If you, like me, have been pestered by unwanted telephone calls lately, where the caller refers to ”the car accident you had recently”, you know how persistent the caller can be, insisting that according to their records you were involved in a car accident ”some time ago”, and that the other party is now intending to sue for damages, or that you may be due to receive compensation. Along those lines. Whichever: the caller represents a company which is willing and able to take up your case and make sure you are the one to benefit from it all, financially, – all you have to do is to send them some money to cover “initial costs and arrangements”.
And in reality, the chances of a cold-caller ringing someone who has had at least a minor accident, such as bumped into another car in a car park, are pretty good, with traffic being heavy and parking spaces tight.
It is no good telling the caller that, no, you haven’t been involved in any accident at all, since he or she will insist that according to their records you had a scrape some time ago, and the other party traced your details via CCTV. The caller is so insistent that you really begin to wonder if you have had an accident.
Don’t panic: remember that these callers are working from a script and have an answer to most denials and objections. What you have to do is to confuse them – bewilder them completely so they hang up and never call you again:
Caller: “Am I speaking to —?” (they always get the name right).
You “Yes –?”
Caller: “I am ringing you in connection with the car accident you had some time ago?”
You: “Oh – yes. But which one?”
Caller: “Pardon – I didn’t get that.”
You: Which accident are you referring to? “
Caller: “I am not- –, well, have you had more than one, then?”
You: “Yes, I’m afraid I have. So are you referring to the one last week, when I reversed into another car in the car park – the silly old fool didn’t see me; or are you referring to the unfortunate incident about a month ago when I banged into a police car?”.
There is likely to be a slight pause, then:
Caller: “You banged into a police car?”
You: Well, yes, I did. I was driving behind the car for a long time, – he was much too close to me, so when he suddenly stopped for some reason there was no way I could possibly stop in time – so I’m afraid I rather smashed his boot in, and –“.
Caller: “Did you say you were behind the police car and that he was driving too close to you?”
You: “Yes, that’ right, so when he stopped suddenly –. Hello? – Hello?– are you still there? Hello?”.
They’ll never ring you again –.