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Dealing with telemarketers

This afternoon, 2UE’s Jason Morrison was discussing the federal government’s Do Not Call register and ways of dealing with telemarketers and other nuisance callers who do not abide by the Do Not Call list. It prompted me to send him this email about my way of dealing with such calls on the home landline.

Hi Jason,

The Do Not Call register didn’t really help at my place as most of the telemarketers we get call from overseas and are not subject to Australian laws.

What did work was setting the answering service to answer after one ring, with various different messages. For a while callers were greeted to the Norwegian version of the Postman Pat theme song, and after that for a few weeks it was a recording of a talkback caller demonstrating their operatic “skills”. Needless to say, telemarketers don’t sit through that, but legitimate callers do…usually.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

I still have the operatic greeting on hand. It was an edited version of a call to the Mark Levin Show, and came at a time when the “I’m from Microsoft and need to fix your computer” calls were coming thick and fast. My theory was that if the opera blasting down the phone line didn’t scare them off, the ranting which followed would. After a while I replaced this with a further cut-down version which was just the operatic bits.

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Download MP3 [2]

It seemed to do the trick!

Samuel