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BS: Maddening phone call surveys

Hrothgar 08 Mar 15 - 06:37 AM
Doug Chadwick 07 Mar 15 - 05:04 PM
Anne Lister 07 Mar 15 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,polite 07 Mar 15 - 12:10 PM
Anne Lister 06 Mar 15 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,polite 05 Mar 15 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,# 05 Mar 15 - 04:17 PM
GUEST 05 Mar 15 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,# 05 Mar 15 - 01:00 PM
Anne Lister 05 Mar 15 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,polite 05 Mar 15 - 11:07 AM
Rumncoke 05 Mar 15 - 06:53 AM
BobL 05 Mar 15 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,polite 04 Mar 15 - 09:41 AM
GUEST 04 Mar 15 - 09:08 AM
Thompson 03 Mar 15 - 06:13 PM
Anne Lister 03 Mar 15 - 05:28 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 15 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,polite 03 Mar 15 - 04:13 PM
Thompson 03 Mar 15 - 01:01 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 15 - 10:54 AM
GUEST 03 Mar 15 - 09:15 AM
Weasel 03 Mar 15 - 08:36 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Mar 15 - 08:32 AM
GUEST 03 Mar 15 - 08:30 AM
Doug Chadwick 03 Mar 15 - 08:21 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Mar 15 - 08:10 AM
Thompson 03 Mar 15 - 07:43 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Mar 15 - 06:51 AM
Doug Chadwick 03 Mar 15 - 05:48 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Mar 15 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Ellen Vannin 03 Mar 15 - 02:57 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Mar 15 - 05:59 PM
Tattie Bogle 02 Mar 15 - 03:58 PM
The Sandman 02 Mar 15 - 03:20 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Mar 15 - 02:33 PM
Firecat 02 Mar 15 - 09:25 AM
GUEST 02 Mar 15 - 05:26 AM
GUEST 01 Mar 15 - 12:41 PM
Rumncoke 01 Mar 15 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 28 Feb 15 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,LynnH 28 Feb 15 - 01:22 PM
Rumncoke 28 Feb 15 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Feb 15 - 11:03 AM
Anne Lister 28 Feb 15 - 08:25 AM
GUEST, DTM 28 Feb 15 - 07:26 AM
Sarah the flute 28 Feb 15 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Feb 15 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,BobL at Halsway Manor 28 Feb 15 - 03:19 AM
GUEST 27 Feb 15 - 07:26 PM
Weasel 27 Feb 15 - 06:36 PM
ranger1 27 Feb 15 - 06:06 PM
Anne Lister 27 Feb 15 - 05:22 PM
GUEST 27 Feb 15 - 03:03 PM
Rumncoke 27 Feb 15 - 12:59 PM
bubblyrat 27 Feb 15 - 08:32 AM
Andrez 26 Feb 15 - 09:49 PM
ranger1 26 Feb 15 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Tom 26 Feb 15 - 02:16 PM
EBarnacle 26 Feb 15 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 26 Feb 15 - 07:54 AM
eftifino 26 Feb 15 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,DTM 26 Feb 15 - 05:37 AM
banjoman 26 Feb 15 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 26 Feb 15 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Musket 26 Feb 15 - 02:57 AM
Sandra in Sydney 26 Feb 15 - 01:18 AM
Rumncoke 25 Feb 15 - 09:23 PM
Don Firth 25 Feb 15 - 08:34 PM
olddude 25 Feb 15 - 07:53 PM
olddude 25 Feb 15 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,DTM 25 Feb 15 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 25 Feb 15 - 07:36 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Feb 15 - 07:31 PM
Rapparee 25 Feb 15 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Peter 25 Feb 15 - 06:02 PM
olddude 25 Feb 15 - 05:54 PM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Feb 15 - 05:51 PM
Joe Offer 25 Feb 15 - 03:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 15 - 03:57 PM
Rapparee 25 Feb 15 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 25 Feb 15 - 03:48 PM
Backwoodsman 25 Feb 15 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,# 25 Feb 15 - 03:34 PM
Rumncoke 25 Feb 15 - 03:01 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Hrothgar
Date: 08 Mar 15 - 06:37 AM

I keep telling myself that it is just some poor devil trying to make a living, and just say "I don't need that at the moment, but thank you for calling", or "I haven't time to participate, but thanks for asking".

I hang up on the Microsoft scam people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 05:04 PM

The person making this particular call may not deserve my wrath but, if they happen to be the seventh person in three and a half days to interrupt my peace and quiet, then frustration will make me snap at them. Even if I may feel bad about it later, getting one over on them makes me feel better, at least in the short term. It may not be reasonable; it may not be sensible; it may not be productive; but it is a fact of life.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Anne Lister
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 04:38 PM

Dear "Polite"
1. When you post a message to the thread, everyone reads it. Whether you thought you were replying to me or not.
2. Your perception of being "attacked" or me "complaining about your posts" is your perception. I was (in my perception) disagreeing with you and feeling very strongly that you had not registered my disagreement and reasons for it - and that for as long as you were stating definitively that your method had worked you were devaluing my experience that it hasn't worked for me. There are, as I said, many possible reasons why your calls have stopped.
3. Yes, I read your three possible reasons (all guesses). Yes, I have considered them. I still see no reason why other techniques shouldn't work as well as politeness. Why do I need to say why I think that? Is this a philosophical debate? Life is too short.
4. Over the total of eleven years in which we've received the "Mrs Clements/Mr Ball" calls we have tried everything except changing our number. Yes, we tried lying. It didn't work. It did mean that on one occasion I was called a liar by the caller who said that she knew Mrs Clements DID have our phone number because she had spoken to "Mr Clements" the night before - my husband, trying a different approach to find out where the calls were coming from.
5. I've had enough of this now. Bad enough to get the calls without having an argument about them with someone who doesn't even identify his/her self. I won't be following the thread any further.
Oh and this morning a phone call interrupted our (much needed) sleep in. "Good Morning," said the horribly chirpy male voice. "This is Chris calling from the Energy Explanation Centre in downtown Newport" (or that's what I think he said). "Good morning", I said in return, "and aren't you a complete pain in the arse. Goodbye." And put the phone down. That felt good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,polite
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 12:10 PM

"...when you had repeatedly said that politeness had worked for you when I had repeatedly said it hadn't for me..."
I only said it once. After that, I replied to other people who attacked my statement, trying to clarify it for them. I didn't reply to you when you said for a second time that politeness hadn't worked for you. I didn't reply to that because it was not an attack on my statement. You were just saying that you've had a different experience, which I don't doubt, and which has no bearing on anything I said. I only replied to you after you appeared to be complaining specifically about my posts.

"I see no reason, however, why telling a caller their call is unwelcome, inappropriate or otherwise a nuisance shouldn't work as well as politeness."
I've suggested three possible reasons why those other methods might not work as well as politeness (and I made it clear they're all just guesses). Are you saying that you've considered all three and are sure they don't make sense, yet without saying why you think that? Or did you simply not notice them?

As to the 3 specific cases you cited:
- I've already said that I haven't found anything that stops robocalls.
- My polite method did not work on the Indian guys "from Microsoft." In that case, after several attempts at the polite method I resorted to a very impolite approach. It was very loud and filled with profanity and ethnic slurs. I'm not very proud of it, but it did work in that case. It's the only time I've done that, and I still think that the polite method should be tried first.
- As I said before, your calls for Mr Ball or Mrs Clements sound unusual to me. I've never experienced anything like that. If I did, and if polite methods didn't work, I might try lying. For example:
"Yes, this is Eloise Clements."
"Yes, this is Mrs Clements. May I have your zip code and the last four digits of your account number?"
"I'm her daughter. My mother passed away last week. We're just here to clear out her apartment. Is there anything I can help you with?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Anne Lister
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:31 AM

I don't think that "whoop-di-doo" is impolite, but when you had repeatedly said that politeness had worked for you when I had repeatedly said it hadn't for me I will admit to a degree of irritation. I am sincerely happy for you if your calls have stopped. One theory for that may be that your politeness has somehow overridden the call centre lists and worked a charm. I see no reason, however, why telling a caller their call is unwelcome, inappropriate or otherwise a nuisance shouldn't work as well as politeness. Another theory for your ceased calls is that they've moved on to other methods of marketing.
I have, as I admitted in a post above, done some shifts for a telephone calling business. We were calling people whose names were on a list because they had previously donated to the charity or cause in whose name we were calling (it was an ethical company who only called for charities or political parties the management agreed with), or because they were members of the organisation concerned. We always took account of whether the person we were calling was willing and prepared to talk to us ("is this a good time to call?") and made notes to ensure they weren't called again by another caller from the centre. Most of the people we called were perfectly happy to be called - a few were not. None were unpleasant that I remember. However when it went badly wrong was one list we had to work from which came from a medical charity and we found that call after call was being made to households where there was a recent bereavement - the list, it turned out, had come from people who had made a donation to the charity instead of sending flowers to the funeral. Again, no one was unpleasant but we all had to stop after three or four calls in which the levels of grief were unbearable.
My experience tells me that most of the calls we're receiving are coming from lists which have been sold on and sold on again, which is why it can be virtually impossible to stop the calls coming. The callers don't realise the lists are very out of date. In the case of our nuisance calls, I suspect there has been a typo along the line and our number has been put on the list instead of whoever it was meant to be. So it makes no odds whether I am polite or not - some other person in some other call centre has the list which has been passed on to them. The only mystery is why the caller doesn't actually try to persuade me instead of the mysterious Mrs Clements to buy whatever they're selling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,polite
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 04:27 PM

Anne, I didn't mean to imply that politeness would necessarily work for you (though I am wondering if "Whoop-di-doo" counts as politeness in your understanding of the term).

I can only say that it worked very well for me, and that I can see reasons why it should work, and that I think it would probably work for most people, at least better than some of the emotional responses given here.

Your case sounds very unusual. I myself had a very unusual experience, maybe even stranger than yours, but it was a case of in-person soliciting. A young man would knock on my door each day and ask for a job, though I ran no business and was a low-paid employee barely able to make my rent and so certainly not in need of servants and not someone who could help him find a job. He would show me business cards, which he thought proved he had worked for and was recommended by the people on the cards. And even when I gave up trying to convince him, and ended the conversation and closed the door, he would sit on my porch and wait, sometimes for hours. He was small and thin and didn't appear to be a threat. His manner didn't suggest psychological problems or retardation; he just seemed like a young man desperately looking for a job. But it was a nuisance. I had to at least open the door, since it could have been a friend dropping by. I still have no idea why it happened. Maybe he knocked on a lot of other doors too, and I was the only person who didn't threaten to shoot him or call the police. So in this case politeness may have worked against me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 04:17 PM

Mike, alert the hospital, asap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 02:49 PM

Hi

Today my wife received a call on which a man gave the usual patronising intro pleasantries and then he told her that he knew that she had a problem with her ear.

My wife has been attending hospital recently with a problem with her ear.

When she asked him who he was and where he got the information he just hung up.

Now.....was this just a huge co-incidence or is this firm somehow obtaining personal and private medical information from somewhere??

We have told anyone that she is a problem with her ear, nor is she on the internet or anything that could have been hacked.

Should we alert the hospital and/or our doctor.????

Or is "Mystic Meg" at work????

Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 01:00 PM

If the number is hidden (private) on call display I do not answer. Period. If I don't recognize the number on call display, I don't answer, check it on the 'net and proceed from there. If it's really important you reach me, you'll call back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Anne Lister
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 11:53 AM

I don't know how many ways I can say that over a period of eight years we tried every technique possible to stop one particular brand of nuisance call (one where the caller repeatedly asked to speak to a Mrs Clements). We were polite. We were rude sometimes. We tried leaving them on hold. We asked to speak to supervisors. We spoke to supervisors. We got them to look up the physical snailmail address of the person they wanted, which didn't tally in any way with our address (including area code). We talked to BT. We were in any case ex directory and on the TPS list. (Which of course didn't help because they were asking for someone else in the first place). We tried being funny. The calls continued.
Please accept that this is my experience. Your experience might tell you that by being polite you have stopped the calls. Whoop-di-doo for you - we're still being harassed. Now, as I said above, we're at another number and now we're being asked for another name instead of Mrs Clements, but the same situation exists. My husband is currently also getting frequent calls from insurance companies in relation to an incident four years ago which didn't become the subject of an actual claim because it was easier and cheaper by far to fix the damage ourselves. The calls continue despite the number of times he has patiently and politely explained the situation. He's driving a different car now, with his insurance with another company. Makes no difference to the serried ranks of callers with his name on their duplicated lists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,polite
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 11:07 AM

"Let's face it, the only thing that will stop telephone spam is total failure to get business that way..."

Absolutely! And the fact is that some people do respond positively to telemarketing and telemarketingresearch. They like having their opinion count in surveys, and they love the convenience of sellers calling them up personally and offering them good deals on merchandise that they might want. If there weren't such people, the calls wouldn't be made.

Our task, then, is to find some way to let the callers know that we're not in that group and never will be. The TPS, and the National Do-Not-Call Registry are ways of doing that, but some organizations may not have access to those databases. There's probably an expense involved, and they may feel they're better off avoiding that expense. For those callers, we can try telling them when they call. But we should do it in a clear and unequivocal manner, not in a way that suggests mostly that we're in a bad mood at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rumncoke
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 06:53 AM

Oh wow -several days have gone past without a call from a survey person - there have been other cold calls, but no information gathering.

Could it possibly be that after trying for so long - there must have been 40 to 50 calls which got through plus all the failed ones, that they have finally accepted that I don't do surveys.

It has taken long enough for the penny to drop, but - well - I can hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: BobL
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 04:33 AM

Let's face it, the only thing that will stop telephone spam is total failure to get business that way, i.e. cold call = no sale, to anyone, ever. When Hell's frozen perhaps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,polite
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 09:41 AM

"They are breaking the law just by phoning. Of course a criminal is going to stop offending if you just ask nicely."

I reported only from experience, not from a theory about what criminals or anyone else would be likely to do. But now that you mention it, yes, that's exactly how the business world operates. It routinely breaks inconvenient laws -- paying bribes, cheating on taxes, circumventing environmental legislation, etc -- but tries to maintain a polite relationship with customers and the press.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 09:08 AM

"I've no idea what the TPS"
Telephone Preference service.

They are breaking the law just by phoning. Of course a criminal is going to stop offending if you just ask nicely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Thompson
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 06:13 PM

Oh heavens no, I would only say "please get a proper job and don't work for thieves" for calls that are an obvious scam, like people mending my PC or needing my bank account details to get me that inheritance from Nigeria.
In the case of others - like the call last week from my old gas company - I just tell them that I'm locked into a new contract now, and perhaps they'd like to call me with a good offer in a year when I'm free of that contract, and I thank them for thinking of me. They don't call back then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Anne Lister
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 05:28 PM

As I said before, I've tried every technique going but it hasn't prevented some of the repeat calls happening. I've been polite, I've been challenging, I've been rude, I've put people on hold, I've asked to speak to supervisors (and sometimes spoken to them) - nothing has worked so far. I won't do the whistle thing because I have more respect for ears than that.
I'm very happy to hear that some of you have been successful by being polite but (trust me on this) that technique doesn't work all the time.

I don't think they necessarily all work for thieves, either, btw - yes, the "something wrong with your computer" brigade do, but many others are just using out of date lists or inappropriate scripts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 05:00 PM

Consumers Union says the FCC is considering allowing robocalls to mobile phones, which has been illegal until now.

CU is circulating a petition opposing that change. You can sign it at:
http://cu.convio.net/site/R?i=MlG2ygDxJnWy33AtmzIL0g


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,polite
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 04:13 PM

"Why the hell would they bother with a polite request when they phone numbers on the TPS?"

I've no idea what the TPS is, but as far as why they would bother with a polite request, I already said what I could about that in my second paragraph. It was just speculation, of course; all I really know is that the method worked.

If you're genuinely interested, and not just trying to make a point via rhetorical question, you'll find that second paragraph immediately below the one you apparently did read.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Thompson
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 01:01 PM

Well, I've actually had people hang up the phone with a guilty clatter when I've said "please don't work for thieves" - I suspect that they're working from home, in whatever benighted country they're calling from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 10:54 AM

Why the hell would they bother with a polite request when they phone numbers on the TPS?


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 09:15 AM

I've had very good results with politeness. I started a policy of saying in a pleasant tone, "No, thank you, I'm not interested, and could you please take my phone number off your call list." After about 6 months of that I never got another telemarketing or survey call.

After all, they're doing this to make money, so they don't want to waste their time on a prospect with zero probability. If you respond angrily, they might think you're just in a bad mood and maybe they should try at another time. Or they may be too rattled to behave rationally, or they may feel animosity toward you and want you to continue to be harassed.

Recently I've started getting a lot of robocalls, and of course I can't do the same thing with them. I'm still looking for a solution to that. My phone company doesn't offer blocking of unwanted robocalls. I'd gladly switch companies if that would solve it, but I don't know of an alternative local company that does offer robocall blocking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Weasel
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 08:36 AM

I get lots of legitimate international and withheld calls - I have to pick up. Up to a point I agree with Thompson: as I said before, I am always polite to the sales callers - they're doing a job but I'm afraid I cannot be polite to the "you're computer has problems" people - they are trying to rob me whether they are the masterminds or simply the minions.

Weasel


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 08:32 AM

If people try to keep him talking for that reason and succeed, the caller gets sacked and someone else who's a bit slicker with the patter gets the job. You could just be increasing the numbers of criminals out there. Just put the phone down! If everybody did just that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 08:30 AM

[quote]
By the way, you can bar specific numbers on many of the cordless phones that a lot of people use now.
[/quote]
Numbers are normally withheld or international. I use caller display and don't pick up either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 08:21 AM

The longer you keep them talking, the fewer people they can bother in a day. I look upon it as a public service.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 08:10 AM

There's no need to be rude to the people who call; they're probably not in the best of circumstances.

Exactly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Thompson
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 07:43 AM

I mostly just say gently "My dear, you should try to get a better job than working for thieves" when it's those youngsters who ring you to tell you that they're from Microsoft and my PC needs help. Others I just politely say no thanks. There's no need to be rude to the people who call; they're probably not in the best of circumstances.
By the way, you can bar specific numbers on many of the cordless phones that a lot of people use now. Fish around the settings while you have the number selected and you'll find the option.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 06:51 AM

I'm not for one second defending scammers and I'm not above telling 'em to bugger off, though I seldom let the chat go that far before hanging up. But I'm not going to be catching them for their attempted crime anytime soon, so I really do have better things to do than engage them in pointless conversations. And let's face it, if we all did the same they'd give up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 05:48 AM

The person who rings you may well not be the real culprit ...

The people who ring you are not doing it out of the goodness of their own hearts - they are doing to make money. They choose to do the job and accept payment for it. I agree that I have better things to do. I don't see why I should give my free time, unpaid, to help them make a living.

Stringing someone along may be seen as impolite but it's not all one-sided. On more than one occasion, I have quickly and politely explained why I do not need the services that the caller is offering, only to receive a mouthful of abuse before I am abruptly cut off.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 05:28 AM

You're not going to be giving them anything they don't expect. Put the phone down!


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Ellen Vannin
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 02:57 AM

Someone I know, who isn't very computer-savvy, believed a caller about their computer being infected and lost several hundred pounds. Those callers, at least, know what they are doing and deserve everything they get.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 05:59 PM

The person who rings you may well not be the real culprit, so don't string them along or try to have fun at their expense. You have better things to do. Just put the phone down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 03:58 PM

Silence all weekend, but that was because our phone cable had been chewed up somewhere underground, so no calls of any kind! Nice man from Virginmedia fixed it this morning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 03:20 PM

I tell them that i have a jehovahs witness at the door


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 02:33 PM

I have always just hung up without a word —

- except for the ones who begin "How are you?"; in which case I say, "Why, how kind of you to ask", and proceed to tell them, at some length & in considerable detail, about my arthritis, boil behind my ear, dental problems, anginal breathlessness, how I no longer suffer nearly as much from winter colds or summer allergies as I did when younger, &c &c: finishing up, "Thank you so much for calling to enquire about my health. I really do appreciate it. Goodbye".

Then I hang up...

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Firecat
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 09:25 AM

About 10 years ago, I worked for a cold caller trying to get people interested in kitchens. There was no choice in who I got to call as it was an autodialler. I ended up being told to leave by my GP after three bouts of severe laryngitis in six months - appalling conditions, low pay, and if you didn't hit your targets, you lost a shift.

Doesn't stop me getting annoyed though!

I've surprised a few of the Microsoft ones though. I either tell them that my husband is an IT specialist, or that I don't have a computer. The latter is usually more successful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 05:26 AM

We have stopped getting the old clothes bags which is a pain. I am going to have to pay good money for some bin liners this week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 12:41 PM

"Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 11:03 AM

I'm sure that it's probably very politically incorrect to say so, but have you noticed that charities are becoming more and more and more of a 'pain-in-the-arse' too?

'Chuggers' on every high street, leaflets through the door (along with those irritating plastic bags for your 'old clothes') and, of course, phone calls! There was one woman rang me the other day, about some (no doubt worthy) charity who went on and on and on - obviously from a prepared script- until I interrupted her and said that I was already signed up for two charities (of my choice), and still she went on and on and on until, in the end, I had to put the phone down!"

I think a lot of these big 'charities' are essentially not much more than bloated self-interested corporations / businesses who plough a massive percentage of their takings back into getting even more people to give them money. The only charities worth giving to, are the small ones run by a dedicated volunteer base. At least you know when you give to those, the money goes straight where it's needed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rumncoke
Date: 01 Mar 15 - 11:15 AM

Oh the scripts used for the charity calls are designed to tug the heartstrings - what makes me immune is when I learn that it is costing them XXX,XXX amount to contact people to get them to give money to the cause.

The calls almost never come at weekends, so it is usually me who takes them. When my husband had a couple of days off as he was unwell he was disturbed every few hours by the phone ringing - he was puzzled as to who it was and why I had so many phone calls which I picked up and then put down at once - the ones which just go dead. It is probably a good thing that he is not a suspicious man.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 03:53 PM

I have also got calls from charitable organizations which I had previously donated to. I find these intimidating to some extent as there is an element of guilt suggestion. I have told them I support a number of charities and don't want to be phoned, and that if I get more calls, I will donate elsewhere. I have not had any for awhile now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 01:22 PM

My answering machine is a wonderful spam filter for such calls. A clip display is also useful. If there are about ten digits after the STD code then it's almost certainly a call-centre. Checking the numbers on a site like Tellows can be interesting and amusing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rumncoke
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 01:15 PM

At the moment our finances are basically shot, but we still get calls from charities which have already contacted me and been told that I can't contribute. I think that they have bought another list and started trawling through the same people all over again. It is all a terrific waste of resources.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 11:03 AM

I'm sure that it's probably very politically incorrect to say so, but have you noticed that charities are becoming more and more and more of a 'pain-in-the-arse' too?

'Chuggers' on every high street, leaflets through the door (along with those irritating plastic bags for your 'old clothes') and, of course, phone calls! There was one woman rang me the other day, about some (no doubt worthy) charity who went on and on and on - obviously from a prepared script - until I interrupted her and said that I was already signed up for two charities (of my choice), and still she went on and on and on until, in the end, I had to put the phone down!


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 08:25 AM

I can say from lengthy experience that asking for our number to be removed from their lists doesn't work. Often the excuse is that the lists have been sold on several times, and so they literally can't do it - and another thing that doesn't work is explaining that we're (a) ex-directory and (b) on the Telephone Preferences List. BT told us the only thing they could suggest was for us to have a new number entirely, or for every incoming call to be vetted by them. As I have a frail father in a nursing home who finds making calls difficult at the best of times (but I wouldn't want to stop him calling) this isn't an option. And as having had a new number two years ago has simply changed the name of the person the persistent callers call to speak to I'm sceptical of that solution as well.
I have, in my time, worked at a call centre making calls to elicit charitable donations. I know what it's like from the other side, too, but at least that was for a good cause whereas the calls I'm finding objectionable are the ones just for profit, or to gain control of a computer. Or the ones that simply won't go away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST, DTM
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 07:26 AM

The old trick for nuisance callers was to have a referee's whistle next to the phone. Apparently one blast doesn't sound pleasant to the person at the other end.
As a bonus, you get a free 'kick'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 06:52 AM

My standard reply to anyone who says they are conducting a survey is to ask them for their Market Research Society Registration Number - they usually hang up immediately.

More fun is the sales people - I have now invented a new fun system. I tell them that I have just moved in and that I am German. My name is Frau Dulant and I have an account at Kohn Bank with the number SUR218SC4M. Had a brilliant one two days ago for solar panels - strung them along for 20mins before I told them I was in a ground floor flat - it was when I asked them if they could be attached to my windows instead of a roof that they rang off.

All good fun...if you have the time


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 04:54 AM

"Can I just stop you there, please? I have to tell you that I don't do business over the phone - especially not as the result of a cold call. Please don't call me again and please remove all of my details from your data base. Thank you. Goodbye."


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,BobL at Halsway Manor
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 03:19 AM

Them: "It's about your computer."
Me: "Ah. Is that one I've supplied to you?"
Them: "?"
Me: "I sell computer systems - that's my job."
Click.

Slighly simplified but you get the idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 07:26 PM

Consumers Union has organized a campaign to demand that phone companies give customers tools to block unwanted robocalls. The technology is easily available, but most phone companies are not implementing it.

You can sign their petition at https://consumersunion.org/end-robocalls/?source=email&sub_source=newsletter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Weasel
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 06:36 PM

Although I am on the TPS register (no sales calls) I am always polite to the sales people - it's someone doing a job, probably a job he doesn't enjoy, and who otherwise would be on the dole.

I am always polite right up until the point where I say, "Thank you but I'm not interested". If they respect that and then hang up all is well.

If they insist on continuing, then I take that as an invitation to have fun.

I am, however, never polite to the liars and thieves who claim to be from Microsoft. They deserve nothing but contempt and probably worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: ranger1
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 06:06 PM

Anne, I know what you mean about the timing! I'm usually snuggled in under a quilt on the sofa with a cat in my lap. She does not take kindly to having her laptime interrupted...


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Anne Lister
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 05:22 PM

We have three persistent repeat offenders. Yes, the Indian gentleman from Microsoft who says he knows what's wrong with my computer and yet when pressed he admits he doesn't know what kind of computer I have and is confused when I tell him it's a Mac. Then there's the automated dialler with a recorded voice - something to do with insulation and government funding, but as we're not the house owners that's fairly pointless. And then there's the calling company who always ask for Mr John Ball. They've been calling since we had the phone put in, well over two years ago, and despite being told on every single occasion that this number has never belonged to a Mr John Ball they keep on calling. I vary in my techniques with these calls (except the automated recording, which I simply hang up on each time) but nothing seems to deter them. In our previous house we had a caller for a Mrs someone or other - always the same name. They persisted in calling for eight years, generally once or twice a month but sometimes more often, despite us talking to supervisors, explaining that this woman had never had that phone number and even on one occasion making the breakthrough that the area code they thought they were calling wasn't the code they had called (if you see what I mean - so the address didn't link up to the number). Nothing seems to work. I've been very rude and I've tried being very polite. I've left them on hold for an hour. Still they call, generally when I've got cosy with a cup of tea and a snack in front of the television for a break.
They're a total menace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 03:03 PM

Because I have time on my hands and I don't mind wasting it my usual response is to say 'thank you for calling, please hold the line for one minute' and then putting the 'phone next to a speaker - which is always playing high quality folk music. After 5 minutes or so I pick up the 'phone and say 'you're call is important to us, please continue to hold'. I repeat this until they ring off.   I feel that I am providing a public service by developing their musical education. I can't believe how generous and virtuous I am.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rumncoke
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 12:59 PM

Two calls yesterday and so far one today - they are so persistent, and they try to blackmail me into giving information by telling me that they will stop calling if I tell them what they want to know - however, I know that if I do tell them anything they will sell the information on to others who will then phone me. I found that out years ago and stopped cooperating.

Even though I have not supplied information to phone call surveys for years, though I am still contacted by charities, home improvement firms, snake oil salesmen, all telling me that they are calling because I have done a survey, have requested information about their product, or some such thing, and I tell them that I have done no such thing and I never buy anything when I get such phone calls.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 08:32 AM

I find that a quick burst with one of those aerosol-powered marine foghorns ,so beloved of football supporters,usually does the trick.It is unethical,and probably illegal, and quite possibly dangerous, but Hey !! --who cares ?? these people MUST BE STOPPED !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Andrez
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 09:49 PM

Sadly I fluctuate between f**k off and hanging up when I get these calls. Interesting that this issue seems to be global with the same thing happening all over and nothing can be done to stop it at that level!

Re the Microsoft calls its always funny to get these and be told there is a problem with my Windows PC as our household is entirely made up of Mac users. F**kwitz!

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: ranger1
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 02:26 PM

My friend Van likes to keep them going on and on forever, especially the Microsoft scam callers. Here's one of his conversations:

"I just had another illuminating conversation with those fun guys at "Windows Technical Assistance" who want me to give them remote access to my computer! This is the fourth time we discussed my computer and I can't tell you how nice it is to know these people are so concerned about it.
"Hello, this is Mike," came the possibly Indian accent over the phone.
"Hi Mike, how are you?"
"I am fine, thank you very much." Then Mike began to tell me about all the terrible things they have detected regarding my computer. "Are you the main user of the computer?" he asked.
"I am in Maine, yes."
"That is good, now –"
"Are you in Maine?"
"Excuse me?"
"Are you in Maine?"
He began to tell me what was wrong with my computer again.
I said: "Because if you are in Maine, you and I should get together for a cup of coffee and chew the fat."
"Excuse me?"
"It's been too long. Don't you think it's been too long?"
"What has been too long?"
"Since you and I had coffee and chewed the fat."
There was a pause on the other end. "I don't believe that has ever happened."
"Well," said I, somewhat deflated. "I'm sorry I made so little impression on you. What color is your shirt today?"
"What color is my shirt?"
"That is why I called. I called to find out what color your shirt is."
"No, sir, I called you about your computer."
"Is this Alan?"
"No, this is Mike."
"Well, sure, you said that. I was thinking of you earlier today. I thought, I wonder what color Mike's shirt is?"
"Sir, I believe there is some error here."
"Yes, in my computer."
Now the slightest sense of hope sounded in his voice. "Yes, the errors in your computer."
"Is Alan there?"
"Alan?"
"Is Alan there? What color is his shirt?"
"I will transfer you to Alan."
"Oh, that'd be wonderful. Maybe the three of us can have coffee sometime."
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Somehow, our connection was broken.
I never did get around to asking him his hat size. Nice guy, though."


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 02:16 PM

What I do is disconnect my landline and have people call my on my mobile. If it's going to be a long call we'll talk via landline. I get far fewer spam calls on the mobile than on the landline; if I see "number unknown" on my mobile I just ignore it.

________________________________________________________________________

Buy Gold


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 01:50 PM

I will try a variation of that one. Maybe it will get me off the daily robocall lists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 07:54 AM

Not exactly PC, that, DTM, but had to admit it was funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: eftifino
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 06:24 AM

Failsafe method to stop calls:

1.Me "Hello?"
2. This is Goggi representing the Acme co, to ask a few questions.

3. Me: "Certainly! please tell me where to mail my invoice for $100"

4. Goggi: 'Im sorry, I don't know what you mean"

5 Me: I do market research on a professional basis and my fee is $100/Hour or part thereof. Where do I send my invoice?

6 Goggi: CLICK


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 05:37 AM

Here's the link to the "murder scene" response to cold calls....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdoogjic4I


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: banjoman
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 05:02 AM

I quite enjoy some of these by taking the line with (e.g.) Windows sales people that its a pity you didn't ring last week as I have just placed a major order with one of your competitors.
My son, who is an IT guru, handles the Windows security ones and enjoys winding them up for ages and then after 15 minutes or so says he cant see any windows on screen and he uses Linux .
Usually shuts them up.
I agree with the point already made about using caller display.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 03:30 AM

Sometimes, when these people call, I say, 'sorry but I think that you need to speak to my father'. I then shout, 'Dad!' and leave the phone off the hook for 10 or 15 minutes.

With the "Microsoft" people I sometimes have some fun. On one occasion, I pretended to go along with the woman on the line and to follow her instructions. When she said, 'what can you see on the screen?', I told her that I could see a duck; 'you've programmed a duck into my computer, please let me speak to your supervisor!' When the supervisor came on the line, I shouted, 'your operative has programmed a duck into my computer!' I ran out of absurdities at this point and hung up.

A "Microsoft" person rang the other night and I demanded that he put me through to 'Mr Gates, the Head of Windows', immediately! He hung up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 02:57 AM

I do the same as Bridge, which is rather worrying. Does that make me a Radical Socialist?

🙉🙊🙈



My worst one is that I changed home number last year when I changed broadband supplier and my number must have been the fax line for a business because I get fax machines ringing it in the day. Grr...


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 01:18 AM

as I hang up from a survey taker I sometimes think I'd like my 2 cents worth in their survey, especially around election time, but it's like throwing a crumb to a pigeon or a seagull, next minute ...

previous & very entertaining thread on The Microsoft Security check out my first post giving a link to a local columnist's fun with The Microsoft Security


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rumncoke
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 09:23 PM

Oh yes, the Microsoft one - I just laugh that one off - the survey people are just so persistent, so frequent and they try early and late and all through the day.

My response is usually the same - we don't do surveys so stop contacting me, but they just keep on and on. Some days I just put the phone down because I can't stand to speak to them yet again.

I get quite a few phone calls from people I don't know who want to buy the things we make, so the phone is fairly essential, but recently I have sometimes gone out of the house for no reason other than to get away from the phone calls.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 08:34 PM

Answering machine: "Hello. You have reached the Firth residence. We're unable to answer the phone right now, but if you leave your name and phone number after the 'beep,' we'll return your call as soon as possible. Unless you are asking for money."

Every few weeks lately, I've been getting a call from some guy with an Indian accent who tells me that he is on the Microsoft help desk and they've detected a problem in my computer. If I allow him access to my computer, he'll fix it for me.

In a pig's arse!! Microsoft is just across Lake Washington from Seattle, and there are a couple of people who live in the same apartment building Barbara and I do who work for Mickeysoft. Also, the wife of a good friend works for Mickey and she tells me that they don't work that way. AND they know how to get into any computer loaded with their operating system. That's why, sometimes when you shut off your computer, you get the message telling you not to unplug or power off your computer until they finish downloading a fix or upgrade. That's legit.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: olddude
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 07:53 PM

Oh and when I asked why they said it would affect political polls... Money talks I guess


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: olddude
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 07:50 PM

Richard survey is not covered under the do not call list, I know I reported them only to find that out by the government


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 07:47 PM

There was a good one on the web a few years ago when the person answering the phone pretended he was a detective at a murder scene and told the guy on the phone he had to stay on line to answer a few questions as he could be involved in the homicide. The caller was absolutely crapping himself by the end of the questioning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 07:36 PM

I amm having an absolute BLAST with them.

(I am unable to watch TV....so they "interrupt nothing."

I consider 15 minutes to be the average time I can "sting-along" a marketer.....before.....I......lose interest. (Gone for nearly an hour once.)

A group of us, record and share our experiences. We have not yet begun to "score results".....but it would certainly be a negative if the marketer hungup within the first three minutes.

The object is to remove the telemarketer from circute for one-quarter-an-hour.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

My standard "sign-off" is "Mummsy - won't let me talk on the phone.....you need to call back when she is here."


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 07:31 PM

The usefulness (or otherwise) of government schemes to enable you to opt out of spam phone calls varies from country to country.

Recorded messages I just hang up.

Live callers, sometimes I just hang up, sometimes I tell them that the number is registered with the telephone preference service and they are committing an offence, sometimes I yell "FUCK OFF CUNT".


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 06:52 PM

I once told a photo company (who had called over and over) that I didn't have children because I'd been wounded by a castrator mine in Vietnam and they didn't call back for more than five years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 06:02 PM

The best way is to filter through an answering machine. If they start leaving a message then you can decide if you want to answer. The cold callers seldom do.

Sometimes I answer pretending to be a business and keep asking what sort of pizza they want to order.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: olddude
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 05:54 PM

Not me I take the survey and give them nonsense answers. Like on cars I will say yes canned tuna fish is Ok. They eventually hang up


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 05:51 PM

In Australia calls from organisations we've had dealings with, survey companies, political parties & charities are exempt from the Don't Call Register - but I consider that the fact I'm on the Don't Call Register means I don't want to get calls from any unsolicited caller & hang up as soon as the caller says they're (First name) from (Organisation)

of course, some of these unknown callers do have my name (dunno how they get it) so I ask who they are & hang up if they are not wanting info about my folk club.

The caller yesterday who asked for Sandra (surname slightly related to mine) got my wrong number reply "Sorry, there's no one with that name here".

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:58 PM

I try to report as many as possible to donotcall.gov. If they call several times from the same number, I use caller id/blocking to block the number.
It feels like we're in a lull now. We haven't been getting the several calls a day we were receiving a few months ago. I've started to get a few Spam calls on my cell phone. I sure don't like that.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:57 PM

Many of these callers use an automated system. If you don't say anything right away or if it goes to an answering machine, they hang up. And there is a type of answering machine that gives the audible disconnected phone beep for a few seconds, enough that automated systems recognize the sound and (in theory) remove the number from a repeat call. I noticed this beep last time I left a message at my brother's home, I'll have to ask him how he set it up.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:51 PM

Check the phone number on caller id (if you don't have it, get it) and if you don't recognize don't answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:48 PM

And it ain't just surveys either. Loads of PPI calls, and other sales calls too.   Had another this evening.....what, not interested in saving money.....says he.       No says I, and please remove us from your list please ?!.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:35 PM

As soon as they start their patter, I just say, "Very sorry, I'm not interested, but thank you for your call", and hang up. Ignore the protests, don't give the buggers a chance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: GUEST,#
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:34 PM

Hang up.


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Subject: BS: Maddening phone call surveys
From: Rumncoke
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:01 PM

Over the last month or so I have had two or three phone calls just about every weekday, some just after 8 am and others after 6 in the evening. All by people with strong Indian accents.

Our number is on the don't phone list, but they just go on and on. It is really getting to me, and I just don't know what I can do to stop them, other then unplug the phone, but then I can't get the 'real' phone calls either.

I never do surveys because the only result is more phone calls from more people trying to generate income from my information.

I think that there is some change to the rules coming up and they want to harvest as much information as they can and tell me that they are phoning in response to a request from me - but they are going to drive me crackers before long.


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