How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 8

| Working | March 17, 2015

(My grandfather has a habit of messing with telemarketers.)

Grandfather: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Hi, this is Mary from—”

Grandfather: “Oh, hello, Mary! How’s the baby? Did you ever find out who the father was?”

(Pause.)

Telemarketer: “You’re crazy.” *hangs up*

 

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How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 7

| Working | March 10, 2015

(At about six pm, the phone rings.)

Me: “Hello.”

Telemarketer: *speaking with a very thick, almost cliché Indian accent* “Hi! My name is Doug! I’d like to talk to you about upgrading your home security system! We have plenty of offers…”

Me: *interrupting, but staying polite* “…Oh, thank you very much. But we don’t have a home security system and aren’t interested. You have a nice day, Doug. Take care.”

Telemarketer: “Oh… ok. Thank you and good-bye.”

(I hung up the phone and sit down. Five minutes later, the same number called back.)

Me: *answering the phone* “Uh… hi.”

Telemarketer: “Hi, my name is Doug! I’d like to talk…”

Me: *interrupting* “Hi. You just called us. Sorry, we’re not interested. Have a nice night though.”

Telemarketer: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to call back. Thank you and good-night!”

(Less than 10 seconds after I hung up, the phone rang again.)

Me: “Please stop calling this number. This is the third time I said we’re not interested.”

Telemarketer: “Hi, my name is Doug! I’d like to…”

Me: “Okay, first of all… your name isn’t ‘Doug.’ Second. Stop calling!”

(I hung up. This time there was a pause of five minutes before good ol’ ‘Doug’ called back.)

Me: “Listen, ‘Doug’… Stop calling us! If this keeps up, we will contact the police and report this number for harassment.”

Telemarketer: “Oh.”

(I hung up and he called right back. This time I handed it off to my mother, who was furious about the fact that he had already called numerous times.)

Mom: “Stop calling us! We don’t want what you’re offering!”

Telemarketer: “May I speak to the man of the house?”

Mom: “No, you may not. I own this house with my husband. He doesn’t want to talk to you, so you’re going to talk to me. And I’m telling you to stop.”

(She hung up on him and he called back yet again a few minutes later. This time we handed the phone to my step-father.)

Step-Father: “We’re calling the police.”

Telemarketer: “What?”

Step-Father: “You’ve spent the past 15 minutes harassing us over the phone. We’re calling the police.”

(They argued back and forth for several minutes. My step-father hung up and informed us that ‘Doug’ evidently didn’t understand why we were calling the police, and in fact, seemed to barely understand who the police even were. Needless to say, he called back again. This time we let it ring through, hoping he’d leave a message and then stop calling. He didn’t leave a message. He just called right back again about four more times before we picked up the phone again. My mom answered this time.)

Mom: “Okay, ‘Doug’… You pushed my ‘a**-hole button’ too many times.”

(She proceeds to threaten him with the police again, before launching into a barrage of insults, evidently because he ignored the threat of police and tried to sell her a home security system again. We hung up. We tried to call the local police department about a minute later, but “Doug” interrupted us. He had just called as we picked up the phone to start dialing, he was already on the line. We just hung up and immediately called the police before he could call again.)

Step-Father: *a few minutes later, while on phone with the police* “Oh, my god! The phone just beeped! He’s trying to call us again!”

(An officer that was nearby showed up about five minutes later. While we were waiting for the officer, “Doug” tried to call our house again three more times. The officer took the number, and had to leave to take care of something else. “Doug” tried to call us one more time, before the calls suddenly stopped. He returned a short while later just to check in, and informed us that “Doug” was not going to be calling back. Evidently, the police had contacted the number in the meantime, and reported ‘Doug’ to a number of superiors.)

 

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The Great Scam Of ’09

| Working | February 4, 2015

Telemarketer: “Hello, this the national protection service, calling about the parts and warranty on a car registered to this address, and we’ve noted it’s about to expire”

(Instantly recognizing this as the standard lie to make it sound official and that I’ve done business with them in the past, I decide to play along.)

Me: “What’s about to expire?”

Telemarketer: “It’s listed here in our records as an ’09”

Me: “An ’09 what?”

Telemarketer: “Sir, due to security purposes, I can’t tell you.”

Me: “Well, due to security purposes, I can’t help you.”

Telemarketer: *beat of stunned silence* “Sir, it’s an ’09.”

Me: “Ma’am, an ’09 what?”

Telemarketer: “Due to security purposes, I can’t tell you”

Me: “Well, due to security purposes, I can’t help you.”

(Unsure of what to do, tries the above pattern again, this repeats two more times, comes back around again for a fifth time.)

Telemarketer: “Sir, It’s an ’09.”

Me: “An ’09 what? an ’09 boat? And ’09 motorcycle? An ’09 car? What?”

Telemarketer: *sigh* “It’s an ’09 car, sir”

Me: “Which one? Which ’09?”

Telemarketer: “Sir, due to security purposes, I can’t tell you.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I can’t help you.”

(Another moment of silence goes by.)

Me: “Ma’am, I can keep doing this little merry-go-round conversation all day. I’ve got nothing scheduled.”

Telemarketer: *click*

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Telemarketers Versus Religion

| Working | January 27, 2015

(I stay at a rental beach house with my boyfriend and his family, as well as a friend of his younger sister’s. My boyfriend, his two siblings, his sister’s friend, and I are all in the living room when the phone rings. We all just kind of look at each other, and assuming it’s a telemarketer, I eagerly get up to answer.)

Me: “Hello?”

(The telemarketer goes into his speech about long-distance service, not even asking if I’m the head of house or old enough to make that kind of decision.)

Me: “This is a beach house.”

Telemarketer: “Are you happy with your current long-distance service?”

Me: “We don’t have a phone.”

Telemarketer: “Uh… excuse me?”

Me: “We don’t have a phone. We don’t believe in phones. You see, we’re Mormon.”

Telemarketer: “What?”

Me: *click*

(Everyone had contained their laughter until I hung up. For the rest of the week, we made excuses about not doing things ‘because I’m Mormon.’)

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Insecure International Dialling

| Working | January 24, 2015

(Because I lived in the US for a while, I have a US-based Skype phone number. However, I have since returned to the UK. I receive this call:)

Automated Message: “If you are the homeowner, you are eligible for free installation of a full home security system, with local 24/7 monitoring! If you are interested in this offer, please press 1.”

Me: *to friend* “Got nothing better to do right now.” *presses 1*

Agent: “Thank you for your interest. Can you confirm that you are the homeowner?”

Me: “I am.”

Agent: “Excellent.”

(They then proceed to explain all the benefits of their security system, making particular emphasis on the local-ness of their monitoring centres.)

Agent: “Now, sir, do you have any questions?”

Me: “Yes, actually. I was wondering if you could tell me exactly where your local monitoring station is.”

Agent: “Sure. Where do you live?”

Me: “Slough.”

Agent: “What state is that in?”

Me: “England.”

(They hung up immediately, and my friend and I laughed for hours!)

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