Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Phones are my greatest terror right now. I can be pretty cool, coping with all life throws my way - right up to the point a phone rings, and then my heart misses a beat. The moment I stopped paying my credit cards (not a life choice unfortunately) the calls started. Banks are pretty smart and know how to use technology to hound you. Basically there are 3 types of calls you will get in the early days of missing payments:

1. Automated - 'This is bank X, please call us back on 0800-XXX XXXX to discuss an urgent matter';
2. A real person - pretty much the same as above. The person will sound *really* bored, but then you would be if you had to make those calls all day;
3. A real person - 'Hi, this is a call for Joe, could you call me back on XXX XXXX soon? Thanks.' This person sounds suave, this person is 'your mate' (TM) The Banks.

If I had the chance to give any advice it would be this: Never EVER give phone or mobile numbers to you bank or credit card companies. These contact details are NEVER in your favour, they are totally there in the bank's favour. Miss one single payment and you'll find out what I mean.

The other thing to remember is that if they call your mobile - NEVER answer. Eventually they will give up on mobile numbers, most probably assuming you've changed numbers. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to your home fixed phone line. They will pretty much call this at whim constantly. OK, 'constantly' is an overstatement - I've received 3 calls in the space of 10 minutes, and then nothing for a few hours. I've had calls in the early morning and late evening (and everything in between).

You eventually reach the point (quite quickly) of pulling the phone socket from the wall.

Give it a little while longer and any slight vibrating noise just below proper earshot becomes a phone call - and you start spooking at anything. It gets to feel like you are being hunted. Then again, it's probably because you are being hunted.