As much as one may try, one cannot stay away from calls from unknown numbers. There are times when such calls are also from unexpected people, the kind that seem to offer you high fortunes. In retrospect it seems so sad that such calls even exist. The idea that they would entice unexpecting people with such calls, is sad.
There is one such conversion which is clearly etched in my memory on account of the distaste it left. I was working at my desk, when the call came.
Caller: Hello sir, is this Mr. Harikesh?
Me: Hello… Yes, this is Hrishikesh… The name is pronounced as Re-She-Kay-sh
Caller: Sorry Sir, I couldn’t get your name right.
Me: That is ok, what is this call about?
Caller: Sir, we would like to confirm if you’re a VISA Card user.
Me: Yes, but how did you get my details?
Caller: Sir, we’re the service provider to banks and ATM machines.
Me: Ok, so what is this call about?
Caller: Sir Can you please verify your card?
Me: Absolutely not, I am not sharing my card details.
Caller: There’s no need for that sir, just confirm where the VISA logo is, and which color is it in.
<I provide the info>
Caller: Sir, as part of your VISA and your bank’s rewards scheme, you’re entitled to redeem your points for additional items for free.
Me: Okay, tell me the details about it…
Caller: Sir, first of all you get to select one mobile phone from our catalogue. You can redeem your points to get a smart phone of your choice.
(I was delighted at getting a free smart phone, and began to wonder how much money had I spent to accumulate enough reward points for this)
Caller: Sir, Apart from this you get a family holiday package. You and your spouse can go to any one of our partner’s holiday resorts from over 30 destinations in India.
Me: Sorry, but I am not married.
Caller: That is ok sir, you can avail it within the next one year.
Me: Yeah, I don’t have plans to get married.
Caller: Oh, ok sir… You can take any other member of your family with you.
Caller: Sir, if you confirm this, then I can share our account details with you.
Me: (Confused) I already have my account details with me.
Caller: No sir, our account details. You will have to make a deposit of XXXXX rupees.
Me: Excuse me, why do I have to pay? You said it was a free redemption. I already have the reward points in my account.
Caller: Sir, this is a bonus package. You need to pay only the service tax for this package, since you’re availing it from our partners.
Me: I don’t care then. If you’re not doing it for free, I am not interested.
Caller: But sir, the package has so many benefits.
Me: I don’t care, please don’t call me again.
I was really miffed by the time the call came to an end. TO start with saying that a package is free, and to then claim money on accounts of tax is just ridiculous. In itself, I don’t have any issue with paying the tax for a package, but to offer it for free and then claim the high amount of tax is not done for me.
They had the gall to call me up again two days later (a different calling agent) and offer the same package. I had him get his manager on the line and give him a piece of my mind as to why they were calling me again.
Oh well, here’s to the unexpected free smart phone and holiday package that I was to get.
Post written as a Guest Author for the team of Project 365. The prompt was “You receive a call from an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about?”