Calls from telemarketers has got to be the most annoying calls you can get. I usually get them when I’m in a meeting, sleeping in late or away for work. What’s worse are the ones from your own cell phone provider. I got suckered into a call the other day from my cell phone provider. He hooked me by starting the conversation with, “You’re paying too much for you current plan.” He then convinced me to change to a cheaper plan with more minutes…cheaper by how much? 12hkd a month! Not much of a difference to make me jump for joy but since I had already been talking to him for a few minutes, I figured why not? Big mistake. He arranged to change my plan and even sent a customer service rep over to my office to sign the new contract and get the new sim card the next day. After signing the contract I was told to switch sim cards within a few days and the new plan would start.
I switched cards that day but then realized I could only make calls. Somehow the sms function and the email functions on my Blackberry weren’t working any more. I couldn’t make long distance calls either and I assume my roaming function wasn’t activated either. After countless calls and tinkering back and forth turns out the guy that changed my plan, didn’t bother to reactivate all the features I had before. When I changed everything back to what it was before…it all ended up being MORE than what I was paying before. WTF? Wouldn’t you be boiling in your own skin if that happened to you? Nevermind that I was without Blackberry functions for 5 days(that’s a long time for a Crackberry addict like me) and wasted all that time calling back and forth, being put on hold a million times only to have the same plan I started with but more expensive! Seriously WTF? I kick myself now for even talking to the guy.
Right after this happened an old friend coincidentally sent me the following email. It’s from Andy Rooney, that old guy who wraps up every episode of 60 Minutes. I wish I had received this sooner…

Andy Rooney Tips for Handling Telemarketers

Three Little Words That Work !!
(1)The three little words are: ‘Hold On, Please…’
Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.
Then when you eventually hear the phone company’s ‘beep-beep-beep’ tone, you know it’s time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.
These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.

(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?
This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.
This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a ‘real’ sales person to call back and get someone at home.
What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!

(3) Junk Mail Help:
This one is the best!
When you get ‘ads’ enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these ‘ads’ with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.
When you get those ‘pre-approved’ letters in the ma il for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.
Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 37 cents postage ‘IF’ and when they receive them back.
It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the la st increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.

One of Andy Rooney’s (60 minutes) ideas.
Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn’t get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn’t on anything you send them.
You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 37 cents.
The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let’s let them know what it’s like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they’re paying for it…Twice!
Let’s help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that’s why they need to increase postage cost s again. You get the idea !
If enough people follow these tips, it will work —- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.