A Game You Can Play at Home!
Everyone has gotten a call from a Telemarketer. The new Scourge of the
Telephone System. Previously when the phone rang, you always wondered
if it was someone you knew, or another schmuck with something to
sell. Well, the time has come to turn the tables. We need to take
control of our own phones. We need to take the ``market'' out of
Telemarketers take the brute force approach to making sales. If you
talk to a whole bunch of people, someone will buy what you are
Waste as much of their time as you can. For each minute that you waste
means several potential customers that will not be reached. Make
Telemarketing unprofitable. Hanging up only increases the changes for
them to make a sale. Don't let this happen!
Most of the preliminary stuff is done by someone making minimum wage,
and reads a script. Let them finish. It's easy points, and you were
watching Star Trek and weren't using your phone anyway. It's easy to
keep them interested using ``attentive grunting'', similar to when
your mother calls.
Basic Point System:
For each minute spent on the phone 10 pts.
Getting transfered to someone who makes
more than minimum wage 15 pts
For each minute spent on the phone with
person making more than minimum wage 25 pts
Getting them to repeat part of the "script" 5 pts/each
Getting answers to stupid questions 15 pts/each
Changing the subject 50 pts/each
Making the sales person angry 175 pts
Making the sales person use profanity 750 pts
Get their boss on the phone, and tell them
the salesman used profanity 1500 pts
Getting their 1-800- number 10 pts
Posting their 1-800- number to alt.sex as
a free "Phone Sex" line 50 pts
Checking the number a week later and it is
busy or disconnected 5000 pts
Them: Hi, I'm with Fly-By-Night Carpet Cleaning
and we're in your area [...] [start clock->]
Them: [...] would like to know it you are interested?
Them: Well, we are currently offering [...]
Them: [...] depending on the size of the rooms.
Me: Well, how much for the whole house?
Them: Let me transfer you to ??> [15 bonus pts!]
Them: How large is your house? [25 pts/min!]
Me: Oh, about 2,000 sqft.
Them: [...] Well, that would be about $xxx
Me: It won't hurt the floor, will it? [stupid ?]
Them: Oh, no! We use a [...this usually takes some time!...]
and is completely safe.
Me: Even with my pets? [stupid ?]
Them: Oh, yes. The chemicals we use [...]
Me: Do you have to pre-treat, since I have pets?
Them: Yes, and we do that with [...] [repeat!]
Me: But the original offer was for $39.95, does that
include treating for pets?
Me: Well, it is kindof dirty. The guys were over for
the game. Did you see the Cowboys vs. the Rams?
Me: What a game! That last touchdown pass! Wasn't that
a great play?
Them: Well, back to your house...
Me: Oh yes, what about moving the furniture?
Me: Do you clean furniture, too? Those guys spilled some
beer. Have you smelled old beer on furniture before?
But what a game, eh?! I couldn't believe that they
couldn't move the ball in the second quarter...
[...] [subject change]
Them: Ahem... Would you like us to come out? [angry???]
Me: Well, when could you come out?
Them: How about next week?
Me: Hmmm... Morning or afternoon?
Them: Either would be fine.
Me: Do you have anything the week after?
Them: Sure, can I put you down for Tuesday?
[Okay, let's try for those last big bonus points:]
Me: Well, I don't think it matters, since I have all
hardwood floors here!
Some additional ``games'' one can play with telemarketers:
Til HTML av
- If you recognize they are telemarketers before you have spoken,
pretend you are an answering machine with a message along these
lines. ``Thank you for calling CMTCC, Citizens for Making Telemarketing
a Capital Crime. We now have the support of about 25%
of the legislature. Soon we will be able to execute those worthless,
money grubbing dregs, making the earth a better place to live.
Please send your tax deductible contribution to...''
- See how many times you can put them on hold. First make sure you get
the name of the person you are talking to, because sooner or
later they will hang up. Then if they call you again, you can express
your righteous indignation at being hung up on, and let them
know you were going to buy/contribute, but given the rudeness of ...
you have decided not to. They key to this one is make the time
they have to hold fairly short. After 30 seconds or so tell them you have
to turn down the stove and put them on hold for 45 secs. On
returning, ask them to start their pitch again. Every time you return have
them restart their pitch. Some good excuses for putting them
on hold for a short while: the kids are fighting, the pet needs to go in/out,
the baby is into ?, someone is at the door, you have a call on
another line, ...
- If you have an answering machine, turn it on so they can here you are
recording the call. Make sure you get the person's name, and the
company's name and address. Then inform them something like this.
``Under state law I am hereby notifying you that you (you as an
individual and the company) are prohibited from calling this number
(xxx-xxxx) to solicit ever again. If you or the company calls
again, you personally and the company will be liable for penalties
up to $10,000. Is this clear?'' Just something to hopefully make
them nervous. (Actually Virginia came pretty close to passing a law
like this. Unfortunately, the telemarketing lobby bribed our
legislature into killing the bill. Maybe next year...)
- After they have gone through their entire sales pitch, tell them how
interested you are. But first, you want to talk to them about ...
Then launch into a pitch for them to contribute to some charity that
sounds quasi-legit but is really just for your personal benefit. If
they do not contribute, then hang up in righteous indignation that they
are such uncaring human beings. If they will, give then a
address to send the contribution to, thank them, and hang up before they
have a chance to change the subject back to what they called
- After they have given their entire sales pitch, say you are interested
but first you need the telemarketer's personnel home phone
number. When they ask why tell them that they have your personel home
number so before you complete the deal, you want to be on
even ground with them and you need their number. If they don't give it
to you, yup, you guessed it, hangup in righteous indignation. If
they do, say you will call back to order/contribute. Then do so at some
reasonable hour, in case they have given you a phony number.
But if it is a correct number, post it on the net. Not so anyone would
harrass this person, ;) but so all of us would have the
opportunity to contact this person about whatever it is that is being
telemarketed. And since so many of us are night owls, we will be
calling at a time convenient to us, like 4 am. ;)