Telemarketers Beware! My Wife May Answer The Phone

My apologies to whomever called the house last night around 7.  Don’t take it seriously, or personally.  Unless you’re a telemarketer.

We’ve been getting a ton of calls recently from all sorts of solicitors.  And the phone usually rings right around dinner time.  They want us to give money and borrow money.  They want to help us with debt reduction, mortgage loan re-structuring, and insurance.  They want us to make home improvements, buy extended warranties.  They make us feel guilty for not giving to those who protect and serve.  And many of them are down right persistent and rude… in the friendliest sort of way.

  • “Hello?”
  • “Hi, Mark. How ya doing?”
  • “Good.”
  • “Don’t you hate this cold weather?  Hope we don’t have another bad winter.”
  • “Yeah, who’s this?”
  • “This is Charlie.”
  • “Charlie?”
  • “Yeah, Charlie, with the police (or fire or veterans) organization. Do you agree that the police are doing a great job protecting you?”
  • “Of course.”
  • “So we can count on your donation to help those who protect you.”
  • “Didn’t you just call me last month?  I gave a donation then.”
  • “That wasn’t us.”
  • “I know it was.”
  • “Was not”.
  • “Well, then I gave you something last year.”
  • “Yeah, thanks.  That’s why we’re calling you again.”
  • “I’m sorry, but I can’t afford it right now.”
  • “You mean you don’t want to help the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for you?”
  • “I truly appreciate what they do, but I can’t give anything right now.”
  • “I can’t believe it!  That’s un-American.”
  • “Sorry Charlie (and I hang up).”

So, tired of telemarketers, my wife did something we should have done a long time ago.  We put our numbers on the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry.  The FTC says it puts “consumers in charge of the telemarketing calls they get at home…. to  make it easier and more efficient for you to stop getting telemarketing calls you don’t want.”   But the FTC also says, “placing your number on the registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls.”

Which gets us back to last night.  My wife answers the phone.  And it sounds like another telemarketer.

  • “Hi, is Mark there?”
  • “No, he’s not (I’m sitting at the dinner table).”
  • “I’d sure like to talk to Mark, and ask him something.  When will he be back?”
  • “Mark doesn’t live here anymore.”
  • “Oh.”
  • “Yeah, he left our family.”
  • “Really?”
  • “We don’t know where he went, and if he’ll ever be back.”
  • “Ok, I’ll call him back tomorrow.”

I’ll be waiting by the phone, as I’m eating my dinner,  to apologize.  Unless, of course, he’s a telemarketer.

Sign up for the “National Do Not Call Registry”

8 Comments on “Telemarketers Beware! My Wife May Answer The Phone

  1. My wife and I identify with this so much. We put our home and cell numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry shortly after it was introduced. It has helped, but not totally. Did you get a lot of political announcement calls leading up to the recent election? We got them, too. With all the ways of getting news these days, the last thing I want in the evening (besides somebody breaking in) is someone unknown to me to call us and talk us into something. Another couple of great tools – Caller ID, and Privacy Manager.
    Thanks Mark, for your excellent articles.

    • Thanks Dale. Caller ID is one of the best inventions ever. It’s a great warning about possible telemarketers, but sometimes they sneak through. And sometimes, when I feel like taking on a telemarketer, I’ll answer it anyway. It can be fun, if you have the time. I also remind myself that telemarketers are people too, and they’re doing a job and supporting their families. Then I quickly come to my senses.

  2. Mark…that is AWESOME!!! Michelle cracks me up…I can just hear her giggle after she hung up!

  3. It also costs jobs as telemarketing has been a key strategy for growing business. Now you get pop-up adds on your computer that are just as annoying, perhaps more. Will there be a law for that too? If you are a small business and have limited resources, how do you grow your business? How do you let people know that there are lower interest rates and lower cost services if you cannot call them? Just something to think about. Great work Mark!

    • A “National ‘No Pop-Up Ads On My Computer’ Registry”. Now that’s a good idea. (BTW, I’m not running for President, but thanks anyway.)

  4. I can whistle very loudly. It can be heard 3 blocks away. My kids were always told to stay within whistling distance. So when I get annoying telemarketers and they will not leave me alone I just whistle into the phone, then hang up. I also do this if someone calls but does not talk when I answer.

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