SOME frustrated readers have demanded that Spanish telephone and internet companies get the message and “stop calling!”
While many expatriates accept cold-calling is a necessary tool used by companies to compete and survive the current recession, many take exception to being called late at night or early in the mornign.
Torrevieja Barmaid, Lisa Marks, 30, believes “these calls should be limited to business hours. I do not agree with contacting people at seven in the morning or late at night, which is often the case with the likes of my mobile company Movistar.”
“I receive endless text messages offering me all sorts of promotions, which is all very nice, but do I want to be woken up at the crack of dawn after a long shift at work to hear about it? No thanks!”
Rachel Wise, a Secretary from Torrevieja adds “They seem to go through a spate where your particular telephone or mobile number appears on every Telesales Operatives list in the country, and all choose to call at the most inconvenient times, such as when you have just sat down to eat dinner, or are fast asleep in bed!”
Such is the level of frustration felt by home owners, that some have even begun to adopt their own sneaky methods of discouraging the companies from calling again.
“Do you currently have access to the internet within your home?” asking them for example what their favourite food or television programme is and proceeding with their own line of questioning.
“I did this three times and eventually the company must have taken my name off their list. It made the whole annoying experience quite amusing in the end!” said Vicky Lomas, a 43- year old Website Designer from Quesada.
Gregg Donnelly, a 38-year old Builder from Playa Flamenca said that he turns the volume on the radio up full blast and places the receiver in front of the speaker until the caller has hung up.
Meanwhile, one reader who did not wish to be named said that he has had to become more verbally aggressive instructing the callers “Not to ring again or I will take legal action against your company”, whilst another said that he has bought a whistle that he blows loudly down the phone when receiving annoying sales calls!
Popular Costa Blanca Vocalist, Kevin Tyler is also feeling the frustration, commenting that “I would not moan about the odd phone call, but these phone companies are calling two or three times a day. I don’t know whether it is from the same number or not, and I would never use any nasty tricks to stop them from calling because I understand that they are simply trying to make a living. I just wish that there was some way that I could have my name removed from their calls list. I would also like to know how they got it in the first place as I believe that we are ex-directory!”
Meanwhile, Kate Potter, a retired Social Worker from Villamartin said that “I was being pestered by one of these companies, ringing me up to ten times a day at all hours. I would tell them I wasn’t interested or “No Gracias” but the calls wouldn’t stop. I tried ignoring them as the number was visible on the display, but they must have had an automatic redial system which kept requeuing my number when I didn’t reply. It got so bad that I ended up leaving the phone off the hook, but realised that this was not a solution, so called Telefonica to make a complaint. I told them the number, which incidentally belonged to one of their competitors, and was advised that there was nothing that they could do, but that I should report the incident to the Police as harassment. I did not do this as it seemed a bit drastic, but strangely have never received a call from that number since!”
Young mum, Jody Griffiths, from Quesada, said that “I am usually very patient with cold callers as I have done the job myself and appreciate how difficult it can be. But they always seem to phone when I have just got the baby off to sleep! So he starts screaming, I start tearing my hair out and don’t have a hope of hearing what the person on the end of the phone has to say anyway! So my advice is, don’t call us, we’ll call you”
By Heidi Wardman