On Her Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tuesday Tips - Getting Rid of Telemarketers

Okay. These people are driving me nuts. Since we bought our home, we've been inundated with telemarketing calls, especially those asking us to refinance our home. These started maybe 2 weeks after we signed our original mortgage. Sheesh!

We also get a ton of calls for home security systems, calls to thank us for past donations we've never made and ask for future donations to all kinds of causes, calls telling us we've "won," you name it.

I've put our number on the National Do Not Call List but this does not stop people calling for "charitable donations," if we "have a prior business relationship" with them or basically if they are in any way associated with any organization with whom whence and therefore we have done business with at one time in regards to the aforementioned.........AHHHHHHHH!

So, I'm asking for your ideas on how to stop them - or at least drive them nuts. I have two suggestions:

telecrapper1. Dan found a marvelous little device called THE TELECRAPPER 2000 TELEMARKETER INTERCEPTION SYSTEM. It is "a computerized system designed to intercept incoming Telemarketing calls on the first ring, and then carry on a virtual conversation with the telemarketer."
If you go to their site and click on "example conversations" you can hear the machine carrying on long and laugh-until-you-cry-funny conversations with unsuspecting telemarketers. We do not have the device as it is not exactly “market ready.” However, it’s definitely worth a listen.

2. Refinance your home. That’s right folks. Now that we’ve been out of college for more than 10 minutes and are “land holders”, we can get a much better rate on a real home loan from a reputable lender. So now when they call we say, “What a great idea! We’re doing that right now. Can you please take us off your calling list?”

What have you got for me? I’m sure you can do better than this. I dare you.

15 Comments:

Blogger The Persian said...

OMG that telecrapper thing is hysterical. The one where the guy talks about his bad memory had me in stitches! :)

10/24/2005 9:55 PM

 
Blogger mom on a wire said...

I never answer "Unknown" callers (caller ID). I figure if it's someone I know, and it's important, they'll just leave a message.

10/24/2005 9:59 PM

 
Blogger kaylang said...

My favorite is to tell them that you don't speak English...in English...and then hang up. Or you could always give the phone to Little C and let her have a go at 'em.

10/24/2005 10:43 PM

 
Blogger Kelly said...

Isn't there some national list you put your name on and then they can't call you?

10/24/2005 11:25 PM

 
Blogger Sean Daniel said...

My suggestion would be to tell them you're in the middle of dinner, ask for their home phone number and you'll call them back the following night.

However, some of those tele-smartie-pants are onto us! So usually I saw "Do you realize you just called my cell phone. Do you also realize that you are costing me money just to talk with me? Please take this number off your calling list and stop spending my money!"

I think the later actually works.. I stumbled across it when someone actually did call my cellphone and, surprisingly enough, was very appologetic. I never heard from then again.

10/24/2005 11:36 PM

 
Blogger Kim C. said...

We don't want to pay for caller ID, so I let my children screen my calls. Telemarketers always mispronounce our last name, and end it with a question mark. The children have learned to recognize telemarketers, and love to get one on the line. My only requirement is that they be polite.
Sample conversations:

Hi, are you a telemarketer? Why do you want to talk to my mom? ...But she'll hang up on you if I give her the phone! (said very sweetly)

Oh, my mom is busy, but I can speak Spanish: El zapato de Zorro esta en la azucar. That means Zorro's shoe is in the sugar. I learned it on a video...

Incidentally, that national do-not-call list worked very well for us. My children were very disappointed.

10/25/2005 6:31 AM

 
Blogger blackbird said...

I like that the telecrapper has been photographed using someone's inside out black tee shirt as a backdrop. V professional.
Caller ID is a good one.
But we are very stealthy here in Tuvalu.
We have an unlisted house line and then a reg. line.
NO ONE - not a single living soul outside our families have the unlisted line. It doesn't get written on school papers, or applications or websites. It is no where.

It's been successful for about 5 years.
As for the regular line, it's on a 2 ring machine, so we screen it 24/7 and telemarketers usually hang up.

10/25/2005 6:48 AM

 
Blogger Kemp said...

I have one of my twin 3-year olds scream as loud as they possibly can (and believe me...it is LOUD) into the receiver...

By the time I get the phone from their ear, I can hear the telemarketer mumbling something about being deaf and hanging up.

Crude but effective.

10/25/2005 8:22 AM

 
Blogger Stephanie said...

Yeah, we did the list and it wiped them out.

However, my mom used to have a boyfriend with a lot of great ideas. Towards the end you have to yell a lot.

Example:

You: Is this AT&T?
ATT: Yes it is.
You: (incredulously) This is AT&T?
ATT: Yes it is.
You: Oh good, because I have been meaning to talk to you.
ATT: oh?
You: My wife ran off with one of your service people and I am pretty ticked off.
ATT: Oh, well I am sorry..
You: Yeah, well you better be.
ATT: uh.
You: I am no longer going to use your phone services.
ATT: okay...
You: And I hope that you never call back you horrible, sadistic bunch of WIFE STEALERS!

Okay, it was much funnier when he said it.

10/25/2005 8:46 AM

 
Anonymous Mom said...

The favorite one I ever used took a while, but was so enjoyable to me personally that I'd almost welcome a chance to try it again.

T: Mrs. Y how are you this morning?

me: That depends on who's calling.

T: What?

Me: Well if you are a good friend, I'll tell you that I've been up all night with sick kids and now have whatever they had last night. I have a fever, headache and am really sick. As a good friend, you would volunteer to take the kids off my hands for the day and I will get a nap - while you fix dinner for my family. If you are a telemarketer, I'll say I'm fine. You will pitch your product. I won't buy it and we'll hang up."

T. Oh. I'm sorry. I hope you feel better.

It was almost worth being sick just to dump on the poor guy.

10/25/2005 10:01 AM

 
Blogger Heather said...

Just give the phone to your fourteen month old daughter when they ask to speak to the lady of the house. They're all finished, then!

10/25/2005 10:27 AM

 
Anonymous bon said...

"Oh, hey yeah... I'm gonna do you a personal favor -click"

Trust me, back in the day I was desperate and supported myself by being a telephone solicitor for over 9 months and I was gooood at what I did (go ahead and hate me but it was safer and a bit more ethical than selling meth). I loved it when people who had no intention to buy would hang up. I don't waste their time, they don't waste my time and I can get to someone who WILL buy. It never offended me or my co-workers to be hung-up on... frankly it was a kindness.

10/25/2005 11:56 AM

 
Blogger Kelly said...

Ah yes. I knew I put my name on the list!
Here is the link:
National Do Not Call Registry
I highly reccomend this because ever since I registered my name and number I do not get called.
Seriously. They just magically stopped calling!
ps. hooray for me... I actually had a legitimate tip for Tuesday!

10/25/2005 1:36 PM

 
Anonymous Mom2Five said...

I still get phone calls, even with the Do Not Call list. One thing my husband and I use: We simply request that they remove us from their list and never call us again. By law, they have to wait at least one year before they can call back. Surprisingly, this actually does reduce the number of calls. If we get repeated calls from the same company, we can threaten (or actually) report them. Of course, sometimes I just hang up if they persist and won't honor my request.

10/25/2005 10:28 PM

 
Anonymous another mom said...

If you ask for their name and the name of the company again, and then ask them to put your name on the do not call list, it packs a little more wollup, sometimes. We haven't had too many nincompoops call lately-knock on wood.

10/26/2005 8:50 PM

 

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