Fun ways to screw with Telephone sales people

Jamieson 90

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I don't screw around with them because that would be wasting even more of my time. I usually try to be as firm and polite as possible although there have been a few times when I've felt like I'm talking to an idiot and had to treat them accordingly.

"Hello, I'm ringing about your gas, we have this new deal that can save you money -"

"err, we don't have gas."

"You ... you don't have gas????" Is that so astounding?

"No, just electricity," you should probably know that if it's your job to ring people about their houses's gas supply....

"Oh err okay sorry," phone goes dead.
 

Sealpower

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Jun 7, 2010
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A friend of my dad's had quite an ingenious way of dealing with them... Since telephone sales people have quite shitty jobs with terrible terms and my dad's friend being the local union leader he started to inform them about their rights and basically tried to sell THEM an union membership!

Most politely excused themselves and hung up, but he apparently had some quite rewarding conversations with a few of them.

That's classy!
 

pokeplayer984

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I am on the "do not call" registry system. So, when they call, they can expect a lawsuit that can go towards up to $8,000.

They should know better than to mess with me. :)
 

chiggerwood

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My brother once turned it on the guy and sold him some tickets to a concert. He was a ticket broker and a class A bullshit artist. Seriously he could sell sulfur to the devil it was amazing.
 

Brainpaint

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Somebody tried that with my uncle (my dad,s sister's husband) shortly after his dad died. He told them on the phone about it and they left him well alone.
Apparently he says it every time now.
 

wulf3n

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Lilani said:
Flames66 said:
No it doesn't need to be done.
Maybe not, but again, that isn't the fault of the person calling you. Those telemarketers didn't wake up one morning and say "I know what I'll do at work today--I'll harass a lady with Alzheimer's!" They have a list of numbers and sometimes names chosen at random that they're assigned to call. I understand it's annoying, but taking out your frustrations on the individuals doing the calling is pointless. And if you harass or berate them knowing it isn't their fault, then that just makes you a horrible kind of person who has no problem harassing people you know aren't the root of your frustration.
So harassing someone who is harassing you makes you a horrible kind of person, but harassing an old lady with Alzheimer's for money is fine?
 

LadyMint

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I'm not sure if it's the same way everywhere, but I did work at a telemarketer's for a bit, and I can share my experience.

It was at a point when I had been out of work long enough to be desperate for cash, and just happened to find out that this place was hiring. I've worked for call centers before, but never a telemarketing company. Still, I figured my call center experience might help me out.

Turns out I didn't really need it, because they didn't care. They put me in a room with other people and had us all read a pre-written sales pitch to see how we sounded while delivering it. I do theatre as a hobby so I have no problem working with something scripted. I got the job, as did a few of the other walk-ins, and reported for work the next day.

To say that working for a telemarketing company is awful, is an understatement. In this particular situation, we were all crammed into a "call center" that was really a hollowed-out office with desks sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. I sat at an old computer and was given a landline phone to work with. I mean something you might remember using from the 1980s, curly cord and all. Eventually I brought in my own receiver and headset (fortunately I already had these things buried in a closet somewhere and didn't have to buy them) just so I didn't have to keep trying to balance their phone on my shoulder so I could type and talk at the same time.

The company had contracts from different places. I remember Better Homes & Gardens magazines was one of them, as well as some company that sells packets for newborn babies to hospitals, and some surveys that had to be conducted. Each day we would come in and be told what contract we were assigned to, as well as how many sales were needed. If a person didn't make a certain amount of sales by a certain time of day, the company would let that person go for the day to save money. Happened to me at least once that I can remember, and it felt awful because it meant my meager paycheck would be even shorter.

There was no training involved. No sales techniques passed on by my team lead or fellow co-workers. The program on the computer would push a script or survey and dial a pre-programmed number. I had no control over what number was being dialed. I remember one day I was going through a list of magazine subscriptions and spoke to a woman who was interested, but needed me to call her back at a certain time. Perfect, I assured her I would do that. The program that pushed the script my way gave me the option to set the callback at a certain time/date. With that done, I kept going on with the list.

Once I got to the end of the list, the program rung the woman's number again. I didn't commit her number to memory because I expected to call her back later, but when she spoke I remembered her voice, and she even told me she "spoke to someone earlier and told them to call back later," clearly not remembering mine. I had set my callback for the next day, but obviously the program felt that since I had finished all the other callouts on my list, I should have given hers another try.

I also remember some of the times when people took great pleasure in being awful to me. A man who pretended to be interested, let me start in on my sales pitch, then hung up on me mid-sentence, was probably the lightest offense. I was more relieved to hear people tell me they weren't interested, rather than taking out their entire frustration with the concept of telemarketing on me as an individual.

Along with having to make sales, there was wording in the scripts that we had to use. Questions that had to be "checkmarked" before the call would be considered complete and not end up back in the system to be rung again later. I was always happy to do the surveys because most people didn't mind those, but the sales scripts, as you can imagine, had questions to check off that sounded repetitive and bothersome. You could put your own spin on them but the point was you had to go down the checklist, or that person was going to be put back in the queue to be called again by you or someone else on your contract.

It didn't take me long to be fired for lack of sales, and soon after I was able to get another job elsewhere. But the money from that telemarketing job helped keep me afloat for the period of time it took me to find something better. It also taught me what it's truly like in one of those places, and why it most certainly isn't the fault of the phone agent that you're being called several times a day about their sales pitch. I'm sure if that company had an automated call system that pushed calls at people, other places do as well. I also hope that what I've written here gives a little insight into what sort of negative conditions that person on the other end of the phone may already be under. I was out of work for a period of time, I was nearly out of money, and if not for the time I spent in that job, I might have been out of a few other things as well. I do not wish to repeat that experience, but having had it, I have learned to politely decline sales people no matter where and when we meet.
 

Diddy_Mao

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Having done inbound customer service/sales and retail in the past? I'm rather patient with most folks in CSR positions. If it's a sales pitch I usually give them the 2 polite no thank yous and then disconnect if they continue.

It's a shitty job, no reason to make it worse by taking it personally.
 

Dalisclock

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flarty said:
Flames66 said:
I have a poor short term memory, meaning that something as simple as the phone ringing at the wrong moment can ruin my day.
So anyone who calls you at the wrong moment risks running the chance of ruining your day? My advice to you sir is not to own a phone at all in case it rings.
Or just don't answer it if you don't recognize the number.

And cell phones have a "block" option.
 

cthulhuspawn82

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Depending on how much time you willing to sacrifice, the best way to screw them is to keep them on the line for as long as possible. Act like your interested in what they are selling. Keep asking questions about the product. Make them think you are going to buy.

A lot of times this guys are being hounded by their bosses to make X sales for every Y minutes they spend on the phone, and can get in deep shit if they don't meet quotas. I imagine wasting as much of their time as possible is a great way to piss them off and make sure they never call back.
 

Yuiiut

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shootthebandit said:
I kept getting phone calls which are obviously a scam saying "I work with windows. There is a problem with your computer" or something along those lines

They tried a few times and I recognised it was them and when he said "I work with windows" I interrupted and said "good. Bring your ladder and bucket tomorrow"
Same for me-everyone else who is genuinely trying to sell me something I'll just say I'm not interested, I'll take surveys if I'm not doing anything important and am just playing games, but for the 'there is a problem with your windows' people? To them, I claim I live in a bunker and don't have windows.
 

SoranMBane

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wulf3n said:
Lilani said:
Flames66 said:
No it doesn't need to be done.
Maybe not, but again, that isn't the fault of the person calling you. Those telemarketers didn't wake up one morning and say "I know what I'll do at work today--I'll harass a lady with Alzheimer's!" They have a list of numbers and sometimes names chosen at random that they're assigned to call. I understand it's annoying, but taking out your frustrations on the individuals doing the calling is pointless. And if you harass or berate them knowing it isn't their fault, then that just makes you a horrible kind of person who has no problem harassing people you know aren't the root of your frustration.
So harassing someone who is harassing you makes you a horrible kind of person, but harassing an old lady with Alzheimer's for money is fine?
I didn't want to involve myself in this conversation, but this is bothering me so bad I have to respond.

First; you're putting words in other people's mouths in all sorts of awful ways. Please stop that.

Second; people who work telemarketer jobs are likely not working there by choice. For most of them, it was probably literally the best job option available to them at the time. Harassing people because they chose to not go hungry is just being pointlessly mean. Trust me; having some basic empathy and being polite in these situations isn't that hard.
 

Varrdy

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Feb 25, 2010
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Tell them to look up the TPS, which usually gets rid of them!

For those of you who do not know, the Telephone Preference Service is a service (duh!) in the UK with which you register your number(s) and doing so makes is "unlawful" to cold-call you. While there is no actual block in place, companies are obliged to check whether numbers are registered with the TPS before trying to sell you their pointless, stupid crap.

http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/index.html

While it doesn't stop all nuisance calls, it really does trim the numbers down to the bone.

I've been in a customer sales job, which while I loathed with a passion, mercifully involved very little cold-calling - the customer came to us, in other words. Still, when offered a settlement to go away there and then I pinched myself and then was out the door without a backwards glance! What irks me about cold-callers is the patronising assumption that I REALLY wanted their product but was obviously too stupid to actually go out and get it.

The only reason I have a landline is because it's a requirement to get broadband. If it wasn't a requirement I would just use my cellphone as I rarely make or receive calls anyway.

Oh and back to the OP, the last time someone phoned and said they had detected a virus on my computer, I demanded to know why they were accessing my PC without my consent and informed them that I would be reporting them to the authorities.
 

Varrdy

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Jamieson 90 said:
I don't screw around with them because that would be wasting even more of my time. I usually try to be as firm and polite as possible although there have been a few times when I've felt like I'm talking to an idiot and had to treat them accordingly.

"Hello, I'm ringing about your gas, we have this new deal that can save you money -"

"err, we don't have gas."

"You ... you don't have gas????" Is that so astounding?

"No, just electricity," you should probably know that if it's your job to ring people about their houses's gas supply....

"Oh err okay sorry," phone goes dead.
If someone phoned to offer to help me with my gas, I would reply:

"Aw, great because things are getting worse! I farted in a packed lift this morning and I'm sure that at least 3 people never regained conciousness!"
 

wulf3n

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SoranMBane said:
First; you're putting words in other people's mouths in all sorts of awful ways. Please stop that.
I wish I were, but I'm simply reading what people are saying.

SoranMBane said:
Second; people who work telemarketer jobs are likely not working there by choice. For most of them, it was probably literally the best job option available to them at the time. Harassing people because they chose to not go hungry is just being pointlessly mean. Trust me; having some basic empathy and being polite in these situations isn't that hard.
Same can be said about a lot of criminals [muggers, drug dealers etc.] so there's that.
 

spoonybard.hahs

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Apr 24, 2013
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Marter said:
Politely tell them I'm not interested, say goodbye, and then hang up.

You know, because they're people, just like you and I, doing their job and trying to pay the bills.
That's true. And I typically try to be nice. Until the third call after I've asked them to remove me from their list.
 

MeatMachine

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May 31, 2011
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I aced the ASVAB with a 99 in high school. Recruiters from all branches but the Coast Guard were calling me multiple times, every day.

The Army in particular just wouldn't fucking let me go, even a year after taking the test. I WAS IN AIR FORCE TECH SCHOOL and I was still getting recruiters all over my nuts.
 

ZedOmega

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Aug 20, 2014
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It really depends on the cold-caller.

Outbound sales reps for products I'm familiar with are easy: I politely advise them that I'm registered on the national DNC list, and the few cases where I've gotten calls from other ISPs, I let them know I'm happy with the one I have, and let them know the results of availability checks ("18 megs is a good internet speed, yeah, but I checked my address on your website and apparently there aren't any OLTs that reach my neighborhood. I also have a NID for my internet company and a dish for my cable company, and the owner of the house wouldn't appreciate additional equipment installed. We already got yelled at for the dish as it is.") and move on.

I do get the cold-callers that refuse to listen to a word I say, though. There's a loan company out of Florida who apparently didn't understand that someone who doesn't have a driver's license wouldn't have any need of an auto loan; the calls stopped when he asked me what kind of car I'd be in the market for and I flat-out told him I was looking for a Boeing. As soon as he told me that he thought it was a good brand of car, I pointed out to him that Boeing was an aircraft manufacturer and that if he was going to keep pushing for an auto loan, he should recognize what is and isn't an automotive brand. He insulted me and hung up, and that was the last I heard of him.