Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Accor Hotels Do NOT Need Your Phone Number!

So, at some time in the antediluvian past, Natalie went to a medical conference, and stayed with one of various Accor-owned hotels. Who knows which one, or when, or where? Not she, nor I.

Unfortunately, when she stayed there, she made the grievous error of filling out one of their forms properly. They acquired our home number from her.

This is Not A Good Thing.

Our number is unlisted, for starters. And beyond that, we make a point of discouraging marketing calls of all sorts. I was recently at a computer store in Launceston, for example, and I flat out refused to give them a contact number (despite preparing to purchase an expensive system from them) until I got a written guarantee that the number wouldn't be used for marketing. Handed a bank the same line the last time I applied for a credit card.

I don't need marketing calls, folks. I can do my own fucking market research. If I want to buy, or rent, or otherwise utilise, or obtain some item by way of a commercial transaction, I'll use the Internet, the phone book, and word of mouth. But I promise you this: phone me up to ask for data, or to tell me about the joys of your pissant corporation, and you move immediately to the bottom of my list of potential suppliers -- and there you fucking stay.

Which brings us to Accor.

Every six months or so, we get a friendly phone call. The caller is always female, always upbeat, always asks for Natalie by her first name. Of course, it's almost always me who answers, so I do what I always do: I ask in a friendly way for the name of the caller. And hey: friendly female on the other end always gives her first name, usually with a lilt and a giggle.

Funny thing is, I don't recognise the name. And being the doctor's husband, I gently point out that I don't know the caller, and I need more information please. At which point only then does Friendly Female mention that Natalie stayed at an Accor, and could she just --

Now, the first time this happened I gave the phone to Natalie. And she played along, and asked not to be called again. The second time it happened, I gave the phone to Natalie and she told them she wasn't interested. The third time, I said politely that Natalie wasn't going to come to the phone, thanks. I can't remember how it's been since then, except to say that so far, I've been polite.

Yesterday, I got to the point of 'clipped'. As in: "Oh, you're from Accor? No. Nobody's going to talk to you. Thank you. Goodbye."

Still polite. Still calm.

Not for very much longer, though. Next time, I'm going to put the phone down and leave it off the hook. I'll check now and again to see how long it takes Friendly Female to get bored. The time after that, I'll blow a police whistle intermittently near the mouthpiece. The time after that, I think I'll perform my famous "Oh my God, I'm having a heart attack" skit. And after that? I dunno. Maybe with some SFX, I can mock up a decent "suicide by shooting or hanging". And hey, maybe I can do "ASIO breaking down the door to arrest a terrorist"...

Doesn't matter a whit to me, Accor. You've been asked to stop phoning us. You didn't listen. What comes next is your fucking problem, not mine.

As for the rest of you folks out there -- Accor Hotels do NOT need your phone number. For any reason. Ever.