In my haste to answer a phone call recently, I managed to spill a glass of orange juice all over the keyboard of my new laptop. Imagine how angry I was when I realised the call was from yet another telemarketer. These calls can be relentless, and requests to stop calling seem to achieve nothing. Here are some ways to deal with these pests:
- The Seinfeld strategy: poiltely tell the telemarketer: 'I'm busy right now and I can't talk; give me your home number and I'll call you back later.' When they decline to give their home number: 'I'm sorry, I suppose that's because you don't want people calling you at home? WELL NOW YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL!!!.'
- Three little words that work: 'Hold On, Please...' Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear the telephone company's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task. These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.
- Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' sales person to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering , if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialled the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!!!
- When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-prepaid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 50 cents postage 'IF' and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away! In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage- prepaid return envelopes. Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Westpac. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them $1.00 The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it... Twice! Let's help keep Australia Post busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea! If enough people follow these tips, it will work ---- maybe you'll get very little junk mail anymore.
- Do you ever recieve emails from people claiming to be the wife of the ex president of Nigeria or some such place, telling you that they have millions of dollars they can't get out of the country and if you just help them with $10,000 dollars to cover the transfer they will give you millions? Reply to the email and agree to the conditions. Tell them you will meet them at Nairobi airport (preferrably somewhere that requires them to do some very expensive travel) next Friday at 4.00am and that you will bring the $10,000 in cash. Of course DON'T TURN UP.
My laptop keyboard remained sticky for months. Taking a little revenge has at least given me some satisfaction and I haven't had any spam phone calls lately.