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liste rouge

July 8, 2010

Several times a week and sometimes twice a day, I receive a phone call that goes something like this:

'Madame Willer?' says a hopeful sounding voice on the end of the line.

'Oui,' I say, warily, 'Qui m'appelle?'

'Ah you speak English?' says the cheery voice.

'Qui m'appelle?'I repeat, trying to sound as stern as possible.

And so it goes - the caller will never reveal the company they are calling from - before I say that it's not a good moment/I'm very busy etc and hang up.

Despite being on la liste rouge, the French equivalent of being-ex directory, these calls continue to arrive with irritating frequency. Sometimes the cold-caller has the cheek to try and make you wait for the privilege of speaking to them, with a recorded message.

Still, the mispronunciations of my name do occasionally raise a smile. Most often I am addressed as Mme Wheel-air or Willer. But my favourite so far, was the caller who interrupted lunch today with a cheerful 'Mrs Wheelie?'

comments (2)

1. Posted by markyj on July 9, 2010 10:15 AM

Haha, yes it is 'Wheelie annoying' to get the call with the recorded message - if they can't even be bothered to sell to me in real-time I just don't want to know.

I always find that speaking English to the real cold-callers is enough to get them running onto the next call.

2. Posted by Liz on July 29, 2010 12:46 PM

Almost as bad as in England, when the call centre operatives are from another country on a bad satellite phone and insist that their name is "Angela" or "Christopher" when it quite obviously isn't!!!

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