David Biggs writes voice-prompt ads are irritating and that he believes they should be banned. File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
David Biggs writes voice-prompt ads are irritating and that he believes they should be banned. File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cellphone voice ads are irritating, becoming more frequent and should be banned

By David Biggs Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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It’s not easy to ignore a ringing cellphone. Nine times out of 10 it’s probably just an electronic hand-wave.

“Hi, how’s the new kitten settling down?” Or “Come over for a cup of coffee if you’re not busy.”

But there’s always the chance it might be an important call for help. Maybe a friend’s car has broken down and she needs a lift somewhere, or someone is sick and would like a supportive visit.

It could be your bank calling to remind you that you haven’t paid an important bill. Maybe a friend has died and you’re being called to tell you about the funeral. You don’t want to miss important calls like that.

Sometimes phone calls come at rather inconvenient times, but we try to answer anyway, just in case.

I was in my workshop the other day, trying to finish a rather tricky repair job on a broken picture frame. One hand was steadying a cracked frame while the other hand was squeezing a bead of glue into the crack and I was trying to use a spare finger to nudge a tiny bit of beading into line, when my phone rang.

Trying not to upset the delicate alignment, I twisted carefully round and reached into my left side trouser pocket with my right hand, almost rupturing myself in the process. But one tries to answer all calls.

I managed to sneak the phone out of the pocket and lower my ear down to its level. “Hello?” I said in a strangled voice. “Press one now!” a raucous female voice yelled at me and I admit I let forth a very rude word.

The frame dropped to the floor and I cancelled the phone call. I have no idea why this pushy female wanted me to press one now. It was obviously some advertising message and I wasn’t going to waste time listening to it.

These irritating phone advertisements are becoming more frequent and I believe they should be banned. I receive regular cellphone offers of funeral policies and lottery tickets and invitations to test drive new vehicles.

Unlike newspaper advertising, or billboards, you don’t have the choice of ignoring a cellphone ad. Advertising should be voluntary. “Press one now!” is an invasion of privacy.

Last Laugh

“Honey,” said his wife, “Why don’t you and Mike ever play golf together any more?”

“Would you play golf with a guy who cheats on his score card and moves the ball when you’re not looking?”

“No, I guess not.”

“Well, neither will Mike.”

* "Tavern of the Seas" is a column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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