Monday, April 07, 2014

Telemarketer Hell

Shortly after I arrived home today, the phone rang.  I punched the speaker phone button on my desk.  “This is the credit card service center calling to remind you of the final opportunity to lower the interest rate on your outstanding credit card balance, please consider this your final notice.” Oh yea, really, I don’t have any credit card balances.  I pressed one to speak to a representative.  First I was caller 19, then 13, then 9 and then a woman picked up and demanded “is your outstanding credit card balance $2,000 or more?”  I responded, “what bank of mine do you represent?” She shot back, “do you owe $2,000 or more on your credit cards.”  I responded, I am going to ask the questions, which credit card issuer of MINE to you represent, if you can’t answer that question you are in violation of the Federal Do Not Call law, my friends at the FTC would love to fine you. Silence, then a dial tone. I hope I ruined her day, I just hope she doesn’t recognize my voice the next time her call center is tracking one of my lost bags for an airline.

I have mentioned my mother before. She has been largely immobile for the past year. She has difficulty remembering details, confuses things frequently, is delusional and still likes answering the phone.  I was visiting last spring and the phone rang and she answered.  I am listening to one end of the conversation, but it was obvious it was someone calling offering to to refinance the house.
Her side of the call:
  • We don’t have a mortgage, you are 30 years too late
  • Well, a million dollars would come in handy - I could pay off the kids houses and grand kids student loans
  • It is worth a couple-hundred thousand
  • No that wouldn't be worth it, if you can’t get me a million I’m not interested
  • Hey it was your idea, you called me, I didn't call you.
Yes, she barely knows who she is, she can’t tell you what she did yesterday and has delightful delusions, but she still knows how to ruin the day of a telemarketer.    


  1. I find those bastards annoying. if my caller ID says "unknown number", I don't even bother to pick it up; it goes str8 to the answering machine.

  2. Anonymous4/07/2014

    I gave up the landline a few years ago. That cut down on the calls considerably. Thank God cells don't show up in the White Pages, but I definitely play the "I'm going to take up all your time and then say goodbye if you call me" routine if they do manage to get me to answer. I also get the company name, the employee name/number and report it to the feds. I guess I get maybe one or two calls a year that are telemarketers. I think they have their own "don't call this a$$hole, he wastes our time" list!

    Peace <3

  3. Anonymous4/07/2014

    Oh, LOVE your mom's response. That's what my dad would do, too! Who says the elderly can't take care of themselves?

    Peace <3

  4. David,
    I've tried to tell these callers to take me off of their call list but as soon as I do they hang up. They have it figured out, hang up. Still, I get the calls. For awhile I didn't answer the "Out of Area" calls but some of those calls are from the VA confirming upcoming doctor's appointments so I have to answer. Now when I receive the "credit card" calls, I hang up first. It's a shame that they're permitted to bother us like this but they have found a way around the "Do Not Call" law. There's barely a day that goes by that I don't receive at least one of these calls despite the fact that I've been on the Do Not Call List for years.


  5. I think I love your mother.