h a l f b a k e r y
The embarrassing drunkard uncle of invention.
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waste the time of hapless phone salesfolk and hopefully put telemarketers out of business
I discovered this by accident but it is quite potent.
Most telemarketing companies use some sort of
computerized dialing and recognition system that
looks for a short human greeting before sending
call to one of it's operatives. Record a very, very
outgoing message on your answering
(mine is a terse: "leave a message after the beep,
thanks") and the computer thinks you've said "hello..
hello?" so sends the call to it's next available
who unknowingly starts to pitch to your answering
machine, usually ending with "hello... hello? anyone
there?". You, of course, get to hear and/or delete
these at your leisure although some do have some
minor entertainment value of their own, and often
line stays open and you get to overhear comments
the operator makes to co-workers at the fone-farm.
As a corollary to this, when I do answer the phone I
have a rule that if I answer the phone and get two
"hello"s in without hearing a voice then I know I've
been dialed by a machine so I just hang up.
A Telemarketer's Nightmare
Different means, same end. [iuvare, Apr 19 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]
Hat tip to egnor.
His contribution to handling telemarketers (borrowed from his link on the "Telemarketer Revealer" idea) [iuvare, Apr 19 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]
||HalfBaked. (...this idea should go under "business: telemarketing"...)
||I, too, follow the "Talk fast or I hang up" rule, though sometimes I forget.
||Discovered this one myself quite by accident: My wife recorded a very brief greeting on our machine. Ever since then, not a single evening goes by that we aren't treated to five or six mouth-breathers wailing "Hello... uh, hello??" on our machine because their autodialer was fooled into thinking we had answered the phone.
||As my wife points out, it does not seem to stop the telemarketers from calling. On the bright side, it wastes their time and money, which is nice.
||The device used to tell whether there's someone on the phone is apparently called in the trade a 'grunt detector'. <No, I am not and have never been a telespammer, but on one of the newsgroups I read there is occasionally a long rant against them, followed by an apologetic ex-spammer, followed by a couple of indignant telespammers saying they provide a valuable service like commercials on TV or the radio...>