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How to deal with cold callers, or 'fun on the telephone'.

Ten ways to deal with cold callers,
and have a bit of fun at the same time....

Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility for lost time, calls, money or abuse suffered if you decide to use any of these techniques. Some of these methods may result in you participating in a lengthy phone conversation, depending upon how persistent the cold caller is. At the end of the day though, you are free to put the phone down whenever you feel like it - or just go straight to option 10.

1.On answering the phone tell the caller that you're not the best person to talk to and ask them to hold while you go and find someone. Put the phone down and continue with whatever you were doing. After a few minutes they will no doubt give up, as it's costing them phone time.
2.If it's to do with house improvements, such as double-glazing, sound very interested and let them waste loads of time telling you all about the features. Sound as if you want the 'deluxe' version of anything they're offering - then, right at the end when they discuss payment, casually say that "Oh, you'll need to talk to the council about that, because this is rented accomondation."
3.Tell them you're doing a survey on 'cold calling' and would they mind if you conduct an interview with them. Say it will only involve approximately 30 minutes of their time and they don't have to answer any of the personal questions if they don't want to. If they persist and agree to your interview, start off by asking them if they ever suffer personal abuse and/or people slamming the phone down on them. Ask what was the worst thing anyone ever said before slamming the phone down. If they get so far as to give you an answer, repeat it back to them and slam the phone down!
4.Wait for them to say what they are calling about, then reply in a monotone voice, "I am a model T-100 voice activated digital assistant robot. How may I assist you?"
Then, whatever they reply with next, say "I am sorry. That statement does not evaluate. Please re-state your aim and intention."
Repeat until they get fed up and hang up.
5.Sound interested to their initial introduction, then half way through their second sentence exclaim, "Aggghhhh. Nooooo. The bright lights, the little beings are returning. Noooooo. They're coming back for me. Aggggghhhhhh"
Then hang up.
6.Wait for them to say what they are calling about, then say in a concerned voice, "Hello!". Then, whatever they say, start butting in saying, "Hello. Is this phone working?", "Hello. I can't hear you!", "I don't think this phone is working" or any other 'broken phone' type messages, before saying something like "Weird huh!" and hanging up.
7.Be as awkward and obtuse as possible. Sound interested in their suggestions, but return every question with another question, which is as 'impossible' as you can imagine. Thus, if they ask if you want double-glazing reply with, "Ah yes. I've been meaning to install that. The only slight problem is that I have circular windows approx 8' in diameter. Can you quote for that?"
If they ask if you want their energy (gas/electricity etc), reply with something like "I have a thermal gas injection ioniser here - Model 134hY-5fn4-b and would like to know if you can interface with its primary energy converter.
To use this line of response, requires some flexibility in you being able to think up obscure questions to ask back in response to every question they put forward. Eventually, they'll give up, as time is lost sales to them.
8.Apologise for sounding a bit upset but explain that your dog/mother/auntie/friend/pet goldfish etc has just been killed in a car accident/grain silo/hit and run/terrorist attack etc and you've only just returned from the morgue after having to identify the body/remains, and that now is a really bad time to call you. If they persist (unlikely) pretend to burst into tears before shouting, "You complete ba**ard!" down the phone and hanging up.
9.Explain, in a very matter of fact voice, that you have complained to the authorities about suffering from harrassment from cold callers and you are now preparing a log of all unsolicited calls to your telephone number. Ask them for the registered name of the company they are calling from, their name, telephone number and whether or not this is the first time they've called this number.
If that doesn't scare them off, ask them what the best time to arrange for a legal representative to call at their premises and interview their section leader is.
10.Get BT to enable 'Anonymous call barring' and 'Caller ID' on your line, invest in a caller ID unit and don't answer the phone to anyone you don't know. [my personal solution]

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Last edit: 10th Apr 2016 at 1:55pm
(559 days ago)

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