The Best Ways to Torment Telemarketers

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Last year, a columnist asked his readers how they deal with telemarketers, particularly robocalls. They were happy to share their tips.

Last year, Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus asked readers to submit their best methods for dealing with telemarketers, including the robotic kind like “Rachel from cardholder services.” (We’ve all heard from her before — many, many times.)

Readers were happy to oblige. Lazarus wrote, “Judging from the avalanche of responses I received, I can say with confidence that many of you are not only fed up with these pests, you’re more than happy to exact a little revenge in the form of pranks and time-wasting tactics.”

Among the suggestions:

  • Stretch the call out as long as possible, once you get a real person on the phone. One guy said he tells the caller he needs to get a pen and paper, then says he needs to find his wallet, etc., etc. – each time putting the phone down for an extended period of time. Another reader said he tells the telemarketer he’s going to get his wife on the phone, then puts the phone down and occasionally asks if the wife has picked up yet. Clever.
  • When they ask how you are, make up a story — a very long story. For instance, manufacture health problems and share in great detail.
  • Use an air horn. Ouch.

The purpose is, of course, to get the telemarketer to remove you from the call list. Apparently the rules and regulations written to protect us from telemarketers are being ignored by many of these folks — so you want them to never want to call you again.

Lazarus also says a free online service called Nomorobo will screen out these annoying calls.

Do you have any tricks for dealing with them? Share below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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