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Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 09:44 AM   #1
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Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

...Or just 'spray them with bird pellets'.

I have a telemarketer that likes to call every single night, between the hours of 8 and 9, which is right after the baby goes to sleep. And we've got two ill relatives so turning off the phone isnt an option.

80% of the time theres nobody to take the call when we answer and we get disconnected, and I know thats an FTC no-no...I think their no-operator rule is under 3%?

The last five times they called, over a period of about a week, and an actual person answered, I told them to put me on their "do-not-call list". I'm on the federal do-not-call list, but they've become a "business partner" of my old credit union so they're entitled to call.

What I'm hearing from the operators is that they dont speak english particularly well. They seem to understand my request and say "uhh...ok..." to removing me from their list.

Once I even called back right away just to be sure it "took". I was greeted by name when I called so I'm in their caller-ID database system.

Last night, they called again. When I answered, nobody there. I tried calling back periodically over the next few hours but all I get is a busy signal. Same today.

I went to the FTC web site and filled out a complaint form, which seemed fairly generic, not geared specifically to telemarketers.

I'm hoping to get through to the company today, ask for a supervisor or manager, and let them know I'm taking this to the complaint process in hopes they'll pull me off the list.

Any other routes I can take to stick it to these guys, or any more specific complaints I can file? I'm fairly pissed at this point.

Oh yeah...this is the funny part. They're trying to sell me a mortgage. Digital Credit Union apparently sold them the information about my (unused) home equity line of credit. :
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Don't know if it helps but it helps my blood pressure:

If the caller ID shows a telemarketer I pick up the phone and leave it off the hook until they hang up, saying nothing. Sometimes I aim it toward the tv so they can hear what we are watching.

They hate this because it wastes time.

If I'm in a feisty mood I harass them - why would I want your mortage - I don't need a mortgage. I own three houses, all paid off.. whatever I could say to jerk them around and waste their time. But with the ones that can't understand English this is not so much fun.

My dad used to bang the phone on the table really loudly in their ear.

I have long since given up on any conventional comlaint avenues - so much time and effort involved so little result.

Anyway, I feel your pain.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:08 AM   #3
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

I believe your state attourney general can bring charges against the company for harrassment as you have requested they stop calling you.

In addition, I would contact the company they are working on behalf of and the original company they got your number from and let them know that you will NEVER do any business with them solely due to the telemarketing practices.

If you want to really be annoying (to return the favor) call the president of the company each time you do have need of a mortgage. *Let the president know that you had need of a mortgage and that you eliminated their company due to the telemarketing.

Or, for a more direct shot at the individual calling you, ask them to explain their product in detail. *Keep them on the phone as long as possible. *Most telemarketing companies pay their workers based on the number of calls they make. *Once you have taken up a good period of time, advise them that you are not interested and you want them to add your number to their do not call list and additional calls will be considered harrassment. *Really ticks them off.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
They hate this because it wastes time.
I worked with a guy who loved to mess with telemarketers. He would spend fifteen - twenty minutes just eating up their sales pitch, and just as they were going for the sale he would come up with something outrageous to blow them off. Like the timeshare salesman who was giving away a TV if you would come up to the lake and take their sales tour. This guy spent ten minutes just asking questions about the TV, and then when it came time to set up the visit...

"Oh, wait a minute. What county is this located in? Damn, man I can't go - I'm on house arrest and I can't leave the county while I'm waiting for my trial date. No, I can't sneak out - I have an ankle monitor on and it'll call the sheriff if I leave the county. They'll put out an all points bulletin to shoot me on sight or something - they're real picky about people on murder charges. Sorry to waste your time man."
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:17 AM   #5
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Oh I enjoy harassing them as much as anyone.

But this ones waking up my kid 15-30 minutes after I put him down.

And there isnt even a person there most of the time to harrass. They just made me get off the couch for nothing.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:20 AM   #6
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

You could try this:

http://www.telezapper.com/
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny

I'm on the federal do-not-call list, but they've become a "business partner" of my old credit union so they're entitled to call.

They are not allowed to call you PERIOD if you tell them not to. *From the FAQ at the donotcall.gov website:

If you make a specific request to that company not to call you, however, then the company may not call you, even if you have an established business relationship with that company.

There is a complaint mechanism on the donotcall.gov website where you can actually name the company.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

I looked at all of those devices. Most of the 'zapper' products emit a tone that tells the telemarketing software that your line is disconnected. The telemarketers all upgraded their s/w to ignore it. Because, dont you know, if you dont want telemarketer calls and you pay money for a box to make them go away, what the customer really wants is for you to render that device worthless because they really DO want to hear your sales pitch?

The only one I saw that might work was a $100 product that required a separate phone and answering machine and you program into it the numbers you want to pass through. Unfortunately we've got an expensive integrated phone system and half the people that call us do the "caller ID blocking" BS.

The BEST system we had was the VOIP phone service from AT&T Callvantage. It had an option to direct all calls to a recording to "press 2 if its an emergency and you want your call to be put through", otherwise the call went to voicemail. Since none of the telemarketing machines are smart enough to hear this and 'press 2', they all went to voicemail hell.

Unfortunately, that was an expensive and flakey service and the customer support stanko'd. Our new service, sunrocket, doesnt do that. Neither does SBC and these are coming in on our SBC land line. SBC has a "telemarketing block" service that also has been bypassed by the telemarketing software. :P

What I'm doing to try and eventually work around it is giving all the banks, investment outfits, etc our Sunrocket number instead of our regular home number, and that line is permanently wired to go straight to voicemail. Eventually all these buggers will have that number and we wont get bothered except by cold callers or those using sequential dialers.

I just want these buggers to have to pay someone a big fine and i'm willing to spend a chunk of time to see that that happens.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:30 AM   #9
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

They -telemarketers- can call me in Bangkok. I'll talk to them all afternoon, no hurry on my end. If they get tired of talking to me, I can pass the phone on to my buddies lounging by the pool.

Shoot, if they have a toll free number, we'll even call them back )

Bring 'em on )

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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:35 AM   #10
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

800-903-9452. Its hard to understand the people calling, but I think they said "sterling mortgage". I do see a 'sterling investments' that is a mortgage broker in California.

Lately it just rings "busy".
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 10:58 AM   #11
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

It could be worse....you could be in Beirut right now....

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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

I used to have one of those old fashioned answering machines with the cassette tape in it. I set it to pick up after 2 rings. If it was somebody a gave crap about they'd say.. "Hey! You there? This is Joe.. or Cyndi... or whoever" And I'd pick it up. *Telemarkets *would A) Just leave a message or start talking and I knew to not get up to answer it. OR... B) nowadays most telemarketing calls are computer calls. Not that the person on the phone is a computerized message but the machine calls 50 numbers at once. If you call that many homes simultaneously *somebody will answer first and the other 49 will *stop and go back into the hopper for redial.

I found that almost 100% of my telemarket calls would ring the phone then as soon as the answering machine would pick up and say "Please leave your message" the call would terminate. *Like someone *said above, they hate wasting time. Time is money. You aint there they give up chop-chop

Another trick I learned many many yrs ago before I could afford an answering machine... I'd answer the phone with "Command Post" or some other offical sounding term. They'd usually just hang up. If they asked questions like" Is this Mister so and so?" I'd say This is the Command Post. Do you have the Code? *Junk calls would cease for a few months as, I surmise, they updated their call list.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 11:32 AM   #13
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
The BEST system we had was the VOIP phone service from AT&T Callvantage. It had an option to direct all calls to a recording to "press 2 if its an emergency and you want your call to be put through", otherwise the call went to voicemail. Since none of the telemarketing machines are smart enough to hear this and 'press 2', they all went to voicemail hell.
I built a system like that for my house many years ago. I'd just bought the house and somehow got on the calling lists of some really abusive telemarketers, one of whom would wake me up early on Saturday morning and then argue with me about why I didn't need a water softener or some such appliance, and hang up if I asked him to identify himself or his company.

The system said something like "Press 11 to speak to me, press 12 if this is a fax, or press 13 to leave a message." The reason why it had to be two digits now escapes me - it had to do with the hardware I used. Anyway.. No telemarketer ever took the time to press 11. But for some reason, about half of my extended family wouldn't press any keys. Yes, they had touch tone phones, they just heard the message and hung up. :P So I dismantled it.

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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 11:57 AM   #14
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

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Originally Posted by sc
But for some reason, about half of my extended family wouldn't press any keys. Yes, they had touch tone phones, they just heard the message and hung up.* *:P So I dismantled it.*
Jay Leno used to have a hilarious routine on his elderly parents calling his answering machine.

Now that we have both the answering machine and the elderly parents, the routine doesn't seem so hilarious anymore. I can understand why TH would spring to the phone and be so ticked off by the telemarketer...

Does *69 produce the number they're calling from and give enough info to report their abuse?
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 12:18 PM   #15
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Don't know if it helps but it helps my blood pressure:

If the caller ID shows a telemarketer I pick up the phone and leave it off the hook until they hang up, saying nothing.* Sometimes I aim it toward the tv so they can hear what we are watching.

They hate this because it wastes time.
I do the same thing...sometimes I even go back 7-8 minutes later just to see if they are still talking - sometimes they are...if you hang up the phone, they have another phone ringing before you've even let go of the handset...keep 'em talking and drive up their costs...

Along similar lines, often when I get junk mail with the pre-paid/pre-addressed enevelopes, I just stuff in a bunch of the stuff it came with, and maybe some other pieces of junk and drop it back in the mailbox to them..let them pay to get rid of it, plus they have to pay for the postage AND pay someone to open that crap up and sort thru it...
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 12:22 PM   #16
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

If you didn't have a small child trying to sleep you could always use an airhorn when they call. They usually get the message. :
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 12:23 PM   #17
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

lock & load

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or at least that came up on a search of sterling mortgage on www.corp.ca.gov

further research might get you the company president's home address and social security number if yer real tricky.

a reverse search of the 800 # will likely confirm the name of the company. i tried at&t's search but it didn't come up. there are pay-for searches advertised for 800 #s but i don't know how reliable they are.

if the phone number calling you is traceable you can alert your phone company's annoyance center and after a few traces (likely at a cost) they will send out a warning to the company to stop calling.

also at cost you can try call block or a combination of that & a telemarketing block if your phone company has this whereby they will prevent all callers who block their phone numbers.

i had a huge problem with this a few years ago. fortunately once the national donotcall list cranked up, i signed up immediately and 99% of the calls have stopped. what a relief.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 12:45 PM   #18
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

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Originally Posted by Nords
Does *69 produce the number they're calling from and give enough info to report their abuse?
My episode was about 8-9 years ago, but at that time *69 called them back but did not tell me the number that was being called. This particular telemarketer had a fax machine hooked up to that number, so no luck there. (It's probably a good idea I didn't have a fax machine at home then.. the temptation to send them a "goatse.cx" type picture would have been too great to resist...)

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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 01:32 PM   #19
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald


Along similar lines, often when I get junk mail with the pre-paid/pre-addressed enevelopes, I just stuff in a bunch of the stuff it came with, and maybe some other pieces of junk and drop it back in the mailbox to them..let them pay to get rid of it, plus they have to pay for the postage AND pay someone to open that crap up and sort thru it...
I do that too. It has the advantage of being productive in that it reduces the bulk in my trash pickup.
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?
Old 07-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #20
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Re: Best way to shoot a telemarketer in the face?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
Along similar lines, often when I get junk mail with the pre-paid/pre-addressed enevelopes, I just stuff in a bunch of the stuff it came with, and maybe some other pieces of junk and drop it back in the mailbox to them..let them pay to get rid of it, plus they have to pay for the postage AND pay someone to open that crap up and sort thru it...
my mail carrier calls such practice mail fraud. don't know if she's right about that as she tends to go postal pretty easily. i've moved the mail box right to the road to keep her as far away from my house as possible.
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