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Call Centres - Don't You Just Love Them?

Tuesday 22 November 2011, 22:05
By John Smith

It's for you!Do you like receiving phone calls from family and friends? I do. It's great when your kids, who have flown the nest, pick up their phone/mobile, and ring home. It's just a comfort to listen to their voices giving you all the news. That's what communication is all about. It's even nice to receive calls from companies and organisations whose services and offers you have already expressed an interested in.

However, there is a type of call that I absolutely hate with a vengeance. I'm sure that you know where I am going with this. The call where:

  • You are being offered a great investment opportunity. The one where you say you're not interested. He/she then says "You're not interested in making 20%?" It's always said in a way that, if you say no, you sound like a complete idiot. After all, I'm sure that we would all like to earn 20% interest on our investments. But that's not the point. These low-life (I choose my words carefully) callers have crafted sentences that are wholly geared to break your resistance. Their sole purpose is to get you to transfer a lot of your money to their account.
  • You pick up the phone, and you are assailed by a carefully recorded phone message about your right to claim compensation for some accident that you can't even remember having.
  • You pick up the phone and there isn't even a message. You listen carefully in anticipation, only to get the "We've hung up signal".
  • Of course you can't forget the call that starts with hissing and echoing, followed by that nice voice which is clearly from an overseas call centre. I have no problem with overseas call centres. The folks there have the same right as you and me to make a living. I do have a serious problem with British companies who employ overseas call centres. They don't seem to understand that it is difficult, even with today's modern technology to understand very heavy overseas accents. So often questions are replied to by us saying, "Sorry, can you repeat that I didn't quite get it".

The truth of it is that British companies only use overseas call centres because they are much cheaper to run. The trade-off is that UK clients can't always understand what is being said. Come on British companies. Get real. Try thinking about your clients for once. Business is all about people. If it weren't for people (clients), you wouldn't be in business.

Doesn't this whole thing make you tingle with excitement? I'm only kidding. Of course it doesn't. If you are anything like me you shudder every time. This sort of phone marketing serves no useful purpose in our society. It only helps to build frustration and anger in the UK public. But what can we do about it?

I decided to write to the people that count. I went to the top. I wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron, and copied the letter to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Business Guru Vince Cable. Yesterday I received a letter from an employee at The Department for Culture, Media, and not forgetting Sport. I noted that the date was simply "November". Sound like a lack of confidence to me. They're not even sure of the date up there in London. It appears that Nick Clegg thinks it's their responsibility.

A letter from Government

As you can see from the simple, short reply that I received, the letter means more or less nothing. I wrote with a very serious concern about the intrusion in our lives by call centres and the reply I get simply washes their hands of the issue. It's the standard "We don't care" reply. The "let's keep ordinary everyday men and women at very long arm's length" strategy.

The DCMS logo and footerI also like their logo and footer images, especially the one that says "Improving the quality of life for all". I wonder how much those two images cost this department. Maybe not too much, because they're only black and white. Colour would have been OTT. Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.

I should add, in fairness to them that they did send me a document which is of reasonable value to all the people of this country. They sent me a document that describes how to protect yourself from call centres based in the UK. At least that's a start. So if you are interested in stopping annoying calls from the UK this document is available as a download.

It makes interesting reading, and should help to improve the situation a little. Maybe you have experience of this already. If so let us know. This sort of bad practice affects both the residential community and the business community.

But as for those painful overseas calls this does nothing. I would have thought that with today's amazing technology it would be simple to provide a solution. The standard reply is that this would need laws to be passed in all the relevant countries. That may be, but surely our UK government and all concerned have the ability to block such nuisance calls.

Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy. Am I the only one out there who gets these daft calls?

John Smith


Posts: 1
call centres
Reply #1 on : Thu December 01, 2011, 12:09:21
A football referee whistle by the telephone seems to provide a useful deterrent when blown loudly.
Posts: 1
My name
Reply #2 on : Fri April 05, 2013, 16:50:44
Dear John,

I have sent you an email regarding this article.
Would be grateful if you could reply as soon as possible.

Thank you

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