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Old 04-10-2012, 04:56 PM   #21
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not saying that I've personally done this (ahem-ahem, childish I know but I've gotten so upset that I'd fight a little fire with fire and ironically over time my telemarketing calls have diminished - Only Lord knows how.. ) but what you can do is act interested go along with the whole pitch, slowly act enthused so they think they have a hot lead.. get the person's name, e-mail,website, direct phone and fax like you're going to buy that second.. let them feel awesome and then at the very last second once you've gotten all this information from them see if you can get anything more out of them - kinda like a reverse rapport build if you will then drop the bomb on them that you're on the DNC, you have their name, company name, direct phone # and web address (depending on how you play them out you can get their physical address- i.e. " I don't have a problem buying I just wanna look you up while I have you on the phone so I can make sure I'm buying from a real person...." lol!.
Usually that will stop them pretty flat, now if that doesn't work here's where the ultra childish stuff comes in (I know.. I know..) search for a referral website - ideally something exactly along the same lines they're doing -i.e. - if they're calling you for an auto-warranty then google auto-warranty and a site that will "have you contacted immediately for multiple quotes" and put in that persons information- name number and e-mail. even though they don't know who put the information in there, it ticks them off pretty bad when they have another autodialer clogging up their lines as well.. Crappy part is that sometimes there are good businesses that buy internet leads like that and it may cost them.. =(
I have done stuff like this. I sometimes say "I'm very interested, but I need to call you on a different phone, what is your number?" That has never worked.

I have said "Susan, I happen to work for the FTC, and I can assure you that if you hang up on me, then you will personally be legally liable financial damages. Now, first I need your company's name and address..." That has worked.

OTOH, I have read that the telemarketers can push one button to remove your phone number, or push a different button to have you called again in a week, a day, or a few minutes. Tick them off, and guess which button they will push.

Also, what's the point of getting the info? A complaint will not be pursued.

What's the point of wasting their time? It will not help you, and it will just tick them off.

What's the point of arguing with them? One caller said he could prove that I signed up to get calls like this, but there's no point in arguing.

Right now, we're letting all calls go to the answering machine.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:05 PM   #22
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I didn't realize that our (basic) phone service includes caller ID, and I'll see if that will help (though most telemarketers illegally spoof their Caller IDs).
In the meantime, I've just recorded a new outgoing answering machine message that starts with this, followed by "Hi, you've reached Al & Lena, please leave a message, thank you."
Before you go unlisted, maybe you could let the answering machine take over (and leave it in silent mode). We leave our ringers off and our answering machine on about 95% of the time.

We hardly get any telemarketer calls-- I mean that only a couple times a year will a telemarketer leave a message on our machine.

However I've seen the phone ring (the answering machine lights up) at certain times of the day. It'll only ring two or three times and then disconnect. My theory is that the telemarketing computer detects the answering machine on the line and doesn't want to waste time, so it hangs up and dials someone else.

When I changed my Dad's address to our home, I didn't include a phone number on the USPS form. I gave our number to Social Security & Medicare but nobody else. I figure most people in their late 70s would prefer to use e-mail or snail-mail anyway, and Dad was hardly using the phone at all because his hearing was going bad.

Our daughter has never had a land line and probably never will...
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:13 PM   #23
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We changed plans on our home line so we have a couple of options for spammers. We turned on the option to not let any calls thru where the number is hidden, and then we have a quick way to then block any number that gets thru that we don't want to hear from again. It seems to help.

Unfortunately the business line can't have those options. I read somewhere (here?) that if you answer the phone to what you think is spam, don't say anything. The silence tricks the computer into not engaging the robocall. And then let the phone sit on the table until they hang up. Love it!
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #24
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We changed plans on our home line so we have a couple of options for spammers. We turned on the option to not let any calls thru where the number is hidden, and then we have a quick way to then block any number that gets thru that we don't want to hear from again. It seems to help.
This would cost me about $9 per month, or $1,080 over the course of ten years. But telemarketers rarely hide their number, instead illegally spoof it to an invalid number.

Caller ID spoofing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is illegal, but still done.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:47 PM   #25
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I just let all landline calls go to the answering machine (which I keep instead of going to voicemail). I don't even look at the incoming number. If someone starts to leave a message I can pick up if I want to. The telemarketers just hang up, so no message. This wouldn't work on the cell phone. Luckily no telemarketers there yet.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #26
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I use Ooma for my home phone. Ooma allows you to block any phone number, subscribe to community blocking lists, and block anonymous callers. I still get spam calls, but at least I feel I have some control over who calls. All this (and more) for $13.50 per month.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Right now, we're letting all calls go to the answering machine.
+1

I always let the machine answer. If it's important or it's someone I know, I'll pick up. If it's not important or not a friend or family, I ignore it. If I'm busy, or watching TV, or eating a meal, the machine is as close to me as people will get! They can leave a message and I'll call them back when it's more convenient, or they can try again later.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:29 PM   #28
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When I get an occasional call from these scammers I always ask them "How did you obtain this restricted U.S. government number?" After the stammering ends they usually say that it's all done with computers and "I only work here part time."
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #29
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We're also getting more spam calls on both landline and cell. I've had my cell number since 1999 - the spam calls on it started about 3 years ago and have been steadily increasing to now about 1 per week. Landline is worse - we get probably 3-4 per week. Both are on DNC. I've just decided it's not worth raising my blood pressure over.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:27 AM   #30
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We've always had an unlisted number, and while it doesn't stop robocalls entirely it is pretty rare that we get one. Perhaps one every other week. I think for those they're just dialing every number in a given exchange to see if anyone picks up.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:39 AM   #31
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Speaking of telemarketers... There is a comedian named Tom Mabe in Louisville, KY, who takes their calls and messes with them. I've heard a few clips over the years and enjoyed them. Here's his website, or do a search and you may find some hits on radio stations, youtube, etc.

Corporate Comedian | Clean Comedian | Prankster | Tom Mabe

Been a while, but one I recall was from a carpet cleaning company, he asked if their service will get blood out, A LOT OF BLOOD.

His site also has a CD with clips from when he crashed a telemarketing convention and started calling their rooms at 3 AM to sell them stuff.

You get the idea, revenge on the telemarketers.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:48 AM   #32
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I have an unlisted phone number and I get tons of calls. They leave voice mails for me. The voice mails that tell me to "press ## to be removed from our list" really bothers me....it's a recording....and they want me to press a number??!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #33
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When we had a landline I paid for Caller ID and Anonymous Caller blockage because I just hated the intrusion of telemarketers. The pre-election political robocalls were the worst. The Anonymous Caller block was helpful but too many put in a fake name that would count as not anonymous.

Two years ago we switched to MagicJack when DH retired. It was traumatic to lose our phone number of 27 years and it was a hassle to update everyone who we wanted to have the new number, but it eliminated all our junk calls. I bought a software patch to allow us to use an answering machine instead of MagicJack voicemail and it included an anonymous caller block so we have that, too. Only one personal contact gets screened by that, my part-time employer (local police dept who has their outgoing caller ID blocked) but they know to call my cellphone.

The only junk calls we get now are on our cellphones, calling to offer us a lower rate on our (non-existent) mortgage. And we PAY for that call!
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:34 PM   #34
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I'm going to see how it goes with the answering machine and the "this phone is disconnected" SIT tones. If that doesn't do it, I'm going to buy this software and this modem and pay $3/month for caller ID, because even a few calls per week bugs me. I guess I don't like paying for a telephone, and not being able to control the illegal calls I get.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #35
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I'm ready to change to an unlisted number if that will solve the problem......
Has no effect on calling software that calls sequentially in blocks of numbers.
So the only calls I get are via that method, PLUS the calls that are "related" to someone we do business with:

"Mr. T-t-t-ewwey, how are you today? I'm calling for Ogre CityCard and we have a special offer I know you'll want..

Telly: Hold IT! You said "calling FOR Ogre CityCard". So you are not an employee of Ogre CityCard then, are you?

No, but we're calling their customers with a special offer...

Telly: I don't want a special offer.

But I haven't told you it yet!

Telly: I don't want it. I don't want to hear it. And I'm probably going to cut up my Ogre CityCard into little pieces, mail it all back to them, and tell them I did it because I got tired of being pestered by telephone solicitations!

But it's a great special offer!

Telly: No! No special offer, no calls, nothing.

Ok, have a nice day Mr. Tewwey, er, Tellwey, uh

Click
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:49 PM   #36
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You could sue them directly and collect the damages yourself, rather than hoping the FTC will do it. This guy claims after dealing with suing a telemarketer he came out making about $50/hr from the process.

As an attorney, this could be a fun retirement hobby for me. Guess I'll actually have to go get a land line though.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:39 PM   #37
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Bah, was reading this thread and got a robo-call from a political survey company. On my cellphone. No way to get to an operator and get them to take me off their list whatever it may be.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:36 PM   #38
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Speaking of telemarketers... There is a comedian named Tom Mabe in Louisville, KY, who takes their calls and messes with them. I've heard a few clips over the years and enjoyed them. Here's his website, or do a search and you may find some hits on radio stations, youtube, etc.

Corporate Comedian | Clean Comedian | Prankster | Tom Mabe

Been a while, but one I recall was from a carpet cleaning company, he asked if their service will get blood out, A LOT OF BLOOD.

His site also has a CD with clips from when he crashed a telemarketing convention and started calling their rooms at 3 AM to sell them stuff.

You get the idea, revenge on the telemarketers.
Here's a few direct links.








NSFW here on!

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Old 04-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #39
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:37 PM   #40
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Just got a phone call today ... from the phone company. They called us to test our phone.

It had been a while since I called the home phone, but last week I tried to call home while out and got some kind of error message. When I got home, I noticed we had no dial tone which led to the remark that we had not received any messages on our answering machine in quite a while. Our DSL through that line has been working.

Anyways, spouse called up phone company 2 days ago and they fixed it today and called to test the fix.

So I agree with nords: Turn off your phone ringer and stop answering calls.
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