What do you say to those annoying telesales callers ?

When I moved into a flat at uni 2 years ago we connected the phone on the cheap option, so all those telesales and telemarketing types have our number and often contact us.

At first it was really annoying…im working away in my room, the phone rings…i take that long walk down the hall to the kitchen (where the phone is) and…asian/indian accent “hello Mr Barker, I am calling from CrappyPhones… can I ask you… blah blah”

Well recently Ive been having more fun with these people, the funniest I can remember went some thing like this…

ME: hello?

TS: Hello Mr Barker, I am calling from **** we can save you money on your phone bill

ME: Oh im sorry but we dont have a phone

TS: Ok Mr Barker, sorry, Good Bye.

sweet sweet victory

Do you want the serious answer or one of the many many joke answers?

“So… What are you wearing?”

the funny answers please

Oh, you have to speak to Mr. Meoff. First name Jack.

“Sorry, I don’t make those sorts of decisions. Let me put my wife on.”

Set down phone. Check back in 30 minutes to see if telemarketer has hung up yet.

My favorite was the one who asked for the Man of the House. I said “He’s in the litter box, how can I help you?”

Or the ones looking for “Mrs. Mylastname.” To them, I say “My mother doesn’t live here. Bye!”

Lately, my roommate has taken to telling these people that she’s my spouse, just to hear the uncomfortable silence. One night she asked me if that bothered me. “Oh no!” I cried. “The telemarketer in a foreign country thinks I’m gay!!!”

It really is worth it for that uncomfortable silence. :smiley:

Telemarketer: Hello, Mr. Nerd, this is Jack Ass from Charter Communications. We see you have high speed internet service with us, but not cable television, and I’m calling to offer a discount on your internet service if you susbcribe to cable TV right now.

Enginerd: We’re not interested in cable TV. Thanks anyway.

Telemarketer: Can I ask why not?

Enginerd: No.


…[more silence]…

…[still more silence]…

Telemarketer: Um… ok, well, we can offer -

Enginerd: No thanks. Goodbye.

Well, it’s not funny, but it gets the job done. I see “800 Service” on the caller ID and I just push the answer button on the phone, then the end button. Hello, goodbye.

I usually cut them off as soon as possible and say, “Sorry, we’re not interested. Please don’t call us again regarding this offer.”

This is post national DNC, of course. The only calls we get are from companies that we already patronize. Mainly Discover. I don’t get a single call about my Visa, but we get multiple calls a month from Discover. Go figure.

Anywho, before that, I either politely told the person that I wasn’t interested, or I said something silly. Like, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak English.” Said, of course, in English in a perfect Chicagoland accent. Of course, I did the telemarketing thing for less than a month at one point, so I think I’m more sympathetic. The rudest I’ve ever gotten was when my dad was in a coma in the hospital. Every ring of the telephone at that point could’ve been bad news. Ergo, I was a little short with the people on the other end.

That wouldn’t stop Canadian telemarketers. Same-sex marriage is legal here. :slight_smile:

And a lot of call-centres have been outsourced here. My sister works in one. (Not outbound sales calls, thank goodness; she takes support calls.)

We get very few calls now, only from local business or charities.

Before, though, when we got a lot, the tipoff. always, right after asking for me by name, was,

“Hi, how are you?”

I don’t know why so many did this, but I’d start a spiel something to the effect of, “Well, I was not too bad, but the chemotherapy is making me very sick and iritable, but it was not too much until the house fire destroyed almost everything we had, and then the water from the firehoses drowned my dog, but not before he bit the fireman…”

I could keep this up for quite a while, and not once did the caller try to intrupt me. I’d just hangup in midword, so they probably though the call was cut off. Or that I’d died.

Actually, the few calls I get now, I just respond, “Sorry, not insterested,” and hang up. This is polite and effective, and I always wonder why more people don’t do that.

Not funny, but potentially lucrative:

Keep a clipboard or pad near the phone. When a telemarketer calls, ask them for the name of the telemarketing firm. Their script wants them to keep repeating the company who they’re calling for, but eventually they get the point and tell you the name of the actual telemarketing company.

Write down both companies names, the date, and the time. Then say the nine magic words: “Please place me on your do not call list.”

If they ever call again, either the telemarketers, or another telemarketer for the same company, remind them of the prior call, and the $11,000 fine for violating the FTC regulation.

You can hear them turning pale on the other end of the phone, I swear!

Last week I was called by a fellow soliciting on behalf of a hotel across the border in the USA. At first, I did not realize that it is a telemarketing call. The conversation got a little weird. I think the fellow thought that I was putting him on, but I was not.

Him: Do you travel to XXX?
Me: Yes – next trip is at the end of the summer. [I mistakenly thought that he was calling from the hotel that in the past had comped me. Turns out that he was colc calling from an unrelated hotel.]
Him: We offer two-for-one meal discounts.
Me: There are a couple of dozen of us.
Him: Twelve couples?
Me: No – twenty-three women and myself.
Him: We can give you a 50% discount on your room for every five rooms you book.
Me: I don’t pay for my room.
Him: Why not?
Me: My crew pays for me or the hotel comps me.
Him: Huh?
Me: Would you be willing to comp them some rooms?
Him: Have a good day. [click]
[By the tone of his voice, I think that he had concerns about our morality. In fact, we are a canoe racing team.]

Please put this number on your do not call list. Thank you.



If I get the delay that shows that the call is coming from India, I hang up before the conversation even starts.

If it’s a local call, as soon as I hear the person starting the spiel I simply say “no thank you. I’m not interested” and hang up straight away.

Also keep in mind that the “please place me on your do not call list” is good for telemarketers, but if it is any sort of a collections agency, whether or not you owe them money, if your number is the one they have listed they will keep calling and calling unless you use the far more powerful 3 magic words “cease and desist”. Unless we were told to cease and desist all contact in the (very short) time I was working in collections, we were told to keep calling because someone who once used that number owes something and it is perfectly legal to keep calling to collect. So if John Q. Debtmonger used to have your number and they call you twice a day those calls will not stop unless you say cease and desist. When they take your # off their list your account goes into a collection of accounts where they have someone call directory assistance and ask for the number for that name and address, and if it was never changed, it will just keep getting put into the system over and over again so cease and desist is the only way to put an end to those calls.

I’m not interested but have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and personal saviour?

Well, I haven’t gotten a TM call in ages, but it was always fairly easy for me to identify them from the first sentence. You see, I have a fairly long last name ending in -ski and, although my first name isn’t long or uncommon, apparently the same gene that drives someone into telemarketing also prevents them from pronouncing my first name correctly. So, when the caller asks for [mispronounced first name] [totally mangled last name] I would just truthfully reply “No one by that name lives here” and hang up.

I’ve heard of this before, and I love this tactic!

I very firmly say that I am sorry, but I don’t accept unsolicted phone calls. And then I hang up.