Dealing with cold-callers

Staying with my mother has reintroduced me to the delights of telephone salesmen. During the week, somebody calls the house trying to sell us stuff perhaps once an hour. A few of them are spectacularly obnoxious – the one that put me in a hold queue as soon as I picked up the phone was particularly impressive.

My question to you is: what can I do to them? Either to have some fun, or to make their lives unpleasant. Mostly I’m currently telling them that I’m really interested in $useless_product, asking them to wait while I turn down the cooking/call the homeowner/move to a different room, leaving the phone off the hook, and seeing how long they’ll wait. But I’m in desperate need of some better ideas.

Edit: OK, OK. I’m impressed how reasonable and sensible you all are, and wondering how I managed to not run into the Telephone Preference Service. I give in: I’ll be nice to them, and do the things that are supposed to make them go away. But grr…I’d love it if once things didn’t all come down to politics and economics.

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