I get so much phone spam that I leave my ringer off all the time.
June 18, 2000 10:11 AM   Subscribe

wheneevr i do answer the phone, i pretend i'm not me and that i've stepped out, would you like to leave a message? of course, this makes for an amusing scenario when it's *actually* a friend on the line...

another neat trick to keep telepimps from leaving voicemail is to record the world's longest outgoing message. mine clocks in at 1:37 and includes a (fictional) convoluted list of extensions. of course, friends know it's a joke.
posted by patricking at 12:03 PM on June 18, 2000

"Seriously, Leon, stop it!"

That's good. I might use that one.
posted by Ezrael at 12:45 PM on June 18, 2000

or you could pretend to not speak english. answer them in piglatin only. hee!
posted by patricking at 2:20 PM on June 18, 2000

Get Caller ID. Turn Privacy Manager "on." Problem solved - our phone never rings unless it's someone who's willing to allow their number to be seen clearly, or, someone who's willing to say their name to the "operator robot" and allow the robot to call us and announce them (a necessary evil for my partner who travels on business a lot and calls home from hotels...). Obviously, haven't had a spam call in... well, quite some time.
posted by m.polo at 3:01 PM on June 18, 2000

For a coupla bucks you can buy one of those compressed air boat horns at the sporting goods store. I keep mine next to the phone.
posted by quonsar at 3:22 PM on June 18, 2000

There's a set of magic words. If you use them consistently over a period of months, the rate at which you get called will decline and eventually stop.

"Please remove me from your calling list." They are requiredby Federal Law to maintain such a list, they are required to remove you from it, and they are not permitted to call you again for five years.

Another interesting rule: During the first 30 seconds of any telephone solicitation they are required to give you a chance to speak. Once having done so, they can talk continuously until the sun burns out. But that's why they always ask "How are you today?"

THAT'S YOUR CHANCE. The response is "I'm fine and I'd like you to remove me from your calling list."

Finally: when you've used those magic words, they MUST hang up immediately.

Now a lot of those calls come from boilerrooms who represent a bunch of clients. And when you make this request, you get removed from the list for one particular client but not from the boilerroom. However, their dialing system is heavily computerized, and if over a period of time it finds that a given phone number has been removed from several lists, it will realize that it's pointless to call that number any more, and then they won't call you for ANY of their customers.

I've been doing this for about a year. The rate at which I received phone solicitations started ramping down within about three months, and now I rarely get any at all.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:32 PM on June 18, 2000

I have Eric Idle singing on my answering machine. I screen my calls usually. Eric scares a lot of solicitors away.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:40 PM on June 18, 2000

Phone companies are the best. Agree that you'd want to switch over, and keep on talking and asking and talking and having a good time for about an hour, try to find your information, you know stretch it out. Then, at the end they'll ask you if you are 18 or older, knowing that you are, it's a stupid question, but they need to do it. Say no. and they need to hang up. it's their policy. wastes times. heh.
posted by tiaka at 9:26 AM on June 19, 2000

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