No one wants to be cold-called (or I’ve yet to meet the person who does!), and although many don’t believe this, there are ways to stop the calls from happening. I’ll take you through step-by-step on how to stop these calls from coming again, but before I start I’d like you to keep in mind that the people who call you do not deserve any anger. These poor callers have what many of us would consider the worst and most soul-destroying job in the world. They work long hours for low pay, and have to put up with many receiver’s anger and frustration on a daily basis. It’s not their fault you’re getting a call from the same company for the millionth time, it’s their supervisor and computer system’s fault. With that in mind, as an extra incentive, know that you’ll get further using firm politeness than you ever will from anger, rudeness and shouting! With that out of the way, let’s get down to the step-by-step.
Firstly, have you signed up to the Telephone Preference Service? If not, go to their site and opt out of unsolicited calls from marketers. You might still get calls, but this means that any you do get will be illegal and you can threaten to report them, which should make them stop calling you in the future. Any companies that feel they have an existing relationship with you can still call, for example a non-profit organization that considers you a donor, or a marketing firm that’s tried to call you in the past but thinks you’ve just been ‘busy’. For situations like this, move on to step two.
Do NOT ignore it or hang up
When marketers call you, they usually have a file about you on their computer with information such as previous calls, what you thought of a product, if you’ve bought from them previously etc. If you ignore the call, the telemarketer will note you down as ‘no answer’ on this file, and the system will automatically tell another marketer to try to call you again. This will also happen if you hang up in the middle of the call without giving them a reason first and checking that they won’t be calling you again. This might not be for a week, or a month, but it could be as soon as 12 hours later. The best thing you can do is to answer the call.
- Ask who is calling you
This is a difficult one, because when you’re first asked ‘hi, is this (your name)?’ you automatically want to answer yes. The best thing to do here, however, is to ask who’s calling. They’ll more than likely give you their name, but unfortunately knowing that Bob is calling you isn’t going to help in any way, so press on and ask for the company. It might take a while to get a straight answer but it’ll be worth it in case they call again in future.
- Tell them to put you on their ‘No Call’ list
Again this one is tricky. All you have to do is say ‘Please put me down on your do not call list’. Don’t make it into a question, like ‘could you put me onto your do not call list?’ If it becomes a question you’ll get all sorts of questions in return; they’ll want to know why, what you think about the product, is there no way they can tempt you into buying it, and before you know it you’re being sold to again and won’t be on the list.
- Don’t get into conversation
If they do ask you these questions, regardless of whether you did the above point correctly or not, don’t be tempted into making small talk! The more you say, the more goes onto your file. Just repeat what you said from point 4, and eventually they’ll get the message.
- Don’t get angry, and don’t give up!
Remember, it’s this poor person’s job to keep you on the phone and to make a sale. So they’re going to try their absolute best to do that. Just keep calm and whatever you do, don’t hang up halfway through. If you do that they’ll have to put you down on the no answer list. Don’t make time excuses either and say you’re too busy to talk, that’ll get you on the list too. Just keep repeating point 4, and check that you’re on the no call list. If you can’t get a straight answer, ask to speak to their supervisor. This is a sure-fire way of getting on the do not call list.
- Get serious if the company calls again
If you’ve done all of the above points and still receive another call from the same company, firstly remember that this will be a different individual and it’s not their fault they’re calling. The computer system gives them the numbers. This means the person you spoke to originally didn’t put you down on the do not call list. Politely but firmly tell this new individual that you asked previously to be put onto the list, and remind them that you are part of the TPS, which means that calling you again is actually illegal. Ask again to be put on the list, but warn them that if you are called in future, you will have to report their company. This should ensure no future calls.
That’s it, it’s really that simple! The main mistakes people usually make are getting into too much conversation, making excuses about time, or hanging up part-way through. If you follow these points though, you’ll stop those cold-callers in their tracks.
As a side-note, another fun tip I’ve heard (though haven’t tested, so don’t take it as gospel!) is to phone a number you know to be a fax machine and record the noise it makes. Then, when a marketing company calls, play the recording back to them. They’ll think they’ve called a fax number and take you off their call list. I might try this myself for the truly persistent callers in the future.
Have you got any tips for how to get rid of cold-callers, or had any particularly good or bad experiences with them? Let me know in a comment below, or join in the conversation @SensibleReview on Twitter, or on our Facebook page.