How to Have Fun With Telemarketers

dr who telemarketerI work for a very small company. During the season, I’m generally the only one in the office. That means I’m also the receptionist. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, as I need to focus on my work. Because of this, I do pre-screen the calls. If the call is not a local area code, I don’t answer, same for those clients that pester me hourly… “Got that quote ready yet?” Hmmm, no and did I see 13 feet or 13 1/2 wide on your patio?

Occasionally, I’ll be waiting for a call and need to answer them all. Usually, this is when a telemarketer will slip in. Last week, I got a guy that called every day, Tony, from Diamond Blade Warehouse asking for my boss. I asked him politely the third time he called to remove us from the list. The next day, he said he was from DBW, I told him nice try and if he called again, I would call and complain to his boss.

Although we have the donotcall.gov, this does not mean they won’t call you. Sadly, businesses are not allowed to register, either. We’re stuck with this crap.

I had to figure out something to do about these stupid calls. Instead of hanging-up on these annoying folks, I felt wasting their time was a better thing to do. Not allowing them to move on to the next person, who might just be a sucker and buy something from them is the best thing I could do. It’s also fun to get some angst and anger out on a complete stranger. 😉

I searched the web for ideas others have had and here’s what I found:

  • Pretend the connection is bad and you can’t hear them. You can even say things like “I think…. connect…for to…. wanted a big… always pay… charge my battery… Can you hear me?” pretending the line is a bad line. Since they’re most likely calling from overseas anyways, this is fairly common. If you can play this game for 3 minutes, you’re doing pretty good.
  • Talk over them like there’s a delay in the line. As soon as they start to speak, talk over them and tell them there’s a really bad echo on the line. See how long you can keep going that before they hang up on you.
  • Pretend you’re someone else, like characters from your favorite TV show. Tell them about your day and pretend you’re in the last episode you watched. Most of the people in overseas call centers will have never seen the show, so they’ll have no idea.
  • Pretend you know the person calling. Act like you were expecting the call and that you think the other person is your friend playing a practical joke on you. “Come on Joe, I know it’s you. Stop with the crazy accent.”
  • Pretend you’re a telemarketer too.Tell them that this call may be recorded for training purposes. Try to sell them the latest in headset equipment for call centers.
  • Pretend there are 3 or 4 different people in the house and after they talk for a few minutes, tell them they need to talk to your dad, or your sister or your psychiatrist, or your lawyer.  See how many times you can pass the phone to the “next person”.
  • Tell them that a customer just walked in, but you are interested in what they just said. Then put the phone down for 2 minute
  • Just keep asking questions about what they’re trying to sell.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

36 thoughts on “How to Have Fun With Telemarketers

  1. my grampy has the same problem… the ringing phone sometimes can replace the radio :o( my granny always pretends she is the charlady and talks with a super weird accent, then they mostly give up. My grampy pretends highest interest and joy for the phonecall, butt he immediately says: oh wait a minute, someone is on the door. then he puts the phone far away for 30 minutes or longer, so even the most obstinate agent gives up…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We also have the same kind of annoyance here in SA – as soon as I need to give a polite “thank you, but I am not interested” and they still persist, I put the phone down next to the radio. The record for a telemarketer to talk to the radio stands at just under two minutes, if you’d like to try beating it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • My carrier, Verizon used to have a ‘report this number’ button, which also blocked them from your phone. I heard it was to reduce spam. However the button has dissappeared now. 😣
      I can still block them. My phone doesn’t ring, however it will note on the screen blocked call with the number tried to call.
      The sad part about this is, if they didn’t get folks to fall for what they were selling, these folks would have disappeared long ago.
      Wasn’t it W.C. Fields that said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” 😉😉
      I’d say every nanosecond….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These tips will come in handy. I don’t own a business and I am on the useless do not call list. Two of the most annoying repeat calls I get are the ones who claim that they are from Microsoft and that my commuter is badly infected. The other is that the IRS has a pending law suite against me and that I need to contact so and so right away.

    Liked by 1 person

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