Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

July 6, 2014

Lee Ward: Unique ways to deal with calls you don’t want to take: 7/6/14

ASHLAND — Whatever job you do, as long as it’s legal, you should be respected.

It’s important for able-bodied people to earn an honest living, whatever they do.

However, I think most of us find most of the telemarketing calls we receive slightly annoying.

I still respect those who work as telemarketers. My late husband did that job for a few short months; he hated the work. He didn’t like to bother people at home and he didn’t like to be aggressive with them. He often got reprimands from his supervisor because he didn’t hesitate to remove a caller from the company’s list when he saw they were not in any condition to take such calls.

We all have our tactics for dealing with calls from telemarketers.

I think the best way is to avoid answering the phone. It’s usually clear what calls are telemarketing calls: those marked “private” or “restricted” on the caller ID or those with an unfamiliar area code.

When in doubt and I answer the phone, I’m cautious. I ask who’s calling and, if they ask for me, say I’m not home.

I’ve heard of some who tell callers they have the wrong number or even that the person they’re calling for has died. I bet that works very well.

If you’re looking for something really creative to say, visit funwithtelemarketers.com. The website has collected ideas from readers everywhere and has organized them into categories. You can even vote for your favorites.

Some of the responses are funny, some are naughty, some are confusing. Here’s one that’s sure to confuse the caller:

Telemarketer: Hello, is (person’s name) there?

(now be silents for a few sceonds)

You say: (whisper) Seven days.

(Then hang up.)

I also liked this one:

After they tell you what they are selling, ask them if they want fries with that.

And this one:

Break in during their sales pitch and say, Do you like cheese? Keep repeating until they answer, if the do, start a discussion about types of cheese.

On the other hand, these people are just trying to make a living and they’re trying to do so the hard way, so maybe it’s kind of cruel to toy with them this way.

Now that I think about it, the best way to handle telemarketing calls isn’t even to avoid them; it’s to answer and request to be taken off the call list.

LEE WARD can be reached at (606) 326-2661.

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