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How to learn to love nuisance phone calls.

(50 Posts)
pompa Wed 24-Sep-14 18:05:47

I'm sure most of us get unsolicited phone calls regarding all sorts of stuff, not necessarily scams but not wanted. Despite the telephone preference service and asking not to be contact again, they keep pestering at the most inopportune times.
Here is how I deal with them and have come to love them.

Golden rule 1 - never give them ANY personal information.
Golden rule 2 - never let them get a word in edgewise.
Golden rule 3 - remember rule 1.

When they call and ask is that "Mr/Mrs ?????" just mumble don't say who you are.

They will then try to lead the conversation, possibly telling you why they are calling - just ignore them and start saying how good it is to get a phone call as you live alone and hardly ever get to speak to anyone. At this point they will try to get a word it, remember rule 2.

They will be reading from a script, the more ridiculous your conversation, the harder it is for hem to get back to it.

Ramble on about how you live alone and how hard it is since you wife/husband walked out, how wonderful they are for taking the time to chat with you. I'm sure you get the picture. Every time they try to get back on track, divert them off on some other mindless topic, ask their name, about their family, pets, anything to stop them getting a word in.

Treat it as a game, 10 minutes is about the best I have managed before they have given up.

I am always polite and ALWAYS ask them to ring me for another chat as soon as possible - oddly none ever have !.

Get to love nuisance calls, have fun.

Just remember rule 1 NEVER give ANY personal information.

If you have guest etc, put it on speaker phone, much more fun.

I now look forward to

MiniMouse Wed 24-Sep-14 18:08:31


Coolgran65 Wed 24-Sep-14 18:23:22

Brilliant !!

Mamie Wed 24-Sep-14 18:46:54

My method is simple. If they speak English I only speak French. If they are French I only speak English.

Brendawymms Wed 24-Sep-14 18:58:29

My daughter says she can't help she is only the burglar/tenant/ police.

sunseeker Wed 24-Sep-14 19:07:04

A friend says that she is Inspector ......... and they have phoned a crime scene, the call has been traced and they are to remain where they are until an officer arrives to take a statement. She hardly gets any calls now!! (she said she got it from some American crime show!)

I just ask them for a password, that completely throws them and when they try to get back to their script I keep asking more and more insistently that they have to give me a password - they usually give up!

HildaW Wed 24-Sep-14 21:40:07

Good for you Pompa...I suggested a similar strategy....though not quite so beautifully put.....on a thread a little while ago...only to get my head bitten off by someone who felt we should give such callers a break as they are only trying to earn a living!

durhamjen Wed 24-Sep-14 22:19:43

I have a good answer when they ask to speak to Mr .... I either say "He's dead," or "He died over two years ago."
That's quite personal information, and it stops them talking any more.

Charleygirl Wed 24-Sep-14 22:21:38

I frequently get phone calls from people thinking that they have rung the local pizza place, including ringing at 1am. I say this is ** police station, how may I help you? That gets rid of them so quickly. I feel that I have to be careful in case my local cop station decide to order pizzas!

If I get a call during the day, and they want to verify my name, I say "Que", "que" until they go which is usually within seconds.

annodomini Wed 24-Sep-14 22:27:27

I was having a quite brew with a friend after a substantial lunch, when my mobile rang. The caller said 'Good evening, may I speak to Mrs Anno...' I said, 'It's afternoon, not evening and Mrs Anno isn't here.'

ninathenana Wed 24-Sep-14 23:16:00

Them: Hello, May I speak to Mrs. ......

Me: (grunt)

Them: How are you today Mrs .....

Me: I was fine, until I received this unwanted phone call, Goodbye......

durhamjen Wed 24-Sep-14 23:57:00

How about a competition to see who can keep someone talking the longest? Got to be honest, though.

pompa Thu 25-Sep-14 07:24:29


My method gives them every chance to prove their sales skills and sell the product/service, I never hang up first. Sometimes it gives them a laugh, pretended to be a very senile old git with more problems than the NHS had ever heard of on one person
The caller was peeing himself, couldn't believe such nutters really existed, he gave up when the will to live left him.

I'm sure I will meet my match one day, that will really be fun.

felice Thu 25-Sep-14 08:52:52

I do the same as Mamie, and go into Dutch sometimes too, and they never prounounce my name properly so I make them say it a few times and do not let them carry on until they have said it right, they usually hang up.

philly Thu 25-Sep-14 09:24:15

I tell them I am only the housekeeper and M'Lady is away! It works every time.

Nonnie Thu 25-Sep-14 09:36:19

I have a variety, depending on my mood.

First is the same as philly

Monosylabic answers annoys them.

Sorry I'd love to talk to you but I'm really busy at the moment please give me your home phone number and I'll call you back.

Which Mr N? No sorry he's not here

Why would I want to talk to an unethical company? Yes, of course you are as I am signed up to the TPS so you shouldn't be calling me.

Pathetic old lady

Sorry I don't understand you, is English not your first language? (DH got upset when he heard me say that until I told him it was an American!)

When they call from India and say their name is John or whatever I ask where they come from in the UK and then ask lots of questions about that area as if I know it intimately.

Oh dear, I rather sound like I don't have a life! These are just things I've done over the years not every week!

FlicketyB Thu 25-Sep-14 10:25:24

Yesterday I had a computer scam call. I said 'Yes, I knew about the problem I was an IT manager'. They put the phone down on me. grin

HildaW Thu 25-Sep-14 13:38:07

We've had a couple of calls suggesting we've had a car accident and might have a claim....I answer gushingly in my best RP voice (if its not showing a withheld international marker) 'Oh...have I... do tell...where and when...?'. Soon takes the wind out of their sails.

PRINTMISS Thu 25-Sep-14 15:08:34

My son in law is a wizz with computers, and recently had great fun with on of those calls that tells you you have a problem with yours. He sounded really concerned, got the man on the other end of the phone telling him all sorts of things, then started ASKING the questions, and evidently the chap on the other end swore at him and put the phone down, NICE!

Freda47 Thu 25-Sep-14 18:47:06

After a series of really annoying calls, all from the same (holding?) company call centre but using different individual company names, I was rather gobsmacked to hear myself saying to the chap on the other end, "Eff off"... Took me by surprise as much as it did him shock blush - but it worked, never heard from them again!

Freda47 Thu 25-Sep-14 18:48:50

Not very PC, GNs, but it works...

Liz46 Thu 25-Sep-14 18:55:50

Freda, I too lost my temper and told a caller who asked about my 'recent accident' to p... off. I just don't like bad language so quite surprised myself. We have a phone that doesn't accept certain calls but we are unable to reject withheld numbers as both our local surgery and a relative phone us from withheld numbers. We don't accept calls from abroad but have to take this off when any of the children go on holiday and that's when we get people telling us that there is a problem with our computer.

papaoscar Thu 25-Sep-14 18:59:55

We used to keep a whoopee cushion near the phone and at moments of need would squeeze out an enormous, squishy raspberry which seemed to do the trick. Wish we still had it!

pompa Thu 25-Sep-14 19:51:02

Now, I love the whoopee cushion, must work that into my patter (or would that be splatter!)

Stansgran Thu 25-Sep-14 19:59:15

I either say I am the cleaning lady ,which i am or I ask which computer and say there is one in each room . I know they have to earn a living etc but I have a life to lead and less time left than they have