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Dave 4th September 2006 01:33 PM

How to Stop Telemarketers
I saw a news story yesterday with the headline "New Rules for Telemarketers" and a byline which indicated that an end to the telemarketing problem is in sight.

Sadly that's not quite true. The story went on to explain that the New Zealand Marketing Association is reviewing their code of conduct. That's great but anyone with a phone knows that telemarketers often don't follow the current code of conduct. I can't imagine that the new rules will change their behaviour one bit.

Still, it's probably worth getting on the association's Name Removal Register. You need to ring 0800 222 332 to do this.

Sometimes I like to amuse myself hearing about how other people deal with telemarketers. There's some debate over whether we should treat them with respect or not. Personally I would never be outright nasty to a telemarker but at the same time I don't see why I should bend over backwards to be nice. Afterall, they are the ones who have intruded into my private life and caused me inconvenience just so they can make a buck. I don't care if they are just doing their job. If their job is to annoy me then they can't complain if I act annoyed.

I usually butt in as soon as I realise what's going on and say "Sorry but I don't deal with telemarketers". That gets the message through nice and quickly without any sort of personal attack.

If you really feel the need to fight the system, you could...
- Ask them endless questions about their product, the company and the telemarketer's own details. Engage in a long personal conversation. Tell them about the operation your cat needs. Then thank them for their time and hang up.
- Start asking questions about their phone list and how you can be removed.
- Politely explain that you find telemarketing to be an intrusive inconvenience.
- Say "Sorry, could you hold for just a minute..." and then go back to eating your meal with your family. Make sure they can hear you eating.
- Say nothing but "No", over and over and over again.
- Ask for their phone number so you can ring them back at a more convenient time. When they say they can't do this, say "I guess you don't like being bugged at home by a complete stranger then? Me neither". Hang up.

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