I can only assume that I sound like a 12 year old girl. Every time a telemarketer calls, they inquire as to whether or not I am a decision maker in the home and when I say yes-and-please-put-us-on-your-do-not-call-list, they pause as if they don't quite believe me. I need to insert something into my standard response that 12 year olds wouldn't know about. I was thinking a short diatribe on crime rates, or how young kids use curse words, or stuff costs more these days... any suggestions?

So anyway, onto the point of this post. This evening, I received a phone call:

Her: "Hi, may I speak to David Lemson please?"
Me: "He's not here, can I take a message?"
Her: "This is Rita from the American Cancer Society..."
Me: <interrupting> "Listen, let's just cut this short, please put us on your do not call list."
Her: "May I ask why?"
Me: "I don't like getting calls from people I don't know."
Her: "...<pause>.... Um, I'm from the American Cancer Society."

What exactly did she think I meant? Ohhh, you said Rita from the American Cancer Society, I thought you said Skeeter from the American Nosepickers Association. Now that I know you're from the American Cancer Society, now I want you to interrupt me!

Comments (7)

  1. I have a standard response for fundraising telemarketers: I tell them that we never give money to people who call us to ask for it. That has cut our repeat call rate way, way down. (If asked, I explain to them that obviously they have enough money if they can spend money on professional fundraising).

  2. dbt says:

    "We don’t accept any telephone solicitations as a matter of policy."

    If you can say it deadpan and just fast enough but not too fast they don’t even think about questioning it.

  3. kdj says:

    It’s great when they try to make you feel guilty for not wanting them to pester you, simply because they are calling "from a good cause".

    I usually tell them we’re on the do not call list and they explain that charities are exempt.  I then say that I don’t think they should be.  At that point, they don’t know what to say.

  4. Charlie on the PA Turnpike says:

    I used to have fun by engaging them in conversation, especially the newer sounding marketers:

    She: Hello… may I speak to Charles <em>multisyllabic name</em>?

    Me: You’re speaking to him.

    She: Hello Mr. ….um, sir.  My name is Kathy and I am calling today to …

    Me: (interrupting) Hello Kathy, how are you today?

    She: Oh I’m fine.   (pause) My name is Kathy and I am calling

    I imagined her finger going back a line each time I interrupted.  I once had a call last 22 minutes…

  5. Janice says:

    My fiance likes to pretend that he is an elderly shut-in.  He uses an old, sick voice and says weird things.

    He usually gets hung up on within 30 seconds.

    I try not to answer the phone.  Or I go the "I don’t respond to phone solicitations because you could be an identity thief and how would I know" routine.

    And if you think money calls are bad, you should hear how often the Red Cross calls for blood donations.  They’re aggressive vampires!

  6. Simon says:

    …somehow I manage to get ALL the sales calls that come to my place of work, I run the helpdesk (amongst other strange things) I get attemptedly sold on a daily basis the following.. stationary, printer cartridges, paper, newspapers, pet supplies, water, spare parts for a printer we once had (6 years ago) I get people asking for staff that have left over two years ago (saying they were just speaking to… and could they please be put through) My co-worker and I have started a far fetched game where we say something along the lines of "oh, you need to speak to <insert random hard to say name here> and tell them to call the main switch number… OR …we go down the "no, he’s gone on holidays and will not be back for 17 months" they generally get confused and hangup… anyway….!! about to attempt to ply money from this company to upgrade to exchange (from sendmail…eeeew) so must go and do some "bluesky thinking" ciao

  7. Just give them a very strange answer that knocks them off their script.

    Double Glazing: "I bricked the windows up last year"

    All charities: "Fantastic!  Sounds like my application for funding must have been approved"

    Red Cross: "Sorry, I’ve been diagnosed as a carrier of CJD so I can’t give blood (actually, that one’s true!)"

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