Be creative when getting rid of telemarketers

We’ve all been here before. You’re in the middle of dinner, and
the phone rings.

Hello.


Yes, hi Mr. uh … Steff … Stev … Stevenson. This is blah,
blah, blah …

At this point, it doesn’t even matter what they have to say. If
they can’t get your name right, you know it’s those darn sales
people. I hate sales calls. And who doesn’t, really. They always
find a way to call at the worst possible moment, and there is no
good way to get rid of these people.
We’ve all been here before. You’re in the middle of dinner, and the phone rings.

“Hello.”

“Yes, hi Mr. uh … Steff … Stev … Stevenson. This is blah, blah, blah …”

At this point, it doesn’t even matter what they have to say. If they can’t get your name right, you know it’s those darn sales people. I hate sales calls. And who doesn’t, really. They always find a way to call at the worst possible moment, and there is no good way to get rid of these people.

To tell you the truth, if I want to buy something, I generally go about it in an active way. I don’t sit there in my dark apartment thinking, “When is that light bulb salesman going to call? It’s been dark in here for two weeks. And I definitely have given up on the toilet paper guy!”

No. When I want something, I go out and buy it or I go on the Internet and buy it. I don’t need people calling me during dinner to tell me what I need. I’ve got television for that.

California is working to join the many other states that have established a “Do Not Call” program – although unlike some other programs it will charge a fee – and there are proposals to establish a nationwide “Do Not Call” program, but the interesting question is how do you get rid of these callers in the meantime to keep them from ruining your dinner, your sleep and your peace.

Being a fairly recent college graduate, I had become very acquainted with receiving these calls – probably receiving about five of them per night – and my roommates and I started testing out new ways to get out of these phone calls. And the weird thing was that it started to become fun when we heard the phone ring. All it takes is a little creativity.

How about telling them you’re just not interested? Have you really tried that? If you have, you know that the people that are new to their jobs will say thank you and hang up, but the people who have been around for a while will act like they never heard you and continue their spiel.

Telling these people that they have the wrong number will sometimes make them hang up, but they will call back 10 seconds later and ask for you again. Other times, they will ask you if you are interested in their product anyway.

Quickly hanging up on the telemarketer also seems to be the worst ways to go about it. Although you’re off the phone quickly, it seems that another caller from the same company will call you back within an hour.

One of my roommates decided a fun way to go about getting rid of them was to disgust them into hanging up the phone themselves. Although this worked, and generally made anyone within earshot’s jaw drop to the floor, I always wondered if social services or the police would end up on our doorstep within minutes.

Another way to get rid of these callers is to act like you are a kid and your parents aren’t home. However, answering in an adult voice probably won’t help your cause.

My theory on dealing with the sales calls was to try to engage callers in conversations that had nothing to do with the product. Sometimes I would tell them about my day and continue until they were confused as to why they even called in the first place.

However, my favorite way to get rid of salespeople is to try to sell them something. Try listening to their offer, and then making a counter offer involving your lawn mower or straight-up offer to sell him your used running shoes at a 25 percent discount.

“But sir, I was trying to call you about our new great rates for long distance …”

“I’ll tell you what, buddy, I’ll tell you about long distance. These Nike’s will give you the ability to go at least 30 percent farther than your current shoes, and I’ve already broken them in for you. Now that’s a long-distance plan you can live with!”

” … uh …”

I know that the telephone sales people are just doing their jobs, but really, who wants a job where your sole purpose is to call people during their free time to sell them something they don’t really need. Because, heck, if we really needed it, we would’ve bought it already.

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