More Tactics For Putting Off Telemarketers

More Tactics For Putting Off Telemarketers

Yesterday, we looked at two tactics for dissuading telemarketers from calling again: giving them a fake name so you can detect them next time, or hanging up without another word. If neither of those appeal, here’s some more options.

Commenter Jack Cola offered up a link to his own collection of tactics for putting telemarketers off. The essence of his strategy is to make the telemarketer hang up rather than doing so yourself, using tricks such as pausing after each answer or pretending you can’t hear them. For me, a simple slam-down still works the best, but it’s always good to have extra tricks up your sleeve.

How to stop telemarketers from calling you


  • haha I love this one:
    “If they say you have won something and they are about to say “but… you have to do this first”, interrupt them, scream and cheer to your family that you have won a holiday and how it will change your life because you are really poor – make them feel bad”

  • They always ask questions with only one feasible answer like “Would you like to go away on a holiday?” or “Do you want to save panda bears from extinction?” expecting you to say yes. So my tactic is to say no…
    “I hate holidays, I just want to be worked to death” or
    “I wish we could eat Panda bears to extinction – they look tasty”.

    If language is communication barrier, it all adds to their confusion and my entertainment. I have been hung up on using this method.

  • Get rid of your fixed-line telephone number and switch to naked DSL then use a VOIP line for your outgoing calls. It’s much cheaper andt telemarketers never ring VOIP numbers. I dropped my fixed line more than a year ago and haven’t had a single telemarketer ring my VOIP line.

    Here’s a pretty funny prank you could also play. This is hilarious.–Telemarketer-Calls-Murder-SceneRadio-Telemarketers-The-Bob-Tom-Radio-Show-phone-call-

  • If it’s Telstra/Optus or a utility company (in 90% of cases, it has been for me), just say you’re not the person who makes decisions in the house, or say you’re not the primary account holder. It’s worked for me 99% of the time (the one time it didn’t work, the dude said he’d ring back, and he did).

  • This article is ridiculous. Firstly, just add your number to the Do Not Call Register.

    Secondly, what is wrong with just saying “Sorry, I’m not interested.” I’ve said that plenty of times, and the immediate response every time has been “No problem, thanks for your time.”

    As the article says, they are human beings just doing their job, and they appreciate your honesty.

    The advice given here is just wasting everyone’s time.

    • Yes you could just join the do not call register, but where’s the fun it that? These methods are meant for your enjoyment.

      And if you keep saying your not interested, they will ring back (or another company will ring you back) selling you something else.

      The theory is that telemarketers share their information, so if they know a number gives them crap and wastes time, they’ll take you off their list and others.

      • That theory’s wrong. They don’t ‘share their information’ any more than sales people ‘share’ their clients. I can imagine it now… weekly telemarketer meetings, where every company gets a copy of your name and phone number. News flash… they don’t want other people calling you either – to them OTHER telemarketers are annoying their clients and in turn making it harder for them to sell stuff to you because you’re so over getting calls.

        Just say “Thanks, not interested”. If you get a response other than “No problem, bye” or words to that effect, you can hang up without reservation or being rude.

      • “The theory is..” What nonsense. You just made that up. Most of the time when a telemarketer calls you it’s because you gave them your number. Read the fine print next time you fill out any sort of paperwork that requires your number.

    • They may be just doing their job and trying to make a living, but that doesn’t make the reason or the time they call any less annoying. Even the charities tend to call at crappy times, it’s just plain annoying! Particularly when they ignore the “Do not call register” and tell you that you are on their list anyway!!

  • What do you do when the telemarketer doesn’t stop talking for 5 minutes while they do their pitch, not letting you get a word in at all?

    • Put the receiver next to your computer speaker and play the 12th Mans greatest hits on a loop cycle
      Put the phone down and go back to what you were doing.

    • I think the trick is to be assertive. If I feel that the caller is going into a long spiel, I just say “Sorry, I’m going to have to cut you off there. I’m really not interested.”

      The call ends, everyone goes about their day, and noone is pissed off. (Apart from the minor annoyance of the call in the first place.)

    • Simple, just keep saying “Hello, hello, any one there? I can’t hear you”

      They will then stop speaking and ask if you can hear them. Then from there it’s up to you what you do.

  • The best way is to register your phone numbers at
    You can register both home and business numbers at the website, including fax numbers.

    I registered our home number a while back. The telemarketing calls dropped off immediately, and were completely stopped within a few weeks.

    I cannot remember the last time I received a telemarketing call. We do get the odd survey call from local universities every month or so, and that is it.

  • I usually ask how are they going to pay for my time…particularly if they are market researchers; they explain they can’t I explain my time is vaulable, so stop ripping me off.

  • As a telemarketer, all these tricks truely are pointless. Heres why:
    1. Add yourself to the D.N.R. register we don’t call people that are on it.
    2. We don’t share “shit customer” information with anyone else so just being abusive to everyone won’t have any effect on how much you get called.
    3. If you don’t want to be called by said company again ask that you be placed on THEIR Do not ring list, most companies have one of these, we cross check every number before we call.
    4. People who keep me on the line for ages don’t particularly bother me, just means I have to do less work, and no, I’m not stupid, if you say nothing, if I say hello twice and garner no response or pointless response I hang up straight away.
    5. To be honest, we pull the s&*t out of customers who do odd things or try to be rude.
    6. We are humans, saying “No, but thank’s for the call” is a) going to get you off the phone quicker than shouting abuse or being an idiot. and b) it takes less than 20 seconds of the time from your day and most will apologise for the inconvenience and hang up immediately. I can guarantee that your time isn’t that worthwhile if you think shouting abuse or attempting to make someone elses day worse is good fun.

    • You must be one of a rare breed of company, almost every experience I’ve had with telemarketing has been that;
      a) they don’t listen
      b) they only care about getting you to part with your money regardless (commission goes down if they make too many unsuccesful calls?)

      I hate telemarketers, but my strategy is generally the same as baiting the 401 scammers so they don’t harrass someone else might fall for it: kepp them on the line and waste their time.

  • Tell the telemarketer – i like to think of myself as a gambling man, and i’m going to flip a coin and if they guess the correct side up, you’ll agree to listen to their pitch. But if they guess wrong – you’re going to hang up.

  • In addition to the official ‘do not call’ register, I’ve trained both my parents with this script:

    “Excuse me, is this a marketing or promotional call?”

    (pause for response)

    “Can you please put this number on your ‘do not call’ list?”

    Easy. It has the advantages of being not rude, not a lie and not easily evaded.

  • Kind of telemarketing but also scam as well

    I got a call from some place doing a survey about casino’s, it was 3 questions so i let them go ahead, then they said as a thank you im elligable for an iPod nano or something, so i said, no thanks, it sounds a bit too much like a scam to me (and i don’t want one anyway).

    Also got the calls from the we have detected a virus on your computer call 4 times, I’ve told them i know its a scam and if they call me again ill call the Australian Federal Police on them, but they called my bluff and called back the next day.

    Generally i’m courteous to telemarketers, i tell them no and only get agro if they keep pressing me, then i tell them “I said no, goodbye” and hang up.

    I do have to renew the DNCR though it must have expired by now.

  • Answer their every question with nothing but a yes, try to not laugh when they get so pissed off and hang up on you. Very funny and very satisfying….

    • I could see this backfiring.

      “Would you like to hear about our new offer?” Several “yeses” later: “…Do we have permission to bill your existing account?”

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