About Me

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I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..

Monday, 28 February 2011

Doesn't fit our criteria...........

Since I've been at home more during the day, I've realised exactly how many 'cold calls' I really do get during a single week!
They go through stages, either selling mobile phone contracts, or 'have you had an accident that wasn't your fault' type legal stuff, or more recently 'life insurance'.

I've answered at least 8 calls now from the same company over the past 3 (working) days and it's becoming boring now. So tonight decided to go along with it and see what they'd say (instead of my usual 'No thanks, not interested').

So the phone rings, around 8.30pm - like you'd even WANT to discuss life insurance at 8.30pm if you'd been at work all day - and I answer and play along.

Cold caller: Hello, I'm not going to try to sell you anything, I'm just going to ask you a few questions and see if I can help you reduce your life insurance payments (ask me questions? Why? If you're not going to sell me anything hmmmm).....

Me: Umm, I'm not sure you can help me really

Cold caller: I may be able to help you pay less to offer your family complete protection, if I can just take a minute of your time I may be able to help you sleep easier knowing you've done your best to protect your loved ones

Me: Okay then, away you go

Cold caller: confirm you are Carole, this is your address, this is your age, do you have any dependent's, how much do you currently pay, which company (all of which takes longer than a 'few minutes' of my precious time, as she's still chatting away in-between about 'helping me to help my loved ones')
Then, crunch time......do you have any problems with your heart?

Me: No, none

Cold caller: Do you have cancer?

Me: Yes

Cold caller: You do have cancer? Really?

Me: No, I made it up.......(sigh)...Of course I have cancer, it's not something you joke about generally eh?

Cold caller: Ummm, ahh, ummm, I'm afraid you don't fit our criteria, sorry about that

Me: Hold on, I thought you wanted to help me protect my family? I thought you cared? What's the point in offering life insurance to only healthy people? You really really wanted to help me 5 minutes ago, what better way than to give me life insurance.

Cold caller: (now embarrassed) I, um, I don't really know what to say except that we don't insure people who are possibly, likely, to have a shorter life....(can tell by now that she really wants to end this conversation, quickly - so I carry on :-)....)

Me: I thought insurance was about 'risk' and 'offsetting risk'? Surely you insure healthy people knowing that they are likely to live longer and therefore you can afford to insure people like me, their payments will cover me. So, how much will it cost me per month?

Cold caller: I'm really sorry, we can't insure you, you just don't fit our criteria.

Me: What's the criteria then?

Cold caller: Well, you can't have cancer and get insured with us

Me: Why not? My surgeon doesn't know if I'm going to die so why should your company assume that I will

Cold caller: I understand what you are saying but you just don't fit our criteria - sorry....

Me: How can you have a criteria for selling me insurance when your opening words to me were 'I'm not going to try to sell you anything'?

Cold caller: Well, we don't actually sell the insurance, we drum up the interest and pass it on to the sales people tomorrow - but unfortunately you just don't fit their criteria

Me: Good! Then just stop bloody phoning me all the time then.

Wonder if I'll hear from them again tomorrow :-))


  1. LOL, I love it! It's great to make people feel awkward and watch (or listen)to them squirm. Serves them right I say!!
    Much love,

  2. Oh I DO love you, you mad, crusading bint!

    *Note to self: If I ever get a job in telesales do NOT call Carole's number on official business!!*


  3. Bet I dont fit their criteria either!

    As a known hepatitis (inactive) carrier, the question I get asked by ALL medics ALL the time is 'how did you get it'.

    I can't answer this, as I was symptomless for 30+ years. All I can do is look at the high risk methods of transmission: blood transfusion, IV drug use, tattoo, body piercing, unprotected sex - and cross off the ones that don't apply.

    WHY do they ask? How is the method of infection over 30 years ago relevant to who I am now. Would their attitude be different if I said 'needle stick injury working for aid agency in Ethiopia' to if I said 'sharing needles with heroin addicts'.

    Answers on a postcard.
    PS Neither of the above are true!

  4. Carla is still laughing 10 minutes later. And Louise's note to self put her over the top. Thanks for a great start to our day. Love your spirit, lady. Go get 'em!

    Steve and Carla xx

  5. I love your gumption and snarkiness. Very impressive.

  6. Hi Carole,
    Well, done!
    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall!
    You are quite right though...first they take your time , uninvited, then they try to sell, even if indirectly, then tell you that you can only have what they are selling if you don't need it, but if you do need it, you can't have it!!!!!!
    Bloody madness!

  7. Just a quick update on the telesales situation

    I've had NO cold calls, NONE whatsoever, in the past two days...hehehehe :-)

  8. Carole, nice one....

    The way it works is that usually you are in their database and they use a predictive dialler which picks a name from the database and dials the number so the agents don't have to...the first they know is as the phone starts ringing and the predictive dialler pings your details on their screen...

    I guess they have now removed your data from their system as 'does not meet their criteria' LOL...

    Catch up later.

    T x

  9. Good on yer Carole - but I have to admit I do feel a little sorry for these people sometimes. I'd hate to have a job calling up random people. I bet their day is filled with verbal abuse...so I would imagine your lady would have been very taken aback by your 'grilling' approach. You gave her a really good 'thought for the day' so well done you!

  10. Hi Shents,

    I used to feel sorry for them but when it's the same company, week in and week out, it gets really irritating.
    However, I stress that I wasn't rude (sarcastic definitely at times) and I'm never rude (unless they are rude to me first - and that *has* happened).

    I'm making my point really about these companies who decide to offer us things only if they think they won't have to pay out. When it appears they might, you 'don't fit'.

    She was good though, remained polite (and robotic) throughout...If someone wanted insurance, I'd recommend them - lol :-))

  11. Hi hun. Read your post to my mum (whilst trying to keep a straight face!). She reckons you should send it to one of the newspapers to see if they'll publish it - as much for the quality of the writing as for the story itself. xx

  12. Carole,

    I love it! You go girl! I know they are simply doing their job, but the calls do get annoying.

  13. Hi Lou,

    Now *that* is a compliment indeed from your mum which I shall treasure.
    I always wanted my Head Teacher to be impressed with me, unfortunately she never was (none of it was my fault - well, not all of it anyway) :-))

    3 days now and NO cold calls at all YAY! I'm 'off' the list *for now*

  14. Carole, What you did was incredible! Taking time to call them out, I love that. Good for you! I hate it when we are number one on someone's list to buy something until they figure out we "don't fit" the criteria, which really means they won't make money on us. What you did was gutsy. At least that person won't be calling you back anytime soon!

  15. Well done love , i dont think you fitted their criteria, and i dont think you will hear from them again , ha ha , you did give me a laugh,xx

  16. Perfect. I loved this.


  17. Thanks for the comment Pearl...
    I've looked at your blog and it's very good. Great start to the day - there is sooo much to smile about on there :-)

    General update: now 10th March and so far, since writing the post, NO more cold calls at all.

    I think I'm now on a 'unsuitable for risk' list'...LOL