Here’s a great sign I saw when out for a stroll the other day:
What a good idea – I wish there was one on my street!
I think it is more than just an annoyance. It is an invasion of my home – my personal space. When I close my door, I expect to close the rest of the world out. I don’t want uninvited intrusions.
I don’t particularly mind advertising, whether it is flyers, junk mail (though that is a dreadful waste) or email. With these I can choose whether I want to read them or just ignore them.
But strangers knocking on my door, and people phoning me when I am very busy or expecting an important call….. That really makes my blood boil. I’m afraid I am often not too polite when telling them that I am ‘Not Interested’.
And for some people it is more than an annoyance.
Many elderly and disabled people live alone and feel vulnerable. Calls from strangers telling them things they don’t understand and being pushy and insistent can be confusing, disturbing or downright frightening.
When my Mother was in the early stages of dementia, she had a phone call about making a claim for missold PPI. She had absolutely no idea what PPI was, but the person on the phone told her that her bank may have made unlawful charges. After this she was convinced that her bank had swindled her out of some of her money.
This really bothered her – she told me about it every time I saw her for the next few months. Every time I had to try to convince her that she had not been swindled, but she was sure there had been some sort of conspiracy. With all the problems we had at that time, this was one worry we could really have done without.
The fact that the practice of cold calling continues implies that it must sometimes be successful. If nobody ever took up any offers from strangers on their phone or knocking at their door, the practice would die out – there would be no point. So don’t be afraid to put the phone down, close the door and just say “No!”.
If you want to reduce unsolicited phone calls you can register free for the Telephone Preference Service (just click on the link) which acts as an opt-out register. You can use it for both landlines and mobile numbers. It doesn’t prevent all calls, but I can vouch for the fact that it does significantly reduce the number of calls that get through.
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