In the president’s State of the Union address, he talked about the problems with drugs, and AIDS, and cancer, but failed to mention the biggest bugaboo in America today, telemarketers!
I get at least 5 calls every day from telemarketers, and they annoy me. Thanks to caller ID, I can pretty much tell if the call is a scam or not. Calls listed as coming from The Philippines, for instance, are probably not those of people I know. Once I am comfortable with expecting the caller on the other end of the line to be a telemarketer, the fun begins.
If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer the phone by saying “Hello” I answer it by saying, “Did you get rid of the body?” Sometimes I deepen my voice to sound older and I answer the phone, “Bobby? This is grandpa and here’s that pin number you wanted. Get a pencil.” If the scammer actually says something like, “Go ahead grandpa” you have two options. You can hang up, or you can give out an endless number of 30 or 40 digits until they hang up. Either way, you win.
When you get a live person the phone you can really have fun. Yesterday I got a call and answered the phone by saying, “You’re on the air, go ahead.” The pitchman then started his live spiel but I interrupted him by saying, “You know you’re on the air don’t you?” His response, “Radio? I’m on the radio?” Then called out to his fellow telemarketers in the room, “I’m on the radio.”
He started giving his pitch to a “radio” audience and it was quite fun. At the end I told him, “Thanks for being on the show, and we have a little something for you. Just hang on while our producer gets your name and address.” Then I press “hold” followed by hanging up.
Sometimes you get a recording that becomes a real person if you start talking to it. The message is a recording but if you start accusing it of being a recording, a real person will come on the line. When you will hear a human voice say, “No, I’m a real person.” you know that the fish has taken the bait and you can reel it in or just play with it for a while.
If pulling pranks on pests is a new concept to you, here are some lines to get you started. Answer the telemarketers calls with…
Can you guys get blood out of a carpet?
District 4, Officer Friendly speaking.
You’re the 14th caller. What’s your guess for $1,000?
Call one more time and I’m gonna shoot the dog.
Let me leave you with this tip for dealing with telemarketers. If you know a foreign language, use it when you answer the phone.
German, French, and Klingon work best.