About an hour ago I put the phone down after swearing at someone; this was a deliberate but unpleasant tactic (and sadly not the first time I’ve needed to do it – see my I rarely swear at people blog). For the last few days our home phone’s been ringing and as I’ve either been out or on my mobile, the MSF’s answered it.
Every time it’s been the same man, with a heavy Indian accent, describing himself as Archie or Natasha (yes, Natasha) claiming to be a friend of mine or on one occasion a very good friend of mine, yet refusing to say where he was calling from.
Tonight I finally took the call…
Knowing what to expect I first asked where he was calling from and how he’d got my number. He said “I’m from Sxxxxxxxx Global Telecom” – sadly muttered so I couldn’t get the name. He proceeded to tell me he’d got my number as I used to be an AOL customer a long time ago, which is true. He told me he wanted to give me a free wireless router, insinuating it was an AOL offer.
Now to clear something up; I’ve no problem with legitimate Indian call centres for businesses. My issue is with him getting my number, harassing the MSF, repeatedly calling and talking nonsense. I told him in no uncertain terms I wasn’t interested, and I was firm and polite in asking to have my number removed from the database. Yet he refused to listen. At one stage he told me, “you must be stupid; I want to give you something for free”.
When I asked him his name, pretending (as knowing he’s in India, the usual Spam call blocking rules don’t apply) that I wanted legal assurance my name was removed from the database, he answered “Archie Walters.” I replied that I didn’t believe him; after all he had a history of lying, and it seemed incongruous. His reply was “I am a Christian”, as if that made a difference! I’ve met, studied, been friends with and worked with many Indian nationals of various religions including Christianity and none’ve had anglicised first and last names like Archie Walters.
After trying lots of verbal tricks (much to the MSF’s amusement as she listened – her having suffered from his persistent annoying calls) I continued to repeatedly ask “will you take my number off your database”. He wouldn’t answer. After about five minutes I told him I was going to put the phone down, and not to ever call again.
He called back!
Staggeringly, two minutes later the phone rang again. This time it was empty an automated dialer with no one on the end. Another two minutes and it rang again, and he was there. I was flabbergasted, so decided to make it even more plain if possible; this time instead of the ‘firm but polite’ approach, I repeatedly told him to get lost, but with more post-watershed language. I spoke over him and then put the phone down.
We received two more blank calls this evening, and have now taken the phone off the hook.
Have you been called by someone due to being a past AOl customer?
I’m interested to know if there is a genuine connection to AOL; whether this is the actual result of the AOL database being sold on, stolen or moved forward. Has anyone else had a similar call due to being a past AOL customer?