Friday, March 03, 2006

Unsolicited marketing calls

I was mad with my mobile phone provider, but I have to a degree forgiven them. The reason I'm mad at them is that I seem to be inundated with calls from various marketing companies who are trying to get me to renegotiate my contract with them. Fair enough....

  1. When we signed the original contract we checked the little box that said no marketing calls, and

  2. My mobile number is registered with the Telephone Preference Service and

  3. The contract isn't in my name so I can't do anything with it anyway

Today I got a call from one such company. I let the guy go through his opening spiel and then dropped the bombshell of the above three points. Most telesales-droids have at least half a brain cell. They are the ones who apologise profusely, make excuses and promise to get the number removed from whatever database they used. I usually let those ones go. Unless they do it again so quickly that I remember the company name. Yes, yes, I should keep a note of them so that I can make complaints if they call again but it's too much hard work for the low number of sales calls that I now receive.

But I digress. Today's specimen from the dungeon levels clearly didn't even have half a brain cell as when confronted with someone who is anything but pleased to hear from him and has said so, launches into a tirade of abuse. I hang up - no problem I have his employer's name. Cue call to Orange to complain about the company and the staff they hire. However, before I get a chance to do that the mobile rings again I answer to be confronted by the same guy. Does he apologise? Try to sell me anything? No... He says, and I quote, "do you suck cocks for rocks?". I snap the phone shut (as an aside, Motorola clamshell phones make a very satisfying noise when snapped shut in anger). Actually I was snapping the phone shut from about cocks so I'm not 100% about rocks, it certainly rhymed with cocks but it could have been jocks if anyone knows the actual phrase could they let me know. He calls back. I answer and in my best phone voice say "This call has been forwarded to Orange mobile and is being recorded for possible police action" before hanging up. I've dialled Orange before he calls again. I switch lines to answer and switch back to customer services, what the hell, it's idiot boy's dime, and by this time I have thoughts of calling the police so the more times he wants to call and sit on hold the better.

I get through to Orange actually ready to tell them I don't want their poxy service anymore but I'm connected to the sweetest, most helpful guy you could imagine. Half an hour later he has given me all the details of the marketing company so that I can make a formal complaint to TPS. He has spoken with his supervisor about putting a complaint to TPS from Orange as well as a formal complaint to the marketing company, he has told me that I need to speak with their malicious calls bureau (MCB) so that they can identify the number that the calls were being made from and what strategies could be used to identify the individual, and whilst I'm beginning to think calling the police is an over reaction the customer services guy is most adamant that it's not something that should be ruled out and that he'll contact the MCB and will if necessary testify in court that I was upset and distressed.

So, yes Orange made a major mistake somewhere when they released my data to marketing companies, but the steps that they've taken when someone acting in their name behaved like a moron has been excellent and at least they are looking to find out how my details were released. Still, I'd have rather not had to go through it.

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