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rebuffing cold callers on the phone


mint
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I've got a brand new excuse as to why I am "pas interessée" in whatever it is that they are selling.

I didn't wait to hear what it was today, merely saying that I didn't want it.

But why, madame, the man asked.

Well, monsieur, because I am an old lady, because I am a Brit and à cause de Brexit possible, I may not be in France for much longer!

Oh yes, madame, I understand, thank you......end of conversation.

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I know, Mint - I don't think the average french person cares whether we stay or go. They've got enough problems of their own.

I often watch France 24 at 7pm when they have a debate. One night last week they talked about Brexit and the main topic was they would be glad to tear up the agreement to stop immigrant crossings to the UK.

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One of my friends got a cold call from someone and said she was happy to speak to him as long as he didn't mind speaking slowly and explaining everything clearly as she didn't speak very good French. He fell for it and 45 minutes later he was still there, having to repeat his sales line for the 20 th time. Apparently they are not allowed to hang up on a call!
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I don't feel any need to explain why I don't want to buy something from a cold caller.  I answer with "Hello?"   That quite often does the trick.  The last time someone started in with the pitch in French I replied "If you want to sell me something I don't want you'll have to try it in English".  I have no respect for these time wasters so tend to take no prisoners. 

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They certainly do hang up, I normally say nothing and wait, 9 times out of 10 it cuts off automatically and then I block the number with *351*#, other times I can hear all the cold calls going on in the background and the caller talking to their colleague, I say nothing and then hang up after 10 seconds and block the call, I will respond to those who actually speak, they usually ask for Mme Chancer who dose not exist, or they will ask for me and totally mispronounce my surname despite it being something they would learn at maternelle, I reply with "qui veut savoir?" in a stern voice and it completely throws them, many hang up, others say "comment!", I just keep repeating it until they tell me who they are and then I cut them off and block the caller.

 

Those who genuinely have a reason to call me will most likely be for the business and they wont know my name, I answer the phone with the business name and they then state the reason for their call, usually a reservation or rental enquiry, others will know my surname and how it is pronounced, even if they dont they will 99% of the time state their name before asking if it is me, those that dont are not in the slightest flustered by being asked who wants to know.

 

I cant stop the calls but they no longer bug me, they now brighten my day.

 

Strangely enough despite their number increasing week by week they have dropped off dramatically since Pacitel has been disbanded confirming my suspicions that the do not call list was being used as a list of hot targets by the telesales companies who knew full well they risked nothing.

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I've periodically responded to the feigned incredulity of cold callers at may lack of interest in their product (especially the ones who can't believe I wouldn't want to save money on the mutuelle I don't need..) by saying that I'm "Ni francaise, ni resident en France" which stuns them for long enough that they begin to question how anyone answering a phone in France could possibly fall into this category, clearly not covered by their training. THEN I hang up.
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Betty, I doubt that it is feigned incredulité, it seems that from a very young age the conditioning is so intense that most French people unless they have lived overseas are incapable of understanding anyone or anything that does not comply with their narrow view and belief of the world.

 

Explain to a young child that no, this person/these people/that country/race etc dont do XYZ like we do but like this instead and they just accept and absorb it, in doing so widening their horizons.

 

After 11 years in France the self same people are still completely shocked to find me eating my dinner at 15.00 or 16.00 hours, it can be the hundredth time that they have visted me at that hour but each time  they reacy as if they have disturbed me having sex with a chicken.

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ROFL, Chancer!

Indeed, my neighbours can't understand why we find it acceptable to have lunch when we are hungry, and then fly still further in the face of the law by having (are you sitting down?) a sandwich.

In fact, my neighbour did once rather wistfully say that she wished she could "get away" with doing sandwiches for lunch, instead of catering a full 3 courses every day. Mind you, when she's feeding 15 people at harvest time, they need all the calories, even if they could probably do with a bit of a lie down after a copious lunch!

We also once got caught having a bowl of pasta BEFORE going out for an apéro. I don't think they understood that after several cognac-Schweppes and about 3 hours, it's far too late for me to either prepare, serve or eat a meal...both from a time and an ability point of view. ?
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I have several way depending on my mood. If it ain't a good mood it's "ne quittez pas" put the phone down and walk away. A couple of mins later they have gone away to annoy someone else.

Or I am renting, on holiday, or I just speak to them in English, preferably with a strong accent of some kind.

We went 'List rouge' several years back and had a quiet time, but then the calls started again. When I looked in the Annuarie I found we were back again. I phoned the English Orange help line and they said that unless we asked every year we would be returned to the book. I told them they would loose our custom if that happened and we haven't been in there again, but?? I must have another look?

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Some brilliant responses!   Having been incredibly rude once or twice to people (which I don't like to be,  but they drive one to it) I now simply say "If you've got something important to tell me then please write to me at this address";  I then put the phone down.

Incidentally (in response to something I think Pat said above) a survey on France 3 about three weeks ago showed 65% of those taking part wanting Britain to leave the EU,  with only 28% wanting us to stay.    Maybe we should include the entire French population in our referendum,  at least we'd get a definite answer....

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[quote user="Martin963"]    Maybe we should include the entire French population in our referendum,  at least we'd get a definite answer....

[/quote]

I'd imagine the answer would be a cheery au revoir!

I've arranged to go away for the weekend of the 25th with a bunch of French people after the referendum in order to get clear away from the inevitable post mortem.

I did ask them, if there were a Brexit, would I still be welcome to tag along with them?

I am not sure about the negotiations because they seem to me to be somewhat rushed and I think the referendum is also somewhat rushed.

If we waited a bit, perhaps the migrant crisis, which I believe is weighing on many, will be resolved (no, I don't mean solved, I mean some agreement would be arrived at with satan himself if needs be in order to get Cameron off the hook)

 

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