Anti-Telemarketer Script

Sometimes the best strategy is to fight fire with fire. Since there are still too many telemarketers (n > 0) calling us at dinner time to sell home security or raise money for charities that spend 5% on charity, we all occasionally seek appropriate ways to fight back.

Unfortunately, there are risks. If we annoy the telemarketer too badly (always the most tempting approach), he may just flag our phone number as “very interested.” But if we simply hang up on him, we may find ourselves feeling empty, frustrated, and unfulfilled.

The most interesting strategy I’ve come up with is to respond to the telemarketer’s intrusion with my own telemarketer-like intrusion. Before providing any information at all, start politely asking for his information. The questions below are designed to create a sense of friendly beaurocracy, almost as if you might be an official of some kind, or at least someone well above his pay-grade who should be taken seriously.

The Anti-Telemarketer Script

Note: Don’t bother to write down any of his responses. In general, ignore whatever he says. Just stick to the script.


[he tries to confirm your name]

Who is calling, please? [get his name; make him wait while you get paper]

[he gives some name]

Is this the correct spelling? [confirm spelling of name]

[spelling is correct]

And what is the name of your organization, please?

[he gives some name]

Is this your employer, or a client whom you represent?

[he replies]

May I have your phone number, please?

[he gives number; if he refuses, ask why not]

Is this a registered charity, or is your client a registered charity?

[he says yes or no]

Solicitations are not permitted at this location.
Will you please put this number on your Do Not Call list?

[he replies]

Thank you for your cooperation. [HANG UP, without waiting for reply.]


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