EDF cold callers are too racist


(Jo Blick) #1

I'm tired of this....is anyone else?


It's no exageration to say that EVERY single day, I expect at least one cold call from someone claiming to represent EDF, asking me if I am the proprieteur of my home. Sometimes it happens five times per day. This alone is worth whingeing on about, because I have asked at least half a dozen times now, if the caller can please make sure that my number is wiped from potential client lists, due to the fact that I am not the owner.


Despite my requests, no such thing occurs.It's pointless.


The second complaint is the rudeness, leading to racism, displayed by these cold callers. I have noticed a pattern.


If I say I am not the proprieteur, they cut the call. No polite excuse, no apology for disturbing me, just "click" line dead, as soon as they hear the words 'je ne suis pas le proprieteur' or 'je suis locataire'. I would say this is from about 80 percent of callers. It isn't a few isolated calls. It's nearly all of them.


If I decide, however, as I did today, that lo and behold, yes please I would definitely like to speak to anyone from EDF (because I have been online 15 times this week, actually trying to get EDF to call me),so I need to ask them to slow down a bit, because they invariably speak as quickly as possible in order to try and sell you something, besides it's usually a long schpiel around asking if I am the proprieteur.


Any way, as soon as I say ' Oui, je voudrais parler avec vous. Mais s'il vous plait, je suis anglaise et je voudrais que vous expliquer un peut plus lentement', again "click"...dead line. Every time. No response, not a word said, just a rude, racist ignorant lack of respect; results in me left hanging on the ethernet, frustrated, insulted and irritated. I find this intolerable. It's not just rude and racist, it's intrusive and harassing, because of the frequency of the calls.


Is there any point complaining to EDF? I suppose I shall have to.


________________________________________________________________


I have looked again at the definitions of xenophobia and racism and yes, I do mean racism. Xenophobia is more about irrational hatred and I don't feel irrational hatred, just casual discrimination based on the fact that I am less fluent in their main language, hence 'racism'.


XENOPHOBIA. deep-rooted, irrational hatred towards foreigners (Oxford English Dictionary; OED), unreasonable fear or hatred of the unfamiliar.(Webster's)[7]


RACISM. According to the United Nations the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.[21]


So, to sum it up, racism is the practice of discrimination by someone who is able to exert a malign or negative power over another, based on their nationality or cultural grouping. Contacting someone in their own home and ignoring them as soon as it becomes apparent they are of a separate culture, that's racial discrimination.


When the cold caller calls me, it makes no difference that their job is poorly managed or that they are bullied by their managers into behaving in a racist fashion. I may need their services. I want a solar panel. I might be desperate for double glazing.


I feel a huge empathy for their terrible lack of decent employment but equally, I have a right to know why I am being contacted. I have the right to be treated with respect and patience if I have difficulty with communicating, be it because I am foreign, deaf or ill. The fact remains that they are treating me differently and in particular, negatively,(discrimination) because of my language and that is being racist. This is institutional racism. EDF are the biggest players in this as most of them claim to be calling from EDF. Even if the cold callers are lying, where is the statement from EDF saying they are co-operating with the police to try and stop this practice?


I complained to EDF (see below, I complained in French but the reply came in English) and received this nice reply, but the nuisance calls still continue.


Same for everyone, it seems. Perhaps if the majority of us go ex-directory, and complain in bigger numbers, these companies will have to stop doing it because there will be so few fish in their sea.


Ex-directory is my next move.


_____________________________________________________________________



Dear xxxxxxx,



I do apologise for the trouble you had regarding a lot of commercial calls you receive. I have made a complaint in order to signal your problem to my manager.



Thanks to your email, I have blocked all commercial contacts you could receive. Therefore, you should not receive any call since the next week.



Regarding the unpleasant behavior of these commercials, I have also signaled it. And, on behalf of EDF, I do apologise.



If you need further information, please feel free to contact us on 0562164908 from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 6:30 pm.




xxxxxxxx,


Your EDF advisor.


(Brian Milne) #2

We have more than once managed to get them chatting. Call centres were in Mumbai, Manila, Jakarta and Seoul. The first came up several times including a man with a degree in French who was going to quit at the end of his shift who spoke with my OH. Blank them by all means, but try to do it nicely because the people here are exploiting them at low wages and miserable sales commission rather than paying their own people salaries to do it.


(Chris Lawton) #3

That's because most of the nuisance calls are not from EdF at all, but from some telesales agency "claiming" to represent EdF or whoever. We, too, are plagued with calls, usually claiming to be surveys or that "nous avons une équipe dans votre secteur la semaine prochaine", to do with insulation, electricity, photovoltaics, etc Can't find any way of stopping them. If it's an unfamiliar number [especially beginning 01] I just cancel the call.


(William Chapman) #4

Gawd. Why have you waited this long to go ex directory? They aren’t racist, they hang up because they can’t sell you anything.


(Jo Blick) #5

who? what?

happy new year Emily anyway <3


(Jo Blick) #6

swop your mac book for my Compaq! (cheeky grin)


(Carol Norwell) #7

sorry guys...that should read 'great' above, thankyou. I seem to have problems getting messages on here sometimes...the box will be pink...and whatever I type whilst its pink stays put...but if it changes to white...I lose everything written on the white box...and no...Im not taking any illegal substances! something to do with this site and my MacBook!


(Amanda Stone) #8

I got a cold call from Orange yesterday (once I was told that their helpline telephonists are not allowed to speak English! He did anyway - brave - I think he was sick of the place) anyway I digress, the cold call yeterday went straight to my answer machine and today I had great delight hearing first a recording telling you to wait (!) and then scuffling gap and then a young man asked if I was Madame Amanda STon ? Silence.... and then he carried on as if I had answered and was responding. It was hilarious. He might as well have been talking to the dog. That was fun.


(Amanda Stone) #9

just signed and passed on.

A


(Carol Norwell) #10

gre


(Jo Blick) #11

signed:)


(Carol Norwell) #12

I think you are absolutely correct Brian. My son as a student worked in a call centre...staffed almost entirely by students I hasten to add. They were only paid on commission....so no sales, no pay. They were taught exactly how to handle the call and told if it was clear there was to be no sale, the customer was rude, angry, didnt understand the language as they were foreign or deaf or clearly not going to purchase, to put the phone down and not waste time and get on with the next call.

My daughters friend, a delightful girl also worked at one of these call centres for a couple of months till her parents persuaded her to give it up....she was so unhappy as all she got day in day out was abuse from people fed up with cold callers. At the end of the day the person on the end of the phone is just another regular person trying to earn a living...its the company employing them that is the problem.


(Brian Milne) #13

Yes, nasty stuff. I signed it last week and would encourage everybody else too - just to stand up to them.


(Carol Norwell) #14

Just received this in my In Box

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/tell-edfenergy-to-drop-legal-action-against-no-dash-for-gas-activists?alert_id=LdKutzsejE_RsxHnyzJHq&utm_campaign=19054&utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert

which shows EDF in an even worse light.....!


(Jo Blick) #15

My good gracious me, EDF are evil. The cold calls have got worse, by the way, not better, since this letter. Ho hum. We have little choice but to kill them all and be done with it!


(Brian Milne) #16

Yes, EDF the 'pay us, we don't care about you' company. They have more or less accused these two hamlets of using electrical appliances a bit late in the day (just before 10 at night), therefore largely to blame ourselves for the damage their power failure followed by a massive surge caused. With replacing my computer, two UPS units and various other things our bill will be around €1200, they told us on the phone that our insurance will cover that, the insurance agent told us we have to have a formal 'refusal' to pay from EDF but with at least an explanation for the power problem so that they can pursue them, but EDF see no reason why they should provide that! Obviously, customer relations is not part of their company policy so your polite letter nearly caused me heart failure ;-)


(Jo Blick) #17

You are talking about EDF and not you, I hope!


(Brian Milne) #18

Wow! Having just capped my wrath by blowing up my computer, UPS, surge protectors and most of the light bulbs in this house plus several TVs, microwaves, etc in the neighbourhood, I am almost too shocked by the possibility they can be almost human!


(Jo Blick) #19

I think you're right Brian, the racism element is probably the least of the issues here. But it got everyone's attention didn't it?

I also agree EDF are by far the biggest player so should be held accountable ... here's their response to my complaint, *which I wrote in French.

Dear xxxxxxx,

I do apologise for the trouble you had regarding a lot of commercial calls you receive. I have made a complaint in order to signal your problem to my manager.

Thanks to your email, I have blocked all commercial contacts you could receive. Therefore, you should not receive any call since the next week.

Regarding the unpleasant behavior of these commercials, I have also signaled it. And, on behalf of EDF, I do apologise.

If you need further information, please feel free to contact us on 0562164908 from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 6:30 pm.

xxxxxxxx,

Your EDF advisor.


(John Scully) #20

If only it was that simple Jane. We've been ex directory from day one and we still get cold calls on all sort of things. Lists of numbers and names sourced through other means than the telephone directory are sold and used by telemarketing companies. Automatic systems are also used which just dial number after number until they get an answer and then they switch the call to an agent. So nobody is safe.