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Old 02-22-2010, 11:04 AM   #41
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For any junk calls, I like to immediately mute the sound (from my end) and put the call on speaker phone--I figure that has at least a little financial impact in that it keep the person from calling someone else for a minute or two, and maybe the time on the line costs them (I know it probably doesn't, but I like to pretend).

There are some hilarious comments in the boiler room at the other end sometimes.

Occasionally I get a call that starts like this:

me: Hello?
caller recording: Please hold while your call is transferred. [wait, I didn't call them!]
me: (mute/speaker technique outlined above)
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:54 AM   #42
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I enjoy a little banter with them. First, I will ask if they are a professional fund raiser. Usually, the answer is yes. I will then inquire as to what percentage of my donation they will keep as a fundraiser and what percentage goes to charity. They are required to give you this info. If the newbie on the other end doesn't know, I'll press the question until he gets someone who has the answer. Don't be surprised if the fundraiser is keeping upwards of 70%. After putting them thru the paces, I'll politely say no thank you. My recollection is that these calls are permissable as late as 9PM. And one final thing . . . I'll instruct them to put me on the 'do not call' list, something they must do by law.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:02 PM   #43
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First, I will ask if they are a professional fund raiser. Usually, the answer is yes. I will then inquire as to what percentage of my donation they will keep as a fundraiser and what percentage goes to charity. They are required to give you this info. If the newbie on the other end doesn't know, I'll press the question until he gets someone who has the answer. Don't be surprised if the fundraiser is keeping upwards of 70%.
In my experience, the ones claiming to represent police and fire benevolence associations are the worst in that regard. Many of them have administrative costs of nearly 80%. Yet they try to make it sound like they are like the usual police and fire charities, the kind that locally hold the "fill the boot" drives with off-duty firefighters collecting for local charities and such. No thanks.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #44
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We get very, very few unwanted calls. Years ago, it used to be a big problem. But for the past few years, they are almost non-existant.

We really haven't done much intentionally to stop calls, but pleasantly the harrassment is near zero.

1. We have one landline and two cell phones. We give the cellphone numbers out to only friends, relatives and others we want to hear from or to have access to us.

2. Our landline number is unlisted. We do give it out for business use. Example: ordered a new over-the-range microwave from Sears last week. Gave them the landline number for the installer to call. We have an answering machine on the landline and keep the ringer turned off except when we're expecting a call. Example: I'll probably turn the ringer on the day the microwave installer is due to show up.

3. All three phones are on the do-not-call list.

4. Before I started using the answering machine as a screener on the landline, we did ask to be put on charitable organizations' do-not-call lists when they called.

Not sure if anything we're doing is responsible, but with the exception of a couple of political computer calls (quickly deleted from the answering machine) at the last election, we just don't get bothered.

It's a pleasant change.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #45
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I'm sorry but I have decided to give to only one charity so I can make a significant impact. Your charity is not that one. And please take me off your call list as I don't take charity requests over the phone. If they persist after that...click..errrrrrrrrrr.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:50 PM   #46
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If I see on the caller ID that it is a telemarketer or charity call I am not interested in, I answer the phone "Fire Department" or "Library" or "your town jail". They apologize for having the wrong number and almost never try again.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:51 PM   #47
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If I see on the caller ID that it is a telemarketer or charity call I am not interested in, I answer the phone "Fire Department" or "Library" or "your town jail". They apologize for having the wrong number and almost never try again.
"9-1-1, what's your emergency?"
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 02-22-2010, 02:56 PM   #48
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"9-1-1, what's your emergency?"
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:01 PM   #49
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If I see on the caller ID that it is a telemarketer or charity call I am not interested in, I answer the phone "Fire Department" or "Library" or "your town jail". They apologize for having the wrong number and almost never try again.
Oh, I loooooove this one.
My devious mind is going at full steam here...
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:05 PM   #50
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My devious mind is going at full steam here...
...do share!
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:07 PM   #51
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Home phone? Who still has those?

We had a land line about 2 years ago
we had a private (unlisted number) and sales people still called
we blocked unknown numbers thru phone company and calls still made it thru

so we just dumped the phone company

now our only numbers are our cell phones and the sales calls went to 0
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:40 PM   #52
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Here's a money-making opportunity for someone a lot smarter than me...

Offer a service whereby when a unwanted call is received, you could press a # or * number sequnece and the call would automatically and silently get routed to the FCC do-not- call registry. It could be instantly compared to the forwarding number's do-not-call status, and handled appropriately, ie fines, warnings, whatever. In lieu of a reply from you, the caller would hear a message indicating that their call had been routed to the FCC and they were now now offficially in violation of your do-not-call request... might take care of some of those expiring vehicle warranty calls with bogus number displays we went thru a while back. Could turn into a big moneymaker for someone- maybe even the FCC...
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:48 PM   #53
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...do share!
Let my fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages...things like Septic Pumping Service, Exterminator, Cash for Gold, Escort Service...
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:59 PM   #54
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I wait until the caller pauses to take a breath, and then I say: "Not-interested-thank-you-goodbye" and hang up promptly.

In almost 62 years, I have never given to a charity, bought anything, or signed up for anything as a result of a cold call over the phone (or snail mail advertising, or spam e-mail...). I try not to be rude and in a sense, it's more polite to end the call promptly and firmly, and not waste their time.

I am close to this... but don't wait for them to breath... and sometimes don't waste the 'thank you goodbye' words...

That is IF I even answer the phone.


Now, I have started to save even the 'not interested' words...


I have thought about some people who say they just turn on the phone and wait until the other sides gets tired and hangs up... I have not done that yet... but might if I get a hair up my butt....
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:07 PM   #55
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Charities do not have to abide by the national do-not-call list:
Quote:
If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?
No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Because of limitations in the jurisdiction of the FTC and FCC, calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you’ve provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. However, if you ask a company with which you have an existing business relationship to place your number on its own do-not-call list, it must honor your request. You should keep a record of the date you make the request.
However, it seems to me that any reputable organization would maintain their own list of "asked me not to call back" numbers.
In some cases with automated calls, if you stay on the line you'll get an option like "press 9 if you want to be removed from our calling list".
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:20 PM   #56
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My sequence is to not answer until the third ring. That way if it's a computer call, usually someone else picks up and I get a dial tone. If there's silence after a hello, I hang up before it switches. If a person answers the hello, I wait for a break, say no thank you and hang up. If they don't take a breath, I silently hang up. Of course, if it's obvious from the caller ID, I don't answer.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:09 PM   #57
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #58
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  • I almost never answer the phone, if it's someone I want to talk to they'll leave a message and I will call them back, almost immediately usually.
  • I have no problem saying "no," especially these days when it might be an ID theft issue as you correctly point out.
However, I did have the presence of mind to use this ruse a few times many years ago when I used to answer cold calls:

Caller: Can I speak to Mr. Smith?
Self: Oh my, you've called at a most inopportune time, Mr. Smith died last night. This is his brother-in-law.
Caller: (usually silence)
Self: But the widow stopped crying a few minutes ago, would you like to talk to her?
Caller: No, that's OK...click.

Short and sweet. And it's not like they'd dare risk questioning your story...
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:13 PM   #59
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I think someone else wrote: Click. Not bothering to reply at all.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:27 PM   #60
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It used to be, "Ohhh, I'm sorry, but we're vegetarians"
Nowadays it's call screening.

A friend was fond of snarling, "Your bed is filled with broken glass" and hanging up.
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