UPDATE! Thanks to my new friends at Digipigeon (which is an awesome name for a telecom carrier), we have UK telephone number for all your telemarketers! The The number is 0203-355-7498. Add it to your contacts, or remember it as “20 FELL SIX 8”.
Okay – you’ve probably noticed that telling a telemarketer to “remove me from your list” or “put me on your do-not call list” doesn’t really work. “Legitimate” Telemarketers can simply claim they have a prior business relationship with you, and “shady” telemarketers simply don’t care. I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten telemarketer calls from prisoners. If I owned a roofing company in the Chicago area, why not give a list of 500,000 homeowners to a telemarketing firm and say “call all of these numbers and tell me who is interested in a new roof”? I totally see the benefit. I just hated being a victim of it.
So what do you do if you’re getting annoying and repeated telemarketer calls? Well, you can transfer them to me if you want. My robot is happy to chat with anyone. Some of my best calls were routed through my mobile. The audio levels are a little lower, so my robot may not detect noise/silence correctly, but it’s usually a pretty good time.
So next time you get that call, don’t helplessly yell “quit calling me!” or “take me off your list!” That won’t do any good. They have the technology to call again. So use some technology to hit them where it hurts – in cost of human labor.
When you get a call from a telemarketer and they ask something like “Mr. Jones?”, say “Oh, you want Mr. Jones? Sure hang on – he’s right here…” then,
For mobile phones (iPhone/Android):
- Press “add call”
- Dial my robot at 214-666-4321. While you’re dialing, keep chatting into your phone like you’re trying to get Mr. Jones (“yeah – phone for you”, “okay, he’s coming hang on…”, etc)
- Press “Add call” or “Merge call” or “Conference” or whatever will add the robot to the conversation.
- MUTE YOURSELF so your background noise doesn’t affect the conversation.
- Listen to the call, and hang up when the telemarketer hangs up.
For landlines (must have the “conference call” or “three way calling” service)
- This will take several seconds and the caller will not hear anything. They are accustomed to the “endless hold” prank so it’s not likely they will wait very long. Your mileage will vary. So say something convincing so they’ll hold for a moment.
- Press “Flash” or just flash the hookswitch like call-waiting
- Dial my robot at 214-666-4321. Depending upon your phone company, you may be able to immediately press flash again. Some carriers will require the second leg to actually connect first. But my robot doesn’t ring so you should hear “hello?” quickly. Also, some VoIP carriers will connect faster if you put a # at the end. You should practice this procedure before you have a telemarketer!
- Press MUTE on your phone. If you don’t have a mute button then stay quiet. Any background noise will affect the robot.
- If you have it, press SPEAKER so you can set the phone down and continue with your life.
When the telemarketer hang up, you should too. The robot will eventually hang up but it takes a while. I made it say “hello” a bunch because there are times the agent will put me on hold to transfer me to account verification or their supervisor. I wanted to make sure I wait through that hold.
Be patient – the robot doesn’t always get it right. It’s like fishing. Some call centers are really noisy so the robot may not detect silence correctly. But it should at least grunt at enough places to keep the telemarketer engaged for a minute or so.
Please use sparingly and with restraint. This robot is not meant to prank friends or wrong numbers. I built it to waste the time of the telemarketing industry.