Fromagette's post about telemarketers made me want to put in my two cents on the subject. My neighbor next door is always getting hooked in to sales presentations because she is too polite to say no, and she allows telemarketers to convince her over the phone. I don't even give them the chance. Here are my policies about telemarketers:
1. When I answer the phone, I only say hello once. Telemarketers often have several telephone lines open at once, and are waiting for one of the people to answer the phone. Because of this, they sometimes don't hear the caller say hello. If I say hello twice, they always hear me the second time and respond.
2. If I don't get a response within about 3 seconds, I hang up. If you call my house, you better be prepared to speak when I answer because I'm not giving telemarketers the chance, and I will hang up if I don't get a response quickly.
3. If the telemarketer is on the ball, and responds quickly, I give them only a short amount of time to tell me why they called before I politely say, "We are not interested, but thanks anyway.". I feel like I need to at least make an effort to be polite.
4. My policy is that I don't buy ANYTHING over the phone. I don't care if it is a product that I'm interested in, I'm not going to buy it over the phone.
5. I don't say goodbye to telemarketers. After I have told them I'm not interested, if I don't hang up then, they try to convince me why I should be interested. I don't want to listen to their reasons, so I don't give them a chance.
6. Because I know I'm not going to buy, I feel that to listen politely to their sales pitch is a waste of not only my time, but their's. I'm sure they would rather be spending their time talking to a prospective customer. I am not a prospective customer, and never will be, so I save them the effort by hanging up.
7. I have signed up for the "do not call" registry. The problem is that this list doesn't include companies of which I am already a customer. Therefore I still do get some calls from my bank telling me about some new program to protect me from identity theft that will cost me more than if I actually had my identity stolen. I also get calls from charities, which apparently are not part of the do not call list. I can easily say no to them because I feel that I already give a lot of money to those in need. I can't give to everyone, and I have already chosen where to put my charity money.
8. I know that telemarketers are just trying to make a living. I have relatives whose job is in telemarketing. I allow them the freedom to do their job, but as my neighbor's answering machine message says, "We aren't able to come to the phone right now. If you are one of our many friends or relatives, please stay on the line and we will pick up. If you are from a telemarketing agency, WE DON'T WANT ANY!"