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Jude's avatar

Why is it that telemarketers or people from the phone company (say), feel the need to badger the elderly? Have you ever encountered this?

Asked by Jude (32112points) September 24th, 2010

So, my Dad is on his own. He lives in our childhood home and he takes care of all of his bills. My Dad is 73. This past week, I have been coming by the house to help clean out the basement. When (I’ve been) there, my Dad has been getting calls from Bell Canada and his cable company. He owes nothing to either of them. His bills are always paid on time. I listen to him while he is on the phone. They pester him to buy stuff, add more features and whatnot. He tells them no, but, they go on and on. At one point, he handed me the phone, so, that I could hear the person on the other end doing their spiel. They were rude and pushy. I then spoke to them and said “Listen, he’s not interested. He told you that he was not interested a few minutes ago. Stop calling or I’ll report you”. I won’t put up with that shit.

If you’ve been through this, how did you deal with it?

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6 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not nearly so polite. I tell them I’m not interested, good bye. If they keep on jabbering instead of saying good bye, that’s their problem. I’m hanging up.

Your father’s problem is that he is too polite. Maybe it would help if he knew that telemarketers are used to being turned down. They are taught to go through three no’s before moving on. They don’t take it personally if someone hangs up on them. It’s just part of the job.

I will say “no,” and hang up. If I’m pissy, I’ll say “no,” wait for them to go on and then say something pissy like, “what part of no did you not understand?” God that’s such a refreshing thing to say. I would never say that to someone I cared about. But telemarketers? They aren’t really people. They’re selling machines.

CMaz's avatar

Elderly = SUCKER

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The elderly generally grew up before telemarketers, and they’re too polite to tell the asshole ones where to go. Is he on the do not call list? That might help with the ones other than his phone company. Maybe you could speak to someone in charge of customer service and make a complaint about the badgering.

marinelife's avatar

You can ask the companies to put him on their Do Not Call customer list.

downtide's avatar

Having worked in a callcentre (one of the better ones in the UK) here’s my theory.

We do not necessarily know, when we call a customer, how old they are. All we have is a number and a name, and a list of what (if any) products they already have with us, or have had in the past.

Elderly people are less likely to be out, as they don’t usually go to work. Therefore, by statistics alone, we will end up speaking to more retired people, because the non-retired ones are less likely to be at home.

Here’s another tip. The Marketing Preferences and “do not call” lists seem to be patently useless, but if you specifically tell the callhandler “Remove me from your calling lists and do not ever call me again.” they legally HAVE to abide by that. If the callhandler won’t, or doesn’t know how, then ask to speak to their manager.

A lot of people advise playing tricks like blowing a whistle down the phone, or talking nonsense, or saying nothing, or any number of other silly things. You won’t annoy anyone by resting the handset down and walking away leaving the call-handler talking to fresh air. Seven seconds without a response and we hang up.

None of these tricks will work, because the machine will keep calling you again and again and again until you specifically tell them not to.

Jabe73's avatar

I had an elderly grandmother who they tried to do this to (until I moved in to take care of her in her final years alive). These telemarketers prey on anyone they can get information on. I know of many people who got entrapped by these assholes. They are the sneakiest lowest lifeforms on the planet. They make sure they record everything, sell your information to other telemarketers and even have their own “legal departments” right next to them. I made the mistake one time myself of going with a magazine telemarketer and I had nothing but problems with them and I had to get a lawyer to fight them from giving me bogus accounts (which I never agreed to). Hopefully from my experience (and stupidity) people will read this post and know better than to trust these snakes.

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