I don’t know if you ever fell victim to a prank phone call or made one yourself, admittedly I have a record on both. A few weeks ago I was in the middle of a nasty and unnerving “on hold” battle with BT, when I got a call at lunchtime. The person introduced themselves hurriedly and addressed me as “Mr Bertman” in a fruitful accent (as they normally do) and told me, the problem with the modem would not be solved anytime soon and he couldn’t help it. I was at this point really annoyed and got quite loud in my answer, and only to be taken aback, when the voice down the line interupted me, stating “But Mr. Bertman, don’t you know we don’t give a f*cking shit about our customers?”. My short, buffled silence was followed by – well earned – mad laughter coming through the earpiece. It was G., whom I had told about my BT ordeal, having a great time winding me up.
Earlier tonight I wanted to call a friend in Germany. I used the landline and expected that he would not have the number saved to his phone. As I heard “Hallo?” I introduced myself, disguising my real identity. It went well, my friend Rudi repeatedly answered back “what, sorry?” for a good two minutes, so I got some fun out of it. Only when I clearly heard him say “no, not Rudi, my name is Ferdinand” did I become slightly suspicious. Ferdinand sounded quite trustworthy and serious about not being Rudi, so I apologized and checked the number I had dialed after hanging up.
An eight instead of a zero led to some guy I’ll never know being undeliberately and innocently robbed two minutes of his life. Apologies, Ferdinand. And, on second thoughts, I think it’s fair to say that together, we invented the own goal of prank phone calls, where instead of being the one who knows what he’s doing, the caller ends up clumsily pranking himself.