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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 212
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17829 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jan 2014 at 3:55 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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
 
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