How to Handle Telemarketers

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The Confession

I was a telemarketer for 2 years. Becoming a telemarketer is not a choice, at least not a conscious one. I have in my time been one. Yes, the one that is calling you about getting estimates for windows, siding and AC. Yes, that pesky guy who wonders why you switched landline carriers and "Wont you please come back!?" That was me at one time. Like I said, it is not out of a knowing decision that brought me to that point. Oh, since then I have moved up in the world. For a while I was even customer service for our favorite network for dropped cell calls (I cannot name it because by being employed by said company I agree not to mention anything about internal operations for a while yet). I have since kicked that bad habit though. But what do I mean when I say it was not by conscious choice? Well, in my case I couldn't find a job better than flipping burgers. Sure, I would have done the burger flipping if that was the only option, but I figured the telemarketing was a damn sight better than being a burger jockey. If I could do it over, I am not sure I would make the same choice again.

Tools & Information

But the reason for this article is to cover how to handle telemarketers. Here are some tools and information I need to give you.

First, register for the National Do Not Call Registry. In the case for the USA that is at www.donotcall.gov. Not sure about other nations, it is dependent of local laws, but there should be something like that available. In the USA that registration lasts for 5 years. The reason for you to enter your email in the registration is so they can confirm you are registered and remind you to renew when the registration is up.

Second, contact your bank. Let them know you do not want them to share or sell your information. That's right, most call centers get your information from those darn banks. Credit Unions are not exempt from that either. It is a way for the banks to make money. If the bank will not agree to stop selling your information then you may want to consider moving your business some where else, although legally I have heard they cannot refuse to do as you ask.

Third, be aware that while these two things can and will stop most calls, they may not stop all calls. If you "signed up" to receive a call, are a registered member of a political party or are a customer of a given company you can receive a call. Additionally, survey organizations and political parties are exempt from the do not call list. That is the reason you should keep reading.

The DON'Ts

So you have that rep on the other end telling you about this or that product, offering a service, trying to conduct a survey or some other thing that you don't have the time or patience to deal with. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING!!!!

1) Yell at them then hang up.
2) Just hang up while they are talking.
3) Say "You have the wrong number."
4) Repeat back to the person whatever they are saying.
5) Lie through your teeth.
6) Yell, "Get a real job!" at the person on the other end.
7) Or anything other than what I am about to advise you to do.

If you do any of these your number is simply placed back into a auto dialer list to be called again within a week to a month.

This is what a rather nice telemarketing call center (or any nice call center) looks like on the inside. Harsh florescent lights and little to now space. I have worked in worse places over the years. Some of them where for Fortune 500 companies.
This is what a rather nice telemarketing call center (or any nice call center) looks like on the inside. Harsh florescent lights and little to now space. I have worked in worse places over the years. Some of them where for Fortune 500 companies.
This worker actually has it rather nice compared to some. Some call centers who not allow you to have your own desk, but rather have it so you have to share a desk with another shift or worse, just find an open seat when one is available. Very dirty!
This worker actually has it rather nice compared to some. Some call centers who not allow you to have your own desk, but rather have it so you have to share a desk with another shift or worse, just find an open seat when one is available. Very dirty!

What You Should Do...

...is calmly explain that you want to be placed in the Do Not Call list. If the person on the other end just keeps going, calmly but firmly assert yourself and repeat the request. There are some people who will a rebuttal. Something along the lines of, "I understand how you feel, but..." or "I can see your concern, however..." Do not fooled by these attempts to move past your request. Again, calmy explain that you want to be placed on the do not call list. This next part is important. Ask the person on the other end, "Is there any legal verbiage I have to hear before you place me on the do not call list?" If the answer is yes, listen patiently to it and then confirm you are on the list.

Be Polite

You may not like the fact that that person is calling you, but they are just trying to do their job. You being rude makes life hard on that person and doesn't help your blood pressure or karma either. When talking with ANY type of over the phone representative, please realize that it is not their fault you are having a hard time or a bad day. I have been on both ends of that situation in several different types of jobs over the last 10 years. I can say that my prospective had changed a lot in how I handle calls because of that.

So with that, you are equiped with dealing with pesky telemarketer calls in a way that will result in a long term solution to stopping that annoyance.

Please note this will not work for collection agencies. Also, some companies can take as much as a week to update their calling lists, so just repeat the steps I gave until the calls stop.

Have you ever worked in a call center (customer service or telemarketing)?

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Comments 4 comments

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

So explain to me why I shouldn't just cut it short and hang up?

The Frog


ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

Because if you hang up without confirming you are on the do not call list they will click the option "hung up" and you will get called back within 2 to 4 weeks. The only way to have them not call you back is to confirm (forcefully if necessary) that you were added to the Do Not Call List.


rick miksell 4 years ago

They ignore the don't call list!!!~ I report them every time hoping they will get fined as that is the only thin they will understand.


ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 4 years ago from Utah Author

Have you registered for the do not call list? You need to update it every 5 years. Follow the steps above when dealing with them calling. Remember to be polite. I understand it is frustrating, but you must maintain that. Register. Repeat the above instructions until issue is resolved. Worse case, change you number. Phone companies allow you to change number for free when it is due to harassing calls.

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