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12:43 pm: I just had the oddest phone conversation with a cold caller doing a "survey". During it, I claimed that I was 512 years old, that there was nobody else younger than me in the house; that I was not the highest income person in the dwelling, and that that person did not work full-time or part-time but was a member of the idle rich, owning half of London. And he still didn't hang up. Do you think that in fact his claim that he wasn't going to try to sell me something was false?


[User Picture]
Date:November 14th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
I take the view that answering telesales calls is an act of charity, as it stops the bastards wasting someone else's time.

However, if you must stop the call, the most effective lie is: "Young man, I'm Eighty-Sheven yearsh of age". Most of the products and services sold over the phone are aimed at a different age bracket and they will terminate the call immediately.

If they don't, your advancing years and deteriorating hearing will make it necessary to request that they repeat themselves. Repeatedly.

You may use the surreal option of increasing confusion (or outright dementia) at your discretion. Overlapping monologues about your great-grandchildren, kittens and gardening are particularly effective.

Joking apart, you should always have a pen and paper by the phone. Take notes as they speak. Asking that they identify themselves, their employer, and state clearly their data protection policy - you know the drill.
[User Picture]
Date:November 14th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Nice work! I also try to waste telespammers' time, in the hope that if enough people do the same their business model will stop working.

The ones calling our home number are mostly debt-management parasites. Unfortunately, outrageous lies cause them to hang up, so I have to try to quote figures that sound plausible but high enough for them to think they have a total sucker. It's a bit like one of those games with the wire loop and the buzzer, except that the reward for getting to the end is, "Can I have your address so we can send you an information pack?" / "No, I'm just doing this to waste your time" / "!@$!&%@$!*click*"
[User Picture]
Date:November 14th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Any reputable telephone interviewer will be a member of the Market Research Society. They are not allowed to sell you things as this is a breach of the code and could lead to them losing their right to practice, as it were.

I've worked extensively as a telephone interviewer as it's a flexible job which fits in well with studying. As interviewers, you are required to record verbatim answers and not quibble them (except for clarification); I've had some people obviously taking the piss but I'll take it down anyway because it's my job to ask questions clearly and record the answers comprehensively. It's for the data analysts to make a decision on whether to keep the data.

Don't bother doing things just to waste interviewers' time; it probably won't work, and frankly it's a bit mean. Some interviewers work on hourly rates, while other companies pay per interview. If you don't want to do it, just let the interviewer find someone who does, so they can earn their pittance. It's not going to put anyone off calling you, and all it does is pick on the poorest people in the entire structure.

Just say no.
[User Picture]
Date:November 14th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
I agree with this comment. I'll always give market researchers my time.

Telemarketers, on the other hand, are a different matter and will be followed up with the TPS.
Date:November 14th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
Census-takers appear to be the most dumb or patient people in existence. We got stopped by one while driving home one night, and he put up with everything - that we were from Rhyl (despite not being able to spell it, and the census-taker being Welsh), and that we were on our way to Southampton to do a business deal in a car park later that evening.
Date:November 15th, 2010 10:43 am (UTC)
This is why I have caller id. Though just the random ringing can be annoying without having to answer them. It's about time they provided spam blocking on phones too at no extra cost.
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