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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  1. identicon
    Howard, 6 Oct 2005 @ 9:31am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Az, 6 Oct 2005 @ 10:12am

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Steve, 6 Oct 2005 @ 10:33am

    Re: Telemarketing pre-screening

    Yes, junk mail is a nuisance, but its that industry that keeps the price of the stamp so low.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    A non e mouse, 6 Oct 2005 @ 10:35am

    No Subject Given

    I big part of me ditching my land line completely in favor of a cell phone was the fact that there are no telemarketing calls on my cell. I don't think any time was as bad as when I was in my dorm at Purdue--credit card offers at 7:00AM on a Saturday. Oy!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous, 6 Oct 2005 @ 11:13am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Rikko, 6 Oct 2005 @ 11:54am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    rol, 6 Oct 2005 @ 12:07pm

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    doesnt even work anyways, 6 Oct 2005 @ 12:13pm

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Tony K, 6 Oct 2005 @ 12:15pm


    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    don't call me...ever, 6 Oct 2005 @ 12:22pm

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Hunding, 6 Oct 2005 @ 12:30pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2005 @ 12:43pm

    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 you take credit cards?
    TM: YES of COURSE...the number is?
    Me: 9..CLICK!

    Ring ring ring

    Me: Hello
    TM: We lost the line 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 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2005 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Telemarketing

    Yeah we all need to make a living. You better look into another way to make yours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Jim, 6 Oct 2005 @ 2:12pm

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    AZ , 6 Oct 2005 @ 2:36pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I am on the do not call list here:

    I have not recieved hardly any calls since. Even when I do I think its from those non profit things...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    AZ, 6 Oct 2005 @ 2:39pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    whymeman, 6 Oct 2005 @ 3:06pm

    No Subject Given

    i've said that the has moved sorry and hung up. They haven't called since.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Andrew, 6 Oct 2005 @ 3:31pm

    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,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Asher Schweigart, 6 Oct 2005 @ 3:43pm

    Telemarketing sucks

    i work at a call center, recieveing order calls for various ministries. Sometimes i am required to make telemarketing calls; if i don't i lose my job. I want telemarketing outlawed completely, that way i can say NO to my boss and still keep my job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2005 @ 8:06pm

    If you've ever lived in Hawaii

    you may have had the pleasure of a 5am call from someone in Des Moines or Newark.

    You groggily answer the phone, and they start their pitch.
    A minute of silence.

    "Do you know what time it is here?", you manage.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    michael Vilain, 7 Oct 2005 @ 12:29am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2005 @ 10:21am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    jw, 6 Nov 2005 @ 11:14am


    If most of us wouldn't buy from telemarketers it wouldn't be profitable for them to call us.

    When they call tell them you only buy from non-telemarketing companies.

    Then don't buy from telemarketers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    brooklyn, 11 Mar 2008 @ 10:28am


    I just ordered a referee's whistle on amazon. These assholes have been harassing me for over a year. Next time these fuckers call to 'lower my credit card rate', I'm gonna blow their fucking eardrums out. They wanna be cunts, I'll be a cunt too. FUCK THEM.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Danny The Baltimoron, 17 Apr 2008 @ 5:57pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Steven, 22 Jun 2009 @ 12:28pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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