these. I am not here to be lied to or cheated or robbed. I have no time to spend arguing with them; I just hang up. Now many companies like these use automated messages. There are also a whole new raft of automated phone messages giving dire warnings, that sound so real. Amazon, HMRC, etc. You just need to hang up.

Obviously, it’s up to you, you can have a long and fruitless conversation about your utilities, double glazing, insulation, solar panels or whatever; but I find it easier to just hang up and block the number. With the automated phone calls, unless it’s your GP surgery, or similar, telling you about an appointment; hang up. Even if it was genuine sounding, I would hold back on pressing on numbers, unless you are absolutely sure it is genuine.

As for the manned phone calls, feeling sorry for the person phoning, might just lead to you buying what you don’t need. They are not beyond emotional manipulation, after all what is all this, “hello lovely,” about, more and more of my cold calls start that way. They are trying to make you feel special, so that you are open to their sales patter. OK, my lovely?  

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