More games to play with telemarketers

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Subject: More games to play with telemarketers
From: arch@jmuarch.cs.jmu.edu (arch harris)
Date: Sun, 30 May 93 4:30:02 EDT

Some additional "games" one can play with telemarketers:

If you recognize they are telemarketers before you have spoken, pretend you are an answering machine with a message along these lines. "Thank you for calling CMTCC, Citizens for Making Telemarketing a Capital Crime. We now have the support of about 25% of the legislature. Soon we will be able to execute those worthless, money grubbing dregs, making the earth a better place to live. Please send your tax deductible contribution to..."

See how many times you can put them on hold. First make sure you get the name of the person you are talking to, because sooner or later they will hang up. Then if they call you again, you can express your righteous indignation at being hung up on, and let them know you were going to buy/contribute, but given the rudeness of ... you have decided not to. They key to this one is make the time they have to hold fairly short. After 30

seconds or so tell them you have to turn down the stove and put them on hold for 45 secs. On returning, ask them to start their pitch again. Every time you return have them restart their pitch. Some good excuses for putting them on hold for a short while: the kids are fighting, the pet needs to go in/out, the baby is into ?, someone is at the door, you have a call on another line, ...

If you have an answering machine, turn it on so they can here you are recording the call. Make sure you get the person's name, and the company's name and address. Then inform them something like this. "Under state law I am hereby notifying you that you (you as an individual and the company) are prohibited from calling this number (xxx-xxxx) to solicit ever again. If you or the company calls again, you personally and the company will be liable for penalties up to $10,000. Is this clear?" Just something to hopefully make them nervous. (Actually Virginia came pretty close to passing a law like this. Unfortunately, the telemarketing lobby bribed our legislature into killing the bill. Maybe next year...)

After they have gone through their entire sales pitch, tell them how interested you are. But first, you want to talk to them about ... Then launch into a pitch for them to contribute to some charity that sounds quasi-legit but is really just for your personal benefit. If they do not contribute, then hang up in righteous indignation that they are such uncaring human beings. If they will, give then a address to send the contribution to, thank them, and hang up before they have a chance to change the subject back to what they called you about.

After they have given their entire sales pitch, say you are interested but first you need the telemarketer's personnel home phone number. When they ask why tell them that they have your personel home number so before you complete the deal, you want to be on even ground with them and you need their number. If they don't give it to you, yup, you guessed it, hangup in righteous indignation. If they do, say you will call back to order/contribute. Then do so at some reasonable hour, in case they have given you a phony number. But if it is a correct number, post it on the net. Not so anyone would harrass this person, ;) but so all of us would have the opportunity to contact this person about whatever it is that is being telemarketed. And since so many of us are night owls, we will be calling at a time convenient to us, like 4 am. ;)

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