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(ABC)   Here's something everyone can get behind: Best ways to harass annoying telemarketers that harass you   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 211
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17850 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jan 2014 at 3:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



211 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-01-21 02:30:37 PM  
Or just hang up and live your life.
 
2014-01-21 02:32:47 PM  
Oh, good, I shall forward that to 2003, which is I think the last time I got a call from a telemarketer
 
433 [TotalFark]
2014-01-21 02:51:46 PM  
Waste more of my time?

Say, does anyone know what those things are that you can plug into a land line that screens calls for you by asking the caller to press 9 to get through/confirm a human?
 
2014-01-21 02:52:14 PM  
I remember that Seinfeld episode!
 
2014-01-21 02:56:23 PM  
www.zgeek.com
 
2014-01-21 02:58:47 PM  
I'm somewhat amused about an article on how annoying telemarketers are that has an autoplay ad you can't stop.
 
2014-01-21 03:00:15 PM  
In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.
 
2014-01-21 03:06:08 PM  
A man in Glendale, Calif., submitted his strategy, which involves telling a pitchmen that he needs to get a pen and paper, then disappears for a bit. When he returns, he says he needs to get his wallet from the other room. Gosh, he says when he returns, that darn wallet must be in the car. Can you hold on a minute while I get it? And so on. He says with pride that while he's never gotten to the 30-minute mark with a telemarketer, he's often broken 20.

I'm not a busy person, in fact, last night I re-watched 3 reruns of the Big Bang Theory non-stop because I was too lazy to find a movie to watch. But Christ, Glendale, get a life.
 
2014-01-21 03:14:51 PM  
i amuse myself by telling them they have a pretty voice and would make way more money doing phone sex. then i ask what kind of panties they're wearing (they're always guys) and tell them i'm not wearing anything at all. usually by this time they've yelled and hung up, but if not, mmm, let's talk about their hot man rod and, i dunno, something about gaping and gasping for more or something.

i'm easily amused.
 
2014-01-21 03:28:36 PM  

Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.  And most of them are scams intended to rip people off and/or are staffed by cons.  I have no sympathy whatsoever.  If someone is trying to mug me, is it impolite to tell them to get bent?  Should I be more enlightened and understanding of their predicament and instead open my wallet to them?
 
2014-01-21 03:29:20 PM  
Telemarketers, notes Lazarus, are not fools. They don't want to waste their time any more than do consumers. After realizing they've been tricked into sticking with a fruitless call, they don't want to make the same mistake again. So, they stop calling, he said.

Doesn't work for the two biggies:  Cardmember Services and GE Home Security.
 
2014-01-21 03:57:22 PM  
I only get two basic types of telemarketing calls these days:

1.  Some stupid Vegas Vacations which is a live person, telling me I've won a vacation to Vegas
2.  Illegal recorded spam, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in English, and usually with a spoofed phone number.
 
2014-01-21 03:57:36 PM  
It's nice to see that ABC News is writing ad copy for nomorobo.com. Nomorobo.com, your free destination for ending annoying robo calls. Visit nomorobo.com for more information on how you can sign up for this revolutionary service with no more than an email address. Remember: nomorobo.com. Visit today.
 
2014-01-21 03:57:51 PM  

Diogenes: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.



There's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.
 
2014-01-21 03:58:13 PM  
If it's a live person I usually just say "not interested" and hang up. Sometimes I say "please take me off your call list and do not call this number again" but I doubt very much that they pay that any mind.
 
2014-01-21 03:58:37 PM  
The only telemarketing calls I ever get anymore are from a computer that wants to talk to my voicemail. "While you were away...*click*"
 
2014-01-21 04:00:41 PM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Or just hang up and live your life.

 
2014-01-21 04:01:58 PM  
I just say "One second, let me go turn the stove off..."  Set the phone down, go back to playing GTA 5.
 
2014-01-21 04:02:20 PM  
If I'm not busy I mash 0 until I get to a human and either shout at them or give them the Consuela treatment.

s3.amazonaws.com
 
2014-01-21 04:02:35 PM  

Diogenes: I'm somewhat amused about an article on how annoying telemarketers are that has an autoplay ad you can't stop.


I disabled flash player in Firefox to avoid auto play ads. If I actually want to see a video I switch to Chrome.
 
2014-01-21 04:03:20 PM  
I swear it has to be worse in Canada. The do not call list here is super gutless, and it is very difficult for the CTRC to actually fine anyone unless they get a bunch of complaints within the same period of time.

Plus telemarketers have come up with ways to clone legitimate phone numbers, so that even if the call is coming from Pakistan, it will show up on your call display as a local number.

Usually I just hang up, or if I want to have a little fun I will hand the phone to my 3 year old and let them try to do business with her.I think next time they call I may hand them off to the screaming baby instead.
 
2014-01-21 04:03:29 PM  

BunkoSquad: Oh, good, I shall forward that to 2003, which is I think the last time I got a call from a telemarketer


just a few years ago I was being hit hard by extended warranty service for my car - on my cell phone (which is on the do-not-call list).  After telling them no thanks and simply hanging up a few times I started messing with them.

I'd say I had a 1977 Mercedes 300 SL (Note:  I don't even know if Mercedes made a '77 300SL) and asked them how much it would cost.  They could never quote me a price and after much back and forth I'd tell them I was completely wasting their time and to stop calling me.

They eventually got the idea.
 
2014-01-21 04:03:33 PM  
There are a few conversations in life I'm tired of overhearing. This is one of them. Others include:
  * "You know what happens when you shoot a [small animal] with a [large caliber rifle]?"
  * "Man, I was so drunk! I was so drunk that [crazy shiat happened, as far as I know]!"

thismomentinblackhistory: Or just hang up and live your life.


This.

BunkoSquad: Oh, good, I shall forward that to 2003, which is I think the last time I got a call from a telemarketer


Also this.
 
2014-01-21 04:03:54 PM  
I just suggest they should kill themselves.
 
2014-01-21 04:04:22 PM  

Sybarite: Diogenes: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.


There's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.


We're talking past each other.

I have no problem with legal telemarketers or people you've allowed/done business with before.

But neither TFA nor I are talking about the legal ones.
 
2014-01-21 04:05:14 PM  
A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.
 
2014-01-21 04:06:27 PM  
I kept one slimy telemarketer on the line for an hour.  She was trying to sell a dating service, but never mentioned that service until an hour after I started answering inane questions, at which point I had the satisfaction of hearing her scream her frustration when I calmly refused her service.  All in all a good time, as I was able to continue doing the cleaning while talking to her.
 
2014-01-21 04:07:49 PM  
My dad was evil with these poor bastards. He would fark mercilously with them. They'd hang up on him.

/just the way he was
 
2014-01-21 04:08:47 PM  
Does Nomorobo work for political robocalls?  If so, I'll be signing up before the 2016 elections.
 
2014-01-21 04:09:56 PM  
I just hang up on them. If they don't get the message and call again, I pretend to be a child. "Mommy isn't home. Do you know where my Mommy is? I'm huuungryyyy."

*click*
 
2014-01-21 04:10:21 PM  
I put on my robe and wizard hat, and then...
 
2014-01-21 04:10:49 PM  

cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.


True, you're better off just talking to debt people.  Of course there are consumer protections against harassing calls, as well.
 
2014-01-21 04:10:49 PM  

Sybarite: I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


Have you tried blowing a whistle down the phone at them?
 
2014-01-21 04:11:18 PM  

Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.



I play a game where I say "let me get a pen," set down the phone, and see how long they'll stay on the line.

The rule is that I am not allowed to check back and say "hang on."

It usually peaks out around 2 minutes, but I got 7 minutes out of a guy once.

I actually haven't played the game in about a year because they all seemed to have stopped calling.

/ fark those guys.
// Seriously. fark 'em
 
2014-01-21 04:11:52 PM  

Lamberts Ho Man: Does Nomorobo work for political robocalls?  If so, I'll be signing up before the 2016 elections.


Ugh.  Reminds me that last week I got the worst push poll.

Medical marijuana is going on the FL ballot.  It was clear this "pollster" wasn't thrilled with the idea.

I could do without those, too.
 
2014-01-21 04:12:48 PM  
I frequently got calls on my cellphone from random cities across the US, all from the same "Credit Card Services" company. While the caller ID made it easy to tell, it was still annoying to feel my phone vibrating and have to check to see if it was actually a human.

Then I added this to the start of my outgoing message. After a couple of weeks, the robocalls dropped to almost zero.
 
2014-01-21 04:13:01 PM  

Lamberts Ho Man: Does Nomorobo work for political robocalls?  If so, I'll be signing up before the 2016 elections.


This so very much!

I can't remember the last time I received a call from a telemarketer, but the damn political "polls" (always at dinner time.  WTF?) are enough to drive a person mad.
 
2014-01-21 04:16:42 PM  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmKtS-k12b0">http://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=ZmKtS-k12b0

The only way to deal with Telemarketers
 
2014-01-21 04:18:11 PM  

stevarooni: cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.

True, you're better off just talking to debt people.  Of course there are consumer protections against harassing calls, as well.


Unless you don't actually have a debt with them in the first place and they're just trying to use scare tactics to get you to pay them to go away.

/google Takhar Group and thank the stars you'll probably never have to deal with them
 
2014-01-21 04:18:21 PM  
I worked briefly at a collections company doing customer service during college. I got a call transferred to me by a lady super irate that her car was repossessed. She asked why we never contacted her. Luckily, we record every phone call. I played her multiple calls where we tried to inform her the status of her account. We would call and she would immediately answer the phone in a sing songy voice "Not Interested" and would proceed to hang up. She assumed (or so she said) that we were telemarketers.
 
2014-01-21 04:18:27 PM  
We just let the phone go to voice. People who we know will announce themselves and we'll pick up. The robocalls disconnect themselves when they sense the machine has picked up. Haven't had to hang up on a telemarketer in ages.

/yes, we still have a landline
 
2014-01-21 04:19:03 PM  

Pocket Ninja: It's nice to see that ABC News is writing ad copy for nomorobo.com. Nomorobo.com, your free destination for ending annoying robo calls. Visit nomorobo.com for more information on how you can sign up for this revolutionary service with no more than an email address. Remember: nomorobo.com. Visit today.


A good portion of the news today is lazy, untrained "reporters" regurgitating some pitch from an ad agency trying to create some buzz.  Luckily, we have Fark.com to link every single one of these for us.
 
GBB
2014-01-21 04:19:12 PM  
No home phone, only cell.  Got Google Voice.  Any annoying, repeat callers get blocked.  Problem solved.
For some reason, I get a fax machine trying to call my cell from a "private" number.  Had to have Google Voice block all anonymous calls for a bit until their service deleted my number.  Some "Private" numbers are legit, so that's my only annoyance.

And as for political, I registered opposite so I can be a poison pill.
 
2014-01-21 04:20:01 PM  

Lamberts Ho Man: Does Nomorobo work for political robocalls?  If so, I'll be signing up before the 2016 elections.


It should. The way it's described, it asks for input; since most political cold-calls are completely robo, it should serve the same function.

Now, I suppose this will all fail when some robo-call company has their machines listen for and give whatever information is being asked for. I mean, if my CC company can understand when I say "5 3 1 9" then so can a robo-marketer.
 
2014-01-21 04:20:17 PM  

Sybarite: Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.


True, but if you've never done business with them, it's illegal for them to call you.

Yes, Farmer's Insurance, I'm looking at YOU. You farkwit asshats who have your agents calling me all the got-damn time, even after I ask to be removed and state I am on the Do Not Call list and have reported you numerous times.

I don't care how amusing your commercials are. I'll NEVER do business with you. EVER.
 
2014-01-21 04:20:29 PM  
If it's a robocall, I try to make it all the way through to the "take me off the list" button.  If it doesn't have one, connect to the salesman to tell them not to call anymore.  If it's a real person, I may interrupt them at some point to ask if I can ask a question.  That being, "if you had a superpower, what would it be?" Or "What is your favorite book ever?" etc.  If they do finish and ask to confirm my name and number, I just say that this is a residential line, and I'm not allowed to conduct commerce over it.
 
2014-01-21 04:20:38 PM  
I get them at work. Usually robocalls talking about a small business loan or trying to sell leads. But, every once in a while the sun shines through the clouds and I get these guys who call out of Arizona who immediately assume I'm the boss (company name has his name in it) when I say he's not in they ask for his cell number and sometimes get real damn aggressive. Homophobic rants and the like. Last time I called I gave them the rejection hotline number and the guy sounded so thrilled to get the bosses cell. Yeah, two minutes later he calls back screaming about how much cock I suck and how he's going to kick my ass and he asks me "you think that was pretty funny, huh?" Yes. Yes I do.
 
2014-01-21 04:22:38 PM  
Just 2 short years until the next presidential election and all of the calls that come with it Swing State residents!!!
 
2014-01-21 04:23:21 PM  
In Arizona back in the 70s & 80s, solar companies were a real pain with these calls.
One time my dad handed the phone to his brother and he promptly hit on her.
In the 90s I got a call from a girl at Long Island Blood Services, wound up getting a date.

Cute chick, weird background, went no further.
 
2014-01-21 04:23:24 PM  

BunkoSquad: Oh, good, I shall forward that to 2003, which is I think the last time I got a call from a telemarketer


I changed my phone service and number last year, and I haven't had a single telemarketer call me since. Now I'm only paying $20 a month instead of $50 while still keeping Caller ID and unlimited long distance on nights and weekends, which makes switching phone services the best decision I've made in a long time.
 
2014-01-21 04:23:48 PM  

wildcardjack: Consuela treatment.


Oh, I like this one.
 
2014-01-21 04:25:13 PM  

orbister: Sybarite: I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Have you tried blowing a whistle down the phone at them?


Portable boat air horns are better.
 
2014-01-21 04:25:26 PM  
My late brothers message went like this.

Hello, If you are trying to sell something HANG. UP. NOW!

To anyone else,
If you leave your name, a coherent message and telephone number
We will contact you as soon as we can.
 
2014-01-21 04:26:45 PM  

cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.


I had a collection agency calling for months looking for the guy who used to have my cell number. I was polite the first couple of times and explained their error, but they didn't believe me. After that I just had fun with them: promising payments, asking them to send documents, telling them to go fark their mothers, demanding to speak with supervisors, etc. At some point I authorized them to do a credit check at which point they called to confirm my "new" address and place of employment. It was during that phone call that it dawned on them that:

1. People living in Fort McMurray, Alberta for over a year generally don't have 519 area codes.
2. I'd been jerking them around for several months.
 
2014-01-21 04:28:10 PM  

cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.


Yay, I love getting collection calls intended for other people. Some random indebted person once handed out one of my work phone numbers. That was fun getting constant debt collection calls for a random person at an office number equipped with no call blocking. Many stupid collection people won't stop calling even when you tell them that they have the wrong number (that's when you can actually get a live person on the line). What do they think they are going to accomplish? Either wear you down until you admit to being their target or until you offer to pay the stranger's debts?
 
2014-01-21 04:28:11 PM  

Pangea: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


I play a game where I say "let me get a pen," set down the phone, and see how long they'll stay on the line.

The rule is that I am not allowed to check back and say "hang on."

It usually peaks out around 2 minutes, but I got 7 minutes out of a guy once.

I actually haven't played the game in about a year because they all seemed to have stopped calling.

/ fark those guys.
// Seriously. fark 'em


Since this was the least amount of energy I could be expected to expend while high on my couch, I used the same tactic.

What suprised me must were the number of telemarketers that had to ask a supervisor if they could hang up.

Sup: how long has he been looking for a pen

Caller: about 5 minutes

Sup: give him three more and you have my permission to terminate the call.

If that didn't spur the caller from sorting out whatever excuses they have for being in that line of work I hold out no hope for them.

/got a bag and a bong
//I can look for a pen all day if I have to
 
2014-01-21 04:28:17 PM  
I get those stupid car warranty calls on my work cell maybe once a week. Never get any calls on my personal cell.
 
2014-01-21 04:30:23 PM  
I can barely be bothered to answer a phone call on my mobile computer, why would I do so for a number that doesn't display the name of one of the people I know enough that they're loaded into it?
 
2014-01-21 04:32:56 PM  
Skyd1v: I can't remember the last time I received a call from a telemarketer, but the damn political "polls" (always at dinner time.  WTF?) are enough to drive a person mad.

They always seem to be negative calls, and I think it's intentional to tie your anger to the candidate.

I had a cop wake me up at 4 in the morning because they found a homeless person in a car I sold 5 years earlier that was never registered after the title was transferred.

When I said I wouldn't press charges...
     Cop: "This guy is gonna go free and be walking the streets tonight if you don't!"
     Me: "He was just sleeping in the car right? I haven't had that car in years and I have no problem with him."
     Cop: ...

Just because I'm inconvenienced doesn't mean I'm confused about who to dislike.
 
2014-01-21 04:34:30 PM  
"Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.

Asked to give a credit card number, the Texas man gives a false one, then relaxes while the pitchman attempts to confirm it. When it cannot be confirmed, he transposes a few digits, re-submits it, and rests again while the pitchman struggles to confirm the second number. Eventually the Texan, when through toying with his victim, invites the telemarketer to call again the next day, so they can try again.

While this sounds like a good idea in the idea of keeping them wasting time longer AND getting their hopes up, it is technically committing a crime: fraud.  attempting to pass off a fake credit card number, for a real one IS a crime - even if it was in pursuit of annoying the telemarketer and had no actual desire to purchase said product.
 
2014-01-21 04:36:24 PM  

Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


Except for those good telemarketers that are making $50K to $150K a year or more.
 
2014-01-21 04:37:06 PM  

IamTomJoad: Sup: how long has he been looking for a pen

Caller: about 5 minutes

Sup: give him three more and you have my permission to terminate the call.


I never heard anything like this. That is hilarious.

Coming from a company where the phone staff was customer support, they were timed on how quickly they got through the calls, not how long they sat there waiting.
 
2014-01-21 04:37:16 PM  
I usually just start fapping off loudly, to bad loud german pron, while begging my dog to lick my sack harder. That usually works.
 
2014-01-21 04:37:54 PM  

cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.


Unfortunately, there's a lot of unscrupulous collectors out there as well. Some will hound you over an already paid or expired debt, some will threaten and harass you, and others constantly call you at work. Some will call your friends, neighbors and family pretending to be a close friend or the government in order to get your number and address (which is illegal, especially if they disclose your financial status), and a few have even posed as cops and come to your house threatening to arrest you. (Also so, so very illegal)
 
2014-01-21 04:38:33 PM  
I love telemarketing calls, in as much I love stabbing my hand with a fork during a meeting in order to stay awake. I have performed the
farting method, the 'Hold on while I get XXX' method. They all work when used judiciously

/My next tele-call I will be getting a sloppy blowjob. See how they'll like that!
 
2014-01-21 04:40:56 PM  

Pangea: Skyd1v: I can't remember the last time I received a call from a telemarketer, but the damn political "polls" (always at dinner time.  WTF?) are enough to drive a person mad.

They always seem to be negative calls, and I think it's intentional to tie your anger to the candidate.

I had a cop wake me up at 4 in the morning because they found a homeless person in a car I sold 5 years earlier that was never registered after the title was transferred.

When I said I wouldn't press charges...
     Cop: "This guy is gonna go free and be walking the streets tonight if you don't!"
     Me: "He was just sleeping in the car right? I haven't had that car in years and I have no problem with him."
     Cop: ...

Just because I'm inconvenienced doesn't mean I'm confused about who to dislike.


Sounds like you need to have that care taken away by a junk yard before it gets you into legal trouble.  Sure, you could argue in court that you sold it.  But you still have to go through all the trouble to argue in court of the car is ever part of a crime or somehow earns parking tickets or other fines.
 
2014-01-21 04:41:06 PM  
I enjoy all my robocalls in Spanish thanks to having a MetroPCS number...
 
2014-01-21 04:41:27 PM  
I wish there was a voice-responsive version of the LIZA psychoanalyzer program.
 
2014-01-21 04:41:56 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Lambert


ArcadianRefugee: Lamberts Ho Man: Does Nomorobo work for political robocalls?  If so, I'll be signing up before the 2016 elections.

It should. The way it's described, it asks for input; since most political cold-calls are completely robo, it should serve the same function.


Understand that it should WRT the technology.  Just wondering if the politicians have written themselves a law to make it illegal to block their calls in this manner.  It's really damn obnoxious when they record their spiel into your answering machine - erasing them got to be a nightly ritual during 2012, and if I was gone for a weekend they'd fill it up.  Swing state FTW.

Now, I suppose this will all fail when some robo-call company has their machines listen for and give whatever information is being asked for. I mean, if my CC company can understand when I say "5 3 1 9" then so can a robo-marketer.

Yea, I'm surprised they aren't doing this already.
 
2014-01-21 04:42:22 PM  
My dad once answered a telemarking call from a credit card company, and they asked for my mom. His response was, "Excuse me, who is this again? That woman BETTER NOT have ANOTHER credit card I swear!!!" and the agent apologized and hung up.

Another time, my then 7 year old brother was on the phone for 10 minutes. Finally, my parents went over to the phone, and they hear my brother say "How old do you have to be to vote?"

Good times.
 
2014-01-21 04:42:48 PM  

Tyrosine: cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.

I had a collection agency calling for months looking for the guy who used to have my cell number. I was polite the first couple of times and explained their error, but they didn't believe me. After that I just had fun with them: promising payments, asking them to send documents, telling them to go fark their mothers, demanding to speak with supervisors, etc. At some point I authorized them to do a credit check at which point they called to confirm my "new" address and place of employment. It was during that phone call that it dawned on them that:

1. People living in Fort McMurray, Alberta for over a year generally don't have 519 area codes.
2. I'd been jerking them around for several months.


Yeah you can gogole a phone number if its "odd" to you, and turns out there are pages upon pages on different sites reporting some of these calls.  Telemarketers, shady to downright illiegal collection efforts, spoofed phone numbers.  Its all a bunch of shiat!


Hey, do you know Jeff?  I'm in Kentuck, but he's the guy in Ft Mac I know.
 
2014-01-21 04:44:07 PM  

stpauler: A man in Glendale, Calif., submitted his strategy, which involves telling a pitchmen that he needs to get a pen and paper, then disappears for a bit. When he returns, he says he needs to get his wallet from the other room. Gosh, he says when he returns, that darn wallet must be in the car. Can you hold on a minute while I get it? And so on. He says with pride that while he's never gotten to the 30-minute mark with a telemarketer, he's often broken 20.

I'm not a busy person, in fact, last night I re-watched 3 reruns of the Big Bang Theory non-stop because I was too lazy to find a movie to watch. But Christ, Glendale, get a life.


No you get a life.
 
2014-01-21 04:45:06 PM  

Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


Exactly. I'm not ashamed to admit that as a kid, I worked one of these jobs simply because I was a kid with no experience to offer anyone else. They were hiring and no other place was and I really had no other choice for employment where I lived. That said, it was the worst job I ever had bar none. These people hiring you all lie to you about what they offer (benefits, commissions, etc) are the cheapest SOBs ever (had to use paper scripts and fugging rotary phones, which are hell on your neck and eyes) and string you along with promises and lies as long as possible, hoping you don't catch on and quit. Unsurprisingly, about 2 months after I quit, the operation was gone... Possibly went under or maybe just moving to avoid paying off its debts or fraud.

The people (if they even use people anymore) calling you hate what they do, but don't have any other options for work. It's soul-crushing to daily go to a job where you are expected to call someone's mother or grandmother and try to sell them something you know no one needs. It's even worse when you realize that old-sounding, possilby senile lady on the other end of the line is naive or gullible and eagerly wants the piece of junk you're selling, and you internally scream when your supervisor has stumbled onto your call and realizes this and rushes over to push you to push more and more crap on that person.

My conscience could only take about a month and a half of it and I quit. Only job I ever quit and the only "failure" I've had I'll be proud to admit to.
 
2014-01-21 04:45:23 PM  
i34.tinypic.com
 
2014-01-21 04:46:54 PM  

shtychkn: "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.


Yep.  That's the intent, Shtychkn.  It's not nice, and certainly not a productive use of my time, but it is entertaining.
 
2014-01-21 04:47:31 PM  

Glendale: stpauler: A man in Glendale, Calif., submitted his strategy, which involves telling a pitchmen that he needs to get a pen and paper, then disappears for a bit. When he returns, he says he needs to get his wallet from the other room. Gosh, he says when he returns, that darn wallet must be in the car. Can you hold on a minute while I get it? And so on. He says with pride that while he's never gotten to the 30-minute mark with a telemarketer, he's often broken 20.

I'm not a busy person, in fact, last night I re-watched 3 reruns of the Big Bang Theory non-stop because I was too lazy to find a movie to watch. But Christ, Glendale, get a life.

No you get a life.


I chortled.
 
2014-01-21 04:48:08 PM  

Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


So you're a telemarketer?
 
2014-01-21 04:49:26 PM  

elysive: cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.

Yay, I love getting collection calls intended for other people. Some random indebted person once handed out one of my work phone numbers. That was fun getting constant debt collection calls for a random person at an office number equipped with no call blocking. Many stupid collection people won't stop calling even when you tell them that they have the wrong number (that's when you can actually get a live person on the line). What do they think they are going to accomplish? Either wear you down until you admit to being their target or until you offer to pay the stranger's debts?


I have a deadbeat cousin who ran up a cell phone bill and some credit cards, and then skipped out on them. Unfortunately, she used my home phone and address on the paperwork, and I would get phone calls at least once a day asking if she lived here. No matter how many times I would explain that the stupid b*tch never lived at my house, they'd still keep calling. I eventually was able to find her sorry ass and tell her to straighten her this sh*t out or I would report her to the cops for fraud (I kept a lot of evidence to make sure she doesn't pull that f*ckery again).
 
2014-01-21 04:49:43 PM  
I got one of those "we detected a virus on your computer" calls when I was bored one day. I kept the guy on the phone for almost 45 minutes by pretending to be very concerned about the "virus", and following his instructions as best I could on an imaginary Linux system that "I'm not really good at". I told him it was Windows, but I gave enough clues that anyone who knows computers should have figured it out.

/"Well, I don't see a Start button but I do have something that says Applications. Is that right?"
//Just laying back on the couch drinking a beer and trying not to laugh about how frustrated he was getting
 
2014-01-21 04:50:43 PM  
I just use Mr. Number and have it set to pick up and hang up the call...my phone doesn't even ring and the telemarketer doesn't get to leave a VM.  For the odd call that doesn't get flagged as spam and makes it through to my VM, I simply add them to Mr. Number.

On a semi-related topic, I used to get "meet local singles" date service snail mail seemingly daily.  I finally called and spoke to a rep and told her I was VERY interested in their service, but my wife wasn't.

/Got me removed from that mailing list
//CSB
///Mr. Number!
 
2014-01-21 04:51:48 PM  
I consider them my private playground. Speak gibberish until they hang up, make up crazy stuff as I go along. After a long difficult day at a job actually helping humanity it's nice to unwind by tweaking uninvited callers. I don't ask them to call me so they are fair game. I owe them nothing, least of all courtesy. It's all fun.
 
2014-01-21 04:51:52 PM  

Terrible Old Man: Exactly. I'm not ashamed to admit that as a kid, I worked one of these jobs simply because I was a kid with no experience to offer anyone else. They were hiring and no other place was and I really had no other choice for employment where I lived. That said, it was the worst job I ever had bar none. These people hiring you all lie to you about what they offer (benefits, commissions, etc) are the cheapest SOBs ever (had to use paper scripts and fugging rotary phones, which are hell on your neck and eyes) and string you along with promises and lies as long as possible, hoping you don't catch on and quit. Unsurprisingly, about 2 months after I quit, the operation was gone... Possibly went under or maybe just moving to avoid paying off its debts or fraud.

The people (if they even use people anymore) calling you hate what they do, but don't have any other options for work. It's soul-crushing to daily go to a job where you are expected to call someone's mother or grandmother and try to sell them something you know no one needs. It's even worse when you realize that old-sounding, possilby senile lady on the other end of the line is naive or gullible and eagerly wants the piece of junk you're selling, and you internally scream when your supervisor has stumbled onto your call and realizes this and rushes over to push you to push more and more crap on that person.


So... we should be nice to the poor guy just trying to sell lots of useless crap to naive, gullible old ladies?
 
2014-01-21 04:52:25 PM  
I haven't had a land line phone since 2003. I am VERY superior to you.
 
2014-01-21 04:53:28 PM  

Necronic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmKtS-k12b0">http://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=ZmKtS-k12b0

The only way to deal with Telemarketers


That is funny!
 
2014-01-21 04:53:44 PM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Or just hang up and live your life.


Nonono - don't hang up - just put the phone down and get on with living your life.  They are trained to talk in a continuous stream to prevent you from politely ending the call, so it will take them a minute or more to realise you are no longer there.

This wastes their resources as a company and affects the stats of the caller as an individual.  If everyone did this, it would not be financially viable to cold call.
 
2014-01-21 04:53:55 PM  

Diogenes: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.  And most of them are scams intended to rip people off and/or are staffed by cons.  I have no sympathy whatsoever.  If someone is trying to mug me, is it impolite to tell them to get bent?  Should I be more enlightened and understanding of their predicament and instead open my wallet to them?


I was a collector and telemarketer in my late teens.  I can tell you the best way to stop the calls is to curse, violently, at them.  You get labeled in the database as combative and are taken out of the call database.  If you are lucky you'll get one of them to call you back or call and hang up a bunch of times.  Then you can go after the company they are with....they usually settle for between $5000 and $15,000

http://www.killthecalls.com/suing-telemarketers.php
 
2014-01-21 04:54:10 PM  

shtychkn: "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.


I call bullshiat. A river of bullshiat. As a former telemarketer myself, I didn't give a shiat about that at all. It wasn't my time you are wasting, it was company time. At most, you're giving me entertainment once I start to suspect you're lying, at the very least, hey, THANKS FOR BREAKING UP THE MONOTONY I'M SUFFERING ALL DAY BY GOING PAST THE INTRODUCTION!

If you say no thank you, hang up, great. No problem, next number. If not, great, now I get to read something different from the 47 calls I just had say no. The caller doesn't give a shiat anymore than the guy taking orders at McD's cares that you decide you want a number 3 rather than a number 1. At the very least, you've given them something different to do in an 8 hour day.

It isn't like the caller owns the company and every "yes" is money in his pocket, he's just a drone who gets paid by the hour, and doesn't give a shiat how those hours are spent. Obviously.
 
2014-01-21 04:55:38 PM  
My work cell gets a lot of spam calls, but I just ignore any calls from blocked numbers. If it was work related, you can leave a message.

Beyond that, I rarely get any calls on my personal cell. No landline anymore.

Since I've dropped landline, I usually just say "no thanks" when someone asks my phone number. Most businesses don't need it. Sorry, oil change place, call someone else.
 
2014-01-21 04:56:28 PM  

Diogenes: I'm somewhat amused about an article on how annoying telemarketers are that has an autoplay ad you can't stop.


There was no ad.
 
2014-01-21 04:56:46 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Now, I suppose this will all fail when some robo-call company has their machines listen for and give whatever information is being asked for. I mean, if my CC company can understand when I say "5 3 1 9" then so can a robo-marketer.


Voice recognition systems have gotten better but I prefer actually punching in the numbers.  It's faster and there's less chance of a mistake (unless I miskey a number).

If I have to speak it, I have to get all enunciatey  (FIVVVVE  THREEEEEE WONNN NINNNE).  And just let me punch 1 for yes and 2 for no so I don't have to say YESSSSSS or NOOOOOO.

And there's one bill I like to pay by phone, but if I make the slightest noise by setting the phone on my desk or picking up a piece of paper the voice says "I'm sorry, I did not get that."  Fark you, you're not supposed to "get that".  I'm waiting for the goddammed prompt.
 
2014-01-21 04:57:21 PM  

Cheesehead_Dave: I frequently got calls on my cellphone from random cities across the US, all from the same "Credit Card Services" company. While the caller ID made it easy to tell, it was still annoying to feel my phone vibrating and have to check to see if it was actually a human.

Then I added this to the start of my outgoing message. After a couple of weeks, the robocalls dropped to almost zero.


SIT tones don't really work any more. I have an Asterisk system answering my phone, and when blacklisted numbers call, they just get the tones and a "Your call has been rejected" message. That doesn't stop the bastards, but at least my phone doesn't ring for them.

I've gone as far as blacklisting entire prefixes (I'm looking at you, CallerID4U and Pacific Telecom Communications Group) when they're obviously spammer havens.

I think my next step will be to set up a function code that I can key in when a spammer calls, that will send them to a milliwatt tone (1004 Hz at 0 dBm, which is ear-splittingly loud).

~~~~~ wavy lines ~~~~~
Robodialer: Hello, this is Rachel from Cardholder Services. Press 1 to lower your interest rates!

Me: (presses 1)

Scammer: yada yada yada yada

Me: (presses #36, aka Pound-F-O)

Scammer hears: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

[Hopefully, scammer is wearing a headset.]

Asterisk: adds number to blacklist
~~~~~ wavy lines ~~~~~
 
2014-01-21 04:57:43 PM  
It's not so much the telemarketers I've been having problems with lately. It's the debt collectors who are trying to get in touch with the deadbeats that had my phone number previously. Most of them are pretty good about not calling back when you inform them that the people they're trying to reach are no longer at this phone numbers, but there are a few that can't just get that through their thick heads.

The person/people they're looking for all have the same last name, so I don't know if it's one person using multiple first names, or a good-sized family of deadbeats.
 
2014-01-21 04:57:58 PM  
Tom Mabe has been all over this for years

http://youtu.be/mkdoogjic4I
 
2014-01-21 04:59:02 PM  

IamTomJoad: Pangea: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


I play a game where I say "let me get a pen," set down the phone, and see how long they'll stay on the line.

The rule is that I am not allowed to check back and say "hang on."

It usually peaks out around 2 minutes, but I got 7 minutes out of a guy once.

I actually haven't played the game in about a year because they all seemed to have stopped calling.

/ fark those guys.
// Seriously. fark 'em

Since this was the least amount of energy I could be expected to expend while high on my couch, I used the same tactic.

What suprised me must were the number of telemarketers that had to ask a supervisor if they could hang up.

Sup: how long has he been looking for a pen

Caller: about 5 minutes

Sup: give him three more and you have my permission to terminate the call.

If that didn't spur the caller from sorting out whatever excuses they have for being in that line of work I hold out no hope for them.

/got a bag and a bong
//I can look for a pen all day if I have to


Th

Terrible Old Man: shtychkn: "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.

I call bullshiat. A river of bullshiat. As a former telemarketer myself, I didn't give a shiat about that at all. It wasn't my time you are wasting, it was company time. At most, you're giving me entertainment once I start to suspect you're lying, at the very least, hey, THANKS FOR BREAKING UP THE MONOTONY I'M SUFFERING ALL DAY BY GOING PAST THE INTRODUCTION!

If you say no thank you, hang up, great. No problem, next number. If not, great, now I get to read something different from the 47 calls I just had say no. The caller doesn't give a shiat anymore than the guy taking orders at McD's cares that you decide you want a number 3 rather than a number 1. At the very least, you've given them something different to do in an 8 hour day.

It isn't like the caller owns the company and every "yes" is money in his pocket, he's just a drone who gets paid by the hour, and doesn't give a shiat how those hours are spent. Obviously.


Not to mention, when I did it we had mgmt looking at our metrics.  Want to know a good way to increase your average call time?  Keep a list of "time waster" numbers.  Call them when you need your call time metric to jump a bit.
 
2014-01-21 04:59:41 PM  

Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.



Sorry, they are breaking the law and making money by bothering people for a living.

They are dirt bags and any sport you manage to have at their expense is 100% justified.
 
2014-01-21 04:59:53 PM  
http://www.fark.com/comments/8109438/88841428#c88841428" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Necronic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmKtS-k12b0">http://www.youtube.com/ wa tch?v=ZmKtS-k12b0

The only way to deal with Telemarketers

That is funny!


Thanks, I first heard that a couple years ago, it's been awhile. An inspiring internet classic.
 
2014-01-21 05:02:00 PM  

FuryOfFirestorm: elysive: cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.

Yay, I love getting collection calls intended for other people. Some random indebted person once handed out one of my work phone numbers. That was fun getting constant debt collection calls for a random person at an office number equipped with no call blocking. Many stupid collection people won't stop calling even when you tell them that they have the wrong number (that's when you can actually get a live person on the line). What do they think they are going to accomplish? Either wear you down until you admit to being their target or until you offer to pay the stranger's debts?

I have a deadbeat cousin who ran up a cell phone bill and some credit cards, and then skipped out on them. Unfortunately, she used my home phone and address on the paperwork, and I would get phone calls at least once a day asking if she lived here. No matter how many times I would explain that the stupid b*tch never lived at my house, they'd still keep calling. I eventually was able to find her sorry ass and tell her to straighten her this sh*t out or I would report her to the cops for fraud (I kept a lot of evidence to make sure she doesn't pull that f*ckery again).


That happens quite a bit. Don't even trust kids or even grandkids. I would get calls from elderly people asking why we were calling them. I can look at contracts and saw that the grandkids put grandma's phone number and address on the loan contract. But yeah, I'd get the gamut from that to former co-workers wondering how we got their numbers.
 
2014-01-21 05:02:34 PM  
I don't get any telemarketer calls. I pay under $4 a month for my phone bill (actually, just taxes) and get great quality. I highly suggest the Ooma Telo if you're considering a VoIP device. It beats the living hell out of the competition.
 
2014-01-21 05:02:54 PM  

Pangea: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


I play a game where I say "let me get a pen," set down the phone, and see how long they'll stay on the line.

The rule is that I am not allowed to check back and say "hang on."

It usually peaks out around 2 minutes, but I got 7 minutes out of a guy once.

I actually haven't played the game in about a year because they all seemed to have stopped calling.

/ fark those guys.
// Seriously. fark 'em



I usually go with "My wife handles this kind of stuff, let me go get her.".  You might find that extends their hang time.
 
2014-01-21 05:02:55 PM  
I love messing with telemarketers.  If they call at work, I let them start their pitch.  When they break for a second, I go full into "information on our services" pitch. I actually got into a battle with one.  "Are you interested in Charter or not?" "Well, are you interested, I can register you over the phone right now?"  At home though, that's more fun.  A few years ago I got a call for a video club.  I asked if they had any decent midget porn.  Then the time Time-Life called, bringing up that I had bought the Treasure of Christmas (this was years ago, mind), I told them I was a Satanist, the telemarketer said "you're a WHAT?!" and hung up.

I hate the robocalls though.  You keep getting them, even if you're on the Do Not Call registry.  No way to backtrack as they use dummy phone numbers or it comes up as restricted.  And if you try to reach a person, they turn around and say pressing 1 gave permission for them to contact you.  The worst part is they don't always clear the phone line when you hang up.  Had that at work, where the line was tied up for 15 minutes after hanging up with them.  Strange.
 
2014-01-21 05:04:04 PM  

shtychkn: "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.

Asked to give a credit card number, the Texas man gives a false one, then relaxes while the pitchman attempts to confirm it. When it cannot be confirmed, he transposes a few digits, re-submits it, and rests again while the pitchman struggles to confirm the second number. Eventually the Texan, when through toying with his victim, invites the telemarketer to call again the next day, so they can try again.

While this sounds like a good idea in the idea of keeping them wasting time longer AND getting their hopes up, it is technically committing a crime: fraud.  attempting to pass off a fake credit card number, for a real one IS a crime - even if it was in pursuit of annoying the telemarketer and had no actual desire to purchase said product.


It's worse than that. If by chance the credit card is a valid number, you've committed theft.
 
2014-01-21 05:04:14 PM  

Jgok: I got one of those "we detected a virus on your computer" calls when I was bored one day.


OMG - my mom got one on her cell phone about two years back.  Indian caller.  She wasn't fooled and told the guy to stop calling.  He said he'd call her all the time whenever he wanted.  She let the next call go to voicemail - which she's kept.  He got really dirty!  "I'm going to fark your pussy and put things in your pussy.  I call you whenever I want and do things to you."  It just goes on and on.

doglover: Diogenes: I'm somewhat amused about an article on how annoying telemarketers are that has an autoplay ad you can't stop.

There was no ad.


OK.  But I'm not thrilled by auto-play anything.
 
2014-01-21 05:05:47 PM  

Sybarite: here's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.


That's why nobody has my phone number. Not the credit card companies, not Amazon, especially not the student loan people, nobody. Send me an email. They have that already.

I normally don't fark with the callers because geez, I would hate to have to do that job. But the last guy who called me from my ISP when I was expecting a call about a job, didn't get the nice treatment. When I found out it was just this poor shlep on the line, and not even calling from the number I was used to ignoring, I snarled, "Do you have a do-not-call list?" He couldn't wait to get off the line. I've never heard from them again. Oh, they still send me tons of junk mail. You'd think at some point they'd give up, but no, they never do.

I hate my phone so much that it's not even turned on half the time. I'm not dealing with telemarketers.
 
2014-01-21 05:06:53 PM  

Jgok: I got one of those "we detected a virus on your computer" calls when I was bored one day. I kept the guy on the phone for almost 45 minutes by pretending to be very concerned about the "virus", and following his instructions as best I could on an imaginary Linux system that "I'm not really good at". I told him it was Windows, but I gave enough clues that anyone who knows computers should have figured it out.

/"Well, I don't see a Start button but I do have something that says Applications. Is that right?"
//Just laying back on the couch drinking a beer and trying not to laugh about how frustrated he was getting


Got one of those a few weeks ago and did the same thing. Strung the guy out for about 20 minutes, then finally got bored and asked him "how much more of your time do I have to waste before you figure out you're not going to get anywhere?"

He responded "Two seconds. fark you, asshole!" and then he hung up on me. But we were having such a good time!
 
2014-01-21 05:08:54 PM  
After my mom died this summer, I "took over" her cell and was shocked (and dismayed) at the number of calls (4 or 5 daily) selling reverse mortgages and home security systems. It's horrible - the scary tone, the "what if this horrid thing happened and you were ALL ALONE" messaging

I'd never be rude to a (live) telemarketer - just "no, thanks" - I imagine the calls will taper off eventually.

csb - The afternoon of her funeral, the DNC called asking for support (read: donation) and the caller was a real jerk. I asked him to take me off the list (or, at best, not call for a while) and why and got this response:

"well - you can still make a donation today, can't you?"

I was so mad I told him not only was I not donating, but changing my party affiliation and would be calling my state rep and the DNC Chair to tell them why.  He hung up immediately. (I did two of those three)

/Don't answer the phone much
//No message? Good
///A.G. Bell - hero or not?
 
2014-01-21 05:09:00 PM  

cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.


What about the three calls a day I get from collections people looking for someone with my last name?  Given that sort of fishing is actually illegal, I don't think I should have to put up with it.

/probably going to get rid of my land line because debt collectors and telemarketers are the only people who call it
 
2014-01-21 05:09:34 PM  

Avery614: Diogenes: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.  And most of them are scams intended to rip people off and/or are staffed by cons.  I have no sympathy whatsoever.  If someone is trying to mug me, is it impolite to tell them to get bent?  Should I be more enlightened and understanding of their predicament and instead open my wallet to them?

I was a collector and telemarketer in my late teens.  I can tell you the best way to stop the calls is to curse, violently, at them.  You get labeled in the database as combative and are taken out of the call database.  If you are lucky you'll get one of them to call you back or call and hang up a bunch of times.  Then you can go after the company they are with....they usually settle for between $5000 and $15,000

http://www.killthecalls.com/suing-telemarketers.php


I've seen those steps before.  Unfortunately you can't easily get far enough with the two big violators I mentioned - Cardmember Services and GE Home Security (which really isn't affiliated with GE at all).

The GE ones have dropped significantly.  I wonder if GE finally got sick of their shiat and acted.  Us peons may not have much power but you can be sure as shiat GE wasn't happy about it.

Maybe the same will befall Cardmember Services.  Last week they used Bank of America's number and name on caller ID.
 
2014-01-21 05:09:59 PM  

Sybarite: Diogenes: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.


There's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.


It is most certainly illegal for the Card Services people to call and try to convince you to give out personal information that can be used to steal your identity. These companies are generally offshore so there's not much the FTC can do about them except try to shut them down. We're not talking about companies that you've done business with recently since these Card Services people are not calling on behalf of any bank or credit union that you may do business with. And even if you've done business with a company in the last 18 months & don't want them to telemarket you, then you do have the right to ask them to not call you any longer.

Then there are the ones that claim you've won a "free" cruise. Then they try to get you to give them personal info such as credit card numbers, bank account info, etc. to pay for the fees for your "free" cruise.

And of course let us not forget the ones calling & purporting to be from Microsoft & trying to scare you into giving them personal info so they can help you get viruses off your computer. Except for the fact that Microsoft never calls people and does this

Telemarketing companies like these are breaking the law. What they are doing is illegal and I have zero sympathy for the lying cheating scammers who try to trick people in this manner.

It's also illegal
 
2014-01-21 05:12:08 PM  

Tillmaster: shtychkn: "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.

Asked to give a credit card number, the Texas man gives a false one, then relaxes while the pitchman attempts to confirm it. When it cannot be confirmed, he transposes a few digits, re-submits it, and rests again while the pitchman struggles to confirm the second number. Eventually the Texan, when through toying with his victim, invites the telemarketer to call again the next day, so they can try again.

While this sounds like a good idea in the idea of keeping them wasting time longer AND getting their hopes up, it is technically committing a crime: fraud.  attempting to pass off a fake credit card number, for a real one IS a crime - even if it was in pursuit of annoying the telemarketer and had no actual desire to purchase said product.

It's worse than that. If by chance the credit card is a valid number, you've committed theft.


Pretty unlikely that you'd not only give them a valid number, but also the correct expiration date for that number and also possibly the correct 3 digit code from the back.
 
2014-01-21 05:13:12 PM  
I took matters into my own hands once. I called a satellite dish sales office (overseas) and pretended to be deaf and confused. There were several moments of hilarity in the conversation, and I put a video together recently to add further potential for lulzies.

http://youtu.be/Y8uy_EUbUq0
 
2014-01-21 05:13:17 PM  
Sadly absent is the rip-roaring rant you let loose on the telemarketer who just happens to work at a place that will not let them hang up until the person on the line does.  Those are fun.  It meant I could put my headset down, wave down my supervisor, stand up and stretch, then go to break room.
 
433 [TotalFark]
2014-01-21 05:14:53 PM  
i192.photobucket.com

Actual caller ID.
 
2014-01-21 05:15:44 PM  
tell me what you're wearing.........
 
2014-01-21 05:18:35 PM  

lipskip: I took matters into my own hands once. I called a satellite dish sales office (overseas) and pretended to be deaf and confused. There were several moments of hilarity in the conversation, and I put a video together recently to add further potential for lulzies.

http://youtu.be/Y8uy_EUbUq0


the volume on your end of that is really low and mine is cranked up all the way.
 
2014-01-21 05:19:04 PM  
If you have a toddler that loves to talk on the phone put him/her on the line the next time a telemarketer calls. A friend of ours did that and it worked well for him.
 
2014-01-21 05:22:53 PM  
1.  When I have time I'll try to get them to stay on as long as possible.  I figure for every minute they are "bugging" me they aren't bugging someone else.

2.  When I'm short on time I'll just answer in my sexiest creepy male voice, "so uh.. what are you wearing right now?"
 
2014-01-21 05:23:28 PM  
Most of the suggestions here to annoy telemarketers, while satisfying for you, don't really effect the telemarketers. They just move on to the next and never even think of you after their shift is done. It's not like they lie awake in bed going "why? Why would that man call my mother a whore? He never even met her!"
 
2014-01-21 05:24:49 PM  
i1.ytimg.com

No one's posted this yet? You Farkers are slipping.

/Slipping I say!
//Hot
 
2014-01-21 05:25:04 PM  
Ask them what they are wearing?
 
2014-01-21 05:25:40 PM  

cookiefleck: FuryOfFirestorm: elysive: cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.

Yay, I love getting collection calls intended for other people. Some random indebted person once handed out one of my work phone numbers. That was fun getting constant debt collection calls for a random person at an office number equipped with no call blocking. Many stupid collection people won't stop calling even when you tell them that they have the wrong number (that's when you can actually get a live person on the line). What do they think they are going to accomplish? Either wear you down until you admit to being their target or until you offer to pay the stranger's debts?

I have a deadbeat cousin who ran up a cell phone bill and some credit cards, and then skipped out on them. Unfortunately, she used my home phone and address on the paperwork, and I would get phone calls at least once a day asking if she lived here. No matter how many times I would explain that the stupid b*tch never lived at my house, they'd still keep calling. I eventually was able to find her sorry ass and tell her to straighten her this sh*t out or I would report her to the cops for fraud (I kept a lot of evidence to make sure she doesn't pull that f*ckery again).

That happens quite a bit. Don't even trust kids or even grandkids. I would get calls from elderly people asking why we were calling them. I can look at contracts and saw that the grandkids put grandma's phone number and address on the loan contract. But yeah, I'd get the gamut from that to former co-workers wondering how we got their numbers.


What does trust have to do with a stranger or relative giving debtors your contact info? Should one be better at hiding one's phone number or address? Not sure how it's grandma's fault that little Timmy goes on to be a lying deadbeat. She shouldn't have ever let him have her phone number?

Anyway I already don't share my cell phone and address but somehow I get collection calls about strangers. Presumably they were people who previously owned my cell phone number or maybe they just pulled the number out of a hat. *shrug*
/not overly trusting
 
2014-01-21 05:27:44 PM  

Jgok: I got one of those "we detected a virus on your computer" calls when I was bored one day. I kept the guy on the phone for almost 45 minutes by pretending to be very concerned about the "virus", and following his instructions as best I could on an imaginary Linux system that "I'm not really good at". I told him it was Windows, but I gave enough clues that anyone who knows computers should have figured it out.

/"Well, I don't see a Start button but I do have something that says Applications. Is that right?"
//Just laying back on the couch drinking a beer and trying not to laugh about how frustrated he was getting


I used to get those once a day last summer, and I loved stringing them along.

"Um, which button do I have to press again?"

"Oh darn, my computer crashed and I have to reboot - this might take a while!"

"Whoops! I accidentally logged out the internet, and I'll have to start over again!"

I have to give them credit for sticking through all that. Once I got close to the end, I'd hear the jubilation in their voice when they think that they've got me, and then I yell "Your mother looks like Ganesh and smells like the Ganges!".

I might actually be insulted by the stream of swearing that follows if I actually knew any Hindu.
 
2014-01-21 05:27:52 PM  
Caller ID.  Number I don't know can leave a voice mail.
 
2014-01-21 05:28:25 PM  
I have a good friend who a few years back evolved a brilliant scheme.

He set up a point system with his son, who was 11 or so. There was a system whereby the son would earn points by keeping the call on the line. From memory it was something like for every minute he could keep an unsolicited call on the line, he'd earn a point. If it was a scam call ("we've detected your computer has a virus"), it was two points. Anything over 10 minutes earned a bonus point per two or three minutes.

Those points could then be redeemed towards video games.

Fun for everyone except the scumbag on the other end of the call.
 
2014-01-21 05:28:41 PM  
WWHRD
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ_y2cndiow
 
2014-01-21 05:29:13 PM  
Nobody tries to convert them to Mormonism?
 
2014-01-21 05:29:45 PM  

akula: Sybarite: Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.

True, but if you've never done business with them, it's illegal for them to call you.

Yes, Farmer's Insurance, I'm looking at YOU. You farkwit asshats who have your agents calling me all the got-damn time, even after I ask to be removed and state I am on the Do Not Call list and have reported you numerous times.

I don't care how amusing your commercials are. I'll NEVER do business with you. EVER.


If you're legitimately on the DNC and they calk you and can prove I believe they can be sued by you.
 
2014-01-21 05:30:18 PM  

Nick Nostril: My dad was evil with these poor bastards. He would fark mercilously with them. They'd hang up on him.

/just the way he was


My dad's trick was to try to sell them a car, a boat, whatever he could spy from his window when they called.

He's a retired vet, so he has a lot of time on his hands.

"No, I'm good on life insurance, thanks.  But hey, while I got you on the line, I got this 1988 Pontiac Fiero that I'm looking to unload, you interested? The steering wheel is snapped and she's on blocks, but she's a GOOD car!"
 
2014-01-21 05:35:29 PM  

tripleseven: If you're legitimately on the DNC and they calk you and can prove I believe they can be sued by you.


www.mnn.com

Cheeky!
 
2014-01-21 05:38:04 PM  
We have a landline that came with our tv/Internet bundle and we figure it's handy in case one of the kids needs to call 911, like if I am hurt or something. We have had the ringer off for two years. I checked the voicemail on it when bored the other day. 123 messages. All appear to be telemarketers or robocalls. Yikes.
 
2014-01-21 05:39:43 PM  
It's ok . I signed up on the National Do Not Call list years ago and have not had a single sales call since .
 
2014-01-21 05:40:15 PM  
I get a LOT less telemarketing calls since I switched to an unlisted number.
 
2014-01-21 05:44:28 PM  

shtychkn: Pangea: Skyd1v: I can't remember the last time I received a call from a telemarketer, but the damn political "polls" (always at dinner time.  WTF?) are enough to drive a person mad.

They always seem to be negative calls, and I think it's intentional to tie your anger to the candidate.

I had a cop wake me up at 4 in the morning because they found a homeless person in a car I sold 5 years earlier that was never registered after the title was transferred.

When I said I wouldn't press charges...
     Cop: "This guy is gonna go free and be walking the streets tonight if you don't!"
     Me: "He was just sleeping in the car right? I haven't had that car in years and I have no problem with him."
     Cop: ...

Just because I'm inconvenienced doesn't mean I'm confused about who to dislike.

Sounds like you need to have that care taken away by a junk yard before it gets you into legal trouble.  Sure, you could argue in court that you sold it.  But you still have to go through all the trouble to argue in court of the car is ever part of a crime or somehow earns parking tickets or other fines.


I don't even know where the car was. The buyer drove it away and took the title. It's another man's car, he just never registered it.

I was frustrated at that hour so I didn't ask the cop anything. Then I moved 12 hours away a couple weeks later.
 
2014-01-21 05:46:04 PM  

cryinoutloud: Sybarite: here's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.

That's why nobody has my phone number. Not the credit card companies, not Amazon, especially not the student loan people, nobody. Send me an email. They have that already.

I normally don't fark with the callers because geez, I would hate to have to do that job. But the last guy who called me from my ISP when I was expecting a call about a job, didn't get the nice treatment. When I found out it was just this poor shlep on the line, and not even calling from the number I was used to ignoring, I snarled, "Do you have a do-not-call list?" He couldn't wait to get off the line. I've never heard from them again. Oh, they still send me tons of junk mail. You'd think at some point they'd give up, but no, they never do.

I hate my phone so much that it's not even turned on half the time. I'm not dealing with telemarketers.



I've gotten to the point where I fark with the junk mail people too. I let it lay around for a few days then take the info from one company and fold it up and send it back to a different company in their postage paid envelopes. Often it's the RNC or a republican congressional campaign group. Or some American family shiat show. Sometimes I'll put dirty napkins in or pennies. Anything to fark with them. And in the process I'm costing them money by sending them mail back on their pre-paid account.

A few years ago I donated $20 to the ACLU in my friend's name (he's VERY republican) and he's gotten phone calls and mail for at least 5 years as a result of my $20 donation. Even he admits it's one of the greatest pranks ever.

Good luck with yours :-)
 
2014-01-21 05:50:19 PM  

cookiefleck: Most of the suggestions here to annoy telemarketers, while satisfying for you, don't really effect the telemarketers. They just move on to the next and never even think of you after their shift is done. It's not like they lie awake in bed going "why? Why would that man call my mother a whore? He never even met her!"


I've strung some along for the hell of it, or for the ones that start off with their mile-a-minute spiel I've let them talk to the table.  But my goal typically isn't to annoy the person on the line.  It's just to tie up their resources, make their business that much less profitable, save somebody else an annoying call, etc.  If everybody kept them on the line for 30 seconds instead of hanging up immediately they'd probably go under.
 
2014-01-21 05:51:23 PM  
Who still receives calls from telemarketers? I only have a smart phone and if you are not in my contact list my phone will not ring.
 
2014-01-21 05:52:15 PM  
I'm on the do not call list, and I get very few telemarketing calls.  Except...

The law exempts political calls, imagine politicians writing that into the law, and charitable foundations, like all the shady veteran and cop charities I get calls from.  Do not call lists do not apply.
 
2014-01-21 05:52:22 PM  

elysive: cookiefleck: FuryOfFirestorm: elysive: cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.

Yay, I love getting collection calls intended for other people. Some random indebted person once handed out one of my work phone numbers. That was fun getting constant debt collection calls for a random person at an office number equipped with no call blocking. Many stupid collection people won't stop calling even when you tell them that they have the wrong number (that's when you can actually get a live person on the line). What do they think they are going to accomplish? Either wear you down until you admit to being their target or until you offer to pay the stranger's debts?

I have a deadbeat cousin who ran up a cell phone bill and some credit cards, and then skipped out on them. Unfortunately, she used my home phone and address on the paperwork, and I would get phone calls at least once a day asking if she lived here. No matter how many times I would explain that the stupid b*tch never lived at my house, they'd still keep calling. I eventually was able to find her sorry ass and tell her to straighten her this sh*t out or I would report her to the cops for fraud (I kept a lot of evidence to make sure she doesn't pull that f*ckery again).

That happens quite a bit. Don't even trust kids or even grandkids. I would get calls from elderly people asking why we were calling them. I can look at contracts and saw that the grandkids put grandma's phone number and address on the loan contract. But yeah, I'd get the gamut from that to former co-workers wondering how we got their numbers.

What does trust have to do with a stranger or relative giving debtors your contact info? Should one be better at hiding one's phone ...


I guess I was blending the times where grandparents would co sign things for their grandkids (because the grandkids have shiat for credit) and the grandkids would not pay then skip town and the times the grandkids would just flat out give meemaw's phone number and address.
 
2014-01-21 05:53:45 PM  
Sybarite:  Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.

Almost true.

The DNC does have an exception for previous business relationships, BUT, and this is the part they never seem to understand, there is also an exception to that exception.   If I tell a caller not to call again or to place me on their internal Do Not Call list, that trumps their DNC exception and they are again forbidden from calling, just as if their prior business relationship never existed.

Under the DNC, a prior business relationship creates only an implied agreement to accept calls from that business for a certain period.  This implied agreement can be cancelled at anytime by an explicit rejection.   In other words, a company you have done business with in the past can call you for 18 months UNLESS you ask them to stop, in which case they are then treated just like everyone else under the DNC.

Every company is required to keep an internal no call list which is different from and in addition to, the national DNC call list.  The mere failure to keep and maintain such an internal list can also be a separate violation.
 
2014-01-21 05:55:36 PM  
Oh, the other exception to the Do Not Call list: companies you already do business with.  So, suppose you have a car loan, and that company also offers credit cards,etc..
 
2014-01-21 06:14:11 PM  
I have fun with them - really.

Me: 'For training and other purposes this call will be recorded'.
Them:  Wut?
'
I have a question for you first - What is never the answer?'
'WTF?'
'Simple, if you can answer that easy question, we can discuss things further. Call me back when you've worked it out.'

I had one marketeer pleading with me to hang up as his equipment didn't allow him to do it. Really.
Sometimes I have an enjoyable chat, laughs on both sides if they're amenable.

But they never call back.
 
2014-01-21 06:14:17 PM  

Profedius: Who still receives calls from telemarketers? I only have a smart phone and if you are not in my contact list my phone will not ring.


Well I have a dumb phone, because I know whether or not answer it on my own.
 
2014-01-21 06:15:52 PM  

parasol: After my mom died this summer, I "took over" her cell and was shocked (and dismayed) at the number of calls (4 or 5 daily) selling reverse mortgages and home security systems. It's horrible - the scary tone, the "what if this horrid thing happened and you were ALL ALONE" messaging

I'd never be rude to a (live) telemarketer - just "no, thanks" - I imagine the calls will taper off eventually.

csb - The afternoon of her funeral, the DNC called asking for support (read: donation) and the caller was a real jerk. I asked him to take me off the list (or, at best, not call for a while) and why and got this response:

"well - you can still make a donation today, can't you?"

I was so mad I told him not only was I not donating, but changing my party affiliation and would be calling my state rep and the DNC Chair to tell them why.  He hung up immediately. (I did two of those three)

/Don't answer the phone much
//No message? Good
///A.G. Bell - hero or not?


You actually changed your party affiliation over an annoying phone solicitor out of spite?  Or are you saying you changed your dead mother's party affiliation so that you can continue voting for her?  Are you in Florida?
 
2014-01-21 06:23:51 PM  
I use to mess with the robo-callers, even though I knew I was just being put on the "hot list" or whatever you could call it, because I was a known valid number that actually picked up.  I also learned fairly quickly that the guys on the other end were mostly immune to whatever insults, time wasters, loud noises, or anything else you threw at them.

There's only one thing that I found that seriously and legitimately ruffled their jimmies.  I held them on the line for as long as I felt comfortable, and answered any questions they had with whatever BS I wanted to give.  When I got bored, I'd wait until they asked a question and then I'd say,

"Wait, I think I discovered a problem."
They'd say, "What?"
and I'd follow, "The problem is, you've wasted your life and your family is ashamed of you."

I'll be damned if that didn't cut to the bone every single time.  I had a guy, a auto warranty telemarketer, stay on the phone for twenty minutes cussing me out at the top of his voice.  I know I heard a girl cry before she hung up.

You have to understand, a lot of these guys don't know they work for scammers.  They're mostly down on their luck individuals who just waiting for their lives to get back on track.  One dude told me he was journeyman welder.  Another woman had to go to work for the first time in her life when her husband left her and her three children.  They've been told that other companies scam people, but this company is the real deal.  They've been told they're licensed, and they're allowed to make these calls and that the do not call list doesn't apply to them, for some reason or another.  One guy told me he was a federally licensed direct marketing engineer through the Department of Agriculture.  Why the DOA?  "Who knows, man. The government is farked up. That's just how it works."  They would tell me these things because they seriously wanted to prove to me that they are loved and valued by someone.

So knowing that these people are real human beings with feelings and pride and self worth, only then do you unlock the secret of how to really destroy them.  You have to get in there, under their skin, by surprise, and shock them with the lowest accusation of worthlessness you can possibly throw at them.  The delivery is key.  Do it right, and they don't recover easily.
 
2014-01-21 06:24:54 PM  

Diogenes: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.  And most of them are scams intended to rip people off and/or are staffed by cons.  I have no sympathy whatsoever.  If someone is trying to mug me, is it impolite to tell them to get bent?  Should I be more enlightened and understanding of their predicament and instead open my wallet to them?


Grumpycatno.jpg
 
2014-01-21 06:25:00 PM  

Diogenes: Jgok: I got one of those "we detected a virus on your computer" calls when I was bored one day.

OMG - my mom got one on her cell phone about two years back.  Indian caller.  She wasn't fooled and told the guy to stop calling.  He said he'd call her all the time whenever he wanted.  She let the next call go to voicemail - which she's kept.  He got really dirty!  "I'm going to fark your pussy and put things in your pussy.  I call you whenever I want and do things to you."  It just goes on and on.



A year or so ago, final straw for house phone.  We usually left phone off all the time, whenever ringer was turned on during the day we would get a call about every 30 minutes.  Some sales pitch for something or some candidate.  Every 30 minutes.  Do not call registry? Yea tried that, did jack shiat.  Finally try the "remove me from list" request.  One guy said after a few days of that "fark you ,let me fark your wife". Ask for manager, laughter is all I get.  Called police, sorry sir nothing we can do.  Called phone company, given a list of services and what they cost, none of which would actually stop the farkers from calling.
Final straw reached.
Cancelled house phone.  We got 3 farking cell phones active in the house, why the fark would we need a house phone?  Should have done it when we got our first cell phone.

If you own a house phone then you love abuse.  Next up, snail mail.  House Addresses need to go next.
 
2014-01-21 06:25:05 PM  

spiderpaz: parasol: After my mom died this summer, I "took over" her cell and was shocked (and dismayed) at the number of calls (4 or 5 daily) selling reverse mortgages and home security systems. It's horrible - the scary tone, the "what if this horrid thing happened and you were ALL ALONE" messaging

I'd never be rude to a (live) telemarketer - just "no, thanks" - I imagine the calls will taper off eventually.

csb - The afternoon of her funeral, the DNC called asking for support (read: donation) and the caller was a real jerk. I asked him to take me off the list (or, at best, not call for a while) and why and got this response:

"well - you can still make a donation today, can't you?"

I was so mad I told him not only was I not donating, but changing my party affiliation and would be calling my state rep and the DNC Chair to tell them why.  He hung up immediately. (I did two of those three)

/Don't answer the phone much
//No message? Good
///A.G. Bell - hero or not?

You actually changed your party affiliation over an annoying phone solicitor out of spite?  Or are you saying you changed your dead mother's party affiliation so that you can continue voting for her?  Are you in Florida?


Hell, no - didn't change either
I did call to report overzealous and rude people at the call center  - unlike robocalls, a live person asking for donations and a vote for certain candidates needs to know they aren't helping.
 
2014-01-21 06:30:24 PM  

stpauler: A man in Glendale, Calif., submitted his strategy, which involves telling a pitchmen that he needs to get a pen and paper, then disappears for a bit. When he returns, he says he needs to get his wallet from the other room. Gosh, he says when he returns, that darn wallet must be in the car. Can you hold on a minute while I get it? And so on. He says with pride that while he's never gotten to the 30-minute mark with a telemarketer, he's often broken 20.

I'm not a busy person, in fact, last night I re-watched 3 reruns of the Big Bang Theory non-stop because I was too lazy to find a movie to watch. But Christ, Glendale, get a life.


When i worked telephone/front desk reception i used to play this game with telemarketers. My record was 45 minutes.
 
2014-01-21 06:31:11 PM  

ShawnDoc: I only get two basic types of telemarketing calls these days:

1.  Some stupid Vegas Vacations which is a live person, telling me I've won a vacation to Vegas
2.  Illegal recorded spam, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in English, and usually with a spoofed phone number.


Me too. Back in my bored college days though, I used to try to make them my own business proposals.

Nowadays i just get calls from area codes i don't recognize, so i just plug the number into the internet to see if it's some marketer. it always is, and i need never pick up.
 
2014-01-21 06:31:26 PM  

Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.


I have plenty of sympathy for people in shiatty, low-paying jobs if their job isn't to annoy me. If it is, fark em.
 
2014-01-21 06:34:11 PM  

Duck_of_Doom: I love messing with telemarketers.  If they call at work, I let them start their pitch.  When they break for a second, I go full into "information on our services" pitch. I actually got into a battle with one.  "Are you interested in Charter or not?" "Well, are you interested, I can register you over the phone right now?"  At home though, that's more fun.  A few years ago I got a call for a video club.  I asked if they had any decent midget porn.  Then the time Time-Life called, bringing up that I had bought the Treasure of Christmas (this was years ago, mind), I told them I was a Satanist, the telemarketer said "you're a WHAT?!" and hung up.

I hate the robocalls though.  You keep getting them, even if you're on the Do Not Call registry.  No way to backtrack as they use dummy phone numbers or it comes up as restricted.  And if you try to reach a person, they turn around and say pressing 1 gave permission for them to contact you.  The worst part is they don't always clear the phone line when you hang up.  Had that at work, where the line was tied up for 15 minutes after hanging up with them.  Strange.


I like you.

I remember once telling a guy that was trying to sell dog food, "that's ok, my dog hunts for his own," and began a yarn about my cujo beast bringing down elk and the like as the marketer asked more questions.

/csb
 
2014-01-21 06:36:03 PM  
In the late 1990's before the Do Not Call lists, got these all the time. Our youngest had just started talking, and loved to chat on the phone. We'd just pass the telemarketer off to her, and bingo! Never hear from them again. Other times when the dishwasher was running, I'd just set the phone on the counter above it and walk off for a few minutes...
 
2014-01-21 06:42:35 PM  

cookiefleck: Most of the suggestions here to annoy telemarketers, while satisfying for you, don't really effect the telemarketers. They just move on to the next and never even think of you after their shift is done. It's not like they lie awake in bed going "why? Why would that man call my mother a whore? He never even met her!"


That's why I ever only wasted their time for the lulz. you know they've been called every vile thing so it can't possibly get through. as long as you're entertaining yourself though, it's all good*

*no threats or anything that could be construed as a crime
 
2014-01-21 06:48:41 PM  
I have a Digitone call blocker, and it took a year for me to use up the 80 number block list. After that I started blocking area codes, but the calls kept coming. I finally got tired of the game of wack-a-mole and turned on the auto-reject function and now only whitelisted calls get through. I was getting 3-6 calls a day from "1", 000-000-0000, card services, security scams, even some with no caller id at all. Now when the phone rings, I know it's someone I actually want to talk with. It's a little quirky to use, and it has a limited number of allowed caller lists, but it suits my needs for now. I'd recommened it for those people who don't have a large list of people they talk with, as there are newer devices that offer larger block lists. They're more expensive however.
 
2014-01-21 06:48:57 PM  

Terrible Old Man: shtychkn: "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.

I call bullshiat. A river of bullshiat. As a former telemarketer myself, I didn't give a shiat about that at all. It wasn't my time you are wasting, it was company time. At most, you're giving me entertainment once I start to suspect you're lying, at the very least, hey, THANKS FOR BREAKING UP THE MONOTONY I'M SUFFERING ALL DAY BY GOING PAST THE INTRODUCTION!

If you say no thank you, hang up, great. No problem, next number. If not, great, now I get to read something different from the 47 calls I just had say no. The caller doesn't give a shiat anymore than the guy taking orders at McD's cares that you decide you want a number 3 rather than a number 1. At the very least, you've given them something different to do in an 8 hour day.

It isn't like the caller owns the company and every "yes" is money in his pocket, he's just a drone who gets paid by the hour, and doesn't give a shiat how those hours are spent. Obviously.


I guess you weren't paid on commission. Some are.
 
2014-01-21 06:53:22 PM  

Lamberts Ho Man: Does Nomorobo work for political robocalls?  If so, I'll be signing up before the 2016 elections.


No. Nomorobo specifically will not filter political calls.
I have Nomorobo and it works great on killing well over half of the robo calls.

I think you need several layers of screening.  I have a block list on Panasonic phones that works great with couple of key presses to add but sadly, it only holds 10 numbers.   I keep erasing old numbers to block and adding new ones.

I'm planning on setting up another dedicated PC just to hang up.
 
2014-01-21 06:53:45 PM  
<CSB>

Short version of my proudest moment, circa 2001.

Got a telemarketer selling "Cancer Insurance" which supposedly pays for all your treatment costs should you get the big C. Being an aspiring improviser, I let the guy make his pitch and gave MAJOR indicators of interest -- "How much is it?" "Is there a waiting period before it takes effect?" "How soon can I sign up?" The telemarketer was so overly stoked to have a live prospect that he blew through the rest of the pitch and went straight for the close "Would you be interested in signing up for this now?" "Totally, let's do this." I said, "So I can sign up for this right now and have it go into effect immediately?"

"Yes." The marketer said.

"Sweet!" I exclaimed. "It will save me a bundle!"

There was a dramatic pause and then the marketer asked, "Oh, have you ever had cancer?"

In my most hopeful tone possible. "Well, I *have* cancer but I am going to kick it's ass and by having you guys pay my treatment costs, my pancreas and I will get through this."

Another dramatic pause.

"I am so sorry sir, but you don't qualify."

Since he had already answered "yes" to my question of can i sign up for this right now, I continued to press him to sign me up -- "But you said I was eligible... You said I could sign up right now!"

After a few moments of my insisting that he be true to his word and let me sign up, I truly believe I could hear tears and he ended the call saying "I am so sorry to have wasted your time..."

Now THAT is how you destroy a telemarketer.

</CSB>
 
2014-01-21 06:55:59 PM  

elysive: cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.

Yay, I love getting collection calls intended for other people. Some random indebted person once handed out one of my work phone numbers. That was fun getting constant debt collection calls for a random person at an office number equipped with no call blocking. Many stupid collection people won't stop calling even when you tell them that they have the wrong number (that's when you can actually get a live person on the line). What do they think they are going to accomplish? Either wear you down until you admit to being their target or until you offer to pay the stranger's debts?


I had to threaten to sue two collectors who kept calling my cell looking for some guy who was behind on his student loans. Kinda wish they kept calling.
 
2014-01-21 07:03:25 PM  
I usually just speak German at them.
 
2014-01-21 07:04:29 PM  
The best way to foil the telemarketers is to stay on the line as long as possible acting like an interested customer. If you pull pranks, cuss, or whatever, they'll hang up and move on to the next person. They depend on volume. Just like spam, they're looking for a tiny success rate. If everyone hangs up immediately, a single telemarketer could handle 100+ calls per hour. But if each person keep them on the line for 10 minutes, they only reach 6 people an hour and the business would cease to exist. They wouldn't make enough sales to keep the lights on.
 
2014-01-21 07:13:21 PM  
Since ditching my landline several years ago I can count the number of telemarketer calls I get in a year on my fingers.

Prior to that I remember coming home to 15 messages in a day on my answering machine and every one of them was a political robocall. It's what caused me to ditch the landline altogether and I never looked back.
 
2014-01-21 07:14:46 PM  

warrenn: The best way to foil the telemarketers is to stay on the line as long as possible acting like an interested customer. If you pull pranks, cuss, or whatever, they'll hang up and move on to the next person. They depend on volume. Just like spam, they're looking for a tiny success rate. If everyone hangs up immediately, a single telemarketer could handle 100+ calls per hour. But if each person keep them on the line for 10 minutes, they only reach 6 people an hour and the business would cease to exist. They wouldn't make enough sales to keep the lights on.


yes, but how do I do that without wasting my own time?

why can't I just have Siri talk to them...  or plug them into some other telemarketer and have them jerk each other off ?
 
2014-01-21 07:20:14 PM  

cookiefleck: A lot of people confuse "telemarketing" and collection calls. If you haven't paid your car note in 3 months, don't be surprised that people are calling you. I understand the calls are super annoying, but you're better off communicating with the collections company than waking up upset to not find your car.


For almost 2 years I was receiving collection calls for some woman I'd never heard of. I tried telling them I didn't know her, I tried hanging up, they still just kept calling every couple weeks all that time. If I knew how to contact whoever that was I'd tell them but as it was it just wasted both our time.
 
2014-01-21 07:26:34 PM  
Most telemarketers seem to have gone the way of the milkman around here, but we still keep getting those scammers from India/Pakistan trying to pretend there's a virus on the computer. I love farking with those guys.

Hold on, there's someone at the door (play most annoying music on YouTube)
Just a second, my cat is hungry
What's the website? www d-o-t...
Can you repeat that again?
Pretend that your phone line is breaking up, or that you have short term memory loss

They haven't been bothering me lately though, I think I made their 'Do Not Call' list
 
2014-01-21 07:34:01 PM  
When someone needs a phone number, I just give them the number I had growing up that we no longer have.  I feel sorry for whoever has that number now!
 
2014-01-21 07:42:49 PM  
Put phone down in front of computer. Play porn, loudly.
 
2014-01-21 07:49:17 PM  
fark these autoplay videos.
 
2014-01-21 07:54:03 PM  

Jument: If it's a live person I usually just say "not interested" and hang up. Sometimes I say "please take me off your call list and do not call this number again" but I doubt very much that they pay that any mind.


As one of the poor bastards that used to work in one, we were trained to be very mindful of taking people off of our list. That short, polite response is all you really need to get most callers off of  your back.
 
2014-01-21 08:05:07 PM  
Stopping robocalls is easy - just answer and push "1" and "0" for a while. The computers which make the calls aren't particularly smart; they think they've reached a fax line and take the number off their list.

/It is a huge amount of fun to verbally abuse those scumbags, though.
//Some have gotten so mad at me they call back immediately after I hang up on them, too.
///You could also record a modem as your outgoing message.
 
2014-01-21 08:14:27 PM  

Bunkyb123: I consider them my private playground. Speak gibberish until they hang up, make up crazy stuff as I go along. After a long difficult day at a job actually helping humanity it's nice to unwind by tweaking uninvited callers. I don't ask them to call me so they are fair game. I owe them nothing, least of all courtesy. It's all fun.


Ahh, this is a game I have never had the opportunity to play.
1. The cold-calling agents are unlikely to be multilingual, but they can probably understand "Francais?" or somesuch.
2. Google Translate has a text-to-speech option.
3. While being transferred to language-specific salesperson, change the output language to increasingly bizarre selections.

Don't just waste one person's time, make it a party!

dbaggins: yes, but how do I do that without wasting my own time?

If you don't feel like playing with them, the simplest compromise is to get them started on their pitch, and then throw the phone under a pillow. It's not going to waste a -lot- of their time, but it's mere seconds of your time.
 
2014-01-21 08:21:56 PM  

elchupacabra: I just suggest they should kill themselves.


userserve-ak.last.fm
 
2014-01-21 08:22:22 PM  
Here's an old-school hacker's way to eliminate tele marketers:

Surprisingly, despite all the high-tech gadgets nowadays, the computers running up-to-date OS's... the one thing telemarketer computers listen for when they dial: http://www.phworld.org/sounds/modern/ais/6085849900.mp3. The first three tones on this error message tells the computer that it's a bad number, so it'll hang up and blacklist the number completely. What I did requires the following:

- An older OS on a computer, or to a virtual shell. WinXP is a perfect OS for this, and can be run on the free Oracle VM VirtualBox
- TTS software. Plenty of free stuff out there, like Dspeech.
- Audio editing software. Again, free stuff like Audacity.
- a good TTS voice. There are free ones out there that sound good on WinXP, as long as you can understand it.

What you do:

1. Using your audio editor, cut out all but the three tones in the error message and save. The rest of the message isn't important, but you need the three tones.
2. Using your TTS software, create an audio message in a voice of your choosing that other people can hear and understand. Something like "We're sorry, no one is available at this number, please leave a message or call back later." Make sure you can easily understand it, or get a second person (in case you're hard of hearing). The telemarketers won't hear it, but your expected calls will. Save this audio message to a file your audio editor will love.
3. In your audio editor, open up the audio file containing your message, and copy the three-tone sound to the beginning of the greeting, maybe even leaving a space for authenticity (and possibly allow your expected callers to recoup from the sounds). Save this new file.
4. Either get your answering machine close to the speakers of your PC, or transfer this file to a portable player that has a good sound. Either way, go to set your greeting on the answering machine, and play the new sound so the machine can pick it up.

Voila! Now you have a message that telemarketers will hear and automatically hang up. The computers they use will automatically blacklist the number (ie similar to being on a "Do Not Call" list, only more definite), and your expected calls will not. Most likely cost to do this: $0 (unless you don't have Win XP, which might raise the price a bit).
 
2014-01-21 08:29:39 PM  
Hand the phone to a small child and tell them it's Santa.
 
2014-01-21 08:38:52 PM  

FuryOfFirestorm: I have a deadbeat cousin who ran up a cell phone bill and some credit cards, and then skipped out on them. Unfortunately, she used my home phone and address on the paperwork, and I would get phone calls at least once a day asking if she lived here. No matter how many times I would explain that the stupid b*tch never lived at my house, they'd still keep calling. I eventually was able to find her sorry ass and tell her to straighten her this sh*t out or I would report her to the cops for fraud (I kept a lot of evidence to make sure she doesn't pull that f*ckery again).


So the telemarketer's illegal and immoral actions worked? I wonder if they'll do it again, perhaps to one of us?
 
2014-01-21 08:43:04 PM  
Interrupt them and say "I'm not interested. Please don't ring again. Have a nice day" and then hang up. Takes 5seconds.
 
2014-01-21 08:46:31 PM  

shtychkn: "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.

As a former telemarketer this is probably the worst thing you could do to them: waste their time.  Hanging up right away isn't a problem, it lets them move on to new leads (potential customers).  But wastign their time drives them up a wall mad.

Asked to give a credit card number, the Texas man gives a false one, then relaxes while the pitchman attempts to confirm it. When it cannot be confirmed, he transposes a few digits, re-submits it, and rests again while the pitchman struggles to confirm the second number. Eventually the Texan, when through toying with his victim, invites the telemarketer to call again the next day, so they can try again.

While this sounds like a good idea in the idea of keeping them wasting time longer AND getting their hopes up, it is technically committing a crime: fraud.  attempting to pass off a fake credit card number, for a real one IS a crime - even if it was in pursuit of annoying the telemarketer and had no actual desire to purchase said product.


Lord Satan give this person pestering me anal cancer.
 
2014-01-21 08:57:25 PM  

OniNeko: Jument: If it's a live person I usually just say "not interested" and hang up. Sometimes I say "please take me off your call list and do not call this number again" but I doubt very much that they pay that any mind.

As one of the poor bastards that used to work in one, we were trained to be very mindful of taking people off of our list. That short, polite response is all you really need to get most callers off of  your back.


You poor bastard.

Several months ago I happened to be home and got one of those calls that had a recorded spiel with a "press 0 to speak to a representative" option. I said "please take me off your call list and do not call this number again". The guy swore profusely at me and hung up. Sometimes I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
 
2014-01-21 09:02:39 PM  

strathmeyer: FuryOfFirestorm: I have a deadbeat cousin who ran up a cell phone bill and some credit cards, and then skipped out on them. Unfortunately, she used my home phone and address on the paperwork, and I would get phone calls at least once a day asking if she lived here. No matter how many times I would explain that the stupid b*tch never lived at my house, they'd still keep calling. I eventually was able to find her sorry ass and tell her to straighten her this sh*t out or I would report her to the cops for fraud (I kept a lot of evidence to make sure she doesn't pull that f*ckery again).

So the telemarketer's illegal and immoral actions worked? I wonder if they'll do it again, perhaps to one of us?


Um...what telemarketer? This was a bill collector. As for illegal? It was annoying, but not illegal. The phone calls stopped once she gave the companies her real contact info and started paying back what she owed. I'm betting she probably skipped out on the payments again, but at least no one is calling me every 30 minutes asking if she's at my house or telling me to pay her debts.
 
2014-01-21 09:34:42 PM  

Duck_of_Doom:

I hate the robocalls though.  You keep getting them, even if you're on the Do Not Call registry.  No way to backtrack as they use dummy phone numbers or it comes up as restricted.  And if you try to reach a person, they turn around and say pressing 1 gave permission for them to contact you.  The worst part is they don't always clear the phone line when you hang up.  Had that at work, where the line was tied up for 15 minutes after hanging up with them.  Strange.


Older phone systems do this. The connection is not broken until the originator hangs up. Scammers use this by calling people and saying they're the police, or the credit card company, and saying there has been a fraud and "to verify I am who I say I am hang up and call 911/the number on your card". They have dial tone recording and then have an operator who will 'answer' the call and then 'put you through' to the first person. Bingo. You not believe they are who they said they are because you called them.
 
2014-01-21 09:36:21 PM  
I have a few stock roles that I use:
1. The Elder (variations: The Confused Elder, The Hard-of-Hearing Elder, and The Lonely Elder)
2. The Drunk (variations: The Naughty Drunk, The Just-Divorced Drunk, and The Angry Drunk)
3. The Distracted Guy
4. The Racist (variations: The Redneck Racist, The Urbane Racist)
5. The Chatty Guy

Think of it as a civil service: Every minute that you keep one of them on the line is a minute they can't be bugging someone else.  And if everyone would do the same thing, telemarketing would instantly become so unprofitable that it would just go away.
 
2014-01-21 09:39:42 PM  
My boss is a CPA who works from home.  He was getting a lot of telemarketer calls during tax season, and finally one day, he'd had enough and went off on one of them, cursing and calling him names before slamming down the phone.

Later that evening, his phone rang.  Someone threatening to come and kill him and his wife.  Knew where he lived.  He got the police and phone company involved, caller called several more times and they busted him.

Yep, it was the telemarketer he was rude to.  Boss had to fly two states over to testify against the guy, who ended up doing jail time.

Boss does the "hang on a second while I grab my credit cards" then puts the phone done routine now.  Says he won't take a chance on p*ssing off another psycho.
 
2014-01-21 09:44:43 PM  
I turn 'em into gay porn calls. One time I got transferred to a gay telemarketer who matched my blowjob and raised me a dick up the ass, but other than the one time it usually works.
 
2014-01-21 10:07:38 PM  

OniNeko: As one of the poor bastards that used to work in one, we were trained to be very mindful of taking people off of our list. That short, polite response is all you really need to get most callers off of  your back.


I have heard that you actually have to say "put me on the do not call list" or they won't do it. You can't say, "Don't call me again" or "No thank you, don't call me." You have to actually ask for THE LIST.

Savarose: Says he won't take a chance on p*ssing off another psycho.


I am astounded that a psycho couldn't get a much better job. I wonder where his ex-girlfriends are buried?
 
2014-01-21 10:29:05 PM  
Late to the party but the "Anne, from Account Services" scammers openly declared war and put me on their shiatlist because I've been farking with them so hard.
 
2014-01-21 10:37:22 PM  

WayneKerr: fark these autoplay videos.


What videos? How do people still use the net without Adblock?
 
2014-01-21 10:48:15 PM  

verbaltoxin: I haven't had a land line phone since 2003. I am VERY superior to you.


Well I've NEVER had one. So there.
 
2014-01-21 11:12:51 PM  
Just set up your phone service under a false name, and tell your kids. Telemarketers don't like it when a six-year-old answers the phone, they ask for [false name], and the kid replies, "What are you selling?"
 
2014-01-21 11:16:29 PM  

jmr61: cryinoutloud: Sybarite: here's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.

That's why nobody has my phone number. Not the credit card companies, not Amazon, especially not the student loan people, nobody. Send me an email. They have that already.

I normally don't fark with the callers because geez, I would hate to have to do that job. But the last guy who called me from my ISP when I was expecting a call about a job, didn't get the nice treatment. When I found out it was just this poor shlep on the line, and not even calling from the number I was used to ignoring, I snarled, "Do you have a do-not-call list?" He couldn't wait to get off the line. I've never heard from them again. Oh, they still send me tons of junk mail. You'd think at some point they'd give up, but no, they never do.

I hate my phone so much that it's not even turned on half the time. I'm not dealing with telemarketers.


I've gotten to the point where I fark with the junk mail people too. I let it lay around for a few days then take the info from one company and fold it up and send it back to a different company in their postage paid envelopes. Often it's the RNC or a republican congressional campaign group. Or some American family shiat show. Sometimes I'll put dirty napkins in or pennies. Anything to fark with them. And in the process I'm costing them money by sending them mail back on their pre-paid account.

A few years ago I donated $20 to the ACLU in my friend's name (he's VERY republican) and he's gotten phone calls and mail for at least 5 years as a result of my $20 donation. Even he admits it's one of the greatest pranks ever.

Good luck with yours :-)


So in your mind, republicans are opposed to civil liberties? That's really what you think?
 
2014-01-21 11:28:40 PM  

doglover: Diogenes: I'm somewhat amused about an article on how annoying telemarketers are that has an autoplay ad you can't stop.

There was no ad.


There was an autoplay ad for me. Time to stick No Script back in.
 
2014-01-21 11:32:46 PM  

LincolnLogolas: I usually just speak German at them.


Ja ich auch
 
2014-01-21 11:36:14 PM  
Wife's name is very close to a singer of a one-hit wonder disco song. Every time one of those "you have won a cruise" or "car warranty" people violates the Do Not Call list and calls us (once every few months), I interact as if they are trying to reach the guy who sings that song.  This includes singing the song (off key), thinking the guy was dead, asking if they can look up if that guy died, and, if that doesn't send them away, asking for that guy's phone number when they find it, since they are looking for him.

So far I'm usually hung up on. One guy went about 5 minutes and went "are you farking with me."
 
2014-01-21 11:36:40 PM  
Rindred:
I wish there was a voice-responsive version of the LIZA psychoanalyzer program.


Why do you think you feel that way?
 
2014-01-21 11:44:18 PM  

Pandora Spox: Rindred:
I wish there was a voice-responsive version of the LIZA psychoanalyzer program.

Why do you think you feel that way?


I'm not familiar with LIZA but it sounds like she might have studied under DR. SBAITSO
 
2014-01-22 12:04:18 AM  
As usual, Farkers they they are the smartest people in the room - and, as usual are stupid as dogs.
At the end of a telemarketing call, the caller can usually do one of three things. He can drop you from the database, ensuring that at least his firm won't call again. If you are really nice to them, and explain why it would not be possible for you to ever buy their firm's fine product, and if you make them like you and feel you as a little oasis in the day of human contempt and hatred they experience, they might even do it for you.
The second thing they can do is nothing, and just drop you back into rotation - and you will continue to get calls from their firm at the usual intervals. This is what  they usually do.
There is a third thing that most of them can do now - which is move you to a "hot prospect" list. This will ensure that you not only get more frequent and pushier calls from that firm, but also it's other divisions that sell other things will also get your number, as will commercial "partners" with whom they trade, buy, and sell information. they can easily quintuple the number of calls you are getting with the click of a mouse.
Subject them to any of your clever little "tricks", to abuse, to time wasting games - and guess which list your ever-so-clever ass is going on?
Moral - do not be an asshole. The world will find a way to punish you for it.
 
2014-01-22 12:23:59 AM  

jso2897: As usual, Farkers they they are the smartest people in the room - and, as usual are stupid as dogs.
At the end of a telemarketing call, the caller can usually do one of three things. He can drop you from the database, ensuring that at least his firm won't call again. If you are really nice to them, and explain why it would not be possible for you to ever buy their firm's fine product, and if you make them like you and feel you as a little oasis in the day of human contempt and hatred they experience, they might even do it for you.
The second thing they can do is nothing, and just drop you back into rotation - and you will continue to get calls from their firm at the usual intervals. This is what  they usually do.
There is a third thing that most of them can do now - which is move you to a "hot prospect" list. This will ensure that you not only get more frequent and pushier calls from that firm, but also it's other divisions that sell other things will also get your number, as will commercial "partners" with whom they trade, buy, and sell information. they can easily quintuple the number of calls you are getting with the click of a mouse.
Subject them to any of your clever little "tricks", to abuse, to time wasting games - and guess which list your ever-so-clever ass is going on?
Moral - do not be an asshole. The world will find a way to punish you for it.


No, it won't.
 
2014-01-22 12:30:22 AM  
This is stupid.

Nomorobo only works if your carrier allows simultaneous ringing.  All it takes is a bunch of call centers to grease the palms of some politicians to sneak in a clause the prevents ALL carries from allowing simultaneous ringing.

As of now, none of my phone providers work with Nomorobo
 
2014-01-22 12:34:26 AM  
Buy a SIP box.  Get an account with a real voip provider (not Vonage) like voip.ms.
You can then install filters to route calls from specific numbers to system recordings (number disconnected, not in service etc.)
You only get called from a specific number one time.  You can also use wildcard digits to avoid nearby numbers in a group.
 
2014-01-22 01:13:07 AM  

que.guero: <CSB>

Short version of my proudest moment, circa 2001.

Got a telemarketer selling "Cancer Insurance" which supposedly pays for all your treatment costs should you get the big C. Being an aspiring improviser, I let the guy make his pitch and gave MAJOR indicators of interest -- "How much is it?" "Is there a waiting period before it takes effect?" "How soon can I sign up?" The telemarketer was so overly stoked to have a live prospect that he blew through the rest of the pitch and went straight for the close "Would you be interested in signing up for this now?" "Totally, let's do this." I said, "So I can sign up for this right now and have it go into effect immediately?"

"Yes." The marketer said.

"Sweet!" I exclaimed. "It will save me a bundle!"

There was a dramatic pause and then the marketer asked, "Oh, have you ever had cancer?"

In my most hopeful tone possible. "Well, I *have* cancer but I am going to kick it's ass and by having you guys pay my treatment costs, my pancreas and I will get through this."

Another dramatic pause.

"I am so sorry sir, but you don't qualify."

Since he had already answered "yes" to my question of can i sign up for this right now, I continued to press him to sign me up -- "But you said I was eligible... You said I could sign up right now!"

After a few moments of my insisting that he be true to his word and let me sign up, I truly believe I could hear tears and he ended the call saying "I am so sorry to have wasted your time..."

Now THAT is how you destroy a telemarketer.

</CSB>


That's pretty farking evil.
 
2014-01-22 01:13:55 AM  

jso2897: As usual, Farkers they they are the smartest people in the room - and, as usual are stupid as dogs.
At the end of a telemarketing call, the caller can usually do one of three things. He can drop you from the database, ensuring that at least his firm won't call again. If you are really nice to them, and explain why it would not be possible for you to ever buy their firm's fine product, and if you make them like you and feel you as a little oasis in the day of human contempt and hatred they experience, they might even do it for you.
The second thing they can do is nothing, and just drop you back into rotation - and you will continue to get calls from their firm at the usual intervals. This is what  they usually do.
There is a third thing that most of them can do now - which is move you to a "hot prospect" list. This will ensure that you not only get more frequent and pushier calls from that firm, but also it's other divisions that sell other things will also get your number, as will commercial "partners" with whom they trade, buy, and sell information. they can easily quintuple the number of calls you are getting with the click of a mouse.
Subject them to any of your clever little "tricks", to abuse, to time wasting games - and guess which list your ever-so-clever ass is going on?
Moral - do not be an asshole. The world will find a way to punish you for it.


images.sodahead.com
I'm sure you believe that being nice to telemarketers will somehow get you off the list, but that is simply not the case. Treat them as you would Nazi conscripts. I'm sure few people dream of working such a job, and wish they were doing something else, but remember they are human beings. Why would they put someone who OBVIOUSLY wastes their time on the "call again" list? Do they have a pointy haired boss that thinks that more time= "just THAT close to a sale, we just need to figure out how to close the deal." You don't have to be abusive to them, just make yourself not worth their time. Remember, their business model is based on the same thinking that a guy in a bar asking every woman "wanna fark?" knowing that if you ask enough people, SOMEBODY will say yes, and so they need to focus on call volume. You won't be put on the supposed hot prospect list for wasting their time by every metric.
 
2014-01-22 01:14:19 AM  
The only phone I answer is my cell phone.  I have a land-line, but I don't take incoming calls on it, and the ringer on the phone is turned off, no answering machine is connected, calling it does nothing.  It doesn't really serve a purpose, I just haven't gotten rid of it.  It's on the same bill as my TV and internet bill, all tied in together.

On my cell phone, I can't remember the last time I got a marketing call with an actual human.  From time to time I get a robo-call.  I just set the phone down and let their computer waste it's time.

Diogenes: I'm somewhat amused about an article on how annoying telemarketers are that has an autoplay ad you can't stop.


I'm amused that you haven't learned how to use your computer.
 
2014-01-22 01:21:41 AM  

OniNeko: As one of the poor bastards that used to work in one, we were trained to be very mindful of taking people off of our list. That short, polite response is all you really need to get most callers off of your back.


You're a farking liar.

If telemarketers would actually take people off their list when they were asked, this crap wouldn't still be going on.

You try to make it sound like it was your tough luck to be the asshole that everyone tells "Fark off, asshole", but you are took the job, you called them, and you won't stop just because they ask you to.

You're lying when you say that you would take them off the list.  Telemarketers simply don't give a rats ass.

Today, the only phone I use is a cell phone, and I still get robo-calls to that phone.  That's illegal, right off the bat.  Those companies are breaking the law, and they know it.  Asking them to "put me on your do not call list, please" is not going to help, because they are farking assholes who don't give a damn about the law.  So go fark yourself with the "just ask politely, that's all you need" crap.

There is no reason to be polite to a telemarketer.  They are not polite, they are not honest, they already know they are breaking the law.  Either waste their time, or call them a cocksucker and hang up the phone.  Being nice to them just makes their job easier.
 
2014-01-22 03:59:55 AM  
Sing 'em a bar of Alice's restaurant.
 
2014-01-22 08:36:27 AM  

CoysOdie: Sing 'em a bar of Alice's restaurant.


Better yet, rickroll them.
 
2014-01-22 09:29:07 AM  
re:
Diogenes: Sybarite: The practice is illegal.There's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.

Actually, that's no longer true. As of October 16, 2013, telemarketers have to have an explicit written grant of permission to call you.It got rid of a lot of the false flag operations that telemarketers were hiding behind in court. I've sued more than a dozen callers under the TCPA in the last 5 years, and this is already making a *huge* difference in shifting the burden of proof. Previously, companies could just claim that a previous customer must have had your number & that they couldn't release details b/c of privacy concerns.
/Collected almost $10k last year.
//On course to surpass that by February this year.
///Getting a kick...
////SLASHIES!
 
2014-01-22 09:32:00 AM  
jmr61: I've gotten to the point where I fark with the junk mail people too. I let it lay around for a few days then take the info from one company and fold it up and send it back to a different company in their postage paid envelopes. Often it's the RNC or a republican congressional campaign group. Or some American family shiat show. Sometimes I'll put dirty napkins in or pennies. Anything to fark with them. And in the process I'm costing them money by sending them mail back on their pre-paid account.

You might appreciate this site: http://sendthemback.net/
 
2014-01-22 09:53:01 AM  
The hardest part of catching an illegal telemarketer is identifying their real address. You'll often have to use a bag of social engineering tricks to get them to reveal information about themselves or their companies.

img.fark.net

Also, if you can get on their hot prospect list without ever giving them permission to call, that will easily run up the number of TCPA violations. After all, just going after $1500 for a single call isn't a very effective use of your time. But, if they call back 5 times & you ask for a written copy of their DNC policy on that last call, a) they'll never send it & b) that's 6 violations which puts you at the $9k limit for Texas courts (the limit is really $10k, but there's no math to get there for TCPA violations, & the limit varies state by state).

One company called me back 4 times in 5 minutes. After I'd gotten all the info I needed to take them to court (website, company name, callback number, etc) my phone developed "connection issues" (just like when you used to mess with someone at the drive through). After the last call, I had the caller's personal cell phone number... and a slam dunk of objective evidence of phone harassment based on the calling logs.

I've heard the "we're just doing our job" & "telemarketers are people too" & "if we pay this fine we'll have to lay people off" arguments countless times. If I run a red light while driving to work, I still have to pay the fine. Follow the law (even if you don't agree with it) & we'll get along. Also, I don't blow rape whistles or air horns into the phone b/c you can cause serious ear damage that way (& people have been sued for doing it). Finally, I hope ALL illegal telemarketers go out of business. And that some do it b/c their companies DIAF.
 
2014-01-22 10:45:08 AM  

Nuuu: So knowing that these people are real human beings with feelings and pride and self worth, only then do you unlock the secret of how to really destroy them.


You get a favorite

que.guero: Now THAT is how you destroy a telemarketer.


And you get a favorite

/I shall mark you each as "Magnificent Bastard"
 
2014-01-22 10:57:26 AM  

Ronin_S: Most telemarketers seem to have gone the way of the milkman around here, but we still keep getting those scammers from India/Pakistan trying to pretend there's a virus on the computer. I love farking with those guys.

Hold on, there's someone at the door (play most annoying music on YouTube)
Just a second, my cat is hungry
What's the website? www d-o-t...
Can you repeat that again?
Pretend that your phone line is breaking up, or that you have short term memory loss

They haven't been bothering me lately though, I think I made their 'Do Not Call' list


I love the ones that only know the carefully practiced in order to enunciate correctly english script that won't allow them to answer anything outside of it.

"This is "insert name" are you "insert name"?"

"Yes."

"You need to restart your computer."

"Which one of the 10 at the office."

"You need to restart your computer."

"Tell me which one."

"You need to restart your computer."

*click*
 
2014-01-22 10:58:48 AM  

Diogenes: Sybarite: Diogenes: Sybarite: In a later column, Lazarus, who calls this strategy a "reverse scam," invited readers to submit more strategies for making the lives of telemarketers a living hell.

I always try to take some time out of my day to worsen the lives of people in shiatty, low-paying jobs.

Sympathy for the devil?

The practice is illegal.


There's nothing illegal about telemarketing. There's a big telemarketing call center about a mile from where I'm sitting right now that's been there for a over a decade. Even if you have your name on the Do Not Call registry, it's perfectly legal for anyone you've done business with to contact you up to 18 months after your last purchase.

We're talking past each other.

I have no problem with legal telemarketers or people you've allowed/done business with before.

But neither TFA nor I are talking about the legal ones.



Let's check the article, shall we?

Intrusive calls fall into two categories. The first are calls from legitimate telemarketers, in which the pitch comes straight from a real live person

Changes in telemarketing technology, however, have introduced calls that fall into a second category. These fully automated solicitations -- so-called robocalls -- are sent out by the million by computers. A pre-recorded solicitation asks the consumer to respond by, say, pressing "1" on his or her keypad. Only after that does a human pitchman comes on the line. Robocalls, according to the FTC, are illegal -- unless the consumer has first given his or her express permission, in writing, to receive them.

David Lazarus, columnist for the L.A. Times, advocates a far more personal, more low-tech approach to stopping unwanted calls, which he calls "a little kooky but effective."

The idea was suggested to him by a Texas reader who pretends to respond enthusiastically to phone solicitors. "Tell me more," he says when the pitchman comes on the line. "Give me all the details." From that point on, the Texan's only goal is to keep the pitchman on the line as long as possible.



So, the article expressly mentions both legal and illegal calls. The illegal calls are from companies using robocalls. Okay, so we have a situation in which you are either talking to a person (legal) or being called by an automated system (illegal) in which you have to actively press a button to talk to a live person. So you're telling me that David Lazarus is saying that the best method to deal with illegal robocalls is to go ahead a press the button to speak to an operator then start engaging in whatever amusing shenanigans are mentioned in the article? I suppose it could be interpreted that way, but quite frankly it sounds insane. Most of the real live telemarketers anyone is likely to be speaking with are those engaged in a perfectly legal practice. Even if you don't approve of what the company is doing or what the person on the other end of the line has chosen to do for a living, I fail to see how being a dick to some minimum wage grunt is going to accomplish anything. It's the equivalent of lodging a protest against Wal-Mart by acting like an asshole to a cashier.
 
2014-01-22 11:00:29 AM  

Ronin_S: Most telemarketers seem to have gone the way of the milkman around here, but we still keep getting those scammers from India/Pakistan trying to pretend there's a virus on the computer. I love farking with those guys.

Hold on, there's someone at the door (play most annoying music on YouTube)
Just a second, my cat is hungry
What's the website? www d-o-t...
Can you repeat that again?
Pretend that your phone line is breaking up, or that you have short term memory loss



One of my favorites when I was one was a guy that my computer somehow autodialed at least once a month while I was leaning back with my arms crossed waiting for the computer to beep in my headset so I could start on my by then memorized script.  He did everything you just said.

Around 6 months later, the telephone company I was on outbound for at the time was sued by the same guy because they failed to tell him that his service was farked up by a switch. He won.  My sole point of the repeat computer auto-calls was to tell him.
 
2014-01-22 11:06:46 AM  
On a different note.  Police will accept calls from telemarketer management about a person who threatened to cut a telemarketers head off and throw it in the garbage.  We even had a full recording of it as required by company policy.
 
2014-01-22 01:28:23 PM  

realberserker: jmr61: I've gotten to the point where I fark with the junk mail people too. I let it lay around for a few days then take the info from one company and fold it up and send it back to a different company in their postage paid envelopes. Often it's the RNC or a republican congressional campaign group. Or some American family shiat show. Sometimes I'll put dirty napkins in or pennies. Anything to fark with them. And in the process I'm costing them money by sending them mail back on their pre-paid account.

You might appreciate this site: http://sendthemback.net/


I occasionally use those envelopes to dispose of used batteries and such. It's fitted ridiculous, I get the same credit card offer every couple weeks for months at a time.
 
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