Friday, May 15, 2009

ping! supper's ready

A bad day yesterday which was rapidly crescendo’ed into the pique! Of an epic nightmare.
By one phonecall.

See I left my previous medical health insurance company when I started my job. More than a year later, without fail, I get a phonecall from them every month asking if I want to top up on my disability/funeral/medical insurance.

Your average sort of telemarketing-via-bombardment database cold-calling kind of crap we’re all subjected to every week or so, sure. Except not.

See, I get that my bank phones me. Because I belong to that bank. Do I want a home loan? A new card? No thanks, not for now. Annoying, but bearable if you’re having an average sort of day.

This insurance company, I left more than a year ago. And the 17 or so subsenquent calls I’ve had with them since I’ve got new medical aid is always the same.
We cover the same ground everytime, or at least for the past 17 calls. They flat-out ignore my one basic request. ‘Save yourself the call. Please just remove me.’

1) I am no longer a customer. I am with another company, so please take me off your database.
2) Delete my name right now. Save yourself the time, and save yourself from me: someone who can be a real bitch on the telephone. Especially if you’re calling me and I’m not your fucking customer anymore.

It took them a while to stop debiting my premium as well, but honestly? That’s child’s play on the spectrum of general annoyance. They promise to remove me, and they don’t. In return, they receive a smorgasbord of wrath, ever-rising, as the calls continue.
Surely they should’ve black-marked me as ‘Don’t call her she’s a bitch, danger danger,’ or put a little flag next to my details and marked off as ‘customer has requested to unsubscribe – multiple times - don’t fuck with?’

Yesterday I was strung out something chronic, and luckily for the guy at the call-centre, he got me.

I heard the ping in my brain. It sounds like an oven-timer. Somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind, something catalytic just implodes, and the reaction is volatile.

‘Please can I just speak to your supervisor, I really need to speak to someone, because you people are driving me FUCKING. INSANE.’

I step outside.

As I wait for 10 minutes with the dude trying to find a person of seniority, and there is lots of screaming in the background - sounds like a playground where the kids have had too much sugar - alas, it seems finding a supervisor is a difficult one, for all concerned.


A voice, tentatively, picks up.

‘OK, here’s the vibe, now listen carefully. I’m just gonna spell it out, and sorry in advance for ruining your day.
I have had enough of the INCOMPETENCE and FAILURE TO TAKE MY NAME OFF THE DATABASE, and trust me – TRUST ME – I’ve had this conversation over 20 times before, so now you’re going to take me seriously.
Either you’re going to fucking listen, or I’m going to have to do something drastic. Please. Do myself and you a favour. You don’t wanna be listening to my screaming voice right now, and I don’t feel like screaming like a psycho bitch from hell. But realise from whence this hails: I’m not your customer, I haven’t been for some time, and frankly, after this bullshit, I never will be. Take my name off your database IMMEDIATELY, or else…um…………………….I’m coming over there. And trust me, you don’t fucking want that.’

He didn’t seem too perturbed even though my tone was dangerously psychopathic.

So here’s the thing – will they, won’t they? I’ll find out next month I guess.

I went out to dinner with a mate last night to let off some steam, the call was only the le pique of my frustrations yesterday, so small fry. But I nearly lost it. And it’s not PMS.

The Vaal this weekend will be much appreciated. Even if it’s going to be crazy.


Flarkit said...

If you ever, but *EVER*, figure out how to make them stop, please share it? I've been bugged on a monthly basis by 2 cell-phone resellers. This, despite swearing at the operator, then apologising, then pleading with them to stop calling me. It doesn't work. I used to be calm and controlled, but these days I simply swear and hang up. I don't want to be a nasty person!

Peas on Toast said...

Flarkit - oh no you too? I hear on not wanting to be a nasty person, and after shouting at them I always feel a wave of complete guilt and remorse. But then they go and do it AGAIN and I'm thinking 'COME ON. JUST LISTEN THE FIRST TIME.'

If I find a way, and yesterday I was dangerously close to finding their HQ, going over there and going MAD, and I THINK he realised this, so am holding thumbs. Will let you know if it works! Similarly, if you find a method, let me in on it! :)

Tay said...

Initially you are polite but after they phone you everyday once a day, you lose it! It's got so bad that when someone calls me from a private number and they start the sentence with "Is that Mrs Tay?" I get ready to let them have it!

Peas on Toast said...

Tya - oh yes you know it!
The call always starts with a 'Hello is that a Miss P O'Toast?'

Then you know. And the bnlood immediately starts to boil, why? Because you've seen this movie 17 times already.

I've got to the point where I don't answer private numbers. Yesterday though they phoned me from a registered landline, so I picked up.

Tay said...

I am with you on the private numbers thing - if it's urgent or important they can leave a message!

Sneaky shits phoning from landline numbers - need to be wary of those now too *shakes head in disgust*

Peas on Toast said...

Tay for sure! I don't answer them at all, and nowe I'm starting to think that if the number doesn't have a name attached to it - no ways. They can definitely leave me a message if it's urgent!

Tay said...

I am toying with the idea of blowing a whistle into the phone when they call me... brutal but necessary :-)

Peas on Toast said...

Ooh now you're talking. A LOUDHAILER.
A whistle INTO a loudhailer directly into the TELEPHONE RECEIVER.

This is definitely feasible. And I like where you're going with this.

Secret said...

I totally kow what u mean. I left my prev medical aid company over 2 years ago, and I still owe them money I think - and they still phone me to "urgrade" to their rewards scheme. wtf??

Speaking of PMS - do you know what kind of levels your blood pressure reaches when you have PMS and your company owns a Gestetner? (Well, after Wednesday the gestetner is sorry it was ever born!)

Have a super funky day :)

Tay said...

Ooh ooh I like I like!! Maybe mix an annoying fax tone into that.. and Jim Carrey's "Yak" impersonation from Ace Ventura...

Oh the fun I could have with this!

Peas on Toast said...

Secret - do you know what kind of levels your blood pressure reaches when you have PMS and your company owns a Gestetner?Sorry that's hysterical. I don't wanna laugh at your soraing blood pressure levels, but that's fucking funny. If it's any consolation, our HP is giving us kak too.

Tay - I remember Kyknoord writing something about this, whereby he had a genius plan. Something like going on the offensive. They phone and you say, 'Hey, sorry can I speak to John?' or 'Hello can I have your fax line please?' Oh wrong number? I do apologise.' then put the phone down.

The games we could play!

Tay said...

I am wishing they would phone me now so I can put all these ideas into practice. Will give you feedback...LOL!

Peas on Toast said...

Definitely give me a rundown of what happens Tay - and I'll do the same.

They're gonna WISH we were never born. :)

bosotter said...

Peas, no offence, but you people need to chill the fuck out! I have these wonderful people that phone me from Japan (read Nigeria) that wants me to "invest" in their company. Now at first I went trough exactly what you are going through - shouting, swearing, treatening to sue them for invasion of privacy. But then one day something just clicked! Lets say, I "gave up"! Now if the phone rings the conversation goes like this:
Nigeria: "Hello, is that Mr Bosotter?"
Me: "Yes, it is, how may I help you today?"
N: "Sir have you got a couple of minutes to listen to the best deal of your life?" (Or some such shit)
Me: "Sure! Fire away! I'm all ears." And then all I do is put the phone down next to me...
I don't get upset, they don't get shouted at! WIN WIN! God I'm glad I stay in Durban!

Peas on Toast said...

bosotter - ah, there's our first problem. We have blood pressure Type A disorders :) Oh and some of us live in Joburg :)
That's an excellent idea though, and it has a guarenteed affect when it comes to the claming of the frazzled nerves. I like it. So when they've finished their 'Deposit $1 million dollars into our account in Nigeria schtick', do you say goodbye, or do you just leave them hanging?

I can kick it Durban-style, definitely. It's ALMOST as awesome as shouting at them. And this might even work. It's passive-agressive. My kind of style :)

bosotter said...

Well basically you just leave them to "fire away". The phone is lying next to you, you don't listen to all that kak. If you make a lot of listening noises they stay on for longer! My personal best is about 5 minutes. The whole office gathered around me as I was going "uh huh, yes, okay, yes". It was very funny! If I'm really not in the mood I just put the phone down next to me. They usually hang up after about 30 seconds.
And I don't have the option of not answering private numbers. That will cost me my job and I do not want that!

Peas on Toast said...

bossoter I like your style. Next time this happens, I'm whacking them on speaker phone and following your orders, matey.

I think you're onto something. It's cunning.

bosotter said...

Always remember: You are not the first person they have called and you won't be the last. These people couldn't care if you shout at them. Have any call centre agent, ever, any where in the world, maybe just even once, shouted back at you? NO! They couldn't give a dead monkeys ass on an asbestos roof, about your little "fit". So beat them at their own game! Fight over confident telesales person with complete control over emotions!

Peas on Toast said...

No you're absolutely right, and you've got the right attitude towards it. You can shout until you're blue in the face, and really, they've been shouted at by the person before you, the person before that, so they're probably immune to any sort of aggression directed their way.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, as they say.

frozen-heart said...

yeh, i agree with bosotter there, play their game and do it nicely.
personally i get such type calls too, i kick off my saandals and check out to my mountains and it all feels kinda groovey as they chat away ... to themselves ;)
attitude is a choice eh, you get to choose.
much love all x
i'm off to the sexpo this weekend, rock on at the Vaal Peas!

Peas on Toast said...

frozen..and check out to my mountainsAh now see, that's my first problem! I'm usually staring into the office park where I work, and the tension levels are at an utmost high when they decide to call!

Enjoy Sexpo - such a hoot! xx

Charmskool said...

Peas I have two words for you: Hello Peter! Just post a complaint about how useless they are and how they can't get it right to take you off their database - and within an hour you will get a call from an executive who will promise to fix it at once. Then they will fix it rightaway. I did that with MultiChoice who could not get my banking details right after 6 phone calls including a call and a written instruction from my bank. They phoned me an hour after I posted my gripe on Hello Peter - all better now.

Peas on Toast said...

Charm - yip I've used it before for MTN, and you're right it worked like an absolute charm. (No pun intended!)
If they phone again - Hell Peter is going to get an essay. Fraught with obscenities.

The Blonde Blogshell said...

Gotta love makes the world go round....Wait a minute...