Brevity is the soul of wit

Once you enter the corporate world, call-center people discover you. How they unearth you, and your phone number could be a mystery befitting Sherlock Holmes. Anyways I am not trying to play Sherlock here, I am just playing the part of Dr. Watson – the narrator, and generally the silent witness.

So for the past two years almost daily I have been getting calls from all the banks that have established in the universe regarding a free-credit-card. You know the general routine “Sir, I am calling from XYZ.” Some are polite enough to enquire “Are you free for a few moments?” And then all calls read from the same printed script, “We are offering you a blah blah blah”, and all calls end on the same note at my end, “Not interested, thank you”.

Well it seems to me that the new mantra for people selling credit cards is brevity. Yesterday I received a call that went like –
Me: “Hello”
Call Center: “Sirrr…”
Me: “Yes?”
CC: “Sirrr, ICICI bank”
Me: “Yes?”
CC: “Sirrr, free credit card”
Me: *disconnected*

No other word was spoken.

Ahh! The 30 seconds I used to waste on these calls has now reduced to 3 seconds… I am all for brevity πŸ˜›

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14 Responses to “Brevity is the soul of wit”


  1. 1 obelix July 26, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    I applied for a citibank card – one month ago

    still no luck – they’ve verified my address 5 times already.

    they just call and call – don’t frikkin deliver

    this one time, another citibank lady called offering a free card and I was like “I already applied a month ago, yada yada yada, where is my bloody card?” and she disconnected the line.

    talk about attitude

  2. 2 nitin July 27, 2007 at 1:31 am

    well said man..

    Nowadays they ask for some references before u drop the call..also they use the serial no of office extensions to get new “bakras”

    I have a special way of handling such people which i found amusing..I ask them to call me after 4 hrs..then next day..then after 2 days..and finally they give up…

    Even thou i land up spending 1 min on each call..i get satisfaction for frustating them with their own skill…
    πŸ™‚

  3. 3 Sreejith July 27, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    The people who make the calls are only the pawns.. its is the folks in the campaign teams who decide who gets the calls. Blame them you should! And anyway strategy and analytics is still in its infancy in India. In the US if you are on the Do Not Call and get a call, the banks could end up paying upto $10K for every single call!

    Well i know this becuase thats what i do!! In brief now u know whom to blame πŸ˜€

  4. 4 Kunal July 27, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    obelix, your case amazes me! these days it is a rarity to hear that a credit card application (esp of a techie) has been rejected… there have been cases where people got a credit card when they had not applied for any… your case must be recorded and archived for its uniqueness πŸ˜›

    nitin, while your way may have merits, I am just plain lazy…. for me it has always been “not interested” and “no references” πŸ™‚

    sreejith, I have nothing against the people who call… after all it is their livelihood.. but yeah we seriously need a do-not-call … it has started, but as you it is in infancy. here I was really impressed by reliance. I had logged on to see the bill, and I saw a link do-not-disturb. I registered there, and since then I have not received any promotional calls or sms from them..
    and yeah next time I’ll just blame you instead of writing a post πŸ˜€

  5. 5 alosh July 28, 2007 at 11:58 am

    I remember getting one such brief call. The girl sounded pathetic. Once a friend of mine actually needed a card. But these people are so used to hearing ‘no’ that when he said ‘yes, i want a card’, she just hung up saying ‘thank you sir’.

  6. 6 sumanth July 29, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    You should do something like what these people did! [:D]

  7. 7 sauvik July 29, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    lolzzz…. that was some eavy hearted conversation … yea..man.. these pesky little… call centres at times.. just get into my nerves..calling me up .. exactly wen am having my afternoon siesta… damn irritating…

  8. 8 chandni July 30, 2007 at 11:22 am

    I admit I used to feel sorry for people who are on call trying to sell stuff coz people are sometimes rude to them..

    After being tortured for like years and after an unusual spell of getting close to 15 calls a day I have become like a dragon lady spewing fire balls!

    Now there is a “good morning maam” and a click signalling me hanging up.

    So am down to half a sec or less ;P

  9. 9 Kunal July 30, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    alosh, ahh! a catch-22 situation.. πŸ™‚

    sumanth, rofl… that was hilarious! I need to learn from these guys πŸ˜€

    sauvik, it sure is irritating…

    chandni, good for you πŸ™‚

  10. 10 nipun July 30, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    true enough man… a while back i simply stopped lifting any unknown landline calls, but hate to think of all those friends who also got the snub unintentionally 😦
    as for what u might receive start talking jappo or klingon πŸ˜€

  11. 11 Ankit July 31, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Well! these free credit-card thing is not limited to phone calls. You can find guys from ICICI in the OBH lobby every day, asking each and every person (including the security guys) to get a free credit-card.

  12. 12 Navin July 31, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Actually I’ve been using the three second hang-up for a while now. I never speak a word more than the first “yes” and simply hang up after the “sir, I am calling from…”. Sometimes I feel that I might have hung up on useful calls (“Sir, I am calling from Mainland China; and you have just won our free lunch for two…”). But it’s probably all worth it in the end.

    However, this just reduces the amount of time spent on each call. It does nothing to reduce the number of calls. Any ideas on how to manage that?

  13. 13 Kunal August 1, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    nipun, even I have done the same. if I get a missed call from unknown landline number, I’ll never call back. now I am thinking of including unknown mobile numbers in that list too. yesterday I called a mobile number from where I had recd a call, and it turned out to be some personal loan πŸ™‚

    ankit, seriously man, this is going too far. why don’t you complain about these guys? you can easily get them thrown out.

    navin, ohh I wish I got a call like “I am calling from Mainland China” πŸ˜€

  14. 14 tia August 12, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    hee hee.. i get such calls only from airtel.sucks! So i jus saved the no and dont pick up calls from that no. once in a while i pick it up and cut it else theyd use another no.!


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