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More games to play with telemarketers (arch harris)
(smirk, telephones)

Some additional "games" one can play with telemarketers:

1. If you recognize they are telemarketers before you have spoken,
   pretend your are an answering machine with a message along these
   lines. "Thank you for calling CMTCC, Citizens for Making Telemarketing
   a Capital Crime. We now have the support of about 25% of the
   legislature.  Soon we will be able to execute those worthless,
   money grubbing dregs, making the earth a better place to live.  Please
   send your tax deductible contribution to ...."

2. See how many times you can put them on hold.  First make sure you get
   the name of the person you are talking to, because sooner or later
   they will hang up.  Then if they call you again, you can express
   your righteous indignation at being hung up on, and let them know
   you were going to buy/contribute, but given the rudeness of .... 
   you have decided not to.  They key to this one is make the time they
   have to hold fairly short.  After 30 seconds or so tell them
   you have to turn down the stove and put them on hold for 45 secs.
   On returning, ask them to start their pitch again.  Every time you return
   have them restart their pitch.  Some good excuses for putting them on
   hold for a short while:  the kids are fighting,
   the pet needs to go in/out, the baby is into ?,  someone is at the 
   door,  you have a call on another line, ...

3. If you have an answering machine, turn it on so they can here you
   are recording the call.  Make sure you get the person's name, and
   the company's name and address.  Then inform them something like
   this.  "Under state law I am hereby notifying you that you
   (you as an individual and the company) are prohibited from calling
   this number (xxx-xxxx) to solicit ever again.  If you or the company
   calls again, you personally and the company will be liable for
   penalties up to $10,000.  Is this clear?"  Just something to
   hopefully make them nervous.  (Actually Virginia came pretty close
   to passing a law like this.  Unfortunately, the telemarketing
   lobby bribed our legislature into killing the bill.  Maybe next
   year ...)

4. After they have gone through their entire sales pitch, tell them
   how interested you are.  But first, you want to talk to them
   about ....  Then launch into a pitch for them to contribute to
   some charity  that sounds quasi-legit but is really just for
   your personnel benefit.  If they do not contribute, then hang up
   in righteous indignation that they are such uncaring human beings.
   If they will, give then a address to send the contribution to,
   thank them, and hang up before they have a chance to change the
   subject back to what they called you about.

5. After they have given their entire sales pitch, say you are
   interested but first you need the telemarketer's personnel
   home phone number.  When they ask why tell them that they
   have your personel home number so before you complete the
   deal, you want to be on even ground with them and you need
   their number.  If they don't give it to you, yup, you guessed it,
   hangup in righteous indignation.  If they do, say you will call
   back to order/contribute.  Then do so at some reasonable hour, in
   case they have given you a phony number.  But if it is a correct
   number, post it on the net.  
   Not so anyone would harrass this person,  ;)
   but so all of us would have the opportunity to contact this person
   about whatever it is that is being telemarketed.  And since
   so many of us are night owls, we will be calling at a time convenient
   to us, like 4 am. ;)

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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