Thursday, 1 July 2010

The phone call

We get an irritating number of phone calls from those automatic dialling machines, the sort that come up on the phone's caller display as "international" and "number unavailable". Nine times out of ten, when we answer there is nobody on the other end. The other time the caller is either a recorded voice telling me I have won a holiday in somewhere I don't want to go and that I should dial 9 to learn more or it is somebody calling from a holiday home rental company wanting us to advertise on their web site. OK, they are irritating but at least they are easy to deal with. Today's call was a little different, although as usual the caller display read "international" and "number unavailable". I answered the phone to find two people on the line - the caller and my echo. Everything I said was repeated to me by an echo in the system.

'Hello, I'm calling from the Microsoft technical department. You've downloaded a malicious (something or other) while browsing and your computer is at risk. Can you switch your computer on and...'

'I don't respond to phone calls of this type.'

'But your computer is at risk! I'm from the Microsoft technical department...'

Oh yes? I thought, and I'm the tooth fairy in my spare time, but I replied, 'So you say, but anybody could say that.'

'I'll give you a number you can ring which will prove that I'm from Micro...'

'You could give me any number but if somebody tells me that I've called Microsoft it doesn't mean I have.'

'But I really am!'

Persistent devil, wasn't he?

'Thank you for your call and goodbye.'

I suppose some people will fall for this type of thing.

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