How To Win The War Against Telemarketers Without Even Trying

| | Working | July 9, 2017

(At my home, I often get phone calls from telemarketers who want to sell me stuff. I think it’s annoying, yet I’m polite with them. I’m having lunch and my cat is playing on the floor. She recently had surgery, which has made her stomach more sensitive, and the veterinarian told me I have to pay attention to what she eats. As she’s my first cat ever, I get worried whenever she tries to eat anything that’s not cat food. Suddenly the phone rings and I get up.)

Me: “Hello.”

Telemarketer: “Hello, I’m [Telemarketer] from [Insurance Company]. I’m phoning you…”

(Suddenly, my cat jumps onto the table and sniffs the spicy food in my plate.)

Me: “WAIT! Two seconds!”

(I leave the phone, grab my cat, and put her back onto the floor. Then I walk back to the phone within a few seconds, ready to listen politely and to tell the lady I’m not interested.)

Me: “Hello?”

(She hung up. I guess I won a battle against telemarketers without even meaning it!)


Telemarketers Are Homing In On You

| CA, USA | Working | July 3, 2017

(I get my first phone at 14 on a family line paid by my godfather. I am very shy, polite, and over-courteous, never do any prank calling, and am not really a troublemaker at all. At the time, my family consists of my sister, mother, and me, and we are homeless and living in our car. I am not used to having my cell phone, and no-one ever calls but my family, so when it rings I don’t think to look at the caller ID and immediately answer.)

Me: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Hello there! Are you the head of the household?”

Me: “Who are—”

Telemarketer: “I’m [Name] from [Company], calling about a great deal.”

Me: “I’m sorry, who exactly—”

Telemarketer: “I’m glad you asked! You see…”

(At this point, I am nervous and unsure what to do when interrupted, so I just stay quiet. He launches into a long and drawn-out sales pitch that never mentions a specific product or what he’s actually selling. While he’s talking I decide it would probably be best to go with it and just tell him I’m not interested.)

Telemarketer: “So what do you think? Doesn’t that sound like an amazing deal?”

Me: “It… sure does, sir, but what exactly is it for?”

Telemarketer: “Oh, why, a home security company, of course! Your property is very valuable to us, and…”

(He starts rattling off a bunch of things about home ownership that I knew absolutely nothing about. I am getting frustrated and just want him off the phone, so I say the first thing that comes to my mind.)

Me: “You said a home security company?”

Telemarketer: “Yes, I did!”

Me: “I don’t have a home. I mean not in the sense that I don’t own property or I’m not the head of the household, but I literally don’t have a place to live. I don’t think you’re going to get very far talking to me. I’m sorry.”

(At this point, my mother’s head whips around. There’s dead silence both in the car and on the line; you could hear a pin drop. I panic and hang up.)

Mom: “Who the h*** was that?”

Me: “Uh, it was a telemarketer for a home security company, I think.”

Mom: “Why on earth did you tell him that!?”

Me: “I… I didn’t know what to do! It just slipped out!”

(The car was filled with my mother’s uproarious laughter. She told our whole extended family about the event, and everyone got a kick out of it. The same representative called back several times in the next few weeks, and I stuck to telling him I was homeless. I don’t know if he expected me to suddenly buy a house or something, but it took my mother calling through three supervisors to get my number taken off. I’m turning 21 this year, my sister and I are going to college, and my family is safe and warm in a cozy apartment together, but I still remember the silly, random stuff that made such a hard time for us so much easier to handle.)

Scams Bring The Victim Together

, , , , | Working | June 8, 2017

(I get a call on my cell phone about lowering my credit card interest rates. I don’t actually have a credit card, so I know it’s fake, but I push the button to speak to a representative so I can request to have my number taken off their list. I am treated to a series of ear-piercing numbers, and then I hear this:)

Caller #1: “I only have $200 in credit card bills. I don’t need my rates lowered.”

Me: “Wait, why am I…”

Caller #2: “I don’t have a credit card at all, so I know this is a scam and you should all be ashamed of yourselves! I just want my number taken off your system!”

Me: “Me, too! How many of us are on this call?!”

Caller #2: “There’s at least three of us… What in the world?”

Me: “And we’re all people who got called; I don’t think there’s even a representative on the line!”

(We all start to chuckle.)

Caller #1: “Welcome to America. I don’t believe this.”

Caller #2: “This is actually kind of funny. Well, ladies, this just goes to prove it’s a scam!”

Me: “Sure does!”

Caller #1: “At least we have solidarity!”

(We all wished each other a good day and hung up laughing. In the end it was pretty funny, but I’d really like to know what in the world happened at the call center that we all ended up talking to each other instead of someone working for the outfit!)

Unable To Grant Your Request

, | Orlando, FL, USA | Working | April 5, 2017

(I’m at home when I get the following call from a telemarketer:)

Me: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Good afternoon, may I speak with [My Name]?”

Me: “This is she.”

Telemarketer: “Congratulations! You’ve been selected to receive a $3,000 government grant! I will just need to take some of your information before you can receive your money.”

(I immediately know that this is a scam, but I want to get more information from the telemarketer as I intend to report the number to the FTC.)

Me: “Okay. What’s the name of the grant?”

Telemarketer: “The… name?”

Me: “Yeah, grants are usually named after a person or whoever is paying out the grant money. So, what’s the name of the grant?”

Telemarketer: “Um, one moment.”

(I heard her whispering to someone in the background, asking about the name of the grant. They spoke back and forth for a moment before the line abruptly went dead. I guess I derailed the scammers’ script by asking a simple question.)

Their Heart Wasn’t In It

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Right | March 25, 2017

(I work in a fairly large telemarketing office raising money for various charities (eg. cancer council, police citizen’s youth club, etc.) by selling raffle tickets.)

Me: “Good morning, my name is [My Name] and I’m calling on behalf of the Heart Research Institute of Australia. How you doing today, sir?”

Man: “Sorry, don’t have one of them.” *click*

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