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BS: Help - I want my privacy back

07 Mar 01 - 04:52 AM (#412588)
Subject: Help - I want my privacy back
From: nutty

I am getting really fed up ( and that's putting it politely ) ....... nearly every day I either receive telephone calls or personal (door-to-door) visits from people wanting to organise my life.

Be it double glazing , building work , investment , public utilities - these people are intent on getting me to change to what they consider to be the best option for me

I really am finding it very difficult to stay pleasant and yet - aware of the danger to my blood pressure - I do not want to loose my temper
SO ...



I want to make my own decisions ... be they right or wrong


07 Mar 01 - 04:55 AM (#412589)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: nutty

Lost a chunk of text in the middle of the posting but you get the general idea

07 Mar 01 - 05:05 AM (#412591)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: KingBrilliant

We've had less of these since my husband started letting them go on & on for ages. Occasionally he would comment 'that's nice' 'Mmm sounds good'. Then at the end he would innocently remark how marvellous it sounded and what a terrible shame it was that we have no money at all and therefore can't possibly have the thing.
It seems that they're keener to waste our time than they are to have their own time wasted.


07 Mar 01 - 06:09 AM (#412614)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: KitKat

If you ring BT (or your phone service operator) you can ask to have your telephone number barred for commercial purposes. It won't help with the door to door callers, though some people post a notice on their front doors saying 'we neither buy nor sell at this door' - then you can just point to it and ask them to leave.

07 Mar 01 - 07:21 AM (#412648)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back

1. Answer the call calmly and politely, when the schpeel has started, quietly lay the handset on the surface, and go and do something fulfilling. Return to the handset in about half an hour, and they've usually gone.

2. Declare in your first sentence that you are an undischarged bankrupt. That works the fastest.

3. Callers - Learn at least one sentence of an obscure language. When communication can't happen, the caller retreats.

Bonne chance

07 Mar 01 - 07:38 AM (#412650)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back

...this site might offer some help, but it'll cost you (there should be a way of doing this for free)...also, there was a good article in a back issue of Utne Reader last year that detailed specific steps one could take to ensure a very high level of privacy, if one wanted to devote some effort...if you're interested, I could research it and get back to you...

07 Mar 01 - 08:07 AM (#412662)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Troll

As soon as the pitch starts, I simply say " I'm not interested." and hang up. I don't wait for them to reply. As SOON as I've finished speaking, the phone goes back on the hook.
Same basic senario at the door. Not interested, door closes.
I had one guy knock again. I told him that I had expresed a lack of interest in his wares, that his persistance constituted tresspass after warning, and that I would now call the police.
He was gone from the neighborhood when they reached my house.


07 Mar 01 - 08:42 AM (#412681)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Allan C.

There was a good discussion about telemarketers that was renewed last month. But the one on doorknockers probably contains more of the information you seek.

07 Mar 01 - 08:49 AM (#412685)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Jeri

Playing games with them will still get your blood pressure up, and if you're like me, will make you feel a bit guilty.

What works best for me is:
"I'm not interested"
But are you aware how much money you can save..."
"I'm not interested. Goodbye."
If they still keep going, I'll announce I'm going to hang up in a pleasant voice, then I hang up.
I've gotten rid of them, I've remained calm, and I don't feel guilt 1) not being able to deal with the situation, and 2) abusing someone.

This is pretty much the same thing as what troll said he does, with a little more patience. How much patience you want to have with them depends on you. They don't deserve to be yelled at, IMO, but they don't deserve any more time than you're willing to give.

07 Mar 01 - 08:50 AM (#412686)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: wysiwyg


An interaction designed to suck money out of you is not governed by the same social rules as other interactions. It's a whole 'nother dynamic, and has its own conventions you can learn, practice, and employ brilliantly and responsibly.

Their motives are not, as you feel, designed to control you-- or organize you-- or do anything personal with you at all. They just want MONEY. So-- if they aren't going to GET any money from you, you are actually HELPING them when you make the contact as brief as you possibly can. Smile in good conscience and send them packing. You will not be behaving in a manner counter to your best intentions, if you just rmember you are helping them move on to someone who may give them what they seek.


07 Mar 01 - 08:50 AM (#412687)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: gnu

Although I try to be polite, I can't help it when telemarketers ask me, the man of the household, for the lady of the household. I sometimes say, "You're talkin' to 'er" in a gruffer than normal voice. This is usually greeted with either an awkward moment of silence or a click. Sometimes I say, "Just a sec", clear my throat, and then immediately say, in a high pitched voice, "Helloooooo". Same responses.

A sign "NO SOLICITORS" does not work around here. I tell charity workers the truth - I have only one charity, the regional childrens' hospital and tell them I can take their donation for the hospital if it would be convenient for them. As for the religion pushers, I just say, "Black Irish Catholic, so you've no hope here." Even the ignorant ones retreat without a fuss. As for the younger visitors, I try to treat them with respect, but only "give" when they offer something of value in which they have had input, like crafts - chocolate bars don't cut it, unless the wrapper has a pizza coupon.

The worst ones are co-workers. When I was gainfully employed, years ago, I was incensed at this practise. Everyone in the office wanted me to sponser their kid's frisbee team for a trip to China, or some similar nonsense. So, I put a tin can on my filing cabinet with a sign that read, "The Hernia Foundation Needs Your Support" and pointed to it every time I was asked to give. Some of them put a quarter in the can for spite, at which point I would pocket it and pretend I was writing to a log and say. "Your receipt for tax purposes will be in the mail shortly. I just decided to go for an ice cream cone at breaktime, you coming ?" Similar responses.


07 Mar 01 - 09:31 AM (#412706)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back

Que? Que? Works for me.

07 Mar 01 - 09:44 AM (#412716)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Alice

the phone: Legal way to definitely stop the calls - answer with "Please put me on your NO CALL LIST." They have to do it, and it has completely eliminated phone sales calls for me.

the door: Don't answer it if you don't know the person at your door. Have a way to view their face, so you can choose for whom you open your door. Put up a sign next to your doorbell, "Do not disturb." Tell your friends why it is there.

07 Mar 01 - 09:56 AM (#412728)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: gnu

I used a sign last winter when I injured my back - sliding off a roof is one of the parts of my job I hate most. The sign, just a small sheet of white paper against a white door, so as not to attract attention, said "I have injured my back and cannot answer the door. Phone me and leave a message and when I can get to the phone, I'll ring you back." It worked so well, I left it up for the usual spring onslaught of canvassing.


07 Mar 01 - 10:36 AM (#412768)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: wes.w

I'll repeat this from the previous thread:

In the UK, get your local phone directory, and look up 'Unwanted Calls' in the information bit at the front. Look for the TPS (Telephone preference service) number. They can stop all double glazing,etc calls. They sent back confirmation of my 'preference' in a week, and these calls then became illegal 1 month after that.

For doorsteppers, I'd suggest you ask them to call back in one hour, since you are currently on the phone to a double glazing salesman. Or stick a NO HAWKERS notice on your front door, and just point to it if they still have the nerve to knock.

07 Mar 01 - 11:02 AM (#412785)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: nutty

The thing that troubles me most is that they have this information

I do not want all and sundry having access to little bits of my private life ... yet I know that there is no way of stopping it.
If they have my telephone number .... they have my address
I f they have my address ...... they have my post code
If they have my postcode .... they can access all kinds of information about me

07 Mar 01 - 02:01 PM (#412905)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back

Well, what I did is told the phone company I wanted a 2nd line for my teenage daughter (she doesn't exist) to be listed as Geraldine Katz (the name of my deceased cat) and then I now use the 1st line as a FAX line. In the rare event that I answer a persistant caller on Geraldine's line; I inform them that she's dead which usually aborts their script. I don't get a lot of other calls except for replies to the ones I initiate but that's what I wanted.

07 Mar 01 - 04:12 PM (#412953)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Amergin

get a shotgun....that'll stop the bastards....

07 Mar 01 - 06:31 PM (#413017)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Penny S.

I had my telephone directory entry by initial only, for security. Then I found out, through a junk mail advertising a money making scheme, that people could buy copies of the electoral roll for marketing purposes. I wrote to my Tory MP complaining that my privacy and security was breached by this (in a way which its availability in the library or council offices, where readers would be observed, would not), and received a letter from the relevant minister explaining, as if I were of limited intelligence, that Parliament had passed a law making this practice permissible. I complained that if I failed to complete the electoral roll form, that would be illegal, so I had no choice who might know my situation, and use the information for innappropriate purposes such as the money scam. This was ignored. While the Tories remained in power, I consistently added to my electoral roll form that I had not given my consent to the release of my name and address for commercial purposes. I don't suppose this had any effect. My name continued to appear on the roll. No-one came back to me. I have now heard that this practice has been discontinued, but the information continues to appear elsewhere, for example on a website which specialises in finding people.

i want my privacy back, too.


07 Mar 01 - 06:36 PM (#413020)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Spud Murphy

nutty: Ft Yukon liees on the Yukon River about 135 air miles on a mag heading of about 352 degrees out of Fairbanks. If you still find your privacy being invaded there, borrow a flat bottomed river boat and head north a few miles on the Porcupine River to the Black River and then take the Black about 20 miles or so up to the village of Chalkyitsik. If privacy is to your liking, you won't find a better place.

Happy Hunting,


07 Mar 01 - 07:50 PM (#413054)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: GUEST,Norton1

Ah yes - the door knockers. In my impetuous youth I simply threw them down the steps, or knocked them off their feet. My first wife was of a religious group that insisted I participate. I threw the first couple of guys through the screen door they managed to get into. They switched tactics and sent a pair of old ladies. I answered the door in the nude and they stopped that crap. The current sign on the door says "Property protected by an armed citizen." Seems to have eliminated most of them. We also have a cow dog that bites trespassers. All of our property is properly posted and only two have managed to get themselves bit - do they know how to read??

If they call on the phone we request they remove us from their rolls. It has literally eliminated phone solicitations.

I have no guilt - they are doing their job (trying to part me from my cash) and I do mine - Not a chance buddy.

Nancy Reagan said it best - "Just say NO."

07 Mar 01 - 08:48 PM (#413075)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Naemanson

I didn't know that I could just request them to take me off of their lists. I wonder how many calls it will take to get them all to leave me alone. I guess I'll try it.

My daughter had a friend who worked as a telemarketer for a summer. Since then I have treated them politely as they are all just people doing a job. Sometimes I am a little brusque if they have interrupted something interesting but I try to be polite.

Occasionally, just for fun, I will come on to the women telemarketers who call. I only do this if she sounds amused by my opening line. And I keep it as tasteful as possible.

07 Mar 01 - 09:34 PM (#413095)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: ddw

I posted this in a similar thread a few months ago, but I'll repeat it here and urge as many others as I can persuade to do the same.

As soon as you identify the caller or knocker as being from a commercial organization or charity, ask them to spell the name of the group for you. Then explain you want to have it right for your list of organizations you would never, ever do business with because they have invaded your privacy.

If your jurisdiction (I think it varies from state to state and province to province in N. America) has a no-call law, you can also tell them that if they ever call again you WILL have them charged.

All of this, stated matter-of-factly, will certainly cut the number of nuisance calls and if everybody did it maybe companies would finally get the message that the practice is not profitable. Then they'd quit, for sure.



08 Mar 01 - 06:47 AM (#413272)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler

I may have told this story before(I usually have, CRS, you know!).
One organisation I supported financially kept writing and cold calling for donations. I got fed up with saying I will decide when and how much I send you, don't keep bothering me. In the end I told them I would cut ten pounds sterling from what I intended to give them every time I received an unsolicited call or letter, which I considered was wasting the organisation's resources. Needless to say the calls continued.
When the notional sum was zero I wrote to tell them and that the money was going to another good cause.
They've not bothered me since and I'll probably contribute again but without giving them my address or phone number.
Trouble is I have an unusual surname so they'll probably track me down (well, how many Skifflers do YOU know? *BG*)

08 Mar 01 - 06:52 AM (#413273)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Jon Freeman

Re the phone, I found the most practical solution to go Directory Enquiries only - that way, if anyone really wanted to find me, they could but it cut out all the nonsense you get by people using phone book listings.


08 Mar 01 - 07:41 AM (#413279)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Jon Freeman

Penny, the electoral register one sounds worrying - I wonder if they can still do that. It may be relevant to post this link to The Data Protection Act 1998.


08 Mar 01 - 08:42 AM (#413298)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back

In the United States:

1. Stop direct mail by sending your name and address (all versions) to:

Mail Preference Service Direct Marketing Association Box 9008 Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

2. Stop telemarketers by sending name, address, and phone # to:

Telephone Preference Service DMA Box 9014 Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014

3. If you still get calls, you can say: "Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, I want to be on your 'do not call' list." You can stop pre-approved credit card marketers by calling 888/5OPTOUT.

4. If you buy something by phone, say: "Do not rent, sell, or trade my name and address." Every time you call an "800" number, the Automatic Number Identification System tags you for direct marketers.

5. Disable the "cookies" that track your web surfing:; or surf anonymously:

6. Even the U.S. Postal Service makes bucks off selling your name (you're tagged when you fill out one of those permanent 'change of address' cards). To exit the National Change of Address System, call the National Customer Support Center at 800/236-3150. (hmmm. but doesn't this activate the ID system in #4?...still worth a try)

7. Don't fill out warranty cards (the warranty is still valid).

8. For a fee PrivacyScan will search 1,600 databases to see what information exists about you (the average person is on about 200).

9. If you change your name (a marriage license gets you on more lists), get a passport,'ll have to do all of this over again.

10. For those who desire more radical anonymity: pay cash for everything; drop medical insurance; renounce Social Security; give up your driver's license; read Trent Sands' Reborn In The U.S.A.: Personal Privacy Through A New Identity and Hide Your A$$et$ and Disappear: A Step By Step Guide To Vanishing Without A Trace by Edmund J. Pankau; also I Am Not A Number! Freeing America From The ID State by Claire Wolfe (I think; Loompanics, 1998)

11. Political activists looking for information on how to lobby for an amendment to the Consitiution on privacy can read The Privacy Rights Handbook by Beth Givens.

12. Or do like Diogenes suggested: the quickest road to invisible is to get rid of anything anyone else would want.

08 Mar 01 - 12:05 PM (#413408)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: mousethief

Oh by the way, if you get a phone call and say "hello?" and nobody answers, it's because you were dialed by an automatic dialing machine. Once you say "hello" the computer finds a telemarketer who isn't busy and connects the two of you. This takes at least a second or two.

If nobody answers the first time you say "hello," hang up immediately. If it's somebody you know, they'll call back.


09 Mar 01 - 11:26 AM (#414058)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Gypsy

Always remember: NO is a complete sentence

09 Mar 01 - 11:44 PM (#414462)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: GUEST,Ceitagh

A few more tips about telemarketers:

Don't hang up on them without hearing their pitch. Most telemarketers will count that as a "no answer" and you'll end up on the call back list. You can be called back 10-20 times like this. It's always best to hear what it is they're selling (it'll be in the first 30 secs of the call), then politely request to be taken off the calling list.

Even if you are taken off the calling list for that product, you may be on other lists. Ask for the product companies toll free number so that you can call and be removed from the master list.
If you are speaking to a telemarketer who is rude or continues to pitch after you've said 'no' three times, ask to speak to her/his supervisor. That'll prevent her from doing it again, and you'll probably be removed from the list.

Most importantly, DON'T BE tempting as it is, you're asking for trouble. If a telemarketer is having a really bad day (which isn't unusual) they may decide to put you on call back just to get even. No, that's not exactly legal, but it happens. Besides, a lot of telemarketers are not allowed to hang up on you, so they *have* to listen to you. No one deserves to listen to abuse just for doing their job.
Always remember that the person on the other end of the line *is* a person. If you want to know how to arrange it so they never call you again, they can help you do that.
(former telemarketer)

10 Mar 01 - 12:20 AM (#414482)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Thomas the Rhymer

Don't say no or even Know...
Just hang up... away you go!
When we kneed more privacy'd
tis not greed, you're not treed
Go your way, let them say
Too bad they are mad today
Or perhaps, laughing, lapse
coughing rasps; phoney gaps
Still some may, call all day
Just to say, one moment may

10 Mar 01 - 07:07 AM (#414555)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Penny S.

Jon, check the site I am in two minds about this, as I've used it, as I would 192 on the phone, but it doesn't only have telephone information, and lists people who are ex-directory, using the electoral roll. I have also used it, in a case of need, to find the father of a friend who we thought might be seriously ill without help. He was ill, but not alone as we feared. He knows we know his whereabouts, but not how, and we have to keep his privacy from others. I am concerned that this site could be used in many negative ways (and believe that it has been), but recognise that it has positive uses, too.

It seems to have no way to demand removal, and most people do not know of its existence. We were told of it in a public library while engaged in the search I mentioned above. If it were publicly advertised, and people could opt out, I would feel happier about it.


10 Mar 01 - 07:25 AM (#414556)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Penny S.

In its favour, the site has made available Richard Tomlinson's book on British Security on-line!


10 Mar 01 - 12:43 PM (#414712)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: menzze

My mom had these problems on the phone until I bought a referee whistle for her. After regaining their hearing they never called again.

You think this to be to brutal? Maybe, but nothing works like this because it hurts.

All the best privacy


10 Mar 01 - 01:46 PM (#414752)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: Cobble

Like KitKat we got BT to put a block on the line, after three months "magic". And strangly enough I only know of one door to door salesman since we had the phone line blocked.


10 Mar 01 - 05:15 PM (#414839)
Subject: RE: BS: Help - I want my privacy back
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

With about two years practice, I've got my after hello to off timing down to about 1.75 seconds. My hand is over the disconect switch before the phone gets to my ear.

Alas, there are sometimes problems. My girlfriend call me from Los Angles on the way back from Australia two weeks ago (no Tasmanian devils or Komodoa dragons for me, just a didgeredoo on order) in order for me to meet her. It took the phone company so long to connect back to her after they got to me that she didn't get through, so I got the bill for her long distance collect call today.

On an average of once every two days I get an email add on how to increase profits from my website. What profits? It isn't to make money, and I'm proud that it's never turned a penny.