Nobody likes dealing with telemarketers, even the ones calling from legitimate businesses. The last thing most of us want is to be interrupted during our favorite TV show just to hear about a great new insurance policy. Even worse are the scammers who are calling from "Microsoft" because "Your computer has a virus!"
In search of ways to deal with these callers, Reddit user u/conno85 asked:
Have your own sales pitch ready.
"Hey, you know what? I'm glad you called so we can share this time together. Speaking of sharing time, have you heard of a timeshare?"
I usually hit them with a pyramid scheme. They offer their stuff and im like, "Definitely interested, while I have you on the line, let me tell you about a great selection of Herbalife Products that are available for purchase"
If you have access to a toddler, give the phone to the toddler and tell them that the nice person on the phone wants to hear all about their day.
The counter-tactic is to pitch your product to the kid. Guaranteed sale if you can get him to bug his parent about it for the next month.
My dad once got a call from a clearly scammy dental insurance company. He just yelled in the most twangy voice possible "I ain't got no teeth!" They immediately hung up.
I had like, a college debt consolidator call me (something like that, anyway). "Oh, yeah! I totally have student debt!", I said. They asked me how much, i told them $152.37, and they hung up and never called back.
My mom answers the phone, "sheriff's department, fraud division."
Immediate dial tone on the other end.
Just had the thought, "FCC, how may I direct your call?"
"Thank you for calling the FBI! Please listen closely, as our options have changed. To turn yourself in, please press one. To confess to crime, please press two."
I tell them to hang on a second. I'll hit redial on the last telemarketer I got and add them to the call. Then I just hang up and let the two of them try to sell stuff to each other for the next minute.
When they ask me if I want to hear about their product I say "Sure, but first let me tell you about our lord and savior Jesus Christ."
I ask them to hang on for a sec and I then just put the phone down. They hang up after a minute or so.
Depending on the call center, they may prefer that. Gives us a few seconds to breath and relax.
I figure it puts the pressure/call on them. They can hang up when they see fit.
As a former telemarketer, just hang up the phone.
We hate it as much as you do. It's impossible to be a telemarketer without hating your life.
EDIT should add that some telemarketing people will call you again in a few days anyway, so make sure to say "don't call me again" and they should take you off the call list
The definite exception is the "Microsoft Internet Support" type calls. They deserve every bit of time wasting you can give them.
Telemarketers generally have KPIs consisting of three things, dials, contacts and closes (sometimes follow-ups).
They hate the job just as much as you do, the best thing to do for honest telemarketers (distinct from call centers operating as a front for a scam disguised as a legal business) is to say "Sorry, no opportunity here, no reason to follow up." and hang up as soon as possible. Then you can get on your life and they can get onto their next dial and you add less toxicity into the world.
Alternatively, tell them your Michael Dorn and do your best Worf impersonation.
If it's a scam call, I always ask them what they tell their parents they do for a living.
"Do your parents know you steal money from old ladies for a living?"
"Are your parents proud of you for being a thief?"
Answer the call with "Hello caller, you're on the air!" elee0228
"Hello and good morning, you are live on the air at radio 98.4 theee Weaaasel!" MrBananaStorm
I use this regularly and it works everytime:
TM: hello, this is so and so with xyz, I'm looking for mr. X.
Me: Oh sure, he's taking a crap right now, hold on I'll pass the phone to him.
Usually at this point they hang up... if they don't, I proceed in talking to them with intermittent aggressive grunting.... by this point they 100% hang up. nwrcj90
I'd give the signal, my son would start screaming, and I'd say "sorry, my son is on fire." and hang up. MadWhiskeyGrin
I always tell them that this is a business line, and then politely ask them to put this line on the do not call list. Usually, people say no problem and hang up. Once in a while I get an a**. I then ask for the supervisor. Then they hang up.
However, when I was getting the "Apple Support" scam numbers literally every half-hour, I finally hit the button and got a real person. I told them I had no Apple products and I knew this was a scam all, what would it take to get them to leave me alone. The woman (you could hear the boiler operation in the background) said $100. No way that was going to happen.
So, the next time, I went through until I got a human being. I spoke very quietly, telling them I was worried about my computer. The guy asked me to speak up several times. When I was sure they had turned up their volume, I blasted them with my basketball referee whistle. I did that twice. Calls stopped. delnorteduck
I usually pretend that I'm an old man rambling in Spanish and arguing with his wife. Need_Coffee79
My guy is usually Japanese or French. I don't know those languages, I just make up words that sound like they are in those languages and mix in some confusing English statements. mschwartz33
I tell them to hang on a second. I'll hit redial on the last telemarketer I got and add them to the call. Then I just hang up and let the two of them try to sell stuff to each other for the next minute. codered434
i often get calls like WE HEARD YOU WERE IN A CAR ACCIDENT THAT WASN'T YOUR FAULT so i like to waste their time and tell them a really detailed story about how i was drink driving and I crashed while the police were chasing me and it wasn't my fault because the police shouldn't have been speeding and my wife and kids are dead now and i want compensation because i cant drink drive anymore. kill_the_wasps
I always "sell" what ever they are selling for a living.. need duct cleaned? oh i own a duct cleaning business.. need your lawn care.. i own a landscaping company... water filter... oh i own a water store.. shuts them up.. not rude.. not long.. done. rackem222
I usually try to say something that would bewilder them. Same goes for people on the street... For example:
Them: Can I interest you in the chance to win £500? Me: Oh, nah. I've got loads of money.
Them: Are you against animal cruelty? Me: No.
... In saying that, those were the only two times I came up with something fast enough. ana1ytics
My favorite way is the way Jerry Seinfeld did it in one episode.
T: "Hello I was wanting to see if you're interested in purchasing (blank)?"
J: "Yeah that sounds great, but I'm actually really busy at the moment. Can I get your name and home phone number and I can call you later tonight?"
T: "Sir we can't do that."
J: "Why not? You don't want random people calling you all day?"
T: "Well, no."
J: "Well now you know how I feel."
Hang up! drewisawesome14