Its so easy to piss off telemarketers

27 10 2006

I was getting ready to take a brief nap after taking my medicines today when my phone rang. All I needed to say was “hello” and then the girl at the other end started rattling off…

She: “Good afternoon sir, I am calling from HSBC bank. Sir, we are offering you a gold credit card free of cost. It is completely free of annual renewal charges and you will be given a special concessionary interest rate for the first year. You can transfer all your other credit cards to this card free of charge. And sir, you can use it as a Petro-card at (some oil company’s name)’s petrol stations. Sir are you interested in it?”

Me is silent…

She: “Hello?”

Me still silent…

She: “Sir, are you there?”

Me finally speaks: “Madam, ho gaya? Ya aur kuch bhi bolna hai?”

She (obviously pissed off): “Kya sir, agar aise naatak hi karne hain to…”

Then she herself disconnects the phone call!

And I sleep in bliss for the next 2 hours! 😀


Cell phone stories – Part 2 of 3: Telemarketing

6 02 2006

Most of this blog is going to be in Hindi so English reading viewers kindly excuse.

The following is an excerpt of my conversation with a telemarketing agent:

Me: Hello?

She: Good evening sir.

Me: Good evening? What’s so good about this evening?

She: (ignoring my question) Sir, main Deepika bol rahi hoon ICICI Bank se.

Me: Kyon bol rahi hain aap?

She: (now perplexed) Kya sir?

Me: Maine poocha ki aap kyon bol rahi hain?

She: (now more perplexed by my question) Sir main ICICI bank se bol rahi hoon.

Me: Woh to aapne bataa hi diya hai, lekin aap yeh bataiye ki aap kyon bol rahi hain?

She: Sir maine aapko phone kiya tha apne bank ki kuch schemes ki jaankaari dene ke liye.

Me: Maine inquiry ki hai kya?

She: Nahi sir.

Me: To phir aapne kyon phone kiya?

She: Lekin sir agar aap inquiry karte to bhi aapko yehi information milti na jo main aapko dene jaa rahi hoon.

Me: First of all lady, aapne mujhko abhi tak koi information nahi di hai and secondly, information ke liye jab tak main inquiry nahi karoon tab tak aap mujhse baat mat kariye.

She: Sorry sir, lekin ab main kya karoon? Ab to maine aapko phone kar hi diya hai na.

Me: (exasperated by now) Madam, aap itni kam-akal hongi yeh mujhko maloom nahi tha.

She: (slightly pissed off by my remark) Kya sir?

Me: Arre simple si baat hai, aapne phone kiya hai to phone disconnect bhi to kar sakti hain?

She: (almost like realizing that this was common sense) Right sir!

Me: To phir phone katiye please.

She: Okay sir, ICICI Bank mein sampark karne ke liye dhanyawad.

Me: Hello! Maine aapko sampark kiya tha ya aapne mujhe sampark kiya tha?

She: (Realizing her mistake again) Oh sorry sir, have a nice day.

Me: Good bye

I think she must have worked previously for BSES Rajdhani Private Limited’s call center and must have got accustomed to saying ‘BSES mein sampark karne ke liye dhanyawad.

The net effect of this conversation was that I got her as pissed off as she had me by calling me unsolicited. And I wasted her phone call and one precious minute of hers. Not that it would go against her in anyway but still, I had the satisfaction of wasting as much of her time as she wasted mine.

Cell phone stories – Part 1 of 3: Ring-back Tones

2 02 2006

Can somebody explain to me what’s the purpose of ring-back tones? For the record, ring-back tones are known as Hello Tunes/Caller Tunes/Dialer Tunes in Airtel/Hutch/!dea slang. But I don’t really understand their purpose. What pleasure am I deriving by setting up a song for my callers to listen to, when I am not able to hear it myself? The only plausible reason for this service could be that the phone companies can rake in all the moolah by providing a useless service to its customers. Sample this – they charge INR 30 per month to activate the ring-back tones, INR 10 to set a new one, and INR 6 per minute to select a tune of your choice from their menu by dialling their premium number.

I too had set a ring-back tone some months back just to try out this new service for a month or so. Well, I realized that it was not giving me any pleasure except that I was getting some nice compliments from people I know. But there was one incident that was worth more than a smile. Here I am to write about it.

In the middle of something important, I was interrupted by a phone call. A look at the number on the screen told me that it must be one of those pesky sales phone calls. My immediate reaction was to cancel it and divert it to my voicemail. But don’t know why, I decided to take the call. Here goes my conversation:

Me: Hello!

She: Good afternoon sir, I am Vaishali calling from Idea Cellular.

Me: Yes?

She: Sir please don’t mind it but I have to say something to you.

Me: (thinking – what now?) Yea, what?

She: Sir, your dialer tune is so sweet!

(It turns out that she had listened to my ring-back tone that I had set in those days to the title track of the film Hum Tum)

Me: Why thank you!

She: (now coming to the point) Sir, are you interested in a new phone connection?

Me: No thank you ma’am.

She: (realizing that she’s done) Okay sir, have a nice day. Sir, I will call you again but please don’t take my call.

Me: Why?

She: I want to hear your dialer-tune again sir.

Me: Okay, I will not take your call.

The way she wanted to hear my ring-back tone at the expense of my peace pissed me off. The next thing I did was to turn off my cell phone for a while. 10 minutes later, I switched it on and immediately got a text message alerting me of a new voice mail. I promptly called up my voice mail and heard her voice again. She was like, taken by surprise at the sudden call divert. Apparently, she called me hoping to hear the title track of Hum Tum again but was visibly shocked to see her call being diverted to my voice mail. And I heard her shocked expressions go something like, “Sir, I am Vaishali, remember sir I had talked to you some time back? Sir, I want to hear your dialer tune again. Sir please suna do, please suna do please please please please!” Oh god! It was hilarious. I mean, the tone of her voice was so funny that I laughed my guts out.

That indeed made my day. I decided to mess around with these sales people who call me up sometimes even at odd hours. One such incident will come up in my next post.