Opinion: Don’t Answer the Phone

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Disabled folks hate telemarketing calls as much as anyone, and at greater inconvenience. Here’s life commentator, Wes Richards on creative ways to get them off the phone.

Don’t Answer the Phone.

Well, not unless you’re pretty sure who’s calling. If your getting-around skills are not what they once were, you probably spend more time at home than you used to. And who can resist the ring of a telephone?

These days scammers and sales types are proving by the minute that the “do not call” list is fiction. Some telemarketers are just trying to make a living.

Some others, not so much. They want you to do something that’s good for them but maybe not for you. They play with your head. They play on your fear. They play on your sympathy.

Play back.

Here’s some guidance.

The Internal Revenue Service operates via snail mail only. It doesn’t make phone calls. So when the fake IRS agent calls and threatens you with arrest, he’s looking for your personal information. Don’t give it.

Instead: Tell him you’re the IRS auditor for your district and ask him for the case number. Technically, you’re breaking the law. But only briefly. The caller will hang up. Pronto. No one will prosecute you unless you make a habit of it. But no one will prosecute the thief either. He’s calling from Latvia or India or somewhere he can’t be found.

In general, playing dumb is your greatest weapon.

When the Microsoft Technician calls to tell you he has discovered your computer is at risk, he’s lying. But these creeps can get control of your computer remotely if you give verbal permission, and they’re trying to sell you a costly antivirus program.

Microsoft operates on line, not on the phone.

Instead: Tell the caller you don’t have a computer. This will puzzle him. If he doesn’t hang up he’ll tell you he’s sure you do, because he is. Tell him it’s at the office, ask him if you can call him from there when you get back from vacation. Take his number (it won’t work if you dial it) and thank him. Then, hang up.

Some calls are at least partly legit.

When Congressman Glotz calls to ask you for his vote, tell him his views aren’t strong enough for you.

Instead: If he’s a conservative, tell him you don’t like some of the work he’s done in cooperation with the opposite party and tell him you want tax relief and ask when he’s going to stop hiring all those expensive staff people.

If he’s liberal, tell him he’s too liberal. Ask when we get that single payer healthcare system. Ask him why big companies don’t pay taxes and neither do rich people.

In either case tell him we have no business in this, that or the other war and you want our sons and daughters home tomorrow.

Congress people and other politicians are exempt from the “do not call” list. So they’re allowed to make those obnoxious calls.

These guys and practically every other caller have a sixth sense.  They can tell when you’re about to get out of your chair and head for the bathroom or are busy preparing dinner or maybe heading for the bedroom and an early night.

Someone please figure out how they know this stuff.  Unless, of course, they tell you to please talk into your table lamp or the moose head on the wall of your den. Then you know they’ve bugged your house.

When the Chimney man calls, tell him you don’t think you have a chimney. And then ask him “is this why my house fills with smoke all the time?”

The Aluminum siding man calls tell him you just put on vinyl but can he do windows because the siding guy covered all of yours up and you can’t see out of the house.

When the Window man calls, tell him he’s reached cell block five in the county jail and does Anderson make windows with bars on them.

Yes, these men and women are just doing their job. But they’re annoying. Most are not criminals, but some are and you have no way of knowing which.

If you have trouble moving around the house, if you’re wearing an oxygen mask, if your eyes are cloudy or your macula isn’t maculating anymore, you have enough to worry about beside your windows, your chimney, computer, tax return or anything else but keeping yourself together.

I’m Wes Richards, My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them.®
and for more of my thoughts, go to: http://wessays.blogspot.com

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