I 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