British Telecom; an open letter.

Firstly I would like to say that I have been a BT customer for some years at this address and I feel it would be no exaggeration to say that the service throughout that period has been quite adequate.

On to business; I really must insist now that you refrain from calling me up at any time (but especially while I am eating dinner) ‘just to check that everything is all right’; rest assured that if everything should cease to be ‘alright’, even for the shortest moment, I will be in touch to let you know; I think I know where to find you.

When we first set out, wide-eyed, hand in hand, together on this giddy adventure into the world of telephonic communications, I took advantage of the opportunity of obtaining an unlisted number, now the ENTIRE POINT of choosing this option was because I DO NOT WANT TO RECIEVE SALES CALLS! - A conclusion that should perhaps need no explanation, well so I thought anyway.

Moreover, this is not the first (or even the second) time I have asked you to cease and desist, but I am fast approaching the idea that it WILL be the last time.

I’m sure that you really are sincere when you say that you have a wide range of exciting packages and exotic features and money-saving options so exhilarating that, were I to spare just a few moments of my valuable time, would make me drown in my own saliva, but honestly, call me old fashioned, but I can’t escape the perception that the telephone is just a device that I occasionally use to talk to other people; I really will be most uncomfortable if this device should try to become a member of my family or replace my few remaining brain cells.

So, once again, please check whichever box it is that you need to check in your records and make it all go away, there need be no offense taken, as I mean nothing personal at all when I ask; PLEASE STOP CALLING ME.

PS; Ironically this reply form will not let me proceed without filling in the box below that says ‘If we need to contact you by Telephone, please enter the number we should use:’ - I don’t think I really need comment on that.

But Mangetout! BT doesn’t want you to feel lonely out there! They just want to be your chum, and they’re just calling you out of…well, politeness, when they’re asking if everything is all right. Maybe, next time they try it, you should say, well yes, but could you pop down to the off-licence for beer and crisps for me? And I have this pain in my back–what do you think is wrong?

You see, BT probably thinks, hmmm, Mangetout has an unlisted number, so those lovely telemarketers can’t call. Well, why should anyone miss out on all the fun? So, let’s tell you all about our new “BT Friends and Family” calling plan! 5% off ten selected numbers, in exchange for thirty minutes of monotonous drivel every month!

But really, if you don’t want them to call you, and they’re asking you what number you’d like to be contacted at–give them someone else’s number! They may never find you again!

You could say that you are busy and that you will call them back. You must, however, insist on being provided with the caller’s home number to facilitate this return call.