Dealing With Telemarketers (Using Advice From a Telemarketer)

From Lifehacker, a servicey post about how to deal with telemarketers:

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.”

My go-to is simply not picking up a call from a number I am unfamiliar with, though the writer, Erica Elson, who has worked for a telemarketing company, says that not picking up calls will just cycle you back into the system so that you will get the call again and again until you finally do pick up. Elson also recommends not hanging up on a telemarketer or being rude to the person on the phone because they’ll simply put you back into the system to be called again later.

Also, I try to remind myself that these telemarketers are just people who have this job because it was the only job available to them, and simply saying no and “please put me on your do not call list” seems reasonable enough. You could also block numbers by logging into your account online (I have also done this).

Photo: Morgan

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7 Comments / Post A Comment

honey cowl (#1,510)

I always answer numbers I don’t know because what if it’s my mom/boyfriend/coworker/friend/barista and they got in a car accident and it’s the HOSPITAL calling?!?!

eemusings (#6,021)

@honey cowl Yup! Also after my partner got his last phone he kept showing up as ‘blocked’ on my caller ID for weeks …

shannowhamo (#845)

When I worked in a non-profit fundraising department, I found out that, at least the way they ddi things, the person doing the calling cannot actually alter the list of names, they can mark it off their list and then turn it in at the end of the day, then that goes to someone else who will then eventually send it to me who actually has access to the database and can take you “off the list.” But of course, many other lists may have been printed in the meantime and being used for multiple calls (especially when we’re talking about, say, a liberal non-profit during an election season.) I also got to be the one to answer the angry phone calls when someone asks off the list a couple times and keeps getting calls (not to mention when they send out mailers to people who’s names they bought from other non-profits…surpirse, not everyone who gives to the Sierra Club is pro-choice!!)

pengu1n (#4,391)

I don’t answer the phone from unknown numbers either. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message. Since I have found that ignoring calls does get me called repeatedly, I use my cell phone’s reject function so that it doesn’t even ring when they call, just auto-rejects. I can see later that there was a call, but it doesn’t annoy me the way that the constant calling used to.

eemusings (#6,021)

I always answer calls on my cellphone, because it’s also my work number and could be anyone calling for a good reason.

I remember when I left my telemarketing job and a few days later got a call from someone selling the same thing. I asked if he was calling from that call centre and we had a bit of a laugh.

questingbeast (#2,409)

‘Elson also recommends not hanging up on a telemarketer or being rude to the person on the phone because they’ll simply put you back into the system to be called again later’
It depends on the kind of telemarketer though. If it’s cold calls, they probably don’t have any control over the list- the phone dials the next one for them automatically, or they’re working through it in order on paper. And I can’t imagine anyone bothering to re-add someone out of spite. I think hanging up is definitely the best thing to do. It always baffled me when people would start yelling at me to go away. Um, do you know how a phone works? You can make that happen!

Gram (#6,160)

The best option for blocking these calls is the use of call blockers and the web to verify the ids of numbers on your blocklist. I use the T-Lock and badnumbers.com for my land line and Mr.Number’s app for my android phone. All is under control

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