Telemarketeering: Revenge of the consumer

I was just sitting and watching Top Of The Pops (TOTP) on BBC television and had just concluded that the country had gone to pot with the trash that was in the “music” chart when a telemarketeer decided it would be a good moment to call.

Why Space Kitchens felt the need to call…

Using my standard procedure, I first wasted as much of the person’s time as I could get away with and then said that I would like to speak to (whatever silly management title) someone about the offer of a chance to get a free kitchen in return for appearing in a magazine apparently called something like “Focus” (published four times a year! wow!). True to his word, I got a call back from a manager about the offer and promptly entered into a conversation about whether he felt it was appropriate to disturb my evening with a marketing call. Then, when I was done with him, I called freephone on:

+44 800 169 1140

I spoke to a guy there to confirm that it was likely his company that had just had a call center call me and then entered into a discussion with him about this unpleasant business practice. He was increadibly professional and even told me about the caller preference service and preventing future calls but advised me that, aside from registering on such a list, anything else I tried was likely to be useless – I admire his reasonable level of honesty. Still, I explained how much such things leave me very much uninclined to ever purchase a product or service from such a company that feels the need to cold call. One of the people I spoke to told me that they also advertise online and perhaps on TV, to which I responded that one can always ignore a website or a TV advert but that it’s harder to just ignore every telephone call. I pointed out that finding “Space Kitchens” was increadibly easy once I knew of them.

So, if you want a kitchen, you might want to avoid Space Kitchens. But you can write to their head office to tell them how bad it is to cold call people (the Companies House information is just not very useful here so I used their website):

Shadsworth Business Park,
Sett End Road, Blackburn BB1 2GJ

Next time one of these people call you, try:

  • Waste as much time of their time as you are willing to waste of your own for a moment of amusement.
  • Engage them in a discussion of whether they work for an ethical company. You’ll find they often don’t seem to be allowed to hang up on you.
  • Pretend to be really interested, but say that you have to go and check with your husband/wife/spouse/girlfriend/other and that you’ll be right back. Leave them hanging on the line for as long as possible.

I wish people in general weren’t stupid enough to buy from companies using these tactics, but they are and that’s the reason that this kind of shit will forevermore continue to happen.

[UPDATE] I’ve just registered our home numbers with the Telephone Preference Service. We’ll see if it actually makes any difference whatsoever. My guess is it won’t, since it won’t stop people outside the EU (especially those in the US making automated calls) from leaving unwanted messages.


P.S. Thanks Disney for the automated call about a holiday to one of your theme parks earlier today. It’ll help me avoid ever actually going.

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