Get it in writing!

How often does someone call you from a company you already deal with (or a friend deals with) to make you an amazing offer?

How often do they insist on closing the sale right there on the phone, expecting you to hand over your ID number and banking details (they already have your cellphone number)?

How do they identify themselves?  Do they already have access to your account details with that company?  (Say for argument’s sake, “MySkinnyBody” gym or “MarvellousConnections” mobile company?)


Let’s say it’s not a scam.  Let’s say the actual company is behind this.  (We believe them because after all they told us things out of our account that the company would surely never disclose – would they?)

Let’s say you accept the offer, and something goes wrong – e.g. the company takes a lot more out of your account than they said they would.

How do you prove this?

“All our calls are recorded.”  Have you ever yet tried getting a copy of one of those recorded conversations out of a company?

I’ll give you a hint:  I tried.  They never ever turn them over to you.  It would probably take a court order plus an audit, and then it’s doubtful that the recording would be “found”.

The most plausible reason for this is that they can’t be bothered to wade through tens of thousands of recorded conversations to try and find yours – if they don’t have a proper logging system for the calls.  The second possibility is that it’s BS and they never did record the phonecall, but are only saying it to put the customer at ease.  The last (and rather sinister) is that they do find the conversation and listen to it, and decide not to share it because it proves they were in the wrong.  It ties right in with missing dockets.

Going through this process after the fact usually only results in pain and anger, and a company notching up yet another customer complaint.

I call this a post-mortem.  Too late is too late.

The point to cut this whole process short (and avoid being scammed, in the bargain) is at the telephone call.

“Sorry, I can’t talk to you, I never do business on the phone.  Send me an email, here is my address.”

OF course they are prepared for this and have all sorts of answers ready, generally based on making you feel sorry for them personally (the rep).  Be not fooled:  They get trained for this.

Be strong.  Persist.  If they refuse to do business with you in writing, refuse to do business with them.

If they get difficult, ask them for their personal ID number, car registration number and banking details in return.  After all, fair is fair, right?

But we nailed it this morning:

One is never prepared for them when they call.  

So what one needs to do is, prepare.  Rehearse.  Cold call?  Rehearsed line.



16 thoughts on “Get it in writing!

  1. I love that idea! Ask them for their personal details.
    Although knowing the way I am I would take it a step further and push the ridiculous envelope: Inside leg, bra size, dress size etc.
    And knowing the correct way to use a phone I will do it with ne’er a flicker or waiver.

    I will remember that line you can count on it. lol..can’t wait!

    • I love the ones who inform me I have won a prize and must pitch up at some ‘conferance’ to collect it.
      They are usually time share or holiday’s in the sun .

      I got caught just the once, man y many moons ago. Something about a pamphlet I had picked up a local garage

      Big con. I learned my lesson.

      I managed to keep one chappie on the phone for nearly 15 minutes after he informed me my name had been drawn .
      I don’t mind genuine canvassers,or cold callers – ( those who phone for donations for cancer research and such like) they have a job to do, and I am sympathetic to the fact they are probably sitting in an office after hours.
      I had to do that in my rookie real estate days. But those that are taught to obfuscate and in some cases pretty much lie, I will chew to pieces.
      Ah..the fun of phone canvassing.

    • Cold calling must be the most difficult, painful job, especially if the caller has been trained to mislead. Even those who have a legit reason for calling – “Miss, we’re calling in regards to your account…” – somehow always manage to pick the most inconvenient times.

  2. Hello! Thanks for liking my posts up on but because I couldn’t approve the comment as it is not my personal blog. I thought I drop by to give a comment. 🙂 Year of the horse is like a Chinese Tradition. Every year it changes zodiac. There are 12 Zodiac in total! 🙂 This year is the horse.
    The arrangement goes like this:
    Rat , Ox ,Tiger, Rabbit,Dragon, Snake,Horse, Goat,Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig,

  3. A post which is both relevant and thought provoking.

    I suppose it all comes down to the acceptance of a rapidly diminishing privacy parameter and the fact that to gain conveniences, we end up sharing a lot of our personal data with the outside world. We also get conditioned to ‘trusting’ those who hold our data and this is what opens us up to falling victim, is it not?

    Interestingly I too have posted on this issue recently, ” The value of our privacy?”


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