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Talk-Talk, can't talk - Matt Flaherty [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Matt Flaherty

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Talk-Talk, can't talk [Jun. 10th, 2004|05:36 pm]
Matt Flaherty
Yesterday after my pest control fiasco, I was quietly recovering my calm while working on my laptop outside in the garden. The peace was soon broken by the telephone ringing. I picked it up with the usual hello. There was a second or two of dead silence followed by a burst of background conversation noise. I have come to know what this signifies. About eight months ago I stupidly filled out a survey from a web banner ad of the company Consumer Lifestyles. There would be a prize draw to win a year's supply of Stella Artois! Holy sh1t! That was all it took. I didn't even bother to look at the terms and conditions. I had given Consumer Lifestyles consent to distribute my name, address, telephone number and very precise marketing details to all of their affiliates who then had the right to contact me and try to sell me something. As an example, our car insurance runs out in February and I'm sure that next year just like last time I will be getting calls from all sorts of insurance companies at around 7:30 in the evening. This is particularly hard to bear because as a web programmer and generally kind of savvy techie guy, I really ought to have known better.

So I was not too surprised when I heard a Scottish male voice saying to me, "Hello, Mr. Flattery?" That is close to the pronunciation of my surname, but not quite there. I am amazed at how difficult it seems to be for the English (and Scots apparently) to pronounce a fairly common Irish surname that is spelled out on a piece of paper right in front of them. Rarely has it been a problem for me in the good ole U.S. of A. "Yeah" was my feeble reply...

Scotsman: My name is (something or other) from a telephone company called Talk-Talk. How are you today?
Me: great...
Scotsman: You have probably seen us advertised and promoted on the Channel 4 TV show Big Brother?
Me: I guess...
Scotsman: Anyway, Mr Flattery, we offer very competitive rates... blah, blah, blah, yak, yak, yak... BT line. Does BT provide your telephone services?
Me: I have NTL.
Scotsman: NTL... is that a cable telephone service?
Me: yup.
Scotsman: Oh. Unfortunately Mr Flattery you need to have a BT line in order to use our services.
Me: what a shame
Scotsman: Well you enjoy your day Mr Flattery.
Me: Thanks, I suppose I'll just have to carry on somehow.

I think maybe from now on I'll begin by saying "No, I'm sorry. The Flaherty's don't live here anymore. I'm afraid they couldn't stand the constant barrage of sales calls and they got divorced and sold the house to me. I also don't like the sales calls, so you know." I wonder what they'd say?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: rhodri
2004-06-11 08:40 am (UTC)
They would try and offer you competive rates on international calls, probably.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: flayman
2004-06-12 06:39 am (UTC)
I have registered with them. Cheers, Ant.
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