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Hanging on the telephone

When 1970s pop group Abba sang ‘So, ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?’, many of us of a certain age thought it quite romantic.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2007 23:58 IST

When 1970s pop group Abba sang ‘So, ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?’, many of us of a certain age thought it quite romantic.

But today, the ring brings terror into the heart of the receiver. So often has the hapless receiver been besieged by unwanted calls that a National Do Not Call register was put in place well over two months ago. But has this stopped the constant callers? Not at all. Now you may wonder whether it is imperative that you need insurance on a car you do not have. Or, indeed, mutual funds that you have never heard of. Have no further fear, your local telephone service provider will let you know all about it.

In fact, so pesky and persistent have these callers become that they will even send you messages deep into the night. So do not be alarmed if your cell phone goes off at 5 a.m. in the morning — it is your friendly banker telling you that your account contains nothing more than a few pennies. Something, surely you’re dying to know on a cold and frosty morning.

One of the columnists of this newspaper once wrote of his method of putting off such pestilential callers. He would greet them heartily and proceed to ask them the most intimate questions. This, after a while, would put off the most doughty of them, he assured us. Yes, but not too many of us have been able to head them off at the first ring. So we can only hope to take the path of least resistance. Listen to the bloke on the other end, assure him that you will immediately purchase whatever is on offer and put down the phone. This way, the telemarketer is happy and so are you — till the next time the phone rings. And we’ll ring off on that note.