The phone rings at dinner time and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach.  You know it’s likely a telemarketer but answer the call anyway.  It might be important.  9 times out of 10 your first instinct was right.  But there are ways to foil these interruptions.

  1. Don’t buy.  Telemarketing persists because it’s profitable.  For all the rejections there are enough acceptances that make it worthwhile.  If we all stopped buying/signing up/donating via a telemarketing call it would have to stop.
  2. Don’t offer excuses.  Telemarketers use scripts and have a counter-offer for every excuse you could possibly imagine.  Just say no and hang up.  You’ll be doing them a favour too by not wasting their time.
  3. Do use an answering machine.  For those peak-calling times which coincide with family rush hour, use an answering machine.  Telemarketers never leave messages and anyone who really needs you will.
  4. Do head them off at the pass.  In Australia, we have the Do Not Call register.  Elsewhere you may consider getting an unlisted number.

Know of any other strategies?

1 Comment
  1. Janet Barclay 14 years ago

    Call Display is the one of the best inventions ever. Although you can’t always identify who is calling, it certainly helps! And if a strange number comes up like 000-000-0000 or 123-456-7890 (believe me, I’ve seen both of those, more than once!) then I know not to pick it up.

    I think we’re getting a Do Not Call register here in Canada soon – I can’t wait!

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