I’m A Telemarketer. Here’s How To Get Rid Of Me.

I’m A Telemarketer. Here’s How To Get Rid Of Me.

I’ve worked for a telemarketing company for two years and made a lot of unwanted calls. I have to keep making them because most people don’t know how to get rid of us, but the right approach can make all the difference. Here’s how you can get rid of telemarketers like me and save us both a lot of time.

Erica Elson is a freelance writer who has worked at a variety of strange jobs to support herself.

How Telemarketers Get to You

Not all companies run exactly the same way, but most calls follow a similar pattern. Successful telemarketers generally have a 96 per cent chance of getting turned down. With such terrible odds, they will be relentless in trying to keep you on the phone.

Each telemarketer has their own username and password, so all the information they gather during their shift stays linked to them. Depending on the company calling you, the lead will display a little or a lot of information. I work for an arts organisation, so we can see the customer’s entire history: subscriptions, added ticket purchases for friends, donations, and sometimes even notes on who their assistants or friends are. In other cases, they may just have your phone number.

Anything relevant you mention will be added to your lead profile: an email address, best time to call, or your objections to the product. Don’t say anything to the telemarketer unless you want it written down on your profile.

If the caller doesn’t reach you, they mark your lead as “no answer” and the system programs it so you get called again a few days later. If the company does not have a large lead pool, you may get called as soon as 12 hours later. If you’re dealing with this kind of aggressive campaign, it’s actually better to answer then to let them keep calling you. (More on how to handle that later.)

If the caller does speak to you, they will do their best to sell to you on the first call. A good telemarketer uses the “Three Nos” rule: don’t let the customer go until they have said “no” three times during the phone call. This technique has actually worked for me several times. After the first two no, the client often runs out of reasons and becomes more persuadable. Telemarketers try to keep you on the phone as long as possible because they can eventually wear you down and get money out of you.

If you don’t purchase on that initial phone call, the telemarketer will log everything you’ve said and suggest calling you back another time. These are logged as “call backs” — tiny gold nuggets for telemarketers. Selling to a call back is more likely than selling to a first call because you’ve already established a rapport. This process may take weeks, and sometimes results in a sale simply because the patron wants to stop the calls.

How You’re Making It Worse

A lot of people make simple mistakes that lead to several more calls. Here are the things you need to avoid:

  • Don’t immediately hang up the phone. This results in the telemarketer marking your lead as “no answer” and calling you back until they actually have a conversation with you.
  • Don’t engage with the telemarketer in any way. This gives them the false hope that you may just need some convincing and are actually interested in their product. Do not ask questions. Do not explain why you are not interested in the product. Do not show empathy or other human characteristics.
  • Don’t get irrationally angry at the telemarketer. Remember, the computer chose your lead, not the caller. If you scream at them because you’ve gotten called before, this will not make them sympathetic to your case. It’s likely they will just put you back into the lead pool to torture you. If the telemarketer is being rude, you can ask to speak to a manager. Despite what they might say, every campaign and business has a supervisor in the call room.
  • Don’t give up mid-conversation and hang up without an explanation. This will most likely result in the telemarketer calling back, claiming you got “disconnected”. If you don’t answer then, they will keep calling.
  • Don’t let the telemarketer call you back at another time. Anything that’s not a hard “no” will be interpreted as an opportunity to call you back. When you say “This isn’t a good time”, the telemarketer hears “Call me back later!” When you say “Sorry, I don’t have time to talk about this right now” the telemarketer hears “I will buy this another day!”

Telemarketers literally have a script that tells them how to respond to every objection, so the less you engage with them, the better.

How to Make the Calls Stop

The most efficient way to get the person to stop calling you requires you to say one sentence: “Please put me on your do not call list”. Don’t say “Can you put me on your do not call list?” or “I don’t want to get these calls”. This will lead them to ask why. Be polite but firm. If they ask why or won’t do it right away, remain calm and repeat, “I want you to put me on your do not call list.”

You should register on the do not call list if you haven’t already. It’s illegal for a company to keep calling you if you’re on this list. Unfortunately, it is not illegal for charities or political parties. But most of those run seasonal campaigns, so at least your lead will be put to rest for three to 11 months.

The solution for getting rid of telemarketers may seem obvious, but it’s mostly about the approach. By using those exact words and not making any of the mistakes previously mentioned, you don’t give the caller anything to work with. The way you phrase your response can mean the difference between getting called all the time and getting rid of telemarketers efficiently. Make the right choices and you won’t be bothered.

This article has been updated since its original publication date

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  • I normally Let the answering machine answer the call, as soon as they hear its a machine they hang up, except political robo calls, we are being bombarded with them at the moment (Tassie state election) but the delete button on the answering machine works just as well, but a couple of charities decided to call our home number 4 to 5 times a day, the machine was not putting them off, I finally answered the call and told them to take us off the list and do not call us again, and it worked, never heard from them again.

    • Good theory, but it doesn’t stop the scammers, political parties and charities. Unfortunately.

      • It would seem most charities get your number from other charities who you have donated to. Boystown sold our number off to several others who we had never heard from until we bought one of their raffle tickets once. So now we just use a mobile number and we don’t suffer that issue with them on selling our number to be harassed.

        • Thats why I never put any details down, ever. It’s strange but we had a Red Cross door knock in our area that turned down the cash we were going to donate because we wouldn’t put our email address on the list.

          Your loss!

    • Agreed this cuts out a lot but it doesn’t stop it entirely. Many AU organisations contract out to off-shore call centre companies. These are beyond the jurisdiction of ACMA so cold-call with impunity regardless of DNC status.

      In fact, being on the DNC register actually potentially makes you a target as they know there is a phone attached to that number.

      The most effective way is to get a new number and make it a silent line. Annoyingly this isn’t free though.

      • A new silent number does not solve the problem as auto dial systems dial numbers sequentially until they get a connected number. I work for a call centre I should know. The only way to stop the calls is to politely say “PLEASE REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST, IF YOU CALL AGAIN I WILL REPORT YOU”. It sounds harsh but as the article above says, it is not personal.

        • Report them to who? The ACMA? If they have called you from Australia, and you are on the do not call register, and you get the right details, sure. Report them. Don’t expect it to stop, however.

    • We have a land line and we get foreign scam calls about once a week. I even recognise the same voices. Then I get a lot of unwanted charity calls, which I find upsetting, invasive and unwanted, which I am not in the position to sign up to for the rest of my life?. I think some charities are now big business and ‘demand’ big money out of you. Sales pitches with foreign voices, selling solar etc. Sales pitches hidden as surveys. I find it very annouying dealing with these timewasters, they invade my home and my privacy. We have the do not call register, cuts down a few I suppose.

    • Just remember that Do Not Call is is a public list and by putting your number in there you effectively published your phone number (which is known as a potential phone number as somebody put the effort to put it in there and is not likely to be used in a modem in the field etc.). And most of the offshore centres don’t obide by Australian rules or get penalised going against it and also nothing stops them from accessing the list.
      Unless something international put together to stop this that I’m not aware of.

      This is just the theory in my head. Let me know what you think.

  • Telling telemarketers you are already on do it all gets them to hang up pretty quick, they don’t want you to know who they are and report them. Bloody charities are exempt though so I just say not interested and hang up.

  • We don’t get too many companies calling since we got on the do not call list. Bit of a pity though, that asking Indian Microsoft/Solar panel scammers to take you of the list, probably won’t work. I really despise those people, and I don’t generally like being rude, but after the umteenth call it gets hard not to be. Will the “take me off the call list” work with charity callers though..?

    • The scammers I generally get rid of by saying “You’re a scammer.” I don’t think I’ve ever had a case where they didn’t hang up immediately after that.

      While charities are not subject to the national DNC lists, if you tell them not to call they normally won’t call you again for the same campaign, and in some cases they may remove you from their database. Remember, the time of the telemarketers (and rent, and so on) still costs money, so it’s not in their interest to pursue somebody with a perceived zero chance of success.

      • I tried to get rid of one of those “Microsoft Internet Support” scammers by saying directly “You are a scammer, I am not falling for this scam, leave me alone.” and they just insisted they were not and were only trying to help me with my virus-riddled computer.

        I finally got them to stop calling me by quoting Liam Neeson from Taken and threatening to find and kill them.

        With telemarketers/charity callers I am slightly more polite. Sometimes I even give money to worthwhile charities, but 90% of the time I don’t use my landline because only people who want money call me on it.

        • I’ve done a few things with these guys:
          * Told them I actually work for Microsoft.
          * Strung them along and then told them I have a Mac.
          * Waited patiently and then told them I have no computer and that I live in a yurt.
          * Informed them I’m a Captain in the AFP and that their call is being traced.
          * Asked them for their credit card details.

          Generally, I have fun. You gotta enjoy the little things, right?

        • Call them scum. Works for me. That is for the scammers, not your run of the mill telemarketer.

          • “Thanks for this call, I am having problems with my computer. I also have this problem.
            I live in a really nice house with a computer and you live in a dirt hut and shit on the floor and sleep in it.”

            They will lose their shit. Bonus points if you laugh at them as they scream, swear and threaten harm.

        • The thing with a boiler room scam, is that the people in the boiler room call centre may also be the victims of a scam. Their was a boiler room in Queensland that when it was raided, none of the employees knew they were working for a bikie gang… they thought the company logos around the office and on the computers desktop and software was enough to convince them they were full fledge employees of a major australian bank.

  • There are a few good ones though:
    1. as soon as you know it’s a telemarketer, just say “Hold on a sec”, put down the phone (don’t hang up) and go back to do whatever you were doing. Great time waster.
    2. Another good one is, if you have kids, to give the phone to the kid and tell them it’s Santa, and he wants to know EVERYTHING you want for Xmas.
    3. Just ask them to hold on for a sec, you are in the middle of something, then play some porn on your PC and put the phone next to the speaker.

    • I think this article is aimed more at people who aren’t losers with nothing better to do though but I like your ideas for those who have so little drive that they find time to be bored with the miracle that is life.

      • tikanderoga’s suggestions are aimed at those who don’t mind spending a minute in order to waste the time of a telemarketer. They all allow you to go off and do something else interesting. The only person whose joy in life you’re affecting is the marketer.

        • “tikanderoga’s suggestions are aimed at those who don’t mind spending a minute in order to waste the time of a telemarketer.”

          Yes like I said. Spite is not a virtue.

          “The only person whose joy in life you’re affecting is the marketer.”

          If your method for finding joy is in the suffering of others, your character is not worthy of praise. Your character is worthy of derision.

          If your method for finding joy is in the suffering of others, you have actively chosen to reject the beauty of life in favour of injust malevolence.

          Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with that. I was merely pointing out the ‘horses for courses’ element.

          • I support the gist of your cause.

            Which is why I’m disappointed by the terrible harm you’ve done to it by over-generalizing to the point of parody.

            Bad arguments in support of a cause harm that cause.

      • This Article is aimed at the yanks.
        In the US of A if someone calls you on your mobile (they call it a cell) phone, it costs the person receiving the phone call as well as the person making the call, so it cost the yank less to “put me on your do not call list”. I’m not sure about there land lines.
        But oh yes DRAG it out if its a scam.

        • Actually, that is a flat out lie, as I was in the US recently and was only charged for outgoing calls (unless they give free calls to people without credit).

    • I’ve Done No.1 and 2……..I’ll keep No.3 in mind for that nice guy from India who wants to fix my computer……..

      • Those ones you just have to direct to a locked down VM, where they have no admin rights, or where the profile is a .MAN – whatever they change, reverts back at the next log off.

    • Not gonna lie I have done option 3 on several occasions.
      Had a telemarketer from india once listen to 10 minutes of gay porn, I came back to the phone to find that he was still on the line haha.

  • “A good telemarketer uses the “Three Nos” rule: don’t let the customer go until they have said “no” three times during the phone call. ”


    A good telemarketer uses the “One no” rule, whereby no = no.

    A very good telemarketer uses the “Two no rule”, whereby no = no, but you double check just in case no = yes.

    The “Three Nos” rule is for annoying, selfish and rude telemarketers that want to ignore the customers entitlement to privacy in their own home.

    Here’s a tip for companies that employ a telemarketing strategy…

    Have a good product or service at a good or very good price.

    If you have an attractive offering it will sell. If you don’t, you’ll be burning through your overdraft to pay telemarketers to push shit up a hill. That’s a great way to go bankrupt. But never mind, you don’t go to jail for going bankrupt, so you might as well carry on driving your Merc until the inevitable happens and then just avoid paying your staff their entitlements.

    “Remember, the computer chose your lead, not the caller.”

    Yeah, you’re right here because the telemarketer didn’t choose to go to work and phone uninterested parties all day, it was the computer that made that choice.

    “It’s likely they will just put you back into the lead pool to torture you”

    And your article is promoting the good aspects of telemarketing?

    ” If the telemarketer is being rude, you can ask to speak to a manager. Despite what they might say, every campaign and business has a supervisor in the call room.”

    2 things. Firstly, yes it is great that we have the option to waste our time by being put on hold after having our time wasted by a telemarketer just to waste time with a manager. Secondly, a Supervisor is not a Manager. Will the call centre industry please wake up and realise that.

    A general comment about your article…

    You write as if all call centres are the same and follow the same procedures. Anyone with half a brain that realises that we live in a democratic capitalist society will know that that is not the case. As such it is bad writing for you to claim it as such. Bad editing too.

    “Don’t say “Can you put me on your do not call list?” or “I don’t want to get these calls”. This will lead them to ask why. ”

    Yeah, that would be the annoying ones that would ask such a question. It makes no difference why. The customer is not obliged to justify themselves. A good telemarketer would simply accept the request immediately with deference and without question. A good supervisor / manager would ensure that all staff act in such a manner. If this is not happening within your call centre you’re working for a selfish and/or badly managed company. Get out.

    Here’s how to get rid of telemarketers.

    1. Say you’re on the Do Not Call list. Use whatever sentence structure you feel appropriate.

    2. Say you’re not interested. Use whatever sentence structure you feel appropriate.

    This article is a complete waste of time. There should be a Do Not Write Another Useless Article list.

    • I think “good telemarketer” in this context means the ones that get the most sales, not necessarily the ones that care the most about the privacy of those they are calling.

        • Why do you think that?

          Telemarketers are only assessed on one thing – their sale rates. If they aren’t hitting those KPI’s, then they aren’t doing their jobs properly. I have a hard time believing their managers care much about how the callees are feeling, as long as the sales are coming through. If you’re a “nice guy” telemarketer, I doubt you’ll survive in that job for long.

          • Assessed by whom?

            I make my assessment on factors other than the telemarketers sales results. I would suggest other customers do the same.

            No one survives in that job very long. By no one I mean very few. And by survive I mean survive, as it is very difficult and very unlikely to thrive in such a position.

          • I said assessed by their managers.

            You as the customer they are calling might care about other factors, but all they care about on the other end of the phone line are sales.

          • “I said assessed by their managers.”

            no you didnt


            referring to the below…

            If you can show me where you said “assessed by their managers” you will prove me wrong. Showing me that you used the word manager in another context does not.

          • I have a hard time believing their managers care much about how the callees are feeling, as long as the sales are coming through.

          • I would suggest other customers do the same.

            Probably. But that’s like asking cows what they think of hamburgers.

            Customer Service is about making customers happy. Telesales (and more specifically, telemarketing) is about turning people into customers. If you can make them happy at the same time, awesome. You feel good in the afternoon. If you can’t, well, it’s a choice of getting paid or making people happy.

            If you’re in telesales, you made that choice long ago.

    • If a company had a good product at a good price, they wouldn’t need telemarketers.

      A good telemarketer gets sales. It really is that simple.

      If they get it through charm, luck, persistence or brute intimidation, it doesn’t matter. If they don’t get sales, or they piss their targets off enough that they call back and cancel their product, or they get caught misrepresenting the product – That matters. Use the 3 No’s, Use SPIN Selling, Use Guilt, Use Flattery, Use Scarcity, Bend and Stretch the truth, be strategic in the details you Omit – It doesn’t matter. Just always be calling and always be closing.

      Telemarketing is a real skill, and it can be lots of fun. But it’s a numbers game, not a people game.

      Anyway, I find the most effective way to get rid of telemarketers is to let them get through their initial spiel, then say “I understand, you’re selling xxxxx. Thank you, I’m not interested. Goodbye. [Hang Up without waiting for a response].” That way they know I hung up – we weren’t disconnected, and they know that it’s not that it’s a timing thing – I’m really not interested in their product.

      • “If a company had a good product at a good price, they wouldn’t need telemarketers.”

        That’s not true

        Telemarketing is a perfectly legal and legitimate form of promotion. Sure, Coca Cola don’t need to tele-market as they have other tried and tested forms of promotion that they can afford – but for other companies telemarketing is a fruitful practice.

        “A good telemarketer gets sales. It really is that simple.”

        I would say that that’s too simplistic.

        A good telemarketer get sales through legitimate and welcome means, and follows good business protocol throughout.

        “If they get it through charm, luck, persistence or brute intimidation, it doesn’t matter.”

        Yes, it does matter. It matters on an ethical sense, and a legal sense.

        “Use the 3 No’s, Use SPIN Selling, Use Guilt, Use Flattery, Use Scarcity, Bend and Stretch the truth, be strategic in the details you Omit – It doesn’t matter. Just always be calling and always be closing.”

        Yeah, I suspect that someone watched Glengarry Glen Ross and didn’t quite pick up on the irony.


        If you, or anyone else, employs the tactics that you’ve mentioned above, you’re behaving immorally and illegally.

        “That way they know I hung up – we weren’t disconnected, and they know that it’s not that it’s a timing thing – I’m really not interested in their product.”

        Here’s another good way of knowing when the customer isn’t interested…. when they say they’re not interested.

        • “A good telemarketer get sales through legitimate and welcome means, and follows good business protocol throughout. ”

          While I don’t doubt that you’ve received a lot of calls, and probably purchased from telemarketers. This shows you have never spent time outbound calling & selling.

          Because when I start a conversation:

          “Hi, This is xqx from xxx Hotels. You recently stayed in one of our hotels, so I wanted to talk to you about our loyalty program which guarantees you best room at the best price anywhere in Australia”…

          The _welcome_ reaction I’m expecting goes something like:

          “Wow, I’m glad you called me! I’d LOVE to sign up to your loyalty program. I remember staying in your hotel, the staff were fantastic, the rooms were great, I can’t imagine staying in a non-xxx hotel again. We’re traveling in a month, If you sign me up today, can I take advantage of this discount on our next booking??”

          If you want to “get sales through legitimate and welcome means, and follows good business protocol throughout. ” you become a direct (in-person) sales person.

          If you’re employed to sit at a desk and sign as many people up as possible up to something they neither want, nor need – and could probably get cheaper elsewhere – you don’t expect a warm and welcome reaction. And you don’t expect them to say yes without some convincing.

          I hear you saying “I’m not interested”, but you’re still talking to me, which means you are. What you’re actually saying is “I’m not interested – yet”

          • This is awful for you. This attitude will continue to be a crutch for your psyche for years to come, but in the end it will transmute into a deep-seated ugliness that will pervade the depths of your soul and crush you into a bitter and hateful person.

            It starts with “I’m not interested – yet”. You are good at getting people to listen to you. You can convince people to hear you out and reason to a new conclusion.

            Eventually the pressure of the sales environment will push you to sell products that people don’t need, and that’s where it will start to go wrong. You want to hit your quotas (and they’ll always rise until you can’t -quite- hit them honestly) and so you convince someone to buy something against their best interests.

            From there, you’re no longer good at getting people to listen. You’re ‘persuasive’. This is a short skip and a jump from ‘manipulative’.

            Over time you get real with yourself, and have been manipulating people into buying shit they don’t need for your own personal benefit that you have two choices:

            1: Hate yourself.
            2: Hate everyone else.

            Option 1 will leave you depressed, fully aware that you are a cancer on society. A parasitic wretched creature with nothing to offer but your deceits and cruelty.

            Option 2 makes it impossible for you to relate to others properly. They *Deserve* to be manipulated. It’s become so easy for you now that you regard your customers as ignorant sheep. You’ll play games of “If I don’t take advantage of them someone else will”, perhaps you’ll be generous with friends, always buying the first round or paying for lunches – all to prove to yourself that you’re One Of The Good Ones. It’s better that the money goes to you, than to someone who isn’t as nice! Eventually they’ll show a sign of trust in you, or you’ll need something from them. And the moment they give you anything it makes them a sheep. Just another victim. They don’t exist in the same plane as you. You’ll see yourself as superior to everyone who trusts, or who is kind or generous to you. You’ll lose the ability to accept gifts without seeing them as someone else attempting to manipulate you.

            I worked for about 6 months with a sales organization and I could see all of this in the ruined husks of my coworkers. I got out because I would rather be dead in a gutter than dead in my heart. The justifications you are making will destroy everything that is good about you and leave you miserable and/or evil. And I may well end up being the one who has to put you down.

            Leave the industry. You don’t need the money that badly.

            If you can sell sand to the Arabs and ice to the Inuit, you should have got more for your selling your soul.

          • “Eventually the pressure of the sales environment will push you to sell products that people don’t need, and that’s where it will start to go wrong.”

            Yep. This isn’t unique to telemarketing either, the threat of acting unethical faces all sales people – that is unless they’re offering an attractive product or service – in which case they don’t need to rely on unethical behaviours. But if you’re pushing shit up a hill, there will be a natural tendency to take short cuts. If a lie or two will help, that’s what you’ll do.

            So what’s the answer? Offer an attractive product or service, or get out of the market.

            I think your psychological description might be very accurate. It is a slippery slope.

            Become a sales person. (telemarketer or otherwise)
            Have financial and ego pressures to attain targets
            Lie to attain targets
            Lie as a matter of course
            Profit from deceit and manipulation
            Deceive and lie throughout your non working life
            Become a hideous shell of a person with no morals

            Upside is you might be able to drive a Beemer.

            Good for you for getting out of the industry. To be fair, in my mind it’s not about sales as a whole, it’s about what you’re selling. There’s nothing AT ALL wrong with sales, as long as it is done ethically, honestly, respectfully etc. If it’s a good product or service you should be able to manage that. If you need to lie in order to gain interest and sales then there’s something wrong with the product or service.

          • “This shows you have never spent time outbound calling & selling.”

            No it doesn’t.

            “If you want to “get sales through legitimate and welcome means, and follows good business protocol throughout. ” you become a direct (in-person) sales person.”

            Not necessarily. Of course you can get sales legitimately and through welcome means via telemarketing – if you do it right. And doing it right would entail being respectful and of interest to the customers – which would require having an attractive product or service, and listening to them – and that includes when they say they’re not interested.

            “I hear you saying “I’m not interested”, but you’re still talking to me, which means you are. What you’re actually saying is “I’m not interested – yet””

            Lol. Someone must have swallowed a self-help book this morning.

            No, not interested means not interested. And if you can’t get a customer interested immediately, you are either doing something wrong or the product or service is not attractive enough, at least to that customer.

    • Re “This article is a complete waste of time. There should be a Do Not Write Another Useless Article list” leads me to believe that you are a scumbag TELEMARKETER

  • Dont have a land line is the best way, have only had a mobile for 7 years now and dont think I have had one call from these dicks since.

    • How long will that last? Costs to call mobiles are falling – or rather there are some low cost options out there available to businesses. Although they might have telemarketing restrictions.

    • It was when I started getting calls from telemarketers on my mobile that I finally added all my phones to the Do Not Call register.

    • I had to put my mobile number on the Do Not Call register because telemarketers were calling me at work.

    • I have not used a land line for more than 15 years. Years ago when ISPs were forcing packages with phone lines, I never connected a phone.

    • We use a VOIP line at home and I’ve never had a call to that once. My mobile on the other hand has been absolutely bombarded with them lately, eleven calls in one day last week. Now on the Do Not Call list!

  • I speak fluent Chinese, and I find that if I explain that I’m not interested in telemarketing, and do so in that language, people are usually very receptive.

    Those of us who are monolingual who wish to use this technique: just make up a language and start babbling it.

  • I like being rung up by telemarketers. It’s nice to have someone who wants to hear every little thing you think is wrong with the world and about a dream you had a few nights back………most hang up half way through, I wish I could ring them back up and keep going.

    • My wife says “You’ll need to talk to my son” and then hands the phone to our 4 year old.

  • When I firmly ask people to be put on the do not call list, they tell me they don’t have such a list, or bumble around and avoid the question each time. Then again I mostly deal with scammers, so that could be it.

    But next time I’ll be very emotionless and just tell them to put me on the do not call list and say no firmly each time.

  • How about, I am on the do not call list, but my mobile phone keeps ringing with caller ID hidden?
    Then when you pick up the phone you hear a tape playing and ad rather than a real person talking. Even when you listen to the entire thing there is no option of opting out getting the calls and have to rely totally on the do not call register. Then you get hounded for 3 weeks non stop with the same message playing over and over.

    The only way to get rid of that type of faggotry is to call the cops and your telco. Minute you do that the automated calls to your phone stop.

    • This might be relevant…

      A couple of years ago I got really annoyed by door knockers promoting some electricity company or other. I won’t go into the full details but essentially we had several door knockers from the same company several nights in a row. They were being casually dishonest and they were politely asked to go away. Which they didn’t.

      I called the company that they represented – the electricity company. And I made a complaint. I since learned that the company no longer employs door knockers due to the level of issues it causes.

      And that’s what companies need to do.

      If you’re Optus, and you offer a respectable service, don’t sully your good name by annoying the public through ongoing unwanted contact – even if that does yield a profit, which it probably doesn’t.

  • I think you are missing a great opportunity to have some fun – if you have the time. I don’t think my job is done unless I keep the Johovas Witness door knockers for at least an hour (they don’t return for years) but they are so polite. Be enthusiastic tell them your life story, or someone else’s, or just make up one.

    I haggled with one guy who wanted to refund me $400 into my account (for something I never bought) that I only accept cheques or a refund on the same credit card. In exasperation he asked me if I didn’t want the refund. I told him that in all honesty I was just keeping him on the line as long as possible because that was what the police had told me to do. After telling me to get f, he hung up.

    Then the was the girl who wanted me to go to my computer … I told her it was already on and she wanted me to type something in. I told her it was a touch computer and it had know keyboard. She explained how to pull up a virtual keyboard. I told her that I knew how to do that but if I did that it would block the porn I was watching, which I had to watch with my girlfriend … She hung up too.

    Or just be overly enthusiastic, a bit offbeat, overly friendly and familiar, it really puts them off.

    And they never ring back but I don’t mind. Remember its your phone you are allowed to enjoy yourself, be creative, not rude, and you will have a funny story to tell.

  • Here’s how I deal with telemarketers:

    “Oh yes, I’m very interested in what you’re saying. Can you just give me a moment?”
    2 minutes later I come back to the phone.
    “Now, tell me a bit more. Oh no! My toast is burning. Hold on for a minute.”
    2 minutes later.
    “I had no idea that water contained dihydrogen monoxide. Does Puratap promise to remove that from my drinking water? Great! Can you just give me a minute?”
    2 minutes later.
    “I’m sorry about the distractions. My son is currently drinking out of the dog bowl. Just a few more moments, while I sort that out.”
    Ad absurdum.

    I do it for two reasons: 1) For every minute they spend on the phone to me, that’s another 4-5 phone calls that they could be making for potential customers. 2) Eventually they get pissed off and hang up on me.

    Most never call back: I assume they add me to their Do Not Call list voluntarily, because I am considered a time waster.

  • VOIP is your friend. When we moved from a listed landline to VOIP, we stopped getting the last few remaining #*[email protected]# callers (post-listing on the DNC register).

    At the time we were annoyed that we couldn’t ‘port’ our old number across – but the unintended benefit was no more ‘nonsense’ calls.

  • It’s simple.
    They start their spiel, and I butt in… “Listen I don’t want to waste your time. I am not interested. Sorry. Goodbye”. And then hangup.
    Don’t be rude, don’t get into a converstation. Say “No thanks” and put down the phone.

    It’s quick and there’s no stress, and the telemarketer can go on to annoy their next victim.

  • Or if you have a VOIP service and want to get geeky – buy a Raspberry Pi (or something similarly cheap), use Asterisk and install AstyCrapper – http://www.linuxsystems.com.au/astycrapper/

    I’ve done the first two steps (damned useful!) but haven’t yet got to the next stage as I probably only get one telemarketing call a year and it’s hardly worth the effort.

  • i just treat them like a sex phone line, tell them im touching myself what are they wearing etc

    works well

  • Politely telling them that you are currently in financial difficulty and cutting back on expenses to get your debt under control is a really good one. Most people don’t quite know how to deal with that, so even the best telemarketer ends up stumped.

  • I haven’t had a telemarketer call in ages, but my plan for next time is:

    1. Schedule them to call back at a specific time
    2. Get another telemarketer call from a different company, schedule them for about 2 minutes later than the other time, on my mobile
    3. When both calls are active, conference in the 2nd telemarketer into the first call
    4. Let them battle it out

  • We were getting harassed by Indians? (they were from the sub continent) telemarketers implying that they were from telstra and could save us money on our phone bills.

    the thing is it was some sort of automated thing, were if i didnt say anything the phone would go dead, some sort of voice recognition that wouldnt connect me unless i said something first.

    They would call 5 or 6 times in within a few hours regardless of what we did.

    So i started abusing them, saying i had sex with their mums, and dads, and they shagged horses – with every second word abuse. needless to say they never called back.

  • If you think this is bad, imagine having to deal with telemarketers in an inbound call centre. I work at such a place, and telemarketers are one of the banes of our existence.

    If you’re lucky, they’ll have a line in their script instructing them on what to do, i.e. immediately disengage and terminate the call. Marketing to inbound call centres is completely pointless, as we’re not authorised to respond, and generally their code of conduct prevents them from marketing to a third party (at least it should if they’re following best practice).

    If you’re unlucky, you have someone from.. outside Australia desperately trying their pitch on you, while you’re trying to let them know that you aren’t the owner of the phone number, and no, they can’t be put on the line, and no, I’m not only not interested in your product, but bound by code of conduct to not respond to your marketing. In extreme cases, we’re simply forced to say, “This is an inbound call centre, I’m terminating this call.” Which is poor customer service, of course, but it’s a last resort.

  • If you aren’t a telemarketer who is apologising profusely for invading people’s lives and homes, perpetuating an antiquated selling technique that should embarass you to the point of depression then I don’t give a sh*t what you have to say.

  • In Canada, registering on the “Do Not Call” list is certain to ensure you do get called! Why? Telemarketers here know those are valid phone numbers.

  • Here’s what I do: Say “hello”.

    Keep saying it. Ignore what ever the other caller is saying. Don’t wait for them to stop talking.
    Hello. (wait 10 seconds – they generally start reading from their screen, telling me of the wonderful opportunity, dying children, infected computer, or how their guy is a slightly less corrupt politician than the other guy etc)
    Hello? (wait 10 seconds)
    Hellll-oh?! (wait 10 seconds)
    Hel-looooooh? (wait 10 seconds)
    They either think their phone is broken, or mine is, either way I’ve never got past the 4th hello before they hang up.

    If they call back, it’s time to make them a screaming idiot.
    Hello? (wait 10 seconds)
    I can hear you but you’re very faint. Can you speak up? (wait 10 seconds)
    You’re still very faint. Can you speak louder? (wait 10 seconds)
    Ok, that’s getting better. I can almost understand what you’re saying.(wait 10 seconds)
    Do you have a volume on your phone? Trying turning that up. (wait 10 seconds)
    No that didn’t work. You getting softer again. Is there an adult who can help you? Is your mummy or daddy around?…

  • Actually, I find the best way of getting rid of them is to start asking for details:
    “sorry, i missed your name, can you spell that for me? Great, and what company did you say you work for? is that direct or contracted out? can you provide me with a number to call you back on? can i have your managers name?” refuse to allow the conversation to go past basic details, once you have them, you have 3 options:
    – tell them that you’re on the do not call register
    – ask to speak to their manager
    – always have a whistle on your keyring for just such an occasion

  • Wrong! We just love people who put the phone on the desk. We just mark you as Answering Machine” and schedule you for automatic callbacks.

  • The problem I have with these D$# telemarketers/SEOs/Advertisers, as a business, is that the law allows them to bombard struggling business entrepreneurs with their relentless phone calls. You tell them to put you on “do not call list” and they either hang up on you or start getting sassy about it, saying they have a right to call businesses. Okay, so you hang up on your cell phone and block them. Then they call you back from a different number all over again? What the hell do these idiots think they will achieve? Getting any money? NO WAY!!

    In some cases, I have reported some of the more arrogant A-Holes to the FCC, but even this has not deterred some of the more aggressive TM campaigners? Yeah, I know? Just sue them for $1500 per violation. Good luck on collections? Much less locating them because most of them are scammers roving around from one address to another.

    So What do you do about these parasites? Welcome to free enterprise in the 21st century…

  • this is what i do:



    or i try to sound robo and do this:


    don’t worry about what they think, you can’t offend someone who disregards your feelings
    and has no concern for the law.

  • You have any idea how many marketing, surveying, scamming, political, religious, and other calls I get that waste my time? Thousands!!!!!
    I do nothing but scream and curse at them, because I hope that eventually it’s going to get the point across. He says don’t get “irrationally angry?” Buddy, the anger is completely rational and justified. You try to make your audience feel sorry for the telemarketer, as the computer chooses whom to call, but they made the choice to be behind the line, and therefore should be ready to accept any and all (justified) abuse they may receive.

  • First make sure you are registered on the do not call list (donotcal.gov). Second, and I think this law applies to telemarketers only in the US but if you see a US based area code calling, explicitly say these words “Please cease and desist from calling this number again.” You’re supposedly required to get the telemarketer to acknowledge what you said, and if they do and are regulated/abide by the FCC/FTC law in the United States, they are not allowed to call you again. I was told when call recipients follow this procedure and a harassment law suit is filed against a firm, any violations by telemarketer firms that can be proven will be upheld in court. Thus far, using this tactic and educating these harassing companies about this seems to work for me.

  • I to am a telemarketer. This article is right on I will put people back on the dialer if they are rude or stupid. Just be polite and in my opinion tell them you rent ur home or iam do not call list. The more u avoid me and play games the less u will accomplishes. I look it at as treat people the way u would want o be treated. I know we are annoying but there are some of us out there that do care and want to help. Just be nice. Otherwise u will get the marketer upset…….. Keep in mind I may just call u one day

  • To get rid of one of the “Microsoft Internet Support” scammers just say you have a Mac. They won’t call you back.

  • Just curious, have you ever stopped and considered the ethical applications of your employment? If not, would you mind posting your phone number so I can call you and annoy you as much as you may have annoyed me? I thank you for the informative article, but there are repercussion to admitting you do something that everyone hates. If nothing else, I hope no one buys any of your books. Good day. 🙂

  • Anonymous.
    I’d like to request some karma.
    Please hack telemarketing firms.
    And publish the personal phone numbers of their employees.

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