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How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash

DirtyLiar Re:Cold/robo callers made me a jerk on the phone (227 comments)

Abuse. Lots of it. Insult their intelligence, parentage, choice of job... Anything you can think of. Be as unpleasant as possible.

Do you really believe that abusing a phone monkey is going to do anything other than make you both tense and angry?

I've been on both sides of the phone, and abuse means nothing to these companies. You are just taking your frustration out on a minimum wage worker trying to make a living (probably while looking for better work). You may indeed succeed in making that one individual quit his job, but what have you gained in the process? An ulcer? Believe me, there are 10 people to take the place of any single employee who quits.

When I was making calls, I was told that I could NOT hang-up until I'd been told at-least three times that they were not interested. They enforced this rule, and others, by randomly listening in on calls all day long. And if they have had trouble with a sales person in the past, they pay particular attention to him. Too many violations of the rules and you were out.

Abuse does not get you taken off of call registries. Only a handful things will ever get you off of those lists (in order of effectiveness):

1) Say, "No thanks", and hang up.*
2) Screening your calls. (IE, answering machine or a "secret" voice-mail box / code to ring an "extension". They are told NOT to leave messages.)**
3) Add your phone number(s) to government "Do not call" lists. (What's nice about doing this is that violators can be fined or even sued, though YMMV depending where you are.)***
4) Saying, "Remove my number from your list", or "Put me on the do-not-call list". (Won't always work because this is voluntary, but it might.)
5) Not answering any call that has no caller-id, in addition to those that ID themselves as sales calls.
6) Whistling your friends, family and business associates while blacklisting known "spammers". Works even better on the phone than with email. Almost all cell-phones can do this, and all VOIP phone services I know of can do this.
7) Never buying anything over the phone. (Though requires a history, and takes a while to establish.)

I tell you that eventually your number will start coming off of the lists if you just follow the first three of the suggestions I give above. Especially about screening calls. They mark down all kinds of statistics about each number they call: No Answer, Voice Mail, Hung Up, Busy, Call Back, Sale, etc. But one statistic they don't record is if the person that answers the phone is nasty. They don't care. If you are nice and buy, that's great. If you are nasty, but get badgered into buying anyway, that's great too! A sale is a sale.

*When I was still taking business calls on my personal phone, I listened just long enough to establish that it was a sales call, then said, "Yeah, no thanks", and hung up. In fact, probably the "Yeah" was the only clear word, as the phone was already on it's way to the cradle when I spoke.

*Many people say they are uncomfortable doing this, as it is rude. Let me tell you as an ex salesman, it is not rude. I'll tell you what IS rude though. Wasting the salesperson's time by acting as if you might buy it. I find it curious how some people would rather go ALL-OUT HOG-WILD with rudeness with name-calling and cursing at the salesperson, rather than just saying, "No thanks", and hanging up. Really, hanging up is the nicest thing you can do for them, and yourself. And I recommend saying "No thanks" not just to be polite, but to prevent them from calling right back thinking you got cut off.

In fact, don't let them finish their spiel (yes, their whole speech is scripted out for them), or wait for an opening to speak. The whole thing is designed to NOT give you any place to politely opt-out. Interrupt them, saying "No thank-you", and hang-up. Don't wait for them to pause for breath, talk over them, then hang up.

Fun fact: Neither the company, nor the salesperson, want's to spend any more time with you than necessary. Why?

The Company: Each call costs them money, the longer the call, the more expensive it is. If there is no sale at the end of it, that money is not recouped.
The Sales Person: If there is a commission, he makes less money if he wastes his time arguing with people who won't buy. If there is not a commission, his stats are still followed and less sales could mean being fired, wile more sales could mean a bonus of some kind.

My theory is that they have a computer form in front of them when they call, and somewhere on that form is a little checkbox for "difficult" people.

They do not. I worked in the industry. Why do you think the company cares how you treat it's salespeople? All they care about is profit. If the salesperson feels like shit, they don't care, just as long as he can stay on the line long enough to sell you.

I hope that means they won't call me. It does seem to have reduced the number of calls I get.

My theory is that's wishful thinking on your part.

I have another theory: That you really don't care about them calling, what you care about is having to deal with them (wasting your time), and possibly keeping your line busy.

So, how's this sound? They call all the time, but never get to speak to you, so you never get bothered, AND the people who you WANT calling can still get through.

How's that sound? Good? Acceptable?

**If so then, if you can, SCREEN YOUR CALLS. And say in the outgoing message that you ARE screening your calls, and that the ONLY way to speak to you is for them to state their business, and IF you want to speak to them you will pick up. And if they try bury you under multiple calls, you'll just turn off the ringer.

Remember this MUST be done in the first few seconds of the message because phone-salespeople are TOLD to simply hang-up when they get a machine, so you have to get out your conditions before they realize that you're voice is just a recording.

This method works, I know, I used it for years, and it stopped 100% of sales calls from bothering me, though honestly I couldn't even guess how many sales-calls came to my number. It meant that occasionally I turned off the ringer on my phone for a few hours, but that was fine with me.

Right now I am using a combination of three phone numbers, one of them a VOIP number, all of which eventually come to my cell. I now screen calls via the caller ID / phone number. If there is no ID, and they leave a message, I listen to it first to decide if I know them. Sometimes I'll check the number online to see if there is a name associated with it. If I don't know them, and / or don't want to know them, I block the number. Very simple. The same goes for text messages.

This system is less than two years old and I haven't received an unwelcome call in months, and I haven't got a sales text from anyone but my carrier and those I've whitelisted, for at least a month in a half. And before that it was only about 1 per month.

But most importantly, remember, your telephone is not welded onto the side of your head. Any call that you listen to, you are doing VOLUNTARILY! No one is holding a gun to your head, and in reality the sales person CANNOT force you to listen. No matter how trapped you FEEL, YOU ARE THE ONE IN A POSITION OF POWER! The sales person CANNOT hang up until certain conditions are met. YOU, on the other hand, CAN HANG UP ANYTIME you feel like it! So, exercise your power, and hang up. Just add the "No thanks", so they wouldn't think you got disconnected and call back.

about a year ago
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How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash

DirtyLiar Re:I've done the same for years (227 comments)

Only if you live in fucking Yankland, you fucking Yank.

Next time, before shooting your mouth off, realise that not only is there a world outside of the UNITED STATES OF HOOT LIKE GIBBONS AND INVADE SANDY COUNTRIES, but it's significantly bigger than you are.

Wow. Got issues much?

Of course, most of the other posts, including the OP, don't reference any country either, so the same could be said for all of those posters too.

Besides, what part of that single sentence could be construed as, "shooting your mouth off"?

Take some deep breaths and go take a lie down. Read a book, get laid, take a jog. You're feelings of paranoia, persecution and inferiority are showing.

P.S.

there a world outside of the UNITED STATES OF HOOT LIKE GIBBONS AND INVADE SANDY COUNTRIES

LOL! You're just mad that's not you anymore!

about a year ago
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How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash

DirtyLiar Re:and why not? (227 comments)

The summary is misleading.

Misleading? A /. headline? I'm shocked, Shocked I say, to find gambling.... er... misleading to be going on here!

about a year ago
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How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash

DirtyLiar Re:and why not? (227 comments)

Sounds like he needs a $3 per minute line where callers can move around a confusing tree of menu options, and listen to his rational for ignoring their complaints. In fact, he could use that money to pay for a PO box or equivalent, where the companies who call to complain can send their complaints through the mail.

about a year ago
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How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash

DirtyLiar Re:Conversation (227 comments)

I screen all my calls, so if they can't be bothered to tell me what they want, I can't be bothered to pick up.

And if they think they can force me to answer the phone by letting it ring until the machine picks it up, then hanging up and calling back, I just turn the ringer off.

In fact, that's EXACTLY what I say in my outgoing message.

I haven't been bothered with cold calls for 15 years.

about a year ago
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Technologies Like Google's Self-Driving Car: Destroying Jobs?

DirtyLiar Until... (736 comments)

... they run you down after experiencing a 'malfunction'!

"Kill all humans!" - Bender

about a year ago
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The World Fair of 2014 According To Asimov (From 1964)

DirtyLiar Re:That depends on what you mean by "Reliably". (352 comments)

That is why the title of the comment you replied to was 'That depends on what you mean by "Reliably"', why I compared them to Nostradamus, and why I asked "Now if you mean someone who can tell you in detail what's the world will be like in 50 or a 100 years , you tell me, who does that?"

Like I said before, it really depends on what you mean by "reliably".

I again challenge you to find anyone who does a better job of predicting SPECIFIC (not vague) technologies.

You really should read what you reply to.

about a year ago
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The World Fair of 2014 According To Asimov (From 1964)

DirtyLiar Re:One thing is for certain... (352 comments)

And I'm not really sure how to classify this one:

Indeed, the most somber speculation I can make about A.D. 2014 is that in a society of enforced leisure, the most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work!

Yeah, that's what we in 'the biz' call, "Wishful thinking".

about a year ago
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The World Fair of 2014 According To Asimov (From 1964)

DirtyLiar Wait!... (352 comments)

... Let me write this down!

about a year ago
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The World Fair of 2014 According To Asimov (From 1964)

DirtyLiar That depends on what you mean by "Reliably". (352 comments)

In the 47 years I have spent on this rock, I have yet to see a futurist reliably predict the future.

If you mean successfully predicted a technology, social movement, or political change, then many Science Fiction authors fit the bill.

French author Jules Verne (often called the father of Science Fiction), for instance, predicted Cell Phones, the Nuclear Submarine, that _America_ would land on the Moon, the return splashdown (with a spookily accurate estimation of the total cost), correctly predicted the number of Astronauts that were sent, and seems to describe WEIGHTLESSNESS, writing that the astronaut's "...feet no longer clung to the floor". All 100+ years before the fact(s).

In 1898 Mark Twain predicted the World Wide Web (Internet), streaming video, Social Networking sites, blogs and discussion boards, all based on the phone system. Only a handful of years after the invention of the Telephone it'self.

H.G. Wells not only predicted the Atomic Bomb, but he coined the term "Atomic Bomb". He also predicted mutations as a danger from overexposure to uranium.

Even Gene Roddenberry predicted flip phones. (Can someone both predict and inspire the same thing?)

I'd say that SciFi authors, with some very specific predictions, have a better track record than Nostradamus and his ilk with their sweeping predictions.

Now if you mean someone who can tell you in detail what's the world will be like in 50 or a 100 years, you tell me, who does that?

Where the fuck is my flying car?

And you won't be getting a flying car until it can reliably fly itself, need no user maintenance, and not require a thorough going-over every other time you take it out. Oh, and can crash anywhere without endangering hundreds of lives. Until then it's called a helicopter, get a license and find places that have helipads and your golden.

Or, you could always look here: http://www.terrafugia.com/ Video: http://www.terrafugia.com/news/first-public-transition%C2%AE-demonstrations

Personally I suspect the flying car is going to catch-on like those Dick Tracy communicator watches http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dt2wrr.jpg did. It'll just be more trouble than it's worth, and it's job will be done better by something else.

about a year ago
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Inspired By the Peter Principle: the Peter Pinnacle

DirtyLiar OMG, such OLD news. (80 comments)

Plus, this guy invented, or twisted, NOTHING.

The concept has been known for years and is called "rising to your greatest level of incompetency". You get promoted so much that you leave your sphere of knowledge.

about a year ago
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Synchronized Virtual Reality Heartbeat Triggers Out-of-Body Experiences

DirtyLiar Cool! (183 comments)

!!!!!!!

about a year ago
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How Deadbeat Facebook Friends and Using ALL-CAPS Can Lower Your Credit Score

DirtyLiar Re:Fanally (362 comments)

You beat me to it!

about a year ago
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How Deadbeat Facebook Friends and Using ALL-CAPS Can Lower Your Credit Score

DirtyLiar Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (362 comments)

What happens when someone else uses your real name maliciously

U R Squed

about a year ago
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Galileo: Right On the Solar System, Wrong On Ice

DirtyLiar This just demonstrates one of my central tenets... (206 comments)

... that people (including scientists, but especially political) get far too emotionally attached to ideas. Especially if they thought them first.

People need to realize that basically every idea they ever had or will have is wrong (if for no other reason than people are not capable of perfection, that is the realm of God alone), but it doesn't matter. We only have to be "right enough" with our ideas so that they can help us successfully predict outcomes. Just like the term "Good-enough for Government work", our ideas only need to be accurate-enough that they help us to deal successfully with the world, and are not too much of a hindrance to that end. And when they stop successfully predicting outcomes and begin to harm or hold us back, we need to be able to let those ideas go, if need be, and figure out new ones that predict better than our last idea.

Unfortunately, everyone likes to be looked upon as smart and clever, and when you put a lot of work into something you tend to be reluctant to let it go. Similarly, people like to believe that those they put their trust in to explain how the world, or certain aspects of it, works, that those people are correct. Otherwise they would be foolish for believing them. Then, of course, people get side-tracked by in-fighting, personality clashes, intellectual sparring, grudges, politics, and all sorts of other irrelevant things that are simply distractions to the real questions.

about a year ago
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Wall Street Traders Charged With Copying Code To Start Their Own Company

DirtyLiar Re:So what? (145 comments)

A person steals employer's source code to seed it's own startup. Happens all the time. Why is this a news?

1) They got caught.
2) They are getting prosecuted.
3) (It get's attention HERE because) Coders are a significant fraction of /. readers.
4) It WAS both illegal and immoral don'tchaknow. (And unethical to boot!) Some misguided people care about things like that. They are called "Suckers"... I mean, "Not Sociopaths".

Ah, I see, because it's about the "Wall street". A sure way to get plenty of attention on /.

5) Well, I suppose there are still a few people a smidge upset over the 2009 crash. You know, blaming Wall Street gamblers and big banks for the loss of jobs, life-styles, and life-savings. (While the big firms and their COs still managed to rack up record pay and bonuses.) Petty grudges to be sure, but some people just can't let anything go. *rolls eyes*

A person steals employer's source code to seed it's own startup. Happens all the time. Why is this a news?

This is quite an indictment modern business practices. You do know that doing those things that "Happens all the time" are the shameful acts of a parasite. Not just a parasite on society, but a parasite on the business world. Defined as a "person" who lives off the work of others, and that adds nothing of value to the system it benefits from. Like the banks that buy up oil just to take it off the market, and so create an artificial scarcity that drives the price up. Except they don't actually STEAL anything, that I'm aware of.

about a year ago
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Wall Street Traders Charged With Copying Code To Start Their Own Company

DirtyLiar Re:Those guys.... (145 comments)

Wishing I had points to give!

about a year ago
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Wall Street Traders Charged With Copying Code To Start Their Own Company

DirtyLiar Re:Most trading firm code is open source ripped (145 comments)

How is USING Open Source software with your own modifications 'ripping it off'?

That is the ENTIRE G.D. POINT OF GIVING THE SOURCE AWAY.

That depends on how it's licenced. Some people don't want companies profiting off of their code, and there are licences that prohibit that.

Others just want, if their code is used for-profit, to get a cut of those profits, and there are licences for that.

And some people don't care who uses it, or if it's sold for a profit, they just want to share it with others, and not loose the right to use their own code. (The entire reason for the "Open Source", "GNU" and "Copy-Left" type movements: Companies were taking [IE stealing] code that people shared with the world, and copyrighting it. Meaning that the original author could be sued for using his own code, and never get compensated for it.)

about a year ago
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Yahoo Deletes Journalist's Pre-Paid Legacy Site After Suicide

DirtyLiar Re: They didn't know he also... (403 comments)

Still just excuses to not execute a dead man's wishes and meet his expectations.

They need to just come out and admit:
1) We love money, and if we could get away with it, we'd come into your homes and just take it.
2) Now that he's dead, his wishes, understanding, and intent do not matter. Especially since they cannot be enforced.
3) We are cowards, and will not expose ourselves to litagation, reguardless of whether we would be protecting the truth or not.
4) What's RIGHT has no impact on our decisions. What is PROFITABLE is the only measurement of success we recognise. All other considerations, like legality (as long as it's still profitable), morality, honesty, and even honoring a contract have no place in our decision-making process.

about a year ago

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