I said, LEAVE A MESSAGE! (telemarketer avoidance strategy) long and rambling.

My last answering machine was starting to have some serious issues, the volume control was broken and one could only hear a message if it was in exactly the right spot. I had finally decided to throw it away and not replace it. A lot of people have talked about going without one and I was ready to do it. Then My Mom got a new machine and gave me her old one.

The new machine is worse than the old one. First off, it talks in a female mechano voice with that stutter stop tone. “MAILbox one . You have [SIZE=1]N messages.[/SIZE] Message (N-(N-1)).” Then there’s a timestamp after every message. Tuesday, Eleven forty-nine P M. This means that even without the message, I listen to the machine talk. And, most of the time, there is no message. If the answering machine picks up, it counts that as a message. I get home and there are five and six messages, none of which are anything but a click or a recording of a dial tone.

Since I have these almost every weekday, I believe these are calls from telemarketing companies. Telemarketers aren’t sitting around dialing numbers and waiting to see if some one is home. They are in a cublcle with a headset on and a blinking light in front of them. Some sort of screening mechanism routes a call with a live body to them and they get your name on a screen. (Any telemarketers want to verify this?)

This has given me a great new strategy for dodging TM’s when I am at home. I pick up the phone, but don’t say anything. If there is silence then I hear what sounds like a room full of people chatting in the background, then “Hello, hello?” I know it is a TM. If it is someone I know I can recognize their voice. If not, I just hang up. This has only backfired on me once and that was a call from a coworker trying to get me to work for him.

I’m still considering getting rid of the machine altogather, but it has been useful on a couple of occasions.

Heh - I lurve tha robot-machine voice. I love using it on the phone and trying to convince other people I’m a robot.

“The number is…nine…six…eight…six…five…nine…five…eight.”

I think I hate those “empty” messages as much as you do. What I’ve done to try and fix this is that my OG message says "Hello…(long pause) Oh, you wanted to talk to a human? Sorry, this is the machine… (blah, blah, blah).

A lot of the telemarketers will think this is a real human and start their spiel (sp?) so at least I get SOMETHING on the machine…

Hope this helps…

I have the same type of answering machine. I hate having to listen to the answering machine just to find out someone has hung up on me. Generally I look at the caller id to see if I recognize any of the numbers - if I don’t I generally delete the messages without listening to them.

Another thing that bothers me about my machine is that you can’t skip a call o from anywhere except the body of the call so that if there is no message you can’t even skip the call. Also, if you don’t listen to the whole call and you try to delete it the fembot voice comes on and says, “New Messages”

The whole idea of not saying anything when I answer the phone has been the great discovery. Maybe I should just get rid of the OGM on the machine too.

I’d rather have hang-ups than the slightly more sophisticated ones that actually leave a message–but not from a real live person. Instead, they leave a recording of a recording on my recorder.

When I do answer I’ve learned to recognize the particular silence followed by thumps and clicks that means the many-tentacled sales beast is dropping its nonresponsive victims and turning towards me, and I can usually hang up before they actually get a word in.

Those are the worst. I was getting a long winded one of those twice a week for a while. Another push in the direction of throwinf out the damn thing.

We never get calls from TM anymore and this is why. We have a telezapper, and 2 teenagers (my brother and I). While the telezapper does its stuff, my brother and I would pull pranks on the TM. When one of them called, my brother would say “Would you like to buy a bubble?” This is where my wheezing from asthma came in handy. When I pick up, I do really loud and heavy, wheezing breathing. Normaly the TM hangs up right away. On one day, I was really angry at them, so I simply blased Marilyn Manson, and put the phone up the the speaker. Oh oh, my friend’s mom’s brother used to say his parents were in prison, and they should be back in about 10-15 years. I tried that once. We don’t get TM calls anymore :slight_smile:

lol, one day last week after 5 or 6 successive calls that hung up when they got my machine, i picked it up and said ‘leave a message or stop calling’ and hung up immediately. got no more calls for 2 days=)

i had mr aruvqan put an answering machine mesage ‘leave a message - we never answer the phone directly.’ and that is is. of course, leaving a message doesnt guarentee anybody will pick up the phone either=)

I like to answer, “hi”.

“Hello, may I speak to [me]?”




“Is your daddy at home?”


“I’ll try later. Good bye.”


I can’t claim credit. I stole this trick outright from AIR.

Before we got Caller ID, I kept it very simple. Since TM’s computers take a moment to connect an operator to an answered phone, there was always a hesitation when I would pick up. I got it down to:

“Hello?” <oneonethousandtwoonethousand> click

If you can’t immediately say “Hello” back to me, then you’re a TM, and you’re getting hung up on.

Wow, I actually got a little scared when I read that. Are you Stephen King? Do you think he’d buy this idea for a story?