The Anti-Courtesy Call

A couple of weeks ago, the phone rang, during our dinner, I answered and it was some customer service representative from one of our banks or credit cards.  He explained this is a customer service call, and asked to speak to my wife (since, I assume, the credit card from that bank happens to be in her name).  I told him she wasn’t home, which was true, and would he like to speak to me, since we share the bank account and the credit card.
He said no, he has to speak to Karyn.
You *have to* speak to her?  (I was put off by the urgency and insistence in his voice.)
Well, is it something important, that you *have to* speak to her?
"No, nothing like that.  It’s simply a customer courtesy call."
A courtesy call in which you *have to* speak to my wife?
"That’s right."
Well, she’s not home.
"Is there a better time to reach her?"
"Maybe tomorrow at the same time?"
I don’t know when she’ll be home, specifically.  I mean you can try, but I’ll not guarantee anything.  Okay, bye.
"Thank you."

That bugged me.  I wanted to grill him on the definition of ‘courtesy’ and how I didn’t think cold-calls like this were much of a courtesy to their clients.  Oh well.

Tonight, the phone rings.  Long distance.  Oh good, I think.  I answer, and it’s a pleasant, professional sounding woman on the other end.
"May I speak to Karyn, please."
Karyn’s not home right now.  Which, again, was true.
"Is there another time that would be more convenient to speak to her?"
No.  Is there something I can help you with?  I’m her husband and we share the account.
"No thank you. I really must speak with Karyn.  It’s just a courtesy call from {blank} bank to see if there’s anything we can do for her."
I see.  This is the third time (I lied, it was the second only, but three sounds like more trouble) I’ve received this call for her.  Doesn’t really seem like much of a courtesy to keep bothering your customers like this.
"Maybe I could just call back another time and try to get her again."
Yeah, no.  You’ll probably just get me again. It’s not very courteous to keep calling us.  Is there any way you can take her off this call list?
Because it’s not really a courtesy to be receiving these phone calls from you. In fact, it’s the opposite of courtesy.  It’s a nuisance.  Can you remove her name so she doesn’t get called again?"
"Yes.  Yes, I can do that."
Thank you.
"Okay. Bye."


  1. Tracy says:

    Heh. That same damn anti-courtesy call (where they just *had* to speak to *me*) did nothing but make my husband suspicious of my spending habits. He couldn’t wait to rip into our next Visa statement. You’d think he’d trust his wife more than a frickin’ telemarketer, hey?

    Followed your link from PEIinfo, btw. Excellent blog, Rob.


  2. graham says:

    If only your husband knew you were having an affair with the call centre prince who keeps calling in the middle of dinner.


  3. Tracy says:

    It was a she. Although my hubby would be quite surprised if that were the case, I’m sure he’d be très intrigué.


  4. graham says:

    I’m intruiged


  5. John Morris says:

    I can’t blame them for not wanting to talk to you. If they did talk to you instead it was represent a major problem with their policies. Bottom line is, if the account is in her name, they should talk to her. If you really don’t like this, then you should get the account adjusted to your name, or both.


  6. Graham says:

    Buut if it did was represent them problems whyfor do they dunn respec sacrd vows UNDER OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.
    Them there company shall feel the wrath of their sinnins and carryinons in hell.

    As fer you… God Bless…


  7. Graham says:

    Sarry. I realize I dunn mess up ma grammer. Shulda been an questionation mark after LORD AND SAVIOR.


  8. señior psychosis says:


    Remember when Rob mentioned twice in this post that they share the account?


  9. Rob says:

    Whose name the account is in isn’t really the issue anyway. My point was/is that cold calling a customer under the guise of a “courtesy call” solely to pitch some kind of deal or service should not be disguised as customer service. It’s bothersome telemarketing, no matter how you dress it up.


  10. Graham says:

    Do you guys get the sense that John works for the company in question or a similar company. He sounds like he’s defending his policies with some jargon that they drilled into his head.
    He probably isn’t, but he sounds like one of them.


  11. Yanik says:

    I used to do telemarketing work. It’s a job created in hell. Actually, it’s like living in hell and having to keep the devil’s hole clean with your tongue.


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