That long-distance feeling

Dear Editor

Whenever I phone a business place or if I phone someone who doesn’t know me, I give my name and state my reason for calling.

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However, most of the calls I receive from strangers start, after I’ve said “Hello,” with the caller rudely asking, “Is this Christine Pike?” or even more rudely “Is this Christine?” I want to give a blunt sort of answer, “So, who wants to know?” but I politely and loudly ask, “Who’s calling, please?”

I’m fruitlessly trying to teach telephone manners to the world.

However, I’ve been told that manner also stops scammers for, if I foolishly were to reply, “yes” to the rude question and they were a scammer, they would state that I’d said “yes” to their compromising questions.

I never speak to a scam call. I just put the phone down and let their voice, real or taped, babble on.

This is why it is so odd that a long-distance provider scam was almost pulled on me. On Thursday, May 20, I could not make one long-distance call. Everywhere I tried I received a busy signal. The cellular phone, however, would work, and long-distance calls to me came through.

I phoned for a SaskTel repair person’s opinion, using my cellphone, and when I’d jumped through their unwanted hoops, I finally was able to speak to a repairman. He discovered that I supposedly had a new long-distance provider.

He told me the number to use to get reinstated with SaskTel and the number to phone to discover my new provider.

The automated voice answered, “Your long-distance provider is YAK.”

Oh, I don’t think so, boys.

The question is, how did these YAK people do it? And why were my landline phones so clever as to prevent me from using long distance, so YAK didn’t get any money out of me anyway? And who is YAK?

Oh, they’re probably located in Saudi Arabia or Timbuktu.

Meanwhile, I’ll be back to my fruitless task of trying to teach telephone manners to the masses.

And the number I phoned to find YAK? 1-700-555-4141. Keep it. You might need it.

Christine Pike


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