At work, I deal with telemarketers every day. Some are easy to deal with, others are huge pains in the butt. I get some really sarcastic, hateful folks on the other end of the line. I've come up with 13 ideas (some of them I think I've heard somewhere before) for getting these delightful people off the phone. I can't actually do all of these, in reality, but maybe you can.
- My favorite one goes something like this: Hi, you have reached_______. If you are calling for accounts receivable, press 1. If you are calling for sales, press 2. If you are calling for customer service, press 3. If you would like to place an order, press 4. If you would like to speak to someone in shipping, press 5. For human resources, press 6. For safety, press 7. For maintenance, press 8. For receiving, press 9. For accounts payable, press 10. To reach the employee directory, press 11. Finally, if this is a sales call, please press 12..... at which point, they would be immediately be disconnected. (Insert evil laugh here.)
- "What?! You want to speak with Bob? I thought he was with you!! What have you done with him?!!!"
- This one I actually do: "I'm sorry, no, we don't purchase our ________(insert applicable item here) in house. We have all of that purchasing outsourced. But thank you for calling." People hang up, simply out of confusion.
- The cruel method that wastes the telemarketer's time: permanent hold....I confess, I actually do that one, too. It usually works swimmingly.
- I've heard this one somewhere: "I'm sorry, I'm a little busy cleaning up the crime scene from the latest homicide here. Can you call back in a couple of hours?"
- Put down the phone for an extended period of time and play "Tiptoe through the Tulips" by Tiny Tim as "hold music."
- Carry on a long drawn out conversation with them. "You know, he's away from his desk, but maybe we could chat while we wait for him to come back. So, what's going on in your world today? Have you seen any good movies lately? I have...in fact, I just saw "Transformers, and it was awesome. Let me tell you all about it...."
- "Hold on, I'll try his extension. Oh darn! Hold on a second. The string just broke and now the cup has a crack right where the string goes in. I can't get any reception at all. Can you call back later? No? You're in and out of the office? Okay, hold on a second." (pause for effect.) Yell, in your loudest voice: "JIM!!!!!!!!!!!!! TELEPHONE CALL!" Wait a moment. "Sorry, he's not answering his page...."
- "No, I'm sorry, he's no longer with us. We can't replace him until the FBI finishes their inquiry. But thanks for calling."
- "No, we really aren't interested in that free publication. Our production manager isn't allowed any flammable materials in his office any more after that last fire. So we try to keep the paper goods to a minimum around here."
- "No, I'm sorry, I can't connect you to our owner. He passed away several years ago." (This one is, sadly, true.) "No, I can't leave a message for him. He's a little busy there in heaven."
- "No, we aren't interested in having our roof repaired or replaced. We've decided when it caves in, we're just going to install a skylight."
- And finally, "No, I can't tell you the model number of the copier here. It's being guarded by a rabid pit bull and we're only allowed to get close to it for two days during month end. During the rest of the month, we have to copy everything by hand on the back of last years' sales reports."
Oh, the things our minds think up when we've had too much (or too little) coffee! ;)