OT: How do you handle telemarketers

2

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  • ssgbryanssgbryan Posts: 690
    edited December 1969

    I tell them I am naked.

    Then I start breathing heavily.

    Then I tell them to keep talking......

    For some reason, they hang up after that, especially if they are guys.

  • Moebius87Moebius87 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I think legitimate telemarketers and scammers are all over the world... here in Thailand they busted a gang of Chinese nationals that were making calls to mainland China and Taiwan from the province of Nonthaburi (right next to Bangkok). News article here.

    Not all of them are "evil", like mentioned earlier in the thread, some of them are just doing this for additional income. I usually get calls at the office asking me if I am interested in someone manage my investment portfolio. Depending on how amiable the person on the other line is...

    (a) "I am sorry, please call back in another 15 years as I have no money to make any kind of investment."
    (b) "Can you tell me more about investing in..." (insert random unrelated topic... i.e. offsetting carbon footprints in the Greater Mekong Subregion)
    (c) "Please hold..." (and then I put them on hold and go back to work, they eventually hang up)

    If what they are selling is genuinely uninteresting for me, they are wasting my time, so I try to waste as much of theirs as well.

    Cheers! — Möe

  • LedheadLedhead Posts: 1,586
    edited December 1969

    I start speaking in a elderly woman voice (I am a 52 yr old man). I really do a good job. My wife is doing her best not to bust out laughing. I tell them I'm hard of hearing. I just lead them on and on while having a blast with it. Sometimes I make them think I'm rich, other times I tell them I'm poor. It just depends on the call. Either way, they finally give up when they realize I'm a bit senile and they're just not going to get anywhere with me.

  • ManOfSteelManOfSteel Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I was on the phone with a particularly fervent seller of magazine subscriptions. After many "No thank you"'s I used my best "I didn't want to tell you this but--" voice and said, "I'm blind"."
    Dead silence. Then, "Oh my god."
    "It's ok."
    "I'm.....I'm so sorry."
    "It's ok."
    "I'm so sorry."
    "It's ok. You didn't know."
    "I'm....I'm s-sorry. Oh I'm ....please...I'm so sorry."
    "It's ok. Really."
    "Oh, sir. I feel so....please...I'm sorry."

    Another caller, who started off in an incredibly cheerful tone asked "Hey friend! How ya doing? That's great! Can I speak to the lady of the house please?"
    I said, "Oh I'm so sorry. She's dead. Or.....she will be in a few minutes."

    And then there were the many "police departments" who only took credit card numbers and wanted to know if I would donate to their youth programs or if I wanted to purchase a ticket to their young peoples' fair and craft show. My typical response was, "Oh I would absolutely love to, but I'm not allowed in Burlingame anymore. It's silly really. It's just a big misunderstanding. I mean they called it a bomb but (tsk) nobody actually got hurt."

  • TjohnTjohn Posts: 7,394
    edited December 1969

    I just answer the phone (when it's a number i don't recognise) with Norfolk Police Fraud Squad - soon gets rid of the scammers.

    Just tried saying "Norfolk Police Fraud Squad" aloud. It's quite a tongue-twister. :lol:

  • JHoaglandJHoagland Posts: 13
    edited December 1969

    Ledhead said:
    I start speaking in a elderly woman voice (I am a 52 yr old man).

    I was just going to suggest something like this. ;)

    What if you pretended you were an elderly person (the company's favorite "mark") and then started rambling on about how this is the first person you've talked to in three days... and let me tell you about my gall bladder surgery... and how my grandson is doing so well in school... and my deadbeat son who won't find a wife. Then top it off by saying it's time to take your medication: put the phone down, never come back, and see how long it takes them to hang up.

    The bottom line is that these companies will stop when it's no longer profitable for them, which means we have to do everything we can to waste their time. :)

  • cridgitcridgit Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    I usually do the foreign language one, but the other day I started talking the guy on the line into life insurance. It took a few minutes for him to figure out what I was up to, but he'd already given me his name and age. Stupid idiot! Haha.

    You guys are a hoot. I nearly spewed my nightcap at a few of these. Faves for "I don't have a phone."

  • IvyIvy Posts: 1,693
    edited December 1969

    I had some guy call trying to sell me a new roof. so i let him go through his whole speech ( which took about 20 min)and I kept saying yup yup that all sounds good. and when when he was done I told him when i see my land lord i will tell him. the guy hung up with out even saying good bye..
    what is funny is i actually own my home...lol geesh what a sore head..

    Then one day I had a a bunch of relentless Bible thumbers come to the door ( my neighbor called me and told me they were coming ahead of time. and so anyways they knocked on my door and they told me they wanted to talk to me about Jesus and how he can save me.

    I said sure come on in I'll listen them and then I told them when they are done can listen to me talk about my gods, and when i told them i was a Asatru & a witch they didn't just leave abruptly, they ran down my driveway and half way up the street..lmao. I have it on my home security cameras i was gonna post it on youtube.. but i was nice and didn't..lol.. but i have not had a single bible thumber/sales person come to my door since then which has been about 2 years...lol

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,370
    edited December 1969

    that is the funny thing Ivy, when one is strong in their own beliefs it is easy to listen and learn about other faiths, most I know indeed do!
    it is the unsure ones who tend to preach and run from anything that might challenge them.

  • JabbaJabba Posts: 1,132
    edited December 1969

    Deals are NEVER made via cold calls, so reject anything they offer.

    I usually answer with complete silence - they phoned me, it's up to them to identify themselves (my friends know this and identify themselves when I pick up). The convention is to pick up phone and say something; it unsettles many people when this does not happen.

    In the past I've used, "Harlot's Hotline - which service please?"

    ...or I hijack the questioning e.g. "How did you get this number? What is your security clearance code? Do you understand that you will be sanctioned for unauthorized use of this number?... (to a pretend colleague) Trevor, how long before you've got a trace on this incoming call?"

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    For male voices I do this. "That sounds pretty good, I'm in marketing myself. Tell you what if you can sell me on (whatever) I'll send Mary to you for just $1000 a night, she normally goes for $5000 a night but I like you." For females I just use Mitch for the name.

    I had one guy that went for it so I added this, "Just text me all your info, I'll give you a number. I'm pretty sure the FEDS have my phones tapped..." Click hummm.....

  • Miss BMiss B Posts: 3,069
    edited December 1969

    tjohn said:
    Hang up. That's all you need to do. The "card services" calls I get are always recordings . . . But yeah just hang up.

    This is why I have an answering machine. I don't pick up the phone unless I recognize the Caller ID. True a lot of them are recordings, but I just pick up the phone and disconnect the call when that happens. A live caller will eventually get the message that "she's never home". Well, never home to them. :-)

  • hecate61hecate61 Posts: 21
    edited December 1969

    Miss B said:
    tjohn said:
    Hang up. That's all you need to do. The "card services" calls I get are always recordings . . . But yeah just hang up.

    This is why I have an answering machine. I don't pick up the phone unless I recognize the Caller ID. True a lot of them are recordings, but I just pick up the phone and disconnect the call when that happens. A live caller will eventually get the message that "she's never home". Well, never home to them. :-)

    Yup. I have the ringers on the phones turned off, so I don't even know when someone is calling until the answering machine picks up. If it's someone I know, I'll pick up then. Otherwise, it's leave a message that I will simply delete. As a result, for telemarketers and the like, I am NEVER home.

  • yvonnefaustyvonnefaust Posts: 2
    edited December 1969

    I share your sentiment. I used to get unsolicited calls a lot that I decided a long time ago to register my home phone to the DNC list. But even so, I still get calls like those from "Rachel" of Credit Card services. There was no way to opt out of these calls because they're robocalls.

    But I appreciate your consideration to these callers. They're indeed just doing their job. The bosses push them around to call people and force their service or product on them. So if there is anything that should be prioritized by the authorities, it's catching the bosses and shutting down these violating companies.

  • yvonnefaustyvonnefaust Posts: 2
    edited December 1969

    So to avoid being rude to these callers and still be able to expose their violation, I politely hang up and then call my telephone company to block the telemarketer's number. That stops all their future calls from coming through. And then I report the number to http://www.callercenter.com and expose the company for unsolicited telemarketing calls. I do that in the hopes that their improper business practice reaches the authorities.

  • Orphanslayer69Orphanslayer69 Posts: 34
    edited December 1969

    I usually act like I'm buying into whatever they are selling/stealing until they ask for my credit card number and then I just keep putting numbers out there for as long as it takes for them to hang up, or I tell them my name is "Chris C as in sizzle h as in ham but not ham if you don't eat pork, r as in what are you doing..." and so on.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 15,746
    edited December 1969

    ...this is one of the reasons I do not have a phone.


    ...or magazine/newspaper subscriptions
    ...or a cable/sat television plan
    ...or an actual credit card

    No telmarketers, no surveys, no junk mail, no solicitors.

    ...heck even the Census forgot about me.

    ...and the spam filters on my email account are pretty darn effective.


    Ever see the film, Enemy of the State?

    I want to be like Brill.

  • swordkensiaswordkensia Posts: 234
    edited December 1969

    I let my Four year old son talk to them. Lol

    They soon hang up..

    S.K.

  • RawArtRawArt Posts: 2,624
    edited December 1969

    A friend of mine told me the other day that he has a whole routine he goes through.
    They ask if he is interested in whatever product, he says "no" they tries to sell then a fictional male enhancement product. He has a full on sales pitch that gets more and more graphic until eventually they get offended and hang up. The fun part for him is to see how long they actually listen.

    Me...I just hang up

  • edited December 1969

    In Canada we have a place we can register our number with to not receive calls from telemarketers, run by our Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Once your number goes on that list, I would say about 90% of the calls are prevented. The do not however stop say the police force from calling you to see if you want to buy tickets to the Policeman's Ball, as that is done to raise money for charity. Despite that, it does remove a lot of the calls. You can find them at the link below and, for those in the States, see if you have something similar where you live.

    Now, if that doesn't work, I do what my Mom does. I tell them to remove my name from their call list and inform them that if they do not stop calling, I will be contacting my lawyer. I never hear from them again. Legally in Canada if you ask to have your name removed from their call list, they have to do it to avoid legal costs.

  • ByrdieByrdie Posts: 672
    edited December 1969

    Canadian here too and on the Do Not Call list but still get calls. Usually from scam artists but sometimes just annoying companies I've never heard of trying to sell me long distance phone service over a really bad connection -- which is probably why I've never hear of 'em before, if their service was actually any good they wouldn't sound so incredibly crappy. Sometimes I listen a bit and hang up with a "No thanks, already have one" and that takes care of it. The guy running the "I'm from Windows and your computer is full of viruses so give me access to clean them for X amount of money" scam gets a howling laugh and "Windows? Dude, I'm running Linux on this box!" that takes care of him quite nicely. But by far the most effective and entertaining way I've found to deal with nuisance calls is to start talking back in whatever mish-mash of languages I can think of, or even invent on the spur of the moment. You might want to try that next time. The telemarketers I get are often barely fluent in English, I've yet to meet one that speaks Klingon. ;-)

  • TjohnTjohn Posts: 7,394
    edited December 1969

    Byrdie said:
    Canadian here too and on the Do Not Call list but still get calls. Usually from scam artists but sometimes just annoying companies I've never heard of trying to sell me long distance phone service over a really bad connection -- which is probably why I've never hear of 'em before, if their service was actually any good they wouldn't sound so incredibly crappy. Sometimes I listen a bit and hang up with a "No thanks, already have one" and that takes care of it. The guy running the "I'm from Windows and your computer is full of viruses so give me access to clean them for X amount of money" scam gets a howling laugh and "Windows? Dude, I'm running Linux on this box!" that takes care of him quite nicely. But by far the most effective and entertaining way I've found to deal with nuisance calls is to start talking back in whatever mish-mash of languages I can think of, or even invent on the spur of the moment. You might want to try that next time. The telemarketers I get are often barely fluent in English, I've yet to meet one that speaks Klingon. ;-)


    I'm fairly sure I got a caller that was speaking Esperanto. :)

  • IceScribeIceScribe Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I wonder how telemarketing came to be considered " legitimate"? If I want to buy something, I'll go find it and initiate contact at my convenience from a place I recognize, with people who will be there if I need to return. I bought the phone for my use, not for someone else to make a living by it. That seems to be quite misunderstood, and reluctantly but still socially acceptable. Recently I've stopped saying hello first. I hear a robot delay which screens for a vocal hello. I just hang up. If a person I don't know starts in with a pitch I say no thanks over them and hang up. It's my phone minutes and really my life minutes which are more precious.

  • SockrateaseSockratease Posts: 793
    edited December 1969

    I recently had a call from The Children's Cancer Fund asking for money.

    I yelled at them "You people are raising money to give children cancer??!!?? You should be ashamed of yourselves! How dare you call me asking for money for such a reprehensible cause? I should report you to the police! That can't be legal."

    They got all apologetic and told me I didn't understand.

    I said they can't fool me. It's perfectly obvious what they're doing and I want no part of it.

    And hung up.

    Great fun.

  • edited December 1969

    For those who are interested...here is the Do Not Call List, I forgot to post it last night... http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/telemarketing.htm

    This is a news report about the offshore telemarketers which is what's causing most of the problems for people. This is what happens when companies in Canada and the US decide to go overseas to set up shop instead of paying decent wages here.... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/01/10/marketplace-offshore-telemarketers.html Corporate greed is the bane to the peace and mind of all.

    Now no matter what place you sign up with to stop these calls, as mentioned the Police are allowed to call and so it the Cancer Society since they are legitimate organizations and not spammers or telemarketing companies. Also those who do surveys, they will not call back if you ask them not to and as my mother once did cause she felt the particular one was for a good reason, she was busy and asked them to call back, to which a day and time was set up to do so. You need to first know who you are dealing with before deciding the best course of action.

    On the flip side you need to understand that those telemarketers are the average everyday person just like you and me. I had a friend who tried a telemarketing job and only lasted 3 days when one person she called broke down crying because of all the calls she got asking for money. I tried it and last 3 weeks because I did not like their practices. They told us by law they were not allowed to lie...they did, sorry but it's lying when I was in Winnipeg MB and was telling the people we called we were in Idaho. We were told we could not pressure sell and then told to keep pushing to make a sale, we had to ask a certain number of times before giving up...our wages were part regular and part commission, so we had to push to get full wages. Everyone we called were suppose to be put on a list for money and gifts draws, yet only those who accepted a sale actually went on the list...everything about the company was lies and I refused to keep working for them.

    You really want to get rid of telemarketers, you need to go after the companies cause the people making the calls are just employee's trying to earn a wage.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 15,746
    edited December 1969

    I recently had a call from The Children's Cancer Fund asking for money.

    I yelled at them "You people are raising money to give children cancer??!!?? You should be ashamed of yourselves! How dare you call me asking for money for such a reprehensible cause? I should report you to the police! That can't be legal."

    They got all apologetic and told me I didn't understand.

    I said they can't fool me. It's perfectly obvious what they're doing and I want no part of it.

    And hung up.

    Great fun.


    ...that is good. :lol:

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 15,746
    edited December 1969


    ...getting an error screen on this end.

  • shadowhawk1shadowhawk1 Posts: 857
    edited December 1969

    When I was living in the states, I used to answer the numbers I didn't recognize as the city morgue and that would stop them in their tracks some what but if the guy/gal was persistent, I would interrupt them with "I am up to my elbows in large intestines and you want to sell me "X" product?" Which would work for the majority of the others, but for those that just kept going, I had one of those compressed air boating horns that I would just give a short blast into and hang up. I am sure that caused more than a few sore ear drums and maybe a few pass offs to unliked coworkers.

  • MuzeMuze Posts: 142
    edited December 1969

    I usually say "no thank you" and then hang up on them. This is while they are still in the middle of their pitch.

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