Social Question

Jude's avatar

How do you deal with telemarketers?

Asked by Jude (32134points) February 25th, 2010

My Dad is away in Florida, so, I’ve stopping in at his place (my childhood home) to get the mail, water the plants, and shovel the driveway. The last few nights, I’ve been chilling out at his place because he has a huge plasma and the Olympics on, so, I’ve been plopping my sweet arse down on the sofa, grabbing a brew, and watching some Olympic coverage. He has a land line and both nights I received calls from telemarketers. The phone rings, I pick up, “Hello”, no response, then 8 seconds later you hear someone on the other end ..its’ a telemarketer. I say nothing and hang up.

I checked his phone (recent calls) and throughout the day, he gets at least 6 calls from telemarketers. My Dad is retired and is home most days, so, I know that he’s having to deal with these pain-in-the-ass people. It pisses me off.

How do you deal with them?

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39 Answers

Dr_Dredd's avatar

First, I put my number on the Do-Not-Call list. Then, if I still get calls, I’ll say, “Hold on, please,” then put the phone down and walk away. :-)

frdelrosario's avatar

The classic approach is to ask them for their home phone number so you can call them back.

Sophief's avatar

I just hang up, or get a whistle and blow it to them, they won’t call again then!

marinelife's avatar

As @Dr_Dredd said, I get on the Do Not Call list. I have companies (banks) that I do business with that call me. I ask them to take my name off their list.

I also use caller id, and I don’t answer the phone if I don’t recognize a number, I figure if it is important the person will leave a message.

CMaz's avatar

I don’t.

UScitizen's avatar

Always add your number to the do not call list. If I get one, I simply ask them to please tell me everything I need to know about their proposal, in detail. That starts them on their longest possible diatribe. Immediately after I ask the question, I put the phone down and walk away. I’ve seen these jerks waste 15 minutes talking to no one. I smile.

Strauss's avatar

@marinelife has a good idea. That’s what we do, use caller ID and don’t answer any numbers we don’t recognize. If it’s important they’ll leave a message.

The calls that I find funny are the ones that robo-call me and then ask me to hold for the next available agent. They get paid to call me, I don’t get paid to hold for them!

Likeradar's avatar

I do the same thing as @marinelife.
I’ve heard that if you tell a tellemarketer to take your number off their list and not call again, they’re not allowed to call again. Anyone know if that’s true?

Jude's avatar

There were a few where it was just a recorded message. No one to talk to say “get me off the calling list”. The poor guy doesn’t need to be harassed.

Th next time that they call, and I do get someone, I’ll tell them to take him off of the list. He’s complained to me a few times about this, but, I didn’t realize that it was this bad.

Cruiser's avatar

I listen to their spiel…I order one of everything, give them my crazy lady neighbors address and a fake credit card number and then tell them how incredibly lucky and grateful I feel that they actually called me and hang up. I have yet to have anyone ever call back after that.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

We also have caller ID. If I see a number come up over & over, I will eventually pick the phone up & tell them to stop calling. The do-not-call thing has helped some, but it still has holes in it. Charities, for example, are exempt from this list.

@Cruiser Funny! LOLLLLL

Jude's avatar

Thanks, jellies. Like I said, next time I get a call and someone is on the other line trying to sell something, I’ll get them to take him off of their list.

@Cruiser Haha, I like your idea.

shego's avatar

My friends litlle sister takes care of it. I don’t feel like dealing with those people, so we give the phone to her and let her do whatever she wants.

john65pennington's avatar

Dibley has the best idea. the whistle works wonders. many people have told me this.

CMaz's avatar

I usually tell them I know where they live and I fucked their mother the other night.

jealoustome's avatar

I usually get overly personal with them. I ask them a lot of questions about their lives. What kind of food they like. Are they happy? I just keep interrupting with my own annoying questions. I was a telemarketer about fifteen years ago, so I know this works. It worked on me and got me in trouble a couple of times. The guy who asked me to help him catch a bird that was loose in his apartment got me written up for being unprofessional, but it was a really fun call. :)

Jude's avatar

Ah, it’s not in my nature to do the blow the whistle thing. That’s cruel. I understand that they have to make a living and they’re doing what they have to do. Asking them to take me (or my Dad) off of the calling list is the best idea, I think.

Cruiser's avatar

@jbfletcherfan I did boiler room telemarketing when I needed work after college while I waited for all my rejection letters from the jobs I applied for. So I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of rude pissed off people I called. I got paid to get hung up on is how I saw it but every so often I would get somebody who was obviously a loner and would have some really fun conversations. And back to these telemarketers the same thing happens when you tell them how nice they are for calling, they start telling you their life story.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I try and be polite because I can’t help thinking that it must be a soul destroying job but I also tell them that I am not interested in what ever it is they are trying to flog me. If it is one of those cold calls that, like you said above, has a few seconds gap before someone speaks then I often put the phone down before they have time to speak.

CMaz's avatar

“I try and be polite”

Then you do not understand a telemarketer. You are a joke and a game. And, a potential paycheck. To think they have any concern are care is just a fools folly.

Jude's avatar


“but I also tell them that I am not interested in what ever it is they are trying to flog me.”

You don’t have to be an asshole about it. Be polite, tell them that you’re not interested and get them to take you off of the list.

mattbrowne's avatar

Ask them how they got my number, mentioning that they might violate data protection laws. Ask about their names. Most conversations are very short after that. If they are really stubborn eventually I just hang up even though it feels a bit strange.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ChazMaz I just don’t see what I would gain from being rude to people.

CMaz's avatar

Sorry about having an asshole attitude. But they are.

I once was on the phone with a telemarketer. After hanging up I discovered the line did not disconnect. I sat and listened to them talk and laugh about the bullshit lines they were using on people including me.

It is a game. That is all. To separate you from your money.

Just like a car salesmen. But that is another post. ;-)

uncluttermePLEZ2010's avatar

Asking them to put you on their “do not call list” does not always work. You should always list your number(S) with the government number. I had one call me a long string of expletives starting with stupid and ending in female dog. He said he would call me as many times as he wanted, then hung up on me. Since you must be calling from the number to register, I found that I still got calls on the distinctive ring line I have for my fax. To solve that, I registered that number online where I didn’t have to be calling from the number. That basicly eliminated 99% of my calls.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Cruiser having never been on he other end of the line, I’ll take your word for it.

@ChazMaz Ooohhhh, I’d have been pissed! I think that’s how 99% of them are.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I usually just say ,No Thanks” and hang up.My brother on the other hand, will give them a drum solo.He says they don’t applaud.Ever ;)

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille hmmm good idea there!! I may have to try a guitar solo with my amp turned up to 11 next time!

escapedone7's avatar

The do not call list is a good place to start. It exempts companies you already have a “business relationship” with. If you are paying for cable tv your own cable company can call and offer you a deal on cable internet, for example. Your cell phone company can call and offer you a deal to extend your contract. If you are already their customer a company is exempt from not being able to call you. A lot of sales calls come from businesses you’ve tried in the past so the list has not been a magic fix for me, but it helped some.

Try saying repeatedly, remove this number from your list. Do not call again. If they do, ask for their company’s name and address and the name of their supervisor. Send the cease and desist letter in writing.

My brother once told me that the worst thing people did to him when he was a telemarketer was string him along. He said as long as someone stayed on the line they were a potential customer and he wasn’t supposed to hang up on them. Hang ups were easy to deal with. The people that wouldn’t hang up or say a direct “no” even though they never intended to buy anything would lead him to have to keep rambling and reading scripts from a screen. A very long painful process would ensue where the customer never said no and he had to keep talking. He hated it. He said to me the nicest thing to do is just hang up. lol. Sometimes I don’t.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -It’s the only volume setting that counts :)

escapedone7's avatar

@Pseudonym that was hilarious! Thanks for giving me giggle fits.

YARNLADY's avatar

Hubby handles those. He asks them for their name and the name of the company they are calling from “so I can sue you” for breaking the no call law.

The ones that come in when he’s not home are always recorded messages. There are several business that have found a way to get around the no call list, by forming a so-called partnership with a company you do business with, and if you don’t opt out when you receive their ‘privacy policy’ in the mail, you will get calls.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I refuse to deal with them and the problem goes away.

A. No call list
B. Screen all phone calls
C. Hang up on the very few that make it past A & B

lilikoi's avatar

I either do not take the call or take it and start asking personal questions. Are you really in India? What’s it like there? What time is it? What are you eating for dinner? Do you have any good recipes for tikka masala? Are you fasting for Ramaden?

AshlynM's avatar

Right away when you answer, put them on hold and put some cheesy music on.

Or pull a Jerry Seinfeld. When they ask you if you’re interested, say yes and hang up. Or ask them for their personal phone number and tell them you’ll call them at home. If they refuse, tell them now you know how I feel.

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