i hate the internet

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02/21/2003 Entry: "spam to stop spam"

about 35 people forwarded this to me yesterday which would have been kind of annoying if it didn't actually make some sense. I actually do a lot of this stuff already. Fun!

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I suppose some degree of commerce would grind to a halt if telephone solicitors weren't able to call people at home during dinner hour, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant.

Now Steve Rubenstein, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, has proposed Three Little Words, based on his brief experience in a telemarketing operation that would stop the nuisance for all time. The three little words are: Hold On, Please... Saying this while putting down your phone and walking off instead of hanging up immediately would make each telemarketing call so time-consuming that boiler rooms would grind to a halt. When you eventually hear the phone company's beep-beep-beep tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.

This might be one of those articles you'll want to e-mail to your friends. Three little words that eliminate telephone soliciting. Using the # Sign Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a real sales person to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine dialed call, and it kicks your number out of their system.

Another Good Idea: When you get ads in your phone or utility bill, include them with the payment; let the companies throw them away. When you get those pre-approved letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and junk like that, most of them come with postage paid return envelopes, right? Well, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little envelopes. Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send the pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day then just send them their application back! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can send it back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! Eventually, the banks and credit card companies will begin getting their junk back in the mail. Let's let them know what it's like to get junk mail, and the best of it is that they're paying for it. Twice. Let's help keep our postal service busy since they say e-mail is cutting into their business, and that's why they need to increase postage again.

Send this to a friend or two or three...or fifty

Replies: 61 people with an opinion

News about anti-telemarketing efforts:

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/104747090210864.xml

it's about damn time.

Posted by Alston @ 03/14/2003 04:08 PM PST

Its amazing how fucking stupid you all are. You think telemarketers make it a point to call when your sleeping or eating dinner but the fact is when your home that is all your doing one or the other. and its your own stupid fault we call, if it didn't work so when and the ignorant masses did switch long distance carriers every two days and buy vacation packages over the phone all the time they would quit doing it, but you don't, you bitch about it untill someone calls with something you actually want and you wonder why everyone and their dog calls you, its because next to you number on their list it says SUCKER and your two fucking stupid to learn your rights and say take me off of your calling list and write down what company called you and when. They have a 10 day period to take your # out of the system and if they call again write it down prove it and you get hellasious money its a ongoing settlement I cant tell you how many millions MCI pays out a year for that shit, but no you would rather sit at home bored out of your head, masterbateing in your own fecies fully knowing that telemarketers are the only relationships you have since you dog died. damn it you all are stupid. example: I called a guy about a year ago now starts going off on me about telemarketers I could tell he was doing something in the background, after rebutling him about 15 times he actually listened to what I was saying and figued out his other phone company was screwing him, he said I would have to call back and he would do it, just then I heard his wife scream, he was fucking haveing sex while I talked to him, I then told him that he needed to do it now and that she couldn't be that good or he wouldn't of answered the phone in the first place. He said I was right and switched, now as long as there are dumbasses like that in the world and as long as there is telemarketers with big balls willing to say and do the things we all wish we could do telemarketing will never go away, if you really don't want to be called learn your right b/c we really don't want to call you! and remember for every stupid thing you figure our to do to these people they will figure out better ones, they are people just like you that needed a job only they get paid to harrass you and yes if your a dick we will arranga a 7:00 wake up call for you on saturday morning for the next year, you fucking sheep enjoy your message board.

Posted by Your mother @ 03/06/2003 01:44 PM PST

Its amazing how fucking stupid you all are. You think telemarketers make it a point to call when your sleeping or eating dinner but the fact is when your home that is all your doing one or the other. and its your own stupid fault we call, if it didn't work so when and the ignorant masses did switch long distance carriers every two days and buy vacation packages over the phone all the time they would quit doing it, but you don't, you bitch about it untill someone calls with something you actually want and you wonder why everyone and their dog calls you, its because next to you number on their list it says SUCKER and your two fucking stupid to learn your rights and say take me off of your calling list and write down what company called you and when. They have a 10 day period to take your # out of the system and if they call again write it down prove it and you get hellasious money its a ongoing settlement I cant tell you how many millions MCI pays out a year for that shit, but no you would rather sit at home bored out of your head, masterbateing in your own fecies fully knowing that telemarketers are the only relationships you have since you dog died. damn it you all are stupid. example: I called a guy about a year ago now starts going off on me about telemarketers I could tell he was doing something in the background, after rebutling him about 15 times he actually listened to what I was saying and figued out his other phone company was screwing him, he said I would have to call back and he would do it, just then I heard his wife scream, he was fucking haveing sex while I talked to him, I then told him that he needed to do it now and that she couldn't be that good or he wouldn't of answered the phone in the first place. He said I was right and switched, now as long as there are dumbasses like that in the world and as long as there is telemarketers with big balls willing to say and do the things we all wish we could do telemarketing will never go away, if you really don't want to be called learn your right b/c we really don't want to call you! and remember for every stupid thing you figure our to do to these people they will figure out better ones, they are people just like you that needed a job only they get paid to harrass you and yes if your a dick we will arranga a 7:00 wake up call for you on saturday morning for the next year, you fucking sheep enjoy your message board.

Posted by Your mother @ 03/06/2003 01:44 PM PST

I use Callwave internet answering machine while I'm online. They play a tone to confuse auto-telemarketers. But I'm thinking of getting my phone unlisted. I get 3 people a day calling to sell me stuff. I make $14,000/year, DUH!!!

Posted by larrythenerd @ 02/26/2003 11:07 PM PST

I've heard of this strategy before. I already do the junk mail bit. However, I fight telemarketers in my own way. About a year ago, I placed a very... off-the-wall aanouncement on my answering machine. I always screen my calls, and I tell anyone who I trust with my number to press pound when they get my machine. I've had at least two telemarketers leave very aggrivated messages, but not long after making that move I found less than 20 calls on my caller ID list in the past two months. Only two of them were unlisted, and the rest were people I knew.

Needless to say it works. I suggest looking around the web for a real annoying answering machine announcement and recording it to your answering machine. It'll work wonders (least, it did for me).

Posted by Alston @ 02/24/2003 07:23 AM PST

I make business to business telemarketing calls. (A bit different from calling people at home because more people want your info, but somewhat the same.)

The "hold on please" thing does not work. First of all, unless we're already in a conversation with you, we're not gonna hold for you. We'll just hang up and call you back later. Second, even if everyone on the planet did that (but the same percentage of people still bought), it wouldn't matter. Even so much as doubling the cost of making the calls wouldn't do it. It just doesn't cost that much in the grand scheme of things. The cost of things like shipping and manufacturing are much much larger pieces of the pie.

Ironically, I don't get any telemarketing calls at all. Why? Because my phone number is unlisted, and I don't give it out by signing up for stupid shit like drawings for cars or free tanning.

If you just say, "I'm not interested" or "Take me off your list," you're likely to get your way. Especially if you're friendly. However, the people that make these calls are only human, and hey, if you're an asshole they're quite likely to make some very human mistakes and "forget" to remove your name or "accidentally" confuse you with someone else and fax you some information.

Posted by Business to Business @ 02/23/2003 03:25 AM PST

I just tell them something like, "Wow, your offer really sounds exciting, but I'm actually moving to Japan next week." If you have a weak stomach for being mean this one works pretty well.

Posted by Icouldgivea @ 02/22/2003 11:47 PM PST

rick, let me ask you something, do you not pay attention with the news? you seem very bitter with this topic so i assume you try and keep on with what is going on and the government is making a huge nation list.

Posted by brady @ 02/22/2003 11:19 PM PST

I like to ask the telemarketers "so, what are you wearing?" and lead the call into a phone sex call ( male or female..doesn't matter ).. usually they go away.

Posted by me @ 02/22/2003 09:38 PM PST

Hmm, my suggestion is place yourself on the no call list of your state. If a telemarketer calls write down the date/time, who they are calling for. Tell them they are in violation of the state's no call list. Report them to the state (usually via website.) If the state gets enough complaints, they sue the telemarketers. That can cost big bucks.
If that doesn't work, I have found an air horn will suffice.

Posted by Mtlpig @ 02/22/2003 08:03 PM PST

brady, let me ask you something.
I'm one of those people who constantly check the "don't send me adverts through mail or phone" on web forms, subscriptions, etc... and (now) say "please put me on your do not call list" when they contact me over the phone. So, why is it that I *keep* getting these annoying calls?

Is it because if I say "please put me on your do not call list" or "take me off your list" do they merely take me off and then put me on someone else's call list? Who's to say it does not happen? Can they simply sell lists of phone #'s to other companies (even if many have opted to be taken off)? If so, then what is the point of making this request?

What we need is a list of numbers that solicitors (OF ANY KIND) are not allowed to call. I personally would not mind paying to be on this nationwide list. Anyone else?

Posted by Rick @ 02/22/2003 06:37 PM PST

Easy solution to telemarketers.
Make they pay for local calls.
Here in Oz, you pay for all local calls. I never get spammed by telemarketers.
Sure, there are a few companies that do it, but nowhere near as many as you dudes seem to have.

Posted by Anon. Coward @ 02/22/2003 04:53 PM PST

my brother started responding with a simple phrase - "I like eggs" - after everything the telemarketer says.

Not sure who he got the idea from, but I've heard him do it a few times and it's hilarious. He does a thick southern drawl, and emphasizes a different word each time. Try it yourself sometime - and see if you can keep from laughing.

Of course you can get onto the Direct Marketing Assn's "Do Not Call" list by going to:

http://www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offtelephonedave

It's free if you mail it to them, or they try to screw you out of $5 to do an instant registration.

Posted by annoy back @ 02/22/2003 02:22 PM PST

sorry, he kept persisting the call*

Posted by brady @ 02/22/2003 01:50 PM PST

rick, im not saying all telemarketers are nice, whenever i was trained, i was taught when something has happend to the person for example, death, financial problems, etc.. you dont try and continue the call. so it depends on who is calling.. and when i did i ever start complaining or say i hated my job? it is not bad at all. i get to do my school work while im at work. the pay is good. i just think when you try and be an asshole on the phone, it only hurts you in the end, cus they will just keep calling. you assumed a lot of stuff in my post. when a persson constantly rebuttals you, that is annoying yes, but when i just politely ask if they would be interested in a survey and they start cussing me out, that is rude. and you know why? b/c basically they signed up for the stuff. they could of easily asked or read the information to see if telemarketers would get your number or not. and i agree with you that a lot of telemarketers are dicks, b/c basically i was late for an appointment and the guy kept on persisting to continue the cool, and that is rude. but im just trying to help you out, if you get so annoyed by these damn telemarketers, dont be an asshole and just simply say, take me off your list, they cant rebuttal that or anything.

Posted by brady @ 02/22/2003 01:48 PM PST

My uncle used to work at Westinghouse as an engineer... he used to take strips of scrap metal and put them in those business return envelopes. Hate to think of the postage he's cost those people over the years....

Posted by Craptastic @ 02/22/2003 11:47 AM PST

What I have done to make them squirm is start talking to them real nice, when they get to the point of thier sales pitch I say "Now listen, before I can agree to do buissness with you I have to know. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" Every time I do that, the poor sod calling has no idea what to say.....

Posted by Bushroot @ 02/22/2003 11:23 AM PST

I guess you all think that it's great to send your trash back to the company that is sending you credit card applications, but those envelopes don't go to that company. The typically go to a third party that has been hired to enter the data into a database which is later processed by the credit card company. What I'm trying to say is, the credit card company will never get your garbage. Some random company will, so recycle it yourself.

Posted by Jacqueline @ 02/22/2003 11:12 AM PST

That's the nice thing about Caller ID -- almost all telemarketers have their Caller ID information blocked. If it comes up "unknown" or "private," just let it go through to the answering machine.

Posted by red_beard_neo @ 02/22/2003 10:35 AM PST

#67 will not work. The keys on your phone produce something called DTMF tones, which are one of twelve combinations of seven pure tones. The "Number Disconnected" sequence is called an SIT. SITs are a sequence of three pure tones. Those tones are completely different from the DTMF tones. If they were the same, telephone company equipment would get confused. So don't waste your time.

Besides, the right way to get rid of telemarketers for good is to firmly tell them to "put me on your do not call list." See http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tcpa.html

Posted by PhoneHead @ 02/22/2003 08:24 AM PST

Uh, the telemarketers aren't really as stupid as you think. If you say "Hold please." and we don't hear anything but footsteps walking away (And rest assured our damn headsets are loud enough), immediate hangup. Some people WILL be a dick and do the "We were disconnected, i'm just calling back." thing. I don't, but a lot do just to annoy the moron. We know what you are doing, we know where you live, we know you aren't bright enough to file for the no call list. Guess what? Answer the phone, punk.

Posted by Screevo @ 02/22/2003 08:00 AM PST

Or just carry on rambling absurd or obscene conversation as long as you can, but the basic theory is correct wasting the callers time will raise cost. I think it already is and is driving the increased use of automated calls

Posted by valis @ 02/22/2003 05:59 AM PST

I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful new product. Are you lonely? Depressed? A 43 year old virgin living in your mothers basement? Well have I got a deal for you. For only 5 dollars a month you can buy into a friendship called "totalfark". Thats right, only 5 dollars a month! Now you don't need to leave the privacy of your home to get into arguments or show your stupidity. Log on here to find out how: http://www.fark.com

Posted by Drew Curtis @ 02/22/2003 04:42 AM PST

Sargent Pecker is a troll. Go back to the rock you came out of

Posted by MaterOfMyDomain @ 02/22/2003 04:16 AM PST

I would suggest googling for a wav file that contains the phone company's disconnected tones, then placing the tones on you outgoing message on your answering machine. Computer dialed telemarketing calls listen for the correct tone at the precise frequency and duration (it's 0.125 of a second) and they ignore everything else. That's how the telezapper works. The #67 crap does not work.

Posted by Quicksilver @ 02/22/2003 03:22 AM PST

Once you realize it's a telemarketing call, have fun and use a soundboard to answer the rest of their questions

Posted by Me @ 02/22/2003 03:15 AM PST

"i think its funny how a lot of people on here or that ive called are just complete assholes"... DANGER: RANT AHEAD!

If someone walked up to you on the street and asked you some questions for a survey, or tried to sell you a subscription, a loan, etc. and you just ignored them or said "not interested" or "leave me alone", and they persisted, it would be understandable if you got angry and/or began to be a "complete asshole" BUT, you are saying it is *not* OK to do it over the phone just because you are doing your job?

So you can't believe how many people here and the ones you call are assholes, huh? don't like it? tough! quit whoring yourself to ICT; if you can't take it, get another job! quit whining. I bet the pay is great, but is it really worth it to go through all of this? It's part of the job, so DEAL WITH IT!

It bugs us so much that these bastard companies hire drones like you to call us (usually in the middle of dinner) and place you in a position where you are *very* likely to get insulted by merely 'doing your job'.
You signed up, you are getting paid, you knew what you were getting into...now shut up about it. Unless you've quit your job, we don't want to hear about how bad it is working at a place like that.

When will telemarketers (and their employees) get it? We don't like to be bothered in the privacy of our own homes. It's bad enough we've got ads on EVERY SINGLE CONCEIVABLE MEDIUM, we also gotta put up with Jehova's (sp?) witnesses and telemarketers? When will it end?

What bothers me the most is when someone calls and is *extremely* persistent, even when you repeatedly say things like "no", or "no thanks", or "not intersted", or "no, no thanks, I'm not intersted". I had a guy call me once from a phone company and kept insisting I switch over. I tried to be nice at first by answering his questions, but boy did that make things worse. He kept saying things like "so you don't want to switch over even though we'll save you over $XX.XX a year on your phone bill?!", or "you sure must have a lot of money to be signed up with your current provider"... what a prick.

I also had a guy call me once from a charity my sister used to make donations to. Every year they get the SF 49ers to play a game where the money from the tickets goes to the United Way or wherever. Anyway, this year I got into a car accident, so I stopped working and my sister moved out so I couldn't make a donation this year. I tell the guy that my budget is a little tight this year (what with rent, insurance, hospital bills, etc....) and that I've been out of a job for a while now, and that I'll do it next year, when things get better, and he replies: "Aww, come on, its not *that* much! only $79!" at this point, I don't want to be an asshole so I tell him a little white lie: "I can't actually go, because I can't drive", so he says: "OK, in that case, why don't you pay for the tickets and we'll donate them to some disabled kids so they can go watch the game, thanks to you?!". Tell me, How am I not supposed to be an asshole to people like this??? it gets worse if you *are* rude to them or just hang up, as I've learned before: They'll put you on some kind of 'call back' list where they keep calling, and calling, and calling...

This has got to stop. I urge every one of you to employ at least one of the techniques described above. We have to let them know how intrusive it is, and how it can actually create hostility toward the product/company. Let me know what you think.

Posted by Rick @ 02/22/2003 02:25 AM PST

Here is an idea I got when MCI called one time. Of course it requires you to be a bored, sorry example of a human being like myself and so many other farkers. I said to the MCI guy, y'all are going bankrupt, right? He goes on for about five minutes trying to assure me that they are not. I say, but it is all over the news, are you sure? He goes on for some more. I hang up the phone and continue farking. Next telemarketer calls, some other company I had never heard of. I say, y'all are going bankrupt, right? He goes on forever trying to assure me that they are not. I say, are you sure? Repeat to the point of boredom with each telemarketer, whether their companies are going bankrupt are not. Talk about job insecurity.

Posted by Yoyo Homiewassup damn Fark @ 02/22/2003 02:24 AM PST

Dear Sgt. Pecker,

They can pass it on to me... oh wait, I don't buy from them AT ALL. YAY COMMUNISM!!

Posted by Suggit @ 02/22/2003 01:52 AM PST

In response to Sargeant Pecker:
Making telemarketing unprofitable is not dangerous to our way of life or un-American. It is use of the self adjusting system of free market capitalism. It is how our wants are met through the means we most enjoy. There is only so much cost a business can pass on to the customer before a rival will turn higher profits using alternative methods. Your suggestion to just give into these slimeballs is more indicative of a command economy. Something truely un-American. Learn your economics fool.

Posted by Exaptation @ 02/22/2003 01:34 AM PST

Audio clips of taking the piss on telemarketers:
http://www.chris.com/telemarketing/index2.html

Posted by Nicolas Delbing @ 02/22/2003 01:21 AM PST

also, dont waste your time buying those telezappers b/c that is a waste of your money b/c telemarketing places just make counters to it. im not sure about that #67. i dont think its true cus i just dont see that being possible, if obviously the common person knows about it, i think telemarketing places would obviously have changed and fixed the problem.

Posted by brady @ 02/22/2003 12:58 AM PST

i work for a place called ict, its basically a telemarketing place but i just make survey calls and stuff. i think its funny how a lot of people on here or that ive called are just complete assholes. i understand that we are calling them but if people would just say to be put on the do not call list or something, it wouldnt be so bad, but when you give the phone to your kid, tell them to hold on, etc.. all they do is just call you right back, so you are just asking for it. and then a lot of people take it personally and start calling you names and shit just b/c you called them. i have a job just like anyone else, im trying to pay my way through school and it is decent money. just my 2 cents.

Posted by brady @ 02/22/2003 12:56 AM PST

Look, folks. The idea* is to make it more expensive (and hence less cost-efficient) for them to do it. I'll give you an example.

Let's say that, now, they're getting 30 leads (meaning people willing to buy/set an appointment/etc.) for every 1000 calls and it takes 2500 minutes of phone time to do it. Ok?

Let's now look at what happens when we start doing these counter-telemarketer tactics. First of all, the amount of time the telemarketer is on the phone increases (hold on, please). Second, the # of calls necessary increases, so more hours are needed to pay the telemarketer. Thirdly, the # of leads decreases quite a bit due to both of these.

What now happens is that, with reasonable likelihood, the # of leads per 1000 calls drops to something like 12 instead of the 30 that they had. Also, the # of minutes on the phone probably increases to 3000 (most telemarketers will figure this out so they won't wait when it continues to happen). More expense, less willingness to telemarket.

Besides, most companies are in the crapper, so when they see expenses increasing, they're going to do everything they can to keep them in check.

Food for thought.

Posted by Mindmixer @ 02/22/2003 12:36 AM PST

ONE NIGHT MY BROTHER-IN-LAW RECEIVED A TELEMARKETING CALL AND RESPONDED IN A FRANTIC TONE OF VOICE "MOM, IS THAT YOU? ARE YOU HAVING A HEART ATTACK? DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL 911? ETC..." HE CARRIED ON FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES WHILE WE ROLLED ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING. THE FOOL TELEMARKETER STAYED ON THE PHONE TRYING TO REASSURE HIM THAT ALL WAS WELL. TRY IT WHEN YOU HAVE FRIENDS OVER (A SPEAKER PHONE WOULD BE A BONUS) GUARENTEED A LAUGH.

Posted by DAN @ 02/22/2003 12:32 AM PST

#67 is the wrong tone - call a disconnected number and the tones are different. We just don't have an answering machine. Pisses off the telemarketers off when nothing answers. The only thing I know of is if it is a telemarketer on the phone, make sure real quick, and then immediately say, "add this number to your do-not-call list." I know it's stupid but it's about all you can do. Short of phreaking their PBX box. Which would be nice to be able to do. If I weren't such a slacker. Which affects my grades. And other things. And this is a long rant. I'm bored and farking.

Posted by 7h3 F4rk3r n4m3d t3L3 Z4pp3r @ 02/21/2003 11:44 PM PST

#67 is the wrong tone - call a disconnected number and the tones are different. We just don't have an answering machine. Pisses off the telemarketers off when nothing answers. The only thing I know of is if it is a telemarketer on the phone, make sure real quick, and then immediately say, "add this number to your do-not-call list." I know it's stupid but it's about all you can do. Short of phreaking their PBX box. Which would be nice to be able to do. If I weren't such a slacker. Which affects my grades. And other things. And this is a long rant. I'm bored and farking.

Posted by 7h3 F4rk3r n4m3d t3L3 Z4pp3r @ 02/21/2003 11:41 PM PST

yeah this is gay most telemarketers will hold for 30 seconds max and then move on to the next person. as far as an odd sounding name I never gave a shit it spices up life. So boo hoo telemarketers just say put me on your do not call list and thats all you gotta do every time they call

Posted by russ @ 02/21/2003 11:26 PM PST

Actually what I do is just talk to them. I say things like "so how long have you been doing this" and "does it make much money" and "are you guys hiring? I need a job" and the like. I can keep them going for a long time without them getting a question for me in. They usually end up saying "Well thanks for your time" and hang up. But if I am busy I just hang up.

Posted by nosebreaker dot com @ 02/21/2003 10:32 PM PST

i found this article difficult to masterbate to.

Posted by some fapper @ 02/21/2003 10:25 PM PST

check out this website.

http://www.xs4all.nl/~egbg/counterscript.html

it's the anti-telemarketing counter script.

give those scum bags a taste of their own, not so sweet, medicine!

Posted by Mr. Asshattington @ 02/21/2003 10:06 PM PST

better yet, if you've got a little kid, just hand the phone to them, "this lady would like to learn all about Yu-Gi-Oh" ...

Posted by j-o-h-n @ 02/21/2003 09:58 PM PST

Bork Bork Bork Bork!

Posted by FarkusMalarkus @ 02/21/2003 09:54 PM PST

Here's a fun expansion on sending junk mail back to the solicitors. Ever wonder what to do with all of those damn pennies in your jar? Tape a few to a card to make it nice and heavy. I never looked into it, but I think they end up paying postage for those pennies. I think six pennies is $1 worth of postage. Ha!

Posted by It's a secret! @ 02/21/2003 09:47 PM PST

Oh this is cool! Who needs a TeleZapper when you can just hit # a few times?

Posted by Alexandra @ 02/21/2003 09:40 PM PST

One time at band camp this telemarketer called and I told them to please hold.....oh ya, flute

Posted by farkerfor boobies @ 02/21/2003 09:36 PM PST

Telemarketing should be illegal.
I pay for my phone service. Using it for advertising purposes, against my will, is theft.

"Quit horking my bandwidth!"

Posted by Nanookanano @ 02/21/2003 09:20 PM PST

When returning postage paid envelopes to their rightful owner try putting a bit of glitter in with the application form. It tends to stick to everything and will no doubt slow down the people opening the mail - making it more expensive.

The other thing i noticed (from working in a call center) is that people are uncomfortable calling people who have weird names. Try seeing if you can have them change the record they store on you to something difficult to pronounce (polish/welsh) or something that sounds obscene. I had to call a "Mrs Cuntslick" once, and whilst she was actually for real - i'll know i skipped her record quite a few times due to my fear of offending someone.

You can of course just waste telemarketers time - i think next time they call me to offer a free conservatory quote i'll have them send someone out to my third floor appt.

Posted by GrahamS @ 02/21/2003 09:16 PM PST

I've been doing the "Hold on, please" routine to these jerks for about a year now. I actually had one clueless chick, trying to sell me a newspaper subscription, call me back within a half hour to say we'd been cut off.
I did it to her again.

Posted by hikikomorii @ 02/21/2003 09:05 PM PST

#67 works because those are the tones sent out by the telephone company when a phone has been disconnected. The reason this works is because most telemarketing calls are dialed by a computer. When the computer hears this series of tones, it accepts the signal as a disconnected line and deletes that telephone number from the call list. The Telezapper (as seen on TV) does the same thing - when you pick up your phone it sends out those 3 tones every time. So if you receive a telemarketing call, your number is deleted from their database.

Posted by Bob @ 02/21/2003 09:03 PM PST

"The #67 is the Number disconnected
tone that the phone company uses" comment is incorrect. The central office switch knows if your line is disconnected. It doesn't need you to tell it that.

Posted by Craig @ 02/21/2003 08:57 PM PST

Thousands of Farkers read this...

... Hilarity ensues.

Posted by Suzuran @ 02/21/2003 08:45 PM PST

Nice...once someone calls, I'll use that on em...

Posted by None of your buisness. @ 02/21/2003 08:39 PM PST

The #67 is the "Number disconnected" tone that the phone company uses. If pressed fast enough, they will signal to a machine that it isn't worth calling because the number is out of service.

Posted by Ian @ 02/21/2003 08:14 PM PST

Of course it will incur an additional expense fool! That's the point! And you can hear the dropped call signal in the next room, anyway! Besides, IF WE DID IT, THEY WOULDN'T CALL AT ALL!!!

Posted by TripComputer @ 02/21/2003 08:14 PM PST

Posted by farkpicture @ 02/21/2003 07:47 PM PST

I don't believe the one about the pound sign will work. Doesn't really seem feasible that you could confuse an autodialer .. especially when it's not programmed to care about buttons being pressed. Perhaps unless it's a Microsoft product.

Posted by Some Guy @ 02/21/2003 07:41 PM PST

Yea, that's what I want to do, is tie my phone up all night so somebody that really wants to talk to me just gets a busy signal......Asshat.

Posted by Nostrafarkus @ 02/21/2003 07:29 PM PST

Remember what we did to Nixon -- without the Internet as an organizing tool: they sent millions of political fundraising letters out, with postage paid return envelopes. Hundreds of thousands of people returned them, loaded with old tire weights! It cost them a pretty penny. :o)

Posted by Bill Noble @ 02/21/2003 07:19 PM PST

It's dangerous to our way of life! This will increase the cost these companies incur additional sales expense, and they will pass it on to us! Commie Pinko Rat!

Posted by Sargeant Pecker @ 02/21/2003 07:13 PM PST

It's Genius!

Posted by Random_Tangent @ 02/21/2003 07:07 PM PST

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