Those Annoying Phone Calls

I recently spent some time at home during the daytime to work on a manuscript, and was being repeatedly interrupted by telemarketers who were trying to send me credit cards, opportunities for prizes, etc., etc. The rate was about 4-6 per day, noth including those that always appeared at dinner-time. So I decided to invest a little time and effort to see what I could do about it.

I produced quickly a form on which I could save some information about each call, which would also serve as a record that I had informed each caller that I wanted to be put on their "don't call" list. As I got each call I picked up the pad of forms, interrupted the caller and said that before I could talk to them I needed some information for my files. This included:

I then informed them of the time and date (which I also recorded) and that I was keeping a record of my request to have them put me on their "Do Not Call" list. I also told them (I had a script written at the bottom of the form) that any further use of my phone and time for commercial purposes within one year would result in my billing them for $100 to cover my costs of telephone use and personal time.

I got some interesting responses:

I got hung up on a couple of times, and few more times I had to insist on talking to a supervisor.

It only took about a week (the first week in June 1997), and since then I have not had a phone call of this type (it is now the end of July). Although the calls generally seemed to be different, I get the impression that there were only a few Telemarketing companies involved and thus very quickly I was off several lists.

Try it, it is worth the effort!


Last updated 97/07/31
© J.A.N. Lee, 1997.