What can be done tele-a-markerters

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I am so tired of the interprutions from tele-a-marketers. It is not too bad sometimes during the day. But at meal time and on Sunday really makes me upset. I know the people at the other end are trying to make a living but is there no way they can stay off the phone on Sunday? I am not a rude person but sometimes I sure have a hard time with being civil to these intrusions. After working two jobs I like my week-ends peaceful. Any suggestions on how to handle this or are the rest of you in the same boat? Billie NE Oh

-- billie jagers (billie@config.com), March 21, 2002


Dont answer the phone during meal times is an easy way. Turn the ringer off. Regardless if a telemarketer or a friend. If your busy eating your busy.

At other times, answer the phone. If you dont know who is calling. Say please remove me from all your calling list and hang up.

-- Gary (gws@columbus.rr.com), March 21, 2002.

It costs extra, but caller ID and voice mail solves the problem for me. If the ID is an unknown name and number it is most likely a telemarketer, if it is an important call, they will leave a message. If there is a phone number on the ID and no message, I will call back. I refuse to run for the phone at any time. It is for my convenience and not for anyone else's.

I hate those where they dial several numbers at once and talk to the first one to answer, they will do that to you until they talk to you. At one time, these were called crank calls. These drive me up the wall when I am expecting an important call. I will answer them on the third try and let them know in no uncertain terms that I would never buy from anyone who called 3 times and hung up. My state was trying to outlaw them, I don't know how that turned out.

-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@somewhere.com), March 21, 2002.

My rules:

If, after I say hello, they IMMEDIATELY identify themselves and their organization, I ask them nicely to please put my name and number on their "do not call" list, and tell them to have a nice day. (Proper phone etiquette indicates that the caller should always identify themselves immediately, by the way). These are the only ones that I agree with the phrase "they are only trying to make a living".

All the rest below are criminals, because they are stealing my time.

If their first words are "may I speak to the man/lady of the house", or "Mr./Mrs. so-and-so", (wrong name pronunciation is also a dead giveaway), or "May I speak with (name)", I ask, none too nicely, "Are you a telemarketer?

Usually I get a lot of hemming and hawing, and often outright lies "no, we're not, we're such and such mortgage broker"

"And, we have no business dealings with you, why are you calling?"

"Well, we want to let you know that interest rates, blah, blah"

"oh, so you ARE selling something. YOU LIED. Put us on your "do not call list".

I have even had someone lie and tell me they talked to (name) earlier, and leave a number to call back. I looked it up on the internet, and either can't find it or it leads back to a business. Report those, but not to the phone company--the phone company does not care. Maybe the FCC?

If they persist, and they are a local business (auto glass is always a multiple offender in our area), I tell them straight out that if they have to call, they HAVE to be a shady, dishonest business, because no HONEST business would have to troll for customers in this rude manner, and put us on the "do not call" list. They usually go into shock at this point, as what I said sinks in, and then they hang up. Some will call again thinking that they can get their pitch in to another person in the household--they hang up when they hear me, or they will insist on talking to (name). I tell them I have just as much right to tell them to put us on the "do not call" list as (name).

For people who are calling to tell me how to vote, I usually tell them I can make up my own mind, thank you very much, or if particularly unhappy with the person calling I'll tell them, thanks to your call, I am now planning to vote (opposite) of what they're asking, because they bothered me.

As far as charities, it's "sorry, I never give to organizations which do phone solicitations of any sort." My feeling is that if they have money to pay those people (and these third-party orgs get a huge cut of the money they raise this way), they certainly don't need mine.

I don't think the laws go far enough to stop telemarketers, and they have too many loopholes (political and charitable calls are exempt, apparently). The national and state "do not call" lists are of limited value, because they just don't deal with local businesses at all. And I think that local brick-and-mortar businesses just don't see themselves as telemarketers packed like sardines in a boiler room operation (all the noise you often hear in the background), but they are telemarketers nonetheless.

I also think the phone companies are DIRECTLY responsible for the growth of this repugnant business--they make money at both ends, selling caller ID and no solicit to homeowners, and I am sure they are in full support of (if not actually selling) speed dialers and other telemarketing helpers (that call that drops when you pick it up, is trying to find out if you're at home to talk to a real person).

I think we should be able to punch *something after any call (the first call, not subsequent calls) we don't like and get paid $5 for each call. Telemarketers would have to bank money (and keep up their deposit) with the phone company, and when the money to pay people runs out, their phone gets SHUT OFF. If the telemarketer calling is a home business or brick-and-mortar and thinks they can get away without the the deposit, well, the phone company can keep track of the *somethings, SHUT THE PHONE OFF, and collect afterwards. That would stop telemarketing really quick. Same with spamming. Both are prevalent because it costs the businesses nothing. Make them pay and it will stop.

Just my $0.02.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), March 21, 2002.

My dear mother had such fun with telemarketers. She would wait to see what they were selling, and then always find some way to mess with them. If they were selling magazines, she'd tell them she was blind. If they asked if she was a homeowner, she'd say, "No! I'm living in a mission!" If they were a charity asking for money, she'd pretend to cry and ask if they knew where her puppy was. If she received a nasty phone call (this was in the days before caller id!) she'd listen for a minute and then say, "What?" They'd repeat their nasty line, and she'd say, "WHAT?" While they were repeating it again, she'd say, "Could you speak up please? I'm hard of hearing, and I just can't quite hear you!" They'd hang up every time, and she'd get a giggle out of it.

Sure do miss her! :-)

-- Cheryl in KS (cherylmccoy@rocketmail.com), March 21, 2002.

Missouri has a no call list. You call the state capital and put your name and number on it. I did this and get almost no call at all anymore. I use to get about 3 to 10 a day and now I get maybe 1 or 2 a month. When I answer the phone and they are selling somthing I just say we are on the no call list. They always say I am so sorry and hang up. In our state if you are on the no call list and they still call you. After 3 calls you can take them to court for 5,000.oo and in the cases that have been filed its payed before court because they know they can't win. Only a couple of cases were filed, but you have to have proof they called you more than 3 times. The state did this after a quite a few elderly people were taken for there life savings. I think it is a good thing. My phone has all but quit rinning. LOL no more sales calls and my youngest got married and moved away.

-- Teresa (c3ranch@socket.net), March 21, 2002.

Texas also has a no-call list. Costs $4 or $5 for two years. We just got it, but it is a great thing! E-mail or write your local state representative or lawmaker, etc. and ask why your state doesn't have one, or when they are going to pass the no-call law. It is a popular idea that is growing, and politicians love to claim sponsorship on popular laws.

-- SteveD(TX) (smdann@swbell.net), March 22, 2002.

When they ask to speak to the man or woman of the house I say sure just wait a second and I will get them. Then I come back to the phone and start the conversation. In my lowest voice and as sexy as possible (the wife says its pretty good) I ask what kind of underwear they have on, thats when they hang up. Heard about this somewhere and have had a ball with it. Telemarkerters are a source of fun around here. Course we do need a life. I liked the responces some one's mother used may try some of them.

-- David in North Al. (bluewaterfarm@mindspring.com), March 22, 2002.

Caller ID! It's well worth the money. I don't answer unknown callers and like someone said, if it's important, they can leave a message on the answering machine. It also helps to filter out nontelemarketing calls when/if I don't wish to speak to the person calling at that moment. Caller ID is one thing I would not want to do without.

-- Barb in Ky. (bjconthefarm@yahoo.com), March 22, 2002.

Sorry you all I didn't mean to post this twice. My computer told me it would not post. had to change the name. So I did and guess what it did. Thanks for all the imput. My husband likes to mess with them also and lead them one then dump them in some way. He gets a kick out of it. Billie NE OH

-- billie jagers (billie@config.com), March 22, 2002.

That is what I do also, when it says unknown caller on the caller ID, I pick up the phone and put it back down. All of the people who call me regularly will show up on the caller ID. The rest can send me a letter!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), March 22, 2002.

I say AMEN to GT's post.

And ~giggle~ to the others.

We have an answer machine. The telemarketers use those in-line dialers and when the dialer hits the answer machine it hangs up. Family and friends know we screen our calls, but mostly we're just honestly out of hearing distance of the phone. If it's a real emergency the family knows our "alternate ##".

We figure when the telemarketers and charity solicitors start paying our phone bill, then we'll consider listening to their spiel - NOT!!

Wishing you a Day in His Grace

-- Michaela (flhomestead@hotmail.com), March 22, 2002.

That's why I am against caller ID, because you have to PAY for it. You also have to PAY to be put on state "DO NOT CALL" lists. That is wrong. The telemarketers should pay to bother you, and while they think it is a "free speech" issue, I think they are illegally entering my home through the phone lines (i.e. trespassing). Telemarketing should be against the law, period.

And while we're at it, I've never understood why you have to PAY to have an unlisted number--you should pay only if you WANT to be listed. Think of all the resources we could save if the phone book were only the yellow pages and those who wanted their names in.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), March 22, 2002.

Telemarketers are the main reason I have an answering achine! I have a disability and live in a big house. I'ts hard to get to the phone only to hear "nothing" cause they moved on to another number. I can easily call someone back...or not.

-- Ardie/WI (ardie54965@hotmail.com), March 22, 2002.

I had a photo studio calling repeatidly and complained to phone company. They went to photo studio and I got letter of appology promissing no more calls and of course that was BS. Well they started again so- I told them the next time they called I would come in dark of night and throw cement block trough their front window and steal ALL their cameras so they would have nothing to market and the calls stoped! George Beam

-- George Beam (georgebeam@nccw.net), June 14, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ