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(SFGate)   How to defeat telemarketing bastards for good.   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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11425 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Feb 2002 at 5:50 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2002-02-11 05:55:10 PM  
Hold on please..
2002-02-11 05:55:32 PM  
pirst fost
2002-02-11 05:55:58 PM  
Tactical nuclear weapons work for me
2002-02-11 05:56:02 PM  
if it wasnt for telelmarketing i would not eat, pay rent, etc... fark off and just hang up the phone.
2002-02-11 05:56:03 PM  
Doh, second. Good article
2002-02-11 05:59:20 PM  
Last time this came up on fark somebody suggested a button on the phone that that made the callers headset explode.. When we gonna get that thingy?
2002-02-11 06:01:08 PM  
need more "that"s^^
2002-02-11 06:01:10 PM  
Fred Flintstone-Probably never.I don't think phone lines can carry the amount of current needed to make a headset explode.
2002-02-11 06:02:23 PM  
If it wasn't for telemarketers I would not have as much fun screwing with them.
2002-02-11 06:11:51 PM  
Best idea ever.

Subigo, I don't think you'll get much sympathy. Work at a restaurant or something.
2002-02-11 06:13:10 PM  
Ha! I've been doing this for some time. I say "Oh, that sounds cool. Hang on a second!" Then I sit the phone down and wait. I check back every couple of minutes or so until they've hung up. I've gotten free stuff this way. They get so mad that they send me the CD or movie they're selling. Then when I get it I call the company up that sent it and say "I didn't order this and I'm not paying for it and I'm not even going to bother shipping it back to you." I have done this SEVERAL times and NEVER had them argue. They usually ask if a telemarketer called about it and I say "I don't know. Telemarketers call me all the time and I always just hang up on them." Dumb shiats. HAHAHA!! I love telemarketers. They amuse me. And they give me free stuff! Whooo hooo!
2002-02-11 06:13:46 PM  
2002-02-11 06:14:36 PM  
Even better: if you have time to fark with telemarketers, after they make their pitch, say "what's the point? I'm just gonna kill myself as soon as I hang up anyway..." and run with that.

a "hold on please" will probably get 30 seconds of their time, but a ranting apparently suicidal maniac will get at least a few minutes.
2002-02-11 06:14:50 PM  
I've been employing a similar technique for quite a while, though it's more interactive. I let the telemarketer get through his/her spiel, and then I say "wait a minute... what are you talking about?" to make them start over.

My record for keeping one on the line is 35 minutes. In the course of that conversation I had the dope go all the way through his whole pitch four times (which he was obviously reading from a rather awkwardly worded script), just by playing dumb. Finally the guy gave up and hung up.

I waste an enormous amount of telemarketers' time that way.

But that's what they get for calling me while I'm sleeping, the bastards.
2002-02-11 06:17:17 PM  
I like to talk to marketers. I constantly keep them off the subject of whatever they are trying to sell me - and most actually enjoy a short break from constantly selling. Plus, since I didn't cuss at them and slam the phone/door, they still have a chance to win a sale. They never do. Worst one was a door-to-door... I kept talking to her for about 70 minutes. No sale, but it was fun. I saw her again later - her sales that day were low enough that her colleagues were making fun of her.

I find it more amusing to just b/s instead of finding clever ways to tell them off. Especially when they are paid on commission.
2002-02-11 06:20:05 PM  
The insanity angle is always fun too... I have a friend who recites Pink Floyd lyrics at telemarketers.

At the top of his voice. Until they hang up on him.
2002-02-11 06:20:20 PM  
my favorite is to tell them you're really busy, but if they would give you their home # you'll call them back later. i think i saw that in a seinfeld episode. it works like a charm. "what, you don't want people disturbing you at YOUR home?"
2002-02-11 06:20:41 PM  
I'm with Bmr68. I like to harrass them. My usual tactics include:
1 - Listen real quick to what they're sellling.
2 - When they first pause reply in a slack jawed dialect, "I'm not all that interest in all that, but tell me... whatchew wearin'?"
3 - If they stay on the line I prefer to follow up with, "Do you ever...(pause) touch yourself?"

In 15 years of doing this, they've all hung up after steps 2 or 3; probably because women get grossed out by some hill-billy sounding pervert on the phone and men get a quick flash of hill-billy homophobia. Either way, it's a riot.
2002-02-11 06:25:17 PM  
2002-02-11 06:25:32 PM  
I like to say I'm not home. I haven't been home since 1988.
2002-02-11 06:25:38 PM  
Ok, here's the REAL way: ask them to put you on their "do not call" list. It's a legal requirement with some penalties if they continue to call you after you utter those words. I've reduced my spam calls by 90% with this technique.

And while I'm on the subject: do you want to stop those 'pre-approved' credit offers? They come from the credit bureaus selling your name. You can get the 4 largest ones to stop doing this by calling their special number to opt out. Call 888 5OptOut (note that those are not numberic zeros, they're letters, so the number is 888 567-8688). They'll need your Social Security Number, since that's the identifying number they use for you. I've just done this myself, so I'll be seeing how well this works in the weeks to come.
2002-02-11 06:26:03 PM  
Here is another angle on this story

My sister was working for a telemarketing firm for a few months. She told me some funny stories about people getting mad at her. I asked her if she ever had someone put her on hold for a long time.

Her response:

Most firms have computers systems set up to monitor how efficient their callers were. When someone put her on hold, she was free to mess around for as long as the line was active. She gets credit for working and she would just read or talk to friends.
2002-02-11 06:26:18 PM  
One of my favorite exchanges:

Telemarketer: Hi, this is Sally calling from AT&T and we'd like to--

Customer: Wait a minute. AT&T?

Telemarketer: Yes... AT&T.
Customer: You mean the phone company?

Telemarketer: That's right.
Customer: Well I already have a phone. Duh. What do you think I'm talking to you with?

Telemarketer: But sir, we aren't selling phones. We're interested in saving you money.

Customer: By selling me something?

Telemarketer: No, sir... we--

Customer: Who is this?

Telemarketer: My name is Sally, and I'm calling from AT&T--

Customer: AT&T? The phone company? I already have a phone...

(repeat ad nauseum)
2002-02-11 06:27:21 PM  
Ooh! Demosthenes and I do nearly the same thing - waste their time. 35 minutes of re-reading the script, damn good work!
2002-02-11 06:31:13 PM  
My favorite was when I was renting a house out in the country. The house had a septic tank.

Tel: Good evening, sir, our records show that you are a homeowner with a septic tank, is that true?

Me: No.

Tel: So, you're on a city sewer system?

Me: No.

There was a really long pause after that. Never got called at that number again.
2002-02-11 06:31:28 PM  
Um, this idea is stupid. I don't want to miss call waiting blips for shiat like this.

The best thing is to make them hate you, thus they hate their job more, and are more likely to quit, which makes the telemarketing industry hurt. Best to do this quickly, while having fun in some way, so you don't waste your time but you achieve the desired affect - less telemarketing in the world and your personal entertainment. Even 30 seconds will cost them a lot more than "quick clicks" that they love.

Pretending to have terets is nice, especially since it only takes an initial FARK FARK SHIAT with an apology or two before you can degrade full-blown into violent insults toward their person or mother and not be held responsible.
2002-02-11 06:31:41 PM  
I sold Time Life books for about an hour one day, and it was amazing how rude some of the hang ups could be. From that point forward, I have made it my mission in life to be the rudest, meanest, crudest sumbiatch on the planet when a marketer calls my house. I feel this is a great way to make it up to all of you I bugged the shiat out of to buy a book.
no thanks necessary, just more boobies
2002-02-11 06:33:23 PM  
I don't think this "please hold" is a very effective method to remove telemarketers, all they will end up doing is firing people that work on the phone and replace them with mass dialing machines.

So more unemployed, more dialing machines. Yippee

How about just making it illegal to solicite by phone through legislation?
2002-02-11 06:33:58 PM  
When AT&T calls trying to get me to switch to their long distance, I tell them I work for Sprint and I get my long distance for free. When Sprint calls, I tell them I work for AT&T. I haven't gotten calls from either of them since I told them that. :)
2002-02-11 06:34:08 PM  
StrongBad: It depends on the company, but for the most part that is true. ("Fly by night" companies aren't that fancy). Telemarketers also love casually talking to people (not trying to sell anything, just b/sing). Basically, anything that lets them not work.
2002-02-11 06:35:40 PM  
I used to work as a database programmer and sys admin for a calling center that had three predictive dialing systems. You can believe me when I say that most of the telemarketing and survey type calls you get are already being dialed by machines, and have been for years.
2002-02-11 06:38:20 PM  
I worked as a telemarketer for about 3 weeks last year.
was hell, but amusing. Had a guy on the phone who started asking things like what size bra I wear etc....
was a nice break from having people slam the phone down and scream at me.
2002-02-11 06:38:56 PM  
My favorite is when I answer the phone and there isn't even a person on the other end yet.

Record voice: "Please hold while representative is made available to assist you."

Are you kidding me??!?! Click...
2002-02-11 06:39:10 PM  
My favorite is when I answer the phone and there isn't even a person on the other end yet.

Record voice: "Please hold while a representative is made available to assist you."

Are you kidding me??!?! Click...
2002-02-11 06:39:56 PM  
And I hate it when people call twice and say the same thing both times!
2002-02-11 06:43:12 PM  
I was a telemarketer once... it was a total mind-f*ck. I'll shovel monkey sh*t before I ever do that again.
2002-02-11 06:47:07 PM  
Do a little search for 1800 numbers for these companies that are calling you... If you have a phone that allows Confrence calls or Transfers... send the call back to them.
I used to do this while I worked for Cisco Systems. Seriously, we would get sales calls at work. Go Figure. I'd send them to other telcos including one in Scotland.

But this simple Please Hold idea. It's beautiful. I love it. I'll post this at this evening.
2002-02-11 06:51:09 PM  
What you people advocating making the telemarketers hate you need to realize.....the people calling you have your phone number, they may also have your name, address, etc. During my breif stint as a telemarketer, I had several people who swore at me, left the phone off the hook, etc. Those special people got placed in my "3 a.m." file. Since I was usually up at those times anyway, I figured I'd give them a call to see how they were doing, and if there was anything I could do to make their early, early morning any nicer.

In most cases a simple, "No thank you, I am not interested" will suffice. Remeber that these people probably don't like calling you anymore than you like getting their calls.....don't be a d!ck.
2002-02-11 06:55:49 PM  
Had a call at work recently, asking for my current copy count on my machine. "Who's calling?" "The district office." "The district office of WHAT?" Click. They hung up. They wussed out after two questions. Cool.

Another thing I do is ask them if they know Rosalea's bra size. It throws them every time.
2002-02-11 06:55:50 PM  
my $sql = qq[insert into shiatlist (name) values ('Subigo')]
2002-02-11 07:00:47 PM  
Damn, always forget a semicolon
2002-02-11 07:06:27 PM  
Oh sure, this is this guy's gift to the world. But how long before he realizes the error of his ways, and tries to patent it?
2002-02-11 07:09:40 PM  
Most fun for me was AT&T calling to solicit local phone service the very morning Excite@Home dumped all of us fool AT&T cable modem customers.

"AT&T! I've been trying for hours to get through to someone at AT&T! What is the farking problem? My cable modem won't work, I can't get e-mail!"

Answer: "Well, we aren't really AT&T, we just work for them."

"You said you were with AT&T. Let me talk to your manager" and so on for a good 30 minute rant.

Useful? no. Cathartic? yes.
2002-02-11 07:12:31 PM  
I always do this:
Me - "what's your name?"
Them - "Jim"
Me - "Jim, get a real job."

And then I hang up. Twice I have had the telemarketer call me back upset and ready to swear at me. If you are feeling sassy ask Jim for his supervisor.
2002-02-11 07:14:16 PM  
My response to telemarketers depends on who the telemarketers are.

$My-Telco wanting to sell me ADSL service in addition to my existing service, I'm nice to. After all, they're my telco and I might actually want their service someday.

$Magazine-Subscription-Monkeys, I tell em that I've already got subscriptions to all the magazines I want(true), and the last time I let magazine monkeys get their foot in the door, they proved to be total morons. Magazines I didn't order and didn't like appearing in my mailbox while the ones I did order didn't(also true, much chewing out of idiots-in-question resulted until they got it right). Let the salesmonkeys think about that one for a bit.

$Vacuum-Cleaner-Salesmen-Who-Sell-Vacuums-Whose-Names-Start-With-K-and​-End-Wit h-Y, I have a special treat for. They haven't called yet, but they will. I'll be nice to the phone crew, and see about scheduling a time for the salesdroids to come in. Then I let them do their thing, cleaning a spot on my carpet. There's one test they do that requires a business card to demonstrate suction. I'll give them one...of theirs. I spent a day with that company before leaving in disgust. See how long it takes for them to figure out that they aint getting no sale, and no commission, offa me.

I live in Hawaii, so there's one more breed I have to deal with.
The type that's in a call center in New York and their managers don't let them see the number they are calling (thanks, autodialers!) These can be spotted because they call at 5 AM(lunchtime in N.Y.).
I like to treat these poor drones to a nice, stimulating conversation about world events, the relative merits of their product vs. competitors. and otherwise take up about half an hour After all, they don't really deserve to be cursed at, poor jerks. And I wake up really fast.

Then I ask if they know where they're calling and what time it is.

If the first doesn't make em backpedal fast, the second does.

So, Subigo, what do you telemarket?
2002-02-11 07:16:58 PM  
Yeah, play with them..Ask plenty of rediculous questions, then ask them again.

Finally, if the marketer is a member of the opposite sex, politely inform them.

"Sorry, I could never give my credit card number to anyone I have not slept with."
2002-02-11 07:17:23 PM  
I used to work as a telephone interviewer, not directly trying to sell anything, and I won't do that job again. Saying "hold on" doesn't really work, I would just hang up after a couple minutes (at most) and try later. Now, when I get telemarketing calls (and I don't get very many), I ask them as many questions about themselves and their company, but I never accept any offers or buy anything. In fact, I tell them they have been recorded and logged and will be reported to the Better Business Bureau if they call me again. I sometimes actually do that if they are persistent...always try to get them to give you a phone number and an address of their business, if they refuse, you can legally refuse them. At least that's the case in Canada.
I don't just say no thanks and hang up - I want to know as much about the company calling me so I can defend myself against them if need be. You can always try asking for the home phone number of the caller, tell them you'll bother them at home! And auto-diallers which say "please wait"?? - if they don't say what company they are from right away - do a call trace! Phone marketing should be outlawed, and surveying needs to be better legislated. My two cents.

2002-02-11 07:19:07 PM  
Buy a cell
Give it to friends only
Turn off the ringer on the landline.
marketers dont leave messages.
doctors and shiat do.
problem solved.

When I do get them on the line, occasionally, I tell them "I already have that." No matter what they're selling, and then wait for their response.

On a similar note
Junk mail systems are farked up by people who send back the business reply mail without filling it out.

That is all
2002-02-11 07:25:44 PM  
My brother actually has a pretty good technique for dealing with these people... it's similar to the "Hold On Please" method, only there is a lot more humor involved... Basically he just plays with the people for as long as possible, asking them stupid questions about whatever it is they're trying to sell... Once, we got a call about switching long distance services, so he goes and gets out his geography book, and just sits there and asks the person how much it would cost to call each country in the world... Needless to say, it was pretty amusing... then, of course, at the end of the call, he says, "I'm not gonna buy anything, I just sat here and wasted your time... how do you feel about that?" Yep, I bet we won't get a call from those bastards anymore...
2002-02-11 07:40:33 PM  
I played with phone soliciters for a while. It was amusing at first, but it got old, and it didn't stop the calls coming in. Hold On Please will only work if everyone does it, which won't happen.

I got a cell phone and had my land line disconnected. I haven't gotten an unwanted call since. The long distance is cheaper, too, and there are more advantages to being able to take your phone with you all the time than there are disadvantages.
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