Two-thirds of us hate it when cold callers use our first names


First name terms No, Mr and Mrs to you: Two-thirds of us hate it when cold callers use our first names
Poll finds three in ten people fed up with strangers treating them like friends
One in five objected to Facebook's 'how's it going' messages
Most traditional views held in Wales, while Scottish are more relaxed

By
Claire Ellicott

PUBLISHED:

00:37 GMT, 2 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:23 GMT, 2 April 2013

A survey found almost two-thirds of us hate cold callers who address customers by their first name

A survey found almost two-thirds of us hate cold callers who address customers by their first name

Answering the phone halfway through dinner to a cold caller trying to sell you things you’ll never want or need is bad enough.

What’s worse When they use your first name to do it.

Almost two-thirds of us hate cold callers who address customers by their first name and start conversations with ‘hi’, a study found.

It concluded that the growing trend towards informality irritated the majority of people, who would rather be addressed properly by strangers.

More than half would prefer to be addressed as Mr, Mrs or Miss rather than by their first names, the survey found.

Nearly a third of the 1,000 polled said it annoyed them when someone they didn’t know called them by their first name.

The figure was slightly higher among the over-60s.

Three in ten said they were fed up with strangers, from cold callers to coffee shop workers, treating them like friends.

That included having their first name written on their takeaway coffee cup, a policy imported to Britain from the US by Starbucks. Twelve per cent of those surveyed said they did not like the practice.

Almost a third said they resented receiving personalised emails from companies that were contacting them at random.

Even those who use social media – a far more informal approach to communication – do not like the faux-friendliness of the networking sites.

Nearly one in five objected to Facebook's 'how's it going' messages on status bars where users post updates.

People also objected to faux-friendliness on Facebook with a fifth disliking the 'how's it going' message

People also objected to faux-friendliness on Facebook with a fifth disliking the 'how's it going' message

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And around a fifth said they did not like their bank using their first name rather than their full title in telephone conversations.

The most traditional views were held in Wales, where 38 per cent said they disliked the growing informality of modern Britain.

The most relaxed region was Scotland, where only 21 per cent said they were concerned.

A spokesman for Ask Jeeves, which commissioned the survey, said: ‘There is nothing wrong with friendliness but it just doesn’t wash when it comes from someone you have never met or even spoken to.

‘Often these are people who are trying to sell you something and who have no other interest in you yet they treat you like a long-lost pal.

‘Britons are saying “enough is enough” and do not think it is old-fashioned to demand a bit of respect and to be called Mr, Mrs, or Miss by cold callers, sales staff and others.’

Unsurprisingly, older Britons dislike the trend most, with 62 per cent of the over-60s demanding to be called Mr, Mrs or Miss when addressed by strangers.