Telemarketers Can't Take The Hint

from the how-can-we-make-this-any-clearer dept

Do Not Call lists have been one of the more popular governmental regulations in some time. Pretty much across the board, people don’t like being bothered by telemarketers, so their whining about have to deal with state as well as federal rules tend to fall on deaf ears. That hasn’t stopped them, though, from continuing their efforts to get state do not call rules invalidated, arguing only the federal government has the authority to regulate them. But this really isn’t about the power of state versus federal government. That’s a smokescreen trying to cover up the real issue: that states have closed many of the loopholes in the federal rules that allow companies to contact people, including the nebulous “existing relationship” exception. This is a pointless battle by telemarketers — regardless of what’s legal or illegal, most people don’t want to be called with sales pitches, and getting laws changed won’t change peoples’ attitudes. Instead of looking at DNC lists as something that’s destroying their business, telemarketers should see them for what they are — prescreening for people that aren’t receptive to their messages.

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Comments on “Telemarketers Can't Take The Hint”

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Howard (user link) says:

Telemarketing pre-screening

There really are people who want on the list because they are too easy to sell — or have somebody in the household that is a pushover. These are the folks the telemarketers want to reach.

The need for telemarketing is the main factor that pushed me completely out of the life and health insurance business. I’d rather chew glass than call people I don’t know and try to sell them something — and because I had an insurance license, I was actually exempted from DNC in the state of Texas.

Az (user link) says:

Re: Telemarketing pre-screening

I am on the do not call list. I think its very obtrusive for telemarketers to call. They dont call me any more now that im on the list and I hope the list sticks!

There now should be a list for the postal service. I get tons of junk mail that I just throw away. Junk mail I read kills 30 million trees a year alone. Just think of all the wood we must use just here in america on everything per year!

Andrew says:

Re: Re: Telemarketing pre-screening

I get junk mail all the time too. Here’s a fun thing you can do with it. Any time you get a “postage paid” business reply junk mail, pack the envelope full of heavy junk. I packed one full of spark plugs and rocks; had to tape the envelope closed and mailed it right back to them… along with their ad of course.

Outside the box,

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given


“They don’t get it” is wearing thin. “They” certainly do get it; specifically, telemarketers understand that the ‘take rate’ for people on ‘do not call’ lists is about the same as the general take rate. Take rate = revenue for a TM; until or unless there his hard metric proof that take rates are SIGNIFICANTLY lower for that population, TMs will try their best to push around DNC lists.

So, instead of pontificating that it’s “obvious these people are not interested”, how can we prove that DNC list people really don’t/won’t buy. Once TMs believe that DNC list folks really don’t buy, the TMs will avoid them like the plague.

Rikko says:

Re: No Subject Given

We just need to fight back. Hanging up, screening calls, avoiding them via DNC lists – it’s not going to affect their business, really.

I confess I still can’t be bothered to answer most of the time I see “Blocked Call” on my call display, but when I don’t have anything important to do, I answer… I say “hmmm”.. I say “wow”.. I say “really?”.. I say “can you explain more about first?”..

I waste as much of their time as humanly possible without giving them any information or agreeing to any sort of transaction.

If we can string them on for ten minutes (ack!), then the effectiveness of a telemarketer is SIX people an hour. And if they’re all just shitting him/her, that’s a colossal waste for the TM company.

rol says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Here’s what I do:

Telemarketer: “Hi may I speak to (mispronouncing my name).
Me: “This is he”
Telemarketer: “I wanted to introduce you to blah blah blah blah it’s a great blah blah”
Me: “Great, tell me more”
This is where I put the phone down and go about my business. I don’t hang it up, just let them blabber for 10 minutes or so

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

I’ve done that. Believe it or not, this moron stayed on the line for 95 minutes.

I’m not kidding.

I finally hung up, he called back…that call went like this:

Me: Hello
TM: Hi again, something must have happened, because you went away for like an hour and then the line went dead…anyway, were you interested in….?
Me: Yes, I want a dozen…do you take credit cards?
TM: YES of COURSE…the number is?
Me: 9..CLICK!

Ring ring ring

Me: Hello
TM: We lost the line again…you should check that..
Me: I’m sorry, who are you?
TM: I’m (whatever) and I was speaking to hum…(my name)
Me: sorry, no one here by that name..CLICK!

Ring ring ring.

Yeah…I was bored…it passed the time (they were persistent, I ended up playing with about 3 different operators from that company)…I had a lot of fun for a few hours (yes, a few HOURS)

Funny…since then, I’ve never received any more TM calls. Hmmm.

Steven says:

Re: Yes we actually make money

Lots of people think they understand telemarketing. Lots of people “telemarket” for a living like Laywers, Real Estate Agents, Insurance pros, Financial Planners, VP and directors. So is anyone that does business on the phone a telemarketer? Of course…if they pick up the phone to complete a sale or transaction, thats telemarketing folks!

And another thing, someone’s buying something otherwise who would be funding the 300,000 people that have made their living calling people for the last 30 years? Yes folks, they actually create revenue cause someone is buying something.

doesnt even work anyways says:

No Subject Given

Has anyone had any luck stopping telemarketers using the do not call? Everyone says they love it, but does it work?

If a telemarketer calls you from a blocked number and you tell them to “put me on your do not call” list, do they stop? How do you know? do you sit there getting their name and number? Why would they give you that info?

Tony K says:


The fact of the matter is that the consumer was not nearly as bothered by telemarketers as the owners of newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations, and their heavily-lobbied, and well-paid congressional counterparts were. Tens of billions of dollars of products were sold by telemarketing and direct sales annually. Someone was buying those products, at a lower price than the same products marketed through conventional channels. Traditional media advertising was taking such a beating that THEY decided that people were being bothered too much at home, and launched a multimillion dollar camapign to tell them so, with the FCC, FTC, and congress firmly in their pocket. Just because the phone rings, doesn’t mean you have to answer it. Don’t be fooled. The designed result was to redirect advertising to mainstream media, due to the cutoff of direct marketing evenues, not the convenience of the consumer. When was the last time your congressman cared about you? Checked your utility bills and health care premiums lately?

Hunding says:

Re: Telemarketing

Well I sell “office equipment” over a phone. My average sale over the phone with no field support is $35,000 and with field support avg at $125,000. I make a salary and NO commsions, but I carry a budget. I feed my family and own my home, a car, and I pay my taxes. I do NOT understand why people are so down on this profession. If you don’t want to talk to a person when they call and try to pitch you something, HANG UP.
How many people are employed in this industry? Check it out, would it be better if they were sitting on welfare?
We all need to make a living.

AZ (user link) says:

Re: Re: Telemarketing

Well sure its better than sitting at home on welfare. But some telemarketers dont give up…They say let me tell you more or wait we have a special offer.
Now its one thing for a home phone but if it ever happens on a cell phone(I dont know if they do it now or ever will) then you are wasting my time and my money. On a cell you have to pay for the mins.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Telemarketing

Please, either you are a troll or a total idiot.

You work in a field where even the people who work IN the people can’t stand its practices (I rarely meet a TM who enjoys being on the receiving end).

You call me in the evening, or in the morning about your office equipment at a time that belongs to ME and not my work and you wonder why I hate you? C’mon.

Calling my office, sure…that’s one thing…but at home? If you can’t see why it bothers people, don’t ever chew gum, you won’t have enough brain power to continue breathing.

“we all need to make a living”? Drug dealers say that too, doesn’t make it any more valid.

don't call me...ever says:

No Subject Given

Not sure why nonprofits can’t learn that lesson. The local PD calls me like clockwork twice a year even though I reply “not interested” and “I’m on the do not call list” each time. I’m usually polite since our public servants don’t often get the pay they deserve (though some are pricks). The last time though I finally lost it, I asked the guy why he’d want to call someone who has demonstrated their lack of interest by being added to the dnc list. He still didn’t get it, I ended up hanging up on the guy…

Jim says:

Re: No Subject Given

Don’t give to people calling for the PD or the FD. If you insist and ask the caller they will finally confess that 10% to 25% of every dollar you give goes to the PD or FD. The rest goes to the marketing firm! (90% to 75%) If you want to give to the PD or FD just give directly. Much more efficient and they actually recieve more!

michael Vilain says:

I have this call screening service on my land line

The local phone company offers it. All calls must be unblocked and from a known caller that displays on my caller ID box. This cuts down on all the TM calls as they showed up as “UNKNOWN” or “NOT AVAILABLE” before. If someone tries to call from an 800 number, they’re routed to a message center that asks them to identify themselves, then calls me. If I pick up, it plays the announcement and I can choose to accept it, decline it, or play an automated message telling them to put me on their Do Not Call list. Seems reasonable for $4/month. My mom likes it too.

The cell calls that don’t show a number I just don’t answer.

Danny The Baltimoron says:

Limiting TM calls

There are three magic words that end your relationship with the company calling you, should you be stupid enough to pick up a call from someone you don’t know, and those words are “Do Not Call”. On the rare occaisions I slip and pick up the phone without checking my CID, and get a telemarketer, I simply tell them, politely, that I am not interested and ask them to never call me again. The same message appears in my voicemail greeting. A few have even thanked me for enabling them to just take me off their list and not bother with calling me again. They were probably on commission and didn’t like being forced to make calls that they knew weren’t going to make them any money. I know I wouldn’t care for it.
Many of you are blowing a minor irritation way out of proportion. It’s thirty seconds of your life, and you were the one who picked up the phone.

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