I thought my family was on the do not call list for telemarketers but I guess not because recently we’ve been getting a lot of calls at the house. At first we got annoyed but one day by chance I found a way to have some fun. You can do this too. All it takes is a phone with a mute button and a young child.
If you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize, have your child answer it. If it’s a telemarketer, typically they talk for the first thirty seconds or so to give you their basic spiel. Turn the phone on mute and take this time to think of funny things to say. The basic game is to tell your child funny things to say while your phone is on mute. When the telemarketer asks you a question, turn the phone off mute and indicate to your child that they should say the funny thing. Repeat until the telemarketer finally gives up.
Here’s a sample conversation:
Telemarketer: “May I tell you about our new timeshares?”
Child: “What’s a timeshare?”
Telemarketer: <long-winded explanation of how a time share works, ending in a repeat of “May I tell you about our new timeshares?”>
Child: “Do you like flowers?”
Telemarketer: (pause, nervous laugh) “Well, yes.” (pause) “May I tell you about our new timeshares?”
Child: “Is it fun to play with?”
Telemarketer: (pause) <somewhat tortured explanation about how it *is* fun to play with a timeshare, ending with “May I transfer you over to a sales specialist?”>
Child: “Did you see the new Winnie the Pooh?”
Telemarketer: (pause) “May I transfer you over to a sales specialist?”
Child: “I saw the new Winnie Pooh with my friend Jill and Jill’s nanny Jaqlyn”
Telemarketer: (longer pause) “May I transfer you over to a sales specialist?”
Child: “What’s your favorite flower?”
Telemarketer: (pause) “Thank you ma’am. Have a good evening.”
Child: “I like purple flowers.”
A few interesting observations:
- They go right ahead with their pitch, even when the person answering the phone obviously sounds like a young child.
- They’re damned persistent.