….to parody the title of American playwright Arthur Miller's 1949 award winning masterpiece. I answered the phone yesterday to a very pleasant Indian Sub-Continent accent who informed me he was calling from the technical support company that had been looking after my computer for the past year. This news was both exciting and mystifying as I had no idea that anyone was looking after my computer. However, I immediately had my doubts as the voice addressed me as “Mr Dobson,” which is actually my wife's maiden name and is still listed for our number in the telephone directory. Its use normally heralds a cold caller who has no previous connection with us, no matter how convincing they might be in trying to make it appear otherwise. Still, I wasn't busy so thought I'd play along. Apparently I'd paid £80 for 12 months technical support on my computer last year and the anniversary was up. The purpose of the call was to renew the support for a further year which would cost me – yes, you guessed – another £80. I was certain that I hadn't paid for support of any kind (my previous experience of this type of thing was that once you learn to turn your machine off and switch it back on again you know as much as the average technical adviser) so the answer was simple; no thank you. That's when things got interesting. I was informed that I had entered into a 5 year contract and that opting out wasn't, well, an option. I had to renew. The time had come to ask a few questions myself. Who were this company again? Rather vaguely the answer was the technical support team for my computer. Hmmm. O.K., what make of computer do I have? Conveniently he didn't have that information available due to “The Data Protection Act.” Right, How did I make the initial tech support payment? Apparently, with my card. Now, that's not a bad guess, seeing as that's how most transactions are conducted these days. “Which card?” was my next question. Once again the good old Data Protection Act prevented him from having that information. I was starting to enjoy myself and put it to him that he didn't really have much information at all. Of course, there was an excuse; he was using a list that just had the name, address, phone number and renewal date of all their clients. What about the contract that I signed, I enquired, surely that would have all the details. Ah, it wasn't a paper contract, it was a verbal contract made during a phone call. I greeted this as good news because, as I delighted in telling him, it meant they didn't have enough details to automatically debit me and I had absolutely no intention of paying. The poor guy was starting to sound decidedly less cheerful than when he first phoned and I thought it was time to put him out of his misery. I suggested that he was just working from the telephone directory, which he denied. I added that I knew he was working from the directory because my name was not Mr Dobson and there was nobody with that name in the household. This precipitated a hasty exit at the other end of the line... something about checking details and getting back to me. I'm still waiting! I haven't come across this type of scam before, do be careful if you get a similar call.