Instant relief from noisy telemarketers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sometimes you find things on the Internet you simply must share with the world. It is common knowledge that nobody of sound mind likes to deal with telemarketers. They always call at the most inconvenient times to offer you a once in a lifetime deal.

Some people have decided to fight back. I recently stumbled upon a list of ways to combat telemarketer's that is ingenious to say the least. Hopefully, everyone will find time to use these favorites:

n Interrupt the telemarketer's sales pitch and ask them if they would like to buy something from you (could be anything that you're selling). That will usually get them to end the call.

n Ask the telemarketer to marry you. Seriously, this will probably shock them and they won't know what to say.

n Tell them &#8220You know, I was just thinking about (doing, buying) just that very same thing. So, I said to myself, ‘Self, why don't you just (do, buy) it and get over it.' To my amazement, self replied with a loud, ‘GO FOR IT!'” (Keep talking to take control of the conversation, never letting the telemarketer speak so he or she can't actually try to sell you anything.) &#8220Well, me and myself will discuss it more and we'll get back to you.”

n When you see &#8220out of area” on the caller ID, answer the phone with the name of a made-up insurance company. Then, try to sell the person life insurance. Ask questions like, &#8220What if something happened to you?” or &#8220Are you sure your final needs can be met?” Usually, they end up hanging up on you.

n Tell people that the person they were asking for was hideously mangled in a train wreck. If they ask for your husband or wife, say they recently left you, then tell the caller they sound cute and ask them out.

n Say &#8220I'd love to hear more about why you are calling me, but I'm in the middle of dinner right now. Why don't you give me your home number so I can call and irritate you in the middle of your meal?”

n Act as if the sales call is one to inform you that you've won a prize. Exclaim, &#8220I've never won anything in my life!” Then ask for details on when and how the prize will be sent. And no matter how many times it's explained, never quite understand that you've won nothing and instead are being asked to buy something.

n Calmly tell the telemarketer &#8220Now before I listen to your pitch, there are a few things we need to cover. My minimum rate for listening is $35 an hour. Of course, I can offer you upgrades that give you additional benefits, as well as a greater chance that I may buy what you are selling. The deluxe package is $55 per hour and offers a 2 percent chance of purchase, and the super-deluxe package is $75 per hour, and offers a 3 percent chance of purchase. Now before we get to that, I will need you to send in an application as well as a minimal application fee of $55. You will also need to include with your payment a $35 payment for a credit report. Once your credit has been approved, I will be able to accept your non-refundable good-faith security deposit, which I require, of $100. After closing, and you have paid my standard closing costs of $250, we will then be able to proceed with your sales pitch. Can I sign you up?”

Rick Couch is News Editor of The Demopolis Times, a sister publication of The Greenville Advocate. He can be reached by email at