Unsolicitous

unsolicited-phone-callThe telephone rang last night annoyingly in the middle of Pointless as I was trying to figure out which was the most obscure town with ‘on’ or ‘upon’ in its name.

The line was silent for a few seconds then, as if we were speaking on either end of two tin cans and a piece of string, a heavily Indian accented voice announced that he was David speaking on behalf of the Telephone Preference Service.

He wanted to know if I was still receiving unsolicited phone calls. The obvious answer ‘yes, and you’re it’  but I bit my tongue to see where this was going.

I told him that no, we didn’t get many such calls which flummoxed him a little and he went silent. Then he got on script again and said that he needed to check my payment details.

If you know the TPS then you also know it’s a free service but I let him go on. ‘We need to check your bank details, You pay by Visa Debit card with an expiry date XX/XX.’ he said. I don’t think so I replied. ‘Then we definitely need to update our records,’ he said and I swear I could hear him smacking his lips.

‘No, you don’t’ I said and put the phone down.

I could say that this post is a warning to you all but if you’re intelligent enough to visit Shooting Parrots then you really don’t need it. But it makes me angry that there must those more vulnerable to this sort of scam.

You would think it wasn’t beyond the wit of man to block calls emanating from outside the country. That day can’t come soon enough.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

13 comments… Add yours
  • Steve 8th December 2016

    I haven’t heard of either the TPS or this scam. We don’t have a landline — maybe that’s why? Anyway, anyone calling me for a credit card number would be sorely disappointed!

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 8th December 2016

      I sometimes think I’m the last person in the world with a landline!

      Reply
      • rhymeswithplague 8th December 2016

        We still have one but our children (although it has been a long time since they were actually children) do not. The accepted term for this turn of events is “progress”.

        Reply
        • Mr Parrot 8th December 2016

          I’ve never done the maths, but I suspect that it must be cheaper to make calls on a landline rather than a mobile. Progress comes at a cost!

          Reply
        • Trevor Rowley 8th December 2016

          I wouldn’t subscribe to the general statement that all change is “progress”, Mr Plague. We are, each of us, products of our time and our possessions are no less so. My family insisted that I had a mobile phone – I said, “Why?” So, they bought me one, but I rarely use it. When I go out, I want some peace and quiet and not folk tracking down my every move. My family said that they wanted to know where I was – I said,”Why?” I think you get the picture.

          Reply
          • Mr Parrot 9th December 2016

            I suspect that Mr Plague was being ironic when he mentioned “progress’. But I’m with you Trevor. I do have a mobile phone that I invariably forget, or if I do remember to take it with me the battery is flat. Mrs P reckons I do it on purpose. Rumbled again!

            Reply
    • Mr Parrot 8th December 2016

      I just checked and TPS will accept mobile numbers for the service although it won’t prevent unsolicited text messages.

      Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 8th December 2016

    Let’s forget the scam for a minute, Mr P, and deal with the much more important matter of the Pointless question on TV. Which were the obscure towns with “upon” or “on” in their name? I’ll bet Wath-upon-Dearne was in there somewhere. Takes me back to my schooldays at HCGS where, after about two years, a new boy arrived from the Rotherham,Yorkshire area. He had been a pupil at Wath-upon-Dearne Grammar School, and had a thick (rich) Yorkshire accent to prove it. From then on, he was always referred to as “Wath” and I still can’t remember his actual name. Any mention of Moreton-in-the Marsh?

    PS An old boy of Wath-upon-Dearne Grammar School is former Conservative government minister, William Hague – although I think it had become a comprehensive by the time he attended the school in the 1970s.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 8th December 2016

      I’d never heard of Wath-upon-Dearne until your comment! But I didn’t explain the Pointless question fully. What they gave were twelve clues to towns with on or upon in their names so first you had to work out which they were and then which would be the most obscure. My money was on Staines-upon-Thames but I missed it because of the phone call.

      Reply
      • Yorkshire Pudding 9th December 2016

        What sort of staines are they? Bodily? What about Rowley-upon-Parrot?

        Reply
  • rhymeswithplague 8th December 2016

    I think I remember that when we lived in Boca Raton, Florida, our “sister city” was Newcastle-upon-Tyne. But of course that was a long Tyne ago (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

    Reply
  • Yorkshire Pudding 9th December 2016

    Recently I have a series of phone calls from Indian folk with English names – Mary, Donald, Paul, Margaret, Sylvia… They say they are from “Talk Talk” so I tell them to f*** off. I am sick of these intrusions. Last week my wife was phoned by Energy Save and the person at the other end was extremely rude and nasty. I reported them to Ofcom. We signed up with the TPS years ago but it seems to make very little difference.

    Bourton-on-the-Hill, Holme upon Spalding Moor, Parrot-upon-Whore…

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 9th December 2016

      It worked well when we first signed up for TPS but the problem is it only applies to organisations based in the UK. Even if it did cover foreign call centres, I doubt if the scammers would be unduly worried about breaking the rules.

      Reply

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