How to foil telemarketers…

Fri Dec 1, 2006

…by using the power of social networking. Most of us living in today’s low-trust world have call display on our phones. Yet, what do you do if the number is unrecognized? If you’re like me, you just let unidentified numbers go through to your voicemail. But what if they don’t leave a message? Doesn’t the curiosity eat you up inside? What if it was your long lost uncle from Barbados? What if you finally won one of those quick getaway competitions you keep filling out entries for at your local grocery store?

The answer can be found at an unobtrusive little website called Who Called Us. I’ve been using it for a while with excellent results. All you do is type in the suspicious number. Chances are, they’ve bugged other people who have recorded it here. I’ve done this to avoid calls from unscrupulous insurance companies and credit card companies who will call relentlessly for weeks until they give up. Unsurprisingly, most of the numbers in the database are from U.S. based companies (they are ruthless down there, especially if your number’s listed), but it works for Canadian numbers too.

But what do you do if your call display doesn’t even provide you with a number? If all you have is an unavailable to go on, you may want to pick up. Imagine your disappointment when you here the dreaded “Good evening Mr/Mrs [insert mangled pronunciation of name here]”. In that case, have this direct marketing counterscript form ready and give the telemarketer a taste of their own medicine. I haven’t resorted to using this yet, but I imagine it would be great fun!

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