Daily Archives:August 13th, 2011

Analogy for the day

Today’s thought-provoking quotation comes from The Knight Foundation’s John Bracken:

“Print is the new vinyl.”


Aargh! These people really annoy me!

I had a call from a nice lady named Celine at Comantra. She told me that they were a Microsoft support partner and the information they had about my PC suggested that there was a problem with the Windows operating system and that my machine had been compromised by malware and viruses. If I was sitting in front of my computer, their support team would be able to help me sort it out…

Now, this was not the first time I had been contacted by similar organisations, and I wanted to find out more, so I asked about the name of the company, got their phone number (08000488005), got her name…

And then I yelled at her.

Ask any of the chaps, and they’ll tell you that old Q, for all that he may be rather excitable sort of fellow sometimes, is not really given to yelling, but these scams really annoy me. They pick on the nervous and vulnerable and get them to fork out cash for a service which in all probability they do not need. Certainly, they know nothing about your computer – not one of my computers has run Windows in the last decade or so, for example – and how would they tie it to your phone number anyway? Unless they happened to be involved in the malware business themselves, perhaps… Anyway, in the past, when I’ve started asking difficult questions, they just hang up, so I wanted to play along to make sure I knew who was culpable. They know they’re guilty of misrepresentation.

If I’d had the presence of mind, I would have used the rather nice response that I heard someone on a podcast recently recommend for telemarketers of all types. He would listen patiently and then ask, “I have a question. Why don’t you get a job that makes peoples’ lives better instead of worse?”

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser