Why Telemarketing Is Evil – And How To Beat It

from the die-telemarketers-die dept

Telemarketing is certainly right up there with spam in making people’s blood boil. I think I made a very smart move many years ago when I last moved, in asking that my phone number remain unlisted. That one spur of the moment decision has spared me from years of telemarketing calls. A few still get through, but it’s not like the onslaught of spam I get. Wired Magazine has a short blurb about how telemarketing technology is getting even better and more efficient every day. Earlier this month we had an article about various technologies to fight telemarketing, but this Wired article also points out that you can simply download the “out-of-service” bells, and make the very first tone in the ever-popular out-of-service ascending tones as the first noise on your voice mail message – which will make telemarketing systems believe your line has been disconnected. However, that earlier article suggests that telemarketers have learned about this technique and are already fighting back. You would think (if you thought like a normal, rational person, and not a bad telemarketing person) that if someone went through all the trouble to set up a system to make telemarketers think their line had been disconnected, that they wouldn’t be a very good prospect to call. You would think that you would want to take such a person off of your list. However, it appears telemarketers don’t think that way. I still think the best method for dealing with a telemarketer is, the second they call, to say “hold on, please” and putting the phone down on the table/desk/whatever and just leaving it there until the telemarketer realizes he or she has been had. This way they can’t be bothering other people. If you want to have more fun with them, then make use of the anti-telemarketing script instead.

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Comments on “Why Telemarketing Is Evil – And How To Beat It”

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LittleW0lf says:

Even better...reverse crank phone calling...

I’ve found an even better approach…which usually works. Allow telemarketers to call you, but use the opportunity to work on your social engineering skills. After all, these guys are getting paid to annoy you, you can always annoy them back.

I’ve come up with various scripts I use to social telemarketers, and it tends to work quite well. I am single, so whenever I get one of those “is the woman of the house there?” calls, I have fun…some of my favorite ones…

Me: Hello?
Telemarketer drone: Hello, is the woman of the house there?
M: No, shes not [crying], she died not too long ago.
T: I am very sorry to hear, [click].

No more calls from that company…or…

M: Hello?
T: Hello, is the woman of the house there?
M: I’m not married.
T: Oh…
M: However, you sound like you qualify…I know you are a telemarketer, but how do you look and where do you live?
T: [click]

No more calls from that one either…

Got the idea when I heard someone else got in trouble a few years back doing the same thing…cannot figure out why since they are calling you, and most of the time aren’t very truthful about themselves, so why do you have to be truthful with them…

wonko (user link) says:

Quiet time doesn't always work

I used to think setting down the phone for an hour was a good way to annoy telemarketers, until I read a comment on a website written by a telemarketer all about why she loves people who do that. Some telemarketers get paid based on how much time they spend on the phone, so when you set the phone down and walk off, they sit back, relax, and happily soak up the wages.
These days I use my cell phone for everything, and luckily I don’t get any telemarketers there (yet). Although I have gotten several SMS spams and a guy that calls at odd hours of the morning asking for “Jared” in a slurred voice. But I digress…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Quiet time doesn't always work

If the telemarket has you call back on a 900 line you’ll make them money. They are salesfungi. If they’re not selling, they’re not making money. The story was placed to make people hang up fast in order to let the salesfungi move on to the next person. They want you to think you’re hurting them by getting off the phone at record speed.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

My favorite line

Let the telemarketer get about 60 seconds into their spiel and then quietly mumble “I’m not wearing any underwear”. They will often times continue droning on and after a few seconds they’ll pause and say “I’m sorry, what?” You then repeat the earlier quote and add “Are you wearing any underwear? Tell me about it.”

You’ll be surprised how quickly they’ll hang up on you. It works best if you can not laugh while doing it.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

I hope someone else is as amused by this as I am. For the last week or so I’ve been getting daily calls from a telemarketer (or more likely a politician, given the time of year) who obviously doesn’t know how to set up their automated calling service. It’s one of those systems that reads you a taped message when you pick up instead of using real people on the other end. Except that this one just says “This is an automated message service for use when an answering machine is reached. Please replace this with a customer specific message” and then hangs up. Someone is paying god know how many thousands of dollars to have a machine call everyone in the phone book every day and they FORGOT TO RECORD THEIR MESSAGE!

Ex-telemarketer says:

I just quit my job as a telemarketer. I did it for a little over a month and let me tell you people something that is the worst job you could ask for! I don’t know about my coworkers but i didn’t feel good about bothering people. We didn’t call people in their homes though, we called businesses straight out of the phone book! People would say “Take me off your list!” and I would say “You aren’t on a list you’re in the phonebook!” but i understand because i don’t even think telemarketers like telemarketers…i don’t! that’s why I quit. but you know, they are people just like everyone else and alot of them are in recovery or have reasons why they don’t have much option in the kind of job they get. that was the only job i could get at the time and someone reffered me to it, i had no idea what i was getting into. people quit like every day. SOOOO my point is that if you’ve never been a telemarketer and you hate telemarketers wih a passion…don’t be mean to them because they are people with feelings just trying to support their families. Instead, be grateful you don’t have to do that job!!!

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