Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Phone Call

One day last week I had popped out for a short time leaving my son at home, who was sick from school on that particular day.

I routinely asked Dean, if we had had any phone calls whilst I was out. He told me someone had called but couldn't catch their name but they had asked for his Dad, who died only 16 months ago. As Dean, is only 11, I asked him how this made him feel. He told me he was okay about it. But I felt for him, being so young & having to deal with it. As a Mum, if only I could protect him & take the pain away from him. But of course, I can't do that for him. He has to go through his own life experiences & feel whatever emotions arise as a result.

I, then explained to Dean, how it doesn't matter how many letters someone writes to inform organizations & individuals that someone has died, the letters or phone calls will still keep coming. I can't predict which databases my husband would still be on in order to have them removed. Dean seemed to be very accepting of the situation.

I dialled 1471 to see if I could trace the telephone number of who had dialled the number as curiosity was getting the better of me. But a recorded message said "Number not known".

I forgot all about it until a couple of occasions later that day, the phone rang again but disconnected when I picked up. I was feeling rather irritated by the second time & was suspicious it was the same organization wishing to speak to my husband.

The phone rang a third time but didn't disconnect this time. It was a very bad line & the person on the other end sounded like a person from a call-centre in India. They asked for my husband by name & then asked whether they were speaking to this person! As if my voice sound's like a man's! Maybe they weren't taught to distinguish "Mr" from "Mrs", who knows?

I asked for the name of the company that they were phoning from, but couldn't catch the answer as it was such a bad line & their English was very poor. I wanted to know before I answered their question. All I heard was them saying something about France. I guessed it must be to do with holidays & my husband was still on a database. Maybe this was from having previously gone to a timeshare presentation or after having filled out a survey whilst on holiday on another occasion. I'm still not sure.

I proceeded to tell them my husband had died so they couldn't speak with him. They ignored this & said "May we interest you in...." . I still couldn't hear the whole sentence. I was GOBSMACKED by their insensitivity. Had they not heard/understood what I had just said. Did they not understand the word "Died"? I could feel my blood starting to boil. I again thought of my poor son having to deal with this person before. I got very cross & told them not to phone my son or me again as it was very upsetting. I think they then had the cheek to hang up on me. I was left feeling very irate.

I looked across at Dean. He was on the computer & appeared to be totally unaffected by any of this. We can learn so much from kids just taking everything in their stride. Yet here was I, feeling angry & upset for him as well as for the injustice of these call-centres. If only they could speak English, be from the local area, then maybe there would be a chance of getting solutions to our problems. And in my case, some compassion in dealing with the loss of a loved one. It just would have been nice for the person to have acknowledged the loss or to have said "sorry" rather than to try to interest me in a particular product.


Maggie May said...

I am absolutely furious for you and Dean. That was so insensitive.
Isn't there a number that you can dial to prevent these cold callers from troubling you in the first place? I know that I rang it once. I will have to try and find out what to do.
In the meantime I am so pleased that Dean handled it so well.
Lovely to see you blogging regularly.

Teacher's Pet said...

Unfortunately, my dear Deb, this will probably continue to happen. Jack's father passed away over 6 years ago. We are still getting mail and calls regarding him. A blogging friend of mine received a phone call only a week after the loss of her parent. The blogging friend told the caller that the parent couldn't come to the phone because the parent had died. It seemed to make no difference to the idiot callers. In the states, we have a "Do Not Call" list. I'm not sure if you have such a list there, but if you do, use it; it will stop most of the calls.
I too am pleased with the way Dean handled the situation. In his heart, it probably pained him. He is a strong young man; hugs to you, Deb. Know that I am thinking of you. Love to you from Jackie

Head full of stuff said...

So insensitive of those callers, although the cold calls can be stopped by contacting the telephone preference service as Maggie May suggests. We're still facing a lot of this sort of thing with people asking for my Dad. Everyone must face this after they lose someone who's close to them, so I'm surprised people in call centres etc don't receive training to at least have something appropriate to say in response to hearing about a bereavement...

Eddie Bluelights said...

Very upsetting Debbie and it has got a lot worse since call centers were moved abroad - reason money!! Out of the window goes common decency and good customer relations and the companies do not care two figs.
Disgusting and something should be done about it ~ Eddie x

Teacher's Pet said...

Jan. 27, 2010
Hi Deb! I'm checking in on my new friend...and wishing you a lovely day on Wednesday. How about a hug...would that be OK? I hope so....'cause here's one from me to you! Biiiiiiig Hug!
Smiles and love,

Debbie Drews said...

Thank you for all your comments. I have previously used the telephone preference service which has cut most nuisance calls out. I'll have to use it again if it becomes a problem.
Since writing this post I have had no further calls for my husband & hope it was just a one off. Debs x