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12:16pm on Friday, 3rd February, 2006:

My Colleague Spoke to you Last Year


Over the past two weeks, I've been getting a new kind of cold call from people trying to sell me, well, I guess I'd know if I didn't get rid of them before they told me. The calls go something like this:

Caller: Hello, can I speak to (slight pause while reads name from screen) Richard Bartle, please?
Me: Speaking.
Caller: Hello! This is <made-up name 1> from <random three letters> Limited. My colleague, <made-up name 2>, spoke to you last year and although you were busy you said we could contact you again in a few months' time. We —
Me: Sorry, I have no recollection of saying any such thing, and even if I did it sounds as if I was fobbing you off in the hope you'd never get in touch with me again.
Caller: (nervous laughter)
Me: Never mind. Goodbye.

Before I discovered my wondrous no tactic, people did sometimes get as far as asking if they could call back before I cut them off. I never said they could, though, because why would I? Clearly, the telemarketeers are hoping that enough people can't remember what they said a year ago that they'll generously stay on the phone for long enough to listen to the pitch.

This might work better as a tactic if it weren't attempted by four different companies within the space of a fortnight, though...

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).