How to annoy a telesales person

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Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

How to annoy a telesales person
Getting your own back with Tele-Sales !
Tell them to talk VERY SLOWLY, because you want to write EVERY WORD down.

Insist that the caller is really your buddy Leon, playing a joke. "Come on Leon, cut it out! Seriously, Leon, how's your momma?"

Tell the telemarketer you are busy at the moment and ask them if they will give you their HOME phone number so you can call them back. When the telemarketer explains that they cannot give out their HOME number, you say "I guess you don't wantanyone bothering you at home, right?" The telemarketer will agree and you say, "Now you know how I feel!"

After the telemarketer gives their spiel, ask him/her to marry you. When they get all flustered, tell them that you could not just give your credit card number to a complete stranger.

Tell the telemarketer you are on "home incarceration" and ask if they could bring you a case of beer and some chips.

If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money.

If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up for the Family and Friends plan, reply, in as SINISTER a voice as you can, "I don't have any friends... would you be my friend?"

Cry out in surprise, "Judy! Is that you? Oh my God! Judy, how have you been?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of pause as she tries to figure out where the hell she could know you from.

If they say they're John Doe from XYZ Company, ask them to spell their name. Then ask them to spell the company name. Then ask them where it is located. Continue asking them personal questions or questions about their company for as long as necessary.

When they ask "How are you today?" Tell them! "I'm so glad youasked because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems; my arthritis is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died..."

Teleconnecting Consultant/Owner

JTE UNlimited

Pet Peeves from Telesales...
Funny stuff there!

Who could blame the public for coming up with so many crazy ways to 'get back' at people they perceive to be infringing on their day. Here are some of the antics that keep telesales in the dark ages.

Customer: Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?
Seconds later: May I please speak with.... (Dialeramabama)

Is Mr. or Mrs. Hancock there? (My standard answer - "No one by that name lives here, will you please remove this number from your list?)

"I know you're busy, so I'll only take a moment of your time." (Then they launch into a two page script.)

When you say, 'No.'
They Just Hang Up ON YOU.

Perhaps before a business launches out with these attempts they should ask themselves; What is the best wording for building relationships with these people?

I have my own ideas - see 'Teleconnecting - a Product' in Advertising Section.

What are your pet peeves?




Young America Corporation

How to annoy telesales people
I like my Dad's solution to these calls: "I'm sorry, you've caught me at a bad time and I can't talk now; would you please call back later when I am not going to be home?"
They get pretty flustered....must have stood in line twice for oatmeal instead of getting the grey matter that SHOULD be between their ears.....

Senior Manager - Projects

Infotech Network

How to annoy a telesales person
Things which really got me are:

1. Iam not the person you want to speak........wrong number
2. Why are people from your company calling me repeatedly....this is the third time today
3. I allready have your product and it sucks......I want to return it
4. Who gave you my you know that I can sue you for bothering me

And what tops on the list is:
Good Morning Sir we are from....
(and the call is disconnected without any talk from the other end.....)


Imran Shariff




Funny stuff. Thanks for the laugh.


Sanjit Bal

IVR Application Analyst


How to annoy a telesales person
I usually let my 4 year old daughter answer the phone during the peak telesales hours. I know everyone is delighted to talk to my daughter! ;)


UK Voice Tech Spt Leader


How to annoy a telesales person
Assuming you don't mind having your 'phone out of action for a little while, tell the caller you're very interested, and you're just going to go and get a pen and paper so you can take notes. Leave the handset off-hook, and go back to the TV, with your feet up and relax. They're unlikely to still be there half an hour later, and it's their 'phone bill.

NGN Specialist

Symphony Telecom Ltd

How to annoy a telesales person.

This is my personal approach to the 'phone rings when the baby is in the bath but I'd better answer it in case its my mother/partner etc'

and of course it's not.....

This really does work a treat and they rarely call again.

A brief interjection along the lines of 'while I've got you on the line, can I ask you a couple of very brief questions? Where are you based, who do you work for? what sort of systems do you use, what is your name, what is the name of your manager etc etc. Its amazing how people who want to know so much about you are so unforthcoming with information about themselves.

Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

Unfortunately I've tried the last one, but somehow always end up with the most talkative people. I end up knowing all about their center, their boss, the corn on their big toe, etc...

Call Centre Supervisor

Callcredit Plc

Junk Mail
I know it's slightly off the subject of telesales but the same can be done for junk mail with reply paid envelopes. I once had a friend who would reply to everything he received by shoving a takeaway menu in the reply paid envelope.

Just imagine what their postroom would look like if everybody did this. The best thing is they paid for the postage!!



National Rate Number
This is along earlier lines, but I only give out my National Rate Number on forms. So when I get cold calls I leave them hanging while 'I get a pen and paper', sit down and think of the money I am making whilst the caller is holding.



Play them at their own game.
After getting yet another double glazing firm phone up I looked up their head office number and phoned them asking if they would like to buy double glazing. I then repeated to do this for the next 2 hours at 5 minute intervals. Cost me a fortune but I did feel better at the end. Never been bothered by that company since ...



At the risk of provoking an outcry..........
I don't know if you are anything like me and I never regard myself as a party pooper but this thread always makes me feel uncomfortable. Here we all on this forum being helpful to each other espousing best practice and effective tips for call centre management and yet there is a weird delight and even relish in deriding and making life difficult for other company's agents.
One of the qualities we in the UK try and instil in out agents is empathy - the ability to connect emotionally and intellectually with another human being - putting yourself in another's shoes. I understand the need to 'poke fun' but I do detect that a great number of the postings in this thread come from managers and perhaps a degree of acquaintance with the coal face would instil empathy and an understanding of the agents difficulties - poor scripts, inadequate training, bad management techniques.
Like I said I'm not a party pooper its just that either 1. You guys have a low regard for your staff and their profession and don't see a wider picture 2. Are unable to see the link between others jobs/methods and your own involvement in the same industry. It's easy to claim 'its the other companies who have poor staff and methods' and nothing to do with me - distancing oneself from any involvement or responsibility in upholding better standards or improving the lot of the industry.
If one abuse one's IT department, e-mail or their processes in the same see my point. This isn't a sport or a game, its professionalism and regard for colleagues.

I'd be interested to hear others points of view and its nothing personal. Many other professions don't joke about tripping up their colleagues on work related issues outside work. Why is it acceptable here and from managers too? Or do well all accept that standards are so low we personally disassociate ourselves from this.

UK Voice Tech Spt Leader


How to annoy a telesales person
Well I'll reply to you Mark. The reason most people here are so happy to post these comments is because they have all experienced 'Telesales' intrusions into their private lives. I for one object intensly to being cold called - I am quite capable of deciding what I may want to buy, and how to go about buying it if I want it, thank you very much, I don't need someone calling my home while I am eating my evening meal with my family, after a stressful day at the office, telling me I've won a holiday in a competition I never entered, etc.!

If I am cold called at work, that's a different matter, it's part of the job, and I deal with the caller courteously and thank them for their time, but my private life is mine, and I have not offered my private time to these people take at their will.

I hear what you are saying about the 'poor' agent on the other end of the phone, but they have accepted that job, and I feel they should take indignant responses to their unsolicited calls as part of their job.

Obviously I'm speaking for myself here, I'd be interested in hearing other responses.



Dead right Pete
Understood and we are in agreement Pete,

I can understand your objection to the intrusion and I believe I need to clarify my point slightly. From your tone I'm guessing as if you turn away unwanted callers in a polite, reasonable manner, but this thread is entitled
"How to annoy a telesales person" and contains many techniques of how to do just that. Have we lost sense of tolerance and reasonable behaviour?

I have no problems with those who say 'no' and I can undersatnd the annoyance of people whose 'no' isnt accepted at the other end, then there is also the avenue of the TPS (telephone preference service) in the UK to ban all telesales calls. But if I was to type up various techniques on how to subvert up your email server or any other process at work I'm sure it wouldnt go down so well.

That's the point I'm making

Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

Re:How to annoy a telesales person
This is just meant to be light hearted, OR you can regard it as training material for your agents. :)



Heitur Dungay ou

Poor high volume Telemarketing will soon become totally unproductive
I flew to the US a few months ago. Arrived in Washington DC and atayed a night with friends before an early flight to Miami the next day. Thought I should call the airport or the airline to check what time to arrive at the airport, given the security changes following 9/11 and found it impossible to talk with anyone and received a mass of computerised messages, none of which gave me the info I wanted.

In frustration I turned to my friends who explained to me that this was a normal part of American life that they now just accepted. Finding actual people to talk to was often almost impossible.

They also explained that noone ever answered their home phones anymore as it was all telemarketers so they used email or mobile and occasionally listend through the answer phone messaged to check if a real persn had called. They all complained that telemarketing has intruded in their lives so much that new laws are required and congress seems to agree with new pending legislation.

What has gone wrong with the industry. When I call to want to speak to someone, I get a computer and an answer machine, but when I do not want someone they bother me at home to a point that I seldom pick up on my home phone number

Just read a report that overfishing has caused the collapse of the worlds fish stocks. I think the telemarketing industry could well suffer a similar fate if it does not listen to what people really want.

Market Development

K2 Solutions

reply to Mr. Dungay
You asked:

What has gone wrong with the industry? When I call to want to speak to someone, I get a computer and an answer machine, but when I do not want someone they bother me at home to a point that I seldom pick up on my home phone number.

In a nutshell, Mr. Dungay, the answer to your question is "Return On Investment". What has gone wrong with the industry is that investors demand higher returns on their investments, and consumers want the same thing for less money.

When you do not want someone, they call:
Accurate information is expensive, whereas outbound phone calls are comparatively cheap. So it is cheaper for a company to call a thousand people, so long as they locate ONE person interested in buying what they are selling, than it is for them to pay someone to locate that one person for them, before they call. 9 999 people get annoyed so that one person can be sold something.

When you do want someone, you cannot find them:
Paying salaries to people that do not bring in more money than they cost is expensive. When you want to speak to someone, you do not necessarily want to buy something. Thus it costs money to provide you with the accurate information that you want, but you want it for free.

In the airline industry context, you can have cheap flights, or you can have good customer service. U.S. consumers claim to want good customer service, but they BUY cheap flights... and then get annoyed when they do not get good service. It is next to impossible to find actual people to talk to because consumers want the same thing they used to buy, for less.

If what you want is travel intelligence, there are now private companies that provide this, at a very high standard, for a fee. Just type "travel intelligence" into any search engine.

Please do not misunderstand me, I dislike the current situation as much as you do, and I agree that low-information mass telemarketing has a dim future. This is not because it does not give people what they want, because what they want is something for nothing, and no one is going to give that to them.

It is for legal reasons, because the business rationale for telemarketing is pretty clear. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court decides that commercial free speech should win out over consumer privacy, in the lawsuit currently brought by the DMA over the Federal Do-Not-Call-List statute, U.S. Congress will gradually legislate direct-to-home telemarketing out of existence. (And then people will be deluged with calls at work instead).

As an aside, I agree with Mssrs. Handley-- any telephone sales rep "should take indignant responses to their unsolicited calls as part of their job". Psychological resilience is part of the TSR's job description, and this thread is a way of coping with creative forms of abuse. If it was fun, people would do it for free.



Heitur Dungay ou

Value added not free service
Thanks for the excellent reply. I happen to live in Estonia and have
witnessed the turn around of a communist economy. Everything was "free" and
it was a disaster.

With the explosion of communications technology, creatively adding value
must be the future and not the rush to lowest cost producer. Simply look at
the market value of " Branded" as opposed to generic products and if the
investment made in creating brands was uneconomic then explain the huge
amounts spent on marketing budgets to create them.

In the end delivering information to customers effectively and upon request
is good business. The positive thing is that the emergence of privately
funded " travel intelligence" shows the adaptability of the market in
providing value added solutions and I would like to see more discussions on
how this value can be added, combining a mix of all forms of communication
and not just the current focus on unsolicited telemarketing by voice.

That must be the future for the industry.


Clarisys Ltd

Cold Calls
HI All,

As a student I used to work in Telemarketing&research which was great fun...not. I fully understood the people that hung up on me and took it with humour. What more can you do in that position?

What I love most now is the silence I get prior to a cold call around 10pm as it gives me time to hang up before they start their lines. This is especially true with long distance calls...

Business cold calls are fully acceptable as are research ones so long as they don't intrude on my evening time which is personnal time!

Merry Xmas to all and Happy New Year!


Agent Advocate

Freelance Writer

How can I miss you if you won't go away?
I actually have a great deal of sympathy for the poor souls who are employed to make outbound calls. I know they are working from scripts and required to push. Therefore, I have found several ways to politely end call without making the agent feel bad.

All you really need to do if find something their script does not cover, or which would make the sale ridiculous. Examples:

Carpet cleaning services - sorry, we have hardwood throughout.
Credit Card X - Did you say X? I'm sorry, I just applied by mail last week.
Newspapers - Sorry, no one hear reads. But thanks for the offer!

To address Mark's earlier post: we all don't like to be bugged at home, even if we work in the industry. I especially hate the phone since joining this industry. But the real issue is not the calls, its the required pushiness of the agents. They are required to not let you off the phone, so we have to find ways to get away and still be polite. I get offended at the people who yell at the telemarketers: these are poor people just like me who happened to get chosen for the wrong training class. Cut them some slack.

Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

Laughing at ourselves...
Laughing at ourselves and our common pain (both as agents and customers)...That's what this topic...boy, that WAS a long time supposed to be about.

Ops Supervisor


Few of these are incidents one probably might have experienced at some level in this industry.

A very funny article on how to annoy telesales marketers. Please keep sharing such funny posts.


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