Tips for dealing with annoying telemarketers

There are ways to discourage telemarketers from ever calling you back. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON – For many, there is nothing more annoying than the tranquility of your home being disrupted by a telemarketing call. Many of us throw out an “I’m not interested” and hang up the phone, but a report offers some of the best ways to avoid the calls.

There are two types of calls you have to be ready for — one involves a live person calling you. The other is a newer form of the sales call which involves a computer calling you known as robocalls.

Your first line of defense is signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry but there are loop holes that companies find to work around the list.

If you have conducted business with a company, given the company prior written permission to call you and if it is not selling anything (such as political calls) or is a non-profit, it can call you, according to Forbes magazine.

Now, if all else fails and the calls continue, the Los Angeles Times points out some of the most popular ways to send those salespeople away and many times for good.

  1. Hang up: The easiest of the steps but it might not be the best way to deter the salesperson from calling you again.
  2. Have fun at their expense: Comedian Tom Mabe has some popular YouTube videos that use this method. In one popular video he appears to convince a telemarketer that they have called a murder scene and that they need to answer some questions.
  3. Waste their time: One Texas man aims to see how long the telemarketer will stay on the line, says the LA Times. “I’ll do my part to protect myself and also keep the telemarketer busy so he’s not calling someone else,” says Mark Levitt. One way he does this is by telling them he is searching the house for something, such as a pen and paper, and check in every few minutes as he “searches” for them. He believes this method has gotten him removed from many call lists, when annoyed telemarketers hang up first.
  4. The airhorn: One police detective recommends going down to the nearest sporting goods store and buying an airhorn. Then when they call, give them an earful. Keep in mind, your neighbors might not like this technique.
  5. Technology: You can take the technological route. There is a new service called Nomorobo, which works with phone provides that allow multiple phones lines to ring when one phone number is dialed. When the call comes in, the service will check the number with its database of known telemarketing phone numbers. If the number is on the list, it hangs up on them. In some cases, it will also tell the caller to press a number to continue, if they don’t, it assumes the call is a robocall and hangs up on them.
  6. Take me off your list: Most telemarketers should have their own “Do Not Call List” and a friendly request to be put on that list might do the trick.

Follow @WTOP and @WTOPtech on Twitter.


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