Tag Archives: telemarketing

How to Prank Telemarketers

Geek!This is John Albrecht’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money. Ask: “How long can I keep it? Do I ever have to pay it back, or is it like the other money I borrowed before my bankruptcy?”
  2. If they start out with: “How are you today?” Say: “Why do you want to know?” You can also say: “I’m so glad you asked, because no one seems to care these days and I have all these problems, my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died.” When they try to get back to the sales process, just continue sharing your problems.
  3. If the person says he’s Joe Doe from the XYZ Company, ask him to spell his name, then ask him to spell the company name, then ask where it is located. Continue asking personal questions or questions about the company for as long as necessary.
  4. This one works better if you are male: Telemarketer: “Hi, my name is Judy and I’m with Canter and Siegel services.” You: “Hang on a second. [pause] Okay, [in a really husky voice] what are you wearing?”
  5. Crying out, in well simulated tones of pleasure and surprise: “Judy! Is this really you? I can’t believe it! Judy, how have you BEEN?” Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the heck she could know you from.
  6. Say: “No,” over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each “no,” and keep an even tempo even as they’re trying to speak. This is the most fun if you can keep going until they hang up.
  7. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with their Family and Friends plan, reply, in as sinister a voice as you can muster: “I don’t have any friends… would you be my friend?”
  8. If they clean rugs: “Can you get blood out, you can? Well, how about goat blood or human blood – chicken blood, too?”
  9. Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional affirmation. Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. They get all flustered, but just tell them you couldn’t give your credit card number to someone who’s a complete stranger.
  10. Tell them you work for the same company they work for. Telemarketer: “This is Bill from Watertronics.” You: “Watertronics! Hey I work for them too. Where are you calling from?” Telemarketer: “Uh, Dallas, Texas.” You: “Great, they have a group there too? How’s business / the weather? Too bad the company has a policy against selling to employees! Oh well, see ya.”
  11. Tell the telemarketer that you’re busy and ask for their phone number so that you can call them back. If they say they are not allowed to give out their number, then ask them for their home number and tell them you will call them at home (this is usually the most effective method of getting rid of telemarketers). If the person says: “Well, I don’t really want to get a call at home,” say: “Yeah, now you know how I feel.”

The Telemarketer Game

Hey, I’m streaming and recording live all the freakin’ time. We’ve got telemarketers selling newspapers, giving away vacations, and asking to take surveys. Guess they’re looking for free advertising, eh? Lockergnomie Harmon Everett has been following my “escapades” with telemarketers, and has taken some remedial action. Fed up with Telemarketers, too? Make a sport out of it. He has some recommended scoring. When a telemarketer calls:

  • If they call you while you are preparing or eating a meal: +2 points
  • Every minute you keep them on the phone: +2 points
  • If you buy what they are: +10 points
  • If they buy something you are selling: +5 points
  • If what they buy from you is a direct competitor to their product: +10 points
  • If the product they are selling is inferior to a product or service you already own: +2 points
  • If you get them to go to your vendor to purchase your favored brand of product: +2 points

For instance, a mortgage refinancer called the other day – while I was preparing supper. Plus, two points for timing. My mortgage is fixed at 6.5 percent, while they were offering a variable that started at 6.7 percent, and I kept them on the phone for ten minutes while we discussed that: 24 points.

Or last week, a caller offered me a deal on a nationally known video documentary collection. It took fifteen minutes, but I sold him a copy of the historical documentary I made about Billy Durant, the creator of General Motors. 40 points.

And don’t even get me started about credit cards, mine has a fixed rate of 4.9 percent, they send an end of the year categorized analysis of the account, and once my wife was in Paris buying some things at the same time my daughter was in Toronto buying some things, and their security staff called me up to ascertain whether that was supposed to be happening. I’ve sent several phone marketers to them. Maybe one a week or so.

This is almost fun.

Spam Traps

Three times in the past week, I’ve unwillingly opened the door to young solicitors. Actually, the number is closer to five (but I only responded to three, with tonight’s salesman mistaken for the pizza guy). Some are peddling magazines, while others are selling books – doesn’t matter (they’re all annoying). Each and every time, as soon as I push back the dogs and fling open the front door, they ask:

“Is your mom or dad home?”

To keep from bursting out in pants-peeing laughter, I have to bite my bottom lip and tell the knock-knock-nerd that my parents be out of the country for at least three months. There’s going to come a time when I’m actually going to look like an adult – so I’m enjoying this defense while I still can. Of course, I get different questions from phone spammers:

“Hello, Mrs. Pirillo?”

I always affirm this kind of telemarketer greeting, knowing that I’m quickly going to lead our conversation into uncomfortable feminine subjects. As far as I’m concerned, telemarketing, junk mail, junk email, and door-to-door sales should be outlawed and punishable by death. It’s to the point where I don’t even wanna check or answer anything. The offers are certainly amazing:

“We can help raise your credit score!”

No, you can’t – that’s my personal responsibility, and I’m certainly not going to give business to anybody who says otherwise. You lose, you’re a loser, and you’re going to burn in hell. I don’t remember giving you permission to spam my snail mailbox, either. I’m sure it was buried in some privacy policy somewhere that I missed. Your wasting more than just paper, man – you’re wasting my air. God hates you. At least your crap gives me the giggles at times:

“Extra Income Online (corrected)”

Thank you for sending me a corrected version. Seriously. There are no virgins waiting for you in the afterlife, so give it up. If I want to make extra income online, I’ll just rent more body parts – body parts that can’t be enlarged with your so-called viaGaGRa. Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone. Die, die, die, die. You make pacifists bloodthirsty, don’t you know?