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Guide: How to Deal with Telemarketers

If you hate receiving an uninvited sales call, you are a member of a very big club. In fact, very few people don't belong to this club, including the people making the sales calls. Sometimes you can just hang up, but usually they'll just call you later, and you really would like not to be disturbed. Here are 10 excellent and funny ways to rid yourself of that pesky telemarketer!

1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money. Ask, "How long can I keep it? Do I have to ever pay it back, or is it like the other money I borrowed before my bankruptcy?"

2. If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Or you can say, "I'm so glad you asked, because no one seems to care these days and I have all these problems, my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died . . ." When they try to get back to the sales process, just continue on with telling about your problems.

3. If the person says they're Joe Soap from the XYZ Company, ask them to spell their name, then ask them to spell the company name, then ask where it is located. Continue asking personal questions or questions about the company for as long as necessary.

4. This one works better if you are male.
Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Judy and I'm with Canter and Siegel services....
You: "Hang on a second." (Few seconds pause) "Okay, (in a really husky voice) what are you wearing?"


5. Crying out, in well-simulated tones of pleasure and surprise, "Judy!! Is this really you? I can't believe it! Judy, how have you BEEN?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the heck she could know you from.

6. Say, "No," over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each no, and keep an even tempo even as they're trying to speak. This is the most fun if you can keep going until they hang up.

7. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with their Family and Friends plan, reply, in as sinister a voice as you can muster, "I don't have any friends . . . would you be my friend? Do you want to go out to eat tonight?? What's your favorite color???"


8. If they clean rugs: "Can you get blood out, you can? Well, how about goat blood or human blood - chicken blood too? What about bone fragments? I sure could use the help!"

9. Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional "Uh-huh, really" or, "That's fascinating." Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. They will get all flustered. Then just tell them you couldn't give your credit card number to someone who's a complete stranger.

10. Tell them you work for the same company they work for.
Example:Telemarketer: "This is Bill from Watertronics."
You: "Watertronics!! Hey I work for them too. Where are you calling from?"
Telemarketer: "Uh, Dallas, Texas."
You:"Great, they have a group there too? How's business/the weather? Too bad the company has a policy against selling to employees, ha? Oh well, see ya!"

...and, of course, there is always the Seinfeld classic! Tell the Telemarketer you are busy and if they will give you their phone number you will call them back. If they say they are not allowed to give out their number, then ask them for their home number and tell them you will call them at home (this is usually the most effective method of getting rid of Telemarketers). If the person says, "Well, I don't really want to get a call at home," say, "Yeah! Now you know how I feel." (Smiling, of course...)

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Related Topics: tips, advice, funny, hilarious, telemarketing
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