I was nice to a telemarketer!

Capital One has been trying to get me to sign up for a credit card since New Year’s. I don’t usually take note of the senders of junk mail, and I hang up on unsolicited phone calls too soon to remember the company represented, but Capital One has been on me enough for me to notice. They made me nervous at first, too, because their envelopes and their name are close to that of a collection agency.

The reason I’m constantly on my guard against collection agencies is, of course, because my credit is horrendous. I did once try to sign up for a credit card to settle my other debts: a mirage that a Bank of America employee directed me to. It was, of course, rejected with the speed of Venus Williams’ forehand.

I can only conclude that Capital One doesn’t research the people to whom they send their pitch, which wouldn’t motivate me to do business with them even if I was eligible to do so. At any rate, they’ve moved on to phone calls.

I got the third such call in as many days this evening.

Me: Hello?

Voice: Good evening, may I speak to Rilchiam?

Me: This is.

Voice: Good evening, Mrs. Rilchiam; my name is Gary and I’m calling from Capital One—

Me: Are you trying to sell me that credit card?

Gary: Well, we’re not trying to sell anything, ma’am, but we are offering you a change to sign up at a rate of—

Me: Look, I’m not interested, and I’d appreciate if you could take me off your list. No mail, no calls, nothing.

Gary: All right, ma’am; I can make a note of that…it should take 6 to 8 weeks to process your request, and in the meantime, if you receive any more calls please do inform them that you’ve made this request.

All of this is said in a very pleasant southern accent that makes it easy for me to picture the person sitting in his cubicle telling himself not to feel guilty. As I have so often done.

Me: Okay, thank you.

Gary: Good night, ma’am.

Me: Oh, and…sir?
knowing that he’s already looking at the next name on the list, and that a term he rarely hears addressed to him will startle him into not hanging up

Gary: Yes ma’am?

Me: Look, uh, I hope you didn’t take that personally. I used to do…
knowing that if I call his job “telemarketing” or “phone sales” he’ll insist that it’s whatever euphemism the employment agency told him it was when they sent him out
what you’re doing, for a living, so I just want to say it’s the company I’m fed up with, not you.

Gary: Well, thank you, ma’am; I’ll see if I can put your request in tonight; in the meantime, you have a great evening!

Me: You, too.

Well, how 'bout that? I feel like Homer when he did the Stonecutter handshake with the plumber, and the plumber then immediately closed the valve and stopped the leak!

Class act, Rilch.

I got a call from AT&T two nights running, so for the second call, when he asked if I was happy with my long distance carrier, I said yes, and launched into a sales pitch for Working Assets. I told him about the rates and no monthly charges and the 1% that went to charity, and told him if he was interested he should look up their website. Then I suggested tht he sounded like a very intelligent fellow, and that I knew he would never take such a terrible job unless there were no other opportunities in his area, so I hoped the economy picked up so he be able to get a worthwhile job. He seemed stunned–I did let him get a few words in edgewise–but did tell me he was returning to grad school next year. I wished him good luck and told him to take me off the list.

I haven’t received a call from At&T since.

Don’t do that! It only encourages them!


that was rather humane of u to be nice like that…telemarketers, although annoying, are just sum person just trying to make a buck

Oh, and by the way, Rilchiam, under no circumstances accept a card from Capitol One. A few years ago, I foolishly over used my credit cards, and then when I suddenly became unemployed, I couldn’t pay the minimum required each month. Two companies worked with me, put me on a program with a payment I could afford, but Capitol One turned me into the collection agency, even though I initiated the call to set up a re-payment plan! Now, that same company is sending me offers for a card! I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate that company!!! If they ever called me, I doubt that I would be able to civil to the telemarketer, and I’d certainly tell him to quit before he was tainted with their evil!! And I’m not being facetious. Evil, evil company. Bad. Very, very bad. Not good. Bad.

I used to be the sucker that was nice and listened as they blabbered on and on, and having to tell them several times that I wasn’t interested, but now that I have Caller ID I just answer the phone and say nothing. They either hang up, or say “hello?” several times then hang up.

Yay for Working Assets Long Distance! They’re good people, all right.

Speaking of the evil telemarketer, has anyone tried the TeleZapper? I’m curious to know if it does what they claim. Sounds great, if it works!

You’re alright, Rilchiam,

So we’ll overlook it just this once.

:wink: Just Kidding!


Good story, Kallessa. And thank you for the heads-up on Capitol One (though I hardly think it matters if I misspell their name).

Speaking as a marketer I’d be interested in hearing everyone’s experience with Telezapper, too.


I wish I could have that much restraint!! I severly bitched out a guy who called me last week, but then again, it was almost 10pm.

I answered the phone, he went into his little speech to which I interuppted,

“Can I ask you a question”

Him: “Yes, Ma’am”

Me “WHY are you calling me at almost 10pm?”

Him: “Can we not call this late”

Me: “Don’t you think it’s a little late to be soliciting?”

Him: “I’m not soliciting ma’am, I’m doing a survey on TV readership”

Me: “Oh, well, that makes it fine for you to call me at 10pm and wake up my daughter which I had just put down after 3 hours of pushing in molars” (I don’t have kids)

Him: “I’m sorry to hear of your troubles ma’am, now that I have you on the phone, would you like to do our survey”

To which I almost fall on the floor laughing…

Me: “May I speak to your superior please?”

Him: “He’sinameetingsorrytobotheryouhaveagoodevening”


My husband is sitting on the couch beside me laughing his ass off.

I picture in my head the guy on the phone noting after my phone # DO NOT CALL, BITCH ALERT!!!


I used to do the same thing, but I once convinced the caller to hang up first. I was being nice, listened to the entire spiel, politely told the guy that I wasn’t interested and nothing he said would change my mind so he might as well hang up. Which he did. :slight_smile:

I think I found the perfect approach for telemarketers. I simply repeat the phrase “Eu nao falo ingles”* over and over again. The last telemarketers kept trying to start her spiel while I kept repeating it. She finally realized that it wasn’t going to work, apologized and hung up.

A friend of mine does the same thing with Hindi.

*Portuguese for I don’t speak English.

      • I just tell them that whoever-they-wanted isn’t in.
  • Telemarketers sometimes hear strange things when they call my house, because if I am at the computer and have my whole synth setup going, a whole bunch bunch of sounds are only a few button hits away:
    exotic animals (monkeys screaming w/breaking glass “-I’m kinda busy, can you call back?”),
    farm animals (chicken coop noises loud, “Yea, I raise chickens. Why?”),
    various foreigners babbling (“Let me ask Raoul if he knows…”),
    machinery noises (jack-hammering “-Just doing some remodeling around the house. -What’s that? Say again?”),
    airport/aircraft noises (“Look, I’m kinda late for my flight”),
    weather noises (surf sounds, LOUD),
    porno music soundtracks (a-hem)…
    I have only “gotten” a couple so far.
    -In a matter of speaking, they don’t call enough. - DougC

Ok, Rilchiam, you’re a polite person, which is good.

But that telemarketer now has the energy to annoy several more people.
As SPOOFE said, don’t encourage them.

And DaWodin, I think telemarketers are people who haven’t got a career and are prepared to degrade themselves for money.

glee: He HAS to make a certain number of dials in an hour, and a certain number in a day. He’d do that no matter how I reacted to him.

What I did was make him feel less like something to be scraped off a shoe. No, he personally is not that. By giving him a human moment, I eased his tension and he was presumably less desperate on his next few calls, making it easier for those people to get him off the line. And perhaps I even planted a seed of self-respect which, if nurtured, could lead him to seeking honorable employment.

Why is it even legal to telemarket? I pay $15.00 a month to have a phone, were it a free service I might understand “advertisements” for products and services, but c’mon! Junk mail I accept because my mail is delivered for free. I do not hold it against Hotmail that I get tons of spam, as it is a free service too. Since we pay for phone service should we be subjected to this, legally?

At the moment it’s a freedom of speech issue. Subject to certain restrictions they have the right to call.

But that may well change. The last proposal I’ve heard from the hill centered on a national DO NOT CALL list which each Telemarketing firm would have to run their lists against for each project. They disagree, of course.