Monday, 20 February 2012

Are us Brits just too polite?

While trying to figure out what on earth I can fill my Etsy shop with I am watching more daytime TV and I am becoming increasingly frustrated with some of the programmes of late. You know the ones "Cowboy Builders", "Rip of Britain" and many others of a similar nature.  I think these programmes are of course a "must see" as they do alert the public to the growing number of rogue's that think it's funny to rip off the vulnerable and elderly in the majority of cases.

I have to admit that I am sometimes gob smacked at peoples trust when dealing with total strangers.  Many times you have an older person (not in any way helpless or weak) who willingly open their doors and are hoodwinked into having their roofs or driveways done.  Or they will answer the telephone to be confronted with a salesperson who they will openly chat to.  I'm not saying it's only a certain age group, many younger people have been taken in, but they always seem to come off worse, before they know it they have parted with cash or their bank details or have been taken in by a sob story by a cowboy salesman.  I saw a programme only today where a man (of a certain age) lost his house, he actually sold it to pay this conman.  I sat there with my jaw on the ground.  

I have a few very simple rules :

I never answer the phone unless I recognise the number calling. If I see it's an 0845 or out of area number I just let it ring. If it's really important they can leave a message.
I always look to see who is at the door before I open it, if it's someone I don't know, it remains shut.
I would never invite a tradesman into my house unless I had asked for one, that also goes for sales people.
I would never part with any money up front.

I was caught out once (at the door) with a man asking if he could sell my gold as he was "in the area".  I think he assumed I was a nice quite older lady who looked so needy she would be pleased to accommodate
  him and his scam.  I politely told him to go forth etc etc ~ he looked quite shocked :)

So please Brits wise up and don't be afraid to speak your mind.  You don't HAVE to open the door  - always make sure you know who's on the other side.  As for nuisance callers. who sometimes annoyingly know your name (if your number is in the phone book it's easy), just keep quite, let them do the talking, say nothing, it's drives them loopy.

What do you think?  Am I too hard?  Are Brits too soft?



  1. I'm the same-I can't believe how trusting some people are! But then again I'm a coppers daughter and have always been very suspicious of people....maybe too much sometimes x

  2. Being a lady of 'a certain age' I could not agree with you more!! Cold telephone callers...I pick up the phone , put it to one side very quietly and walk away. They're paying the bill! And I always request a password from any company I ask to call, even the gas and electric board. I don't think you are too hard at all. It's time we all wised up and made sure our children get the message too. No one is immune to these scum bags!

  3. Crazy aren't we. Got caught only once by doorstep salesman. Man in his twenties selling household bits to support his uni fees. The goods were so expensive - £6 for 3 dusters, so had a look and said no thank you politely. He got very abusive and actually spat at me. I was annoyed and actually quite scared. Never again.

  4. ps Thank you for the mention of my cards - just had a look at your pin board - lovely, lovely selections and ideas. I joined ages ago, but forgot the password I used!! Have sent another request - still waiting.

  5. Its a jungle out there! lol Not all animals walk on 4 legs....The tuffer the times the more predators there are.....oh my....♥Debi

  6. My husband has helped my be not so polite!! I answered the door to what I thought was the electric man, flashed his badge, came to read the meter. Wasn't until he was inside and I looked closer at the badge, whilst standing next to him. he was not from our electric company but a rival one, who was about to unleash a sales pitch. I was gob smacked and ordered him out the door before hubby came down the stairs, who no doubt would have punched him through the hall until he reached the pavement! Never Again.


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