How to Block Telemarketers
Thanks to the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry, you can make salespeople calling your home phone a thing of the past. (Exceptions are calls from, or on behalf of, political organizations, charities, legitimate telephone surveyors, or companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you’ve provided express permission to call.) In the unlikely event there are some telemarketing calls you don’t mind receiving, you can provide those companies written permission to call you. You may include all of your personal phones, including mobile phones, and the service is free! Your registration is effective for five years.
You can put yourself on the Registry list at https://www.donotcall.gov/ or call toll free at +1-888-382-1222 from your home phone. Once you have been on the register for 31 days, should a telemarketer call, you can file a complaint at the Registry’s Website, the same place where you registered your personal numbers. To file a complaint, you must know either the name or telephone number of the company that called you as well as the date the company called you.
Be alert for scams involving the Registry. You might be contacted by someone by phone or email offering to put your name on the Do Not Call Registry for a fee. As the Registry is a free service of your federal government, the FTC does not allow this. Websites or phone or email solicitations that claim they can or will register a consumer’s name or phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry — especially those that charge a fee — are almost certainly scams.
Some things to remember:
- You will have to re-register whenever you get a new phone number; the system automatically removes numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned
- Should your current number be disconnected for any reason, you will have to re-register it when you are reconnected
- Changing calling plans or the billing name on your telephone account could have the same effect as having the number disconnected, and you will have to re-register.
There is a persistent rumor that a database of personal cell phone numbers is being released to telemarketers. Even if it were true, which it isn’t, the No Call Registry can also put your cell phone number off limits to telemarketers.
How to Prank a Telemarketer
Some people, though, prefer confronting telemarketers rather than blocking them. Here are a few ideas:
- Talk incoherently.
- Play deaf or say that you have a bad connection.
- Talk gibberish.
- Try to order a large pepperoni pizza.
- Repeatedly dial the phone. Mutter that it isn’t ringing
- Try to sell the telemarketer something.
- Pretend to be really interested, then say “no”.
- Keep crackers near the phone. When a telemarketer calls eat the crackers. Chew loudly, make slurping noises, and talk with your mouth full.
Go ahead and share your pranks using the form at the bottom of this page.
Are Telemarketers People Too?
The caller may be a single mother who is barely managing to keep it together with the only job she could find or a guy who’s trying to support a family on the lousy income a telemarketer makes. It’s a rough world out there for the wage slave, and it keeps getting rougher. So please have a heart. Don’t be a jerk, try to get rid of bad manners. Telemarketers would prefer that you simply hang up on them than have you mess with them.
Click here for more information about how to get rid telemarketers