I have used a simple and unassailable position with telemarketers for the last several years. When they phone me, and ask if I am Mungo, etc... I ask who is calling. When they begin their solicitation, I interrupt and state firmly, 'I'm sorry, we do not accept telephone solicitations on this line'. I have only once had someone try to argue with me that I should accept them. Most have nothing to say to that and hang up apologetically. I try to be respectful, no-one loves being a telemarketer I'm sure.
Yesterday I got a call and was feeling a bit talkative. Debbie Smith from Alliance, calling on behalf of Bell Canada called. It went a bit like this:
Telemarketer: Hello, may I speak with [Mungo]?
Mungo: May I ask who's calling please?
Telemarketer: Uhh, this is Debbie Smith calling from Alliance.
Mungo: Calling from where please?
Mungo: Let me just write this down. This is Debbie?
Telemarketer: Yes. That's right.
Mungo: With an 'h'?
Telemarketer: Yes, Smith is with an 'h'.
Mungo: No, Debbie I meant. Is the 'h' after the 'e' or after the 'd'?
Telemarketer: Umm. I'm calling from Alliance, sir.
Mungo: I'm just writing this all down on that yellow paper I was talking about with you earlier, never figured it would be yellow after all. [discordant pause] Where's that?
Telemarketer: We're in London sir.
Mungo: I've never been to Alliance. What's it like?
Telemarketer: Oh, it's nice here.
Mungo: What about London?
Telemarketer: Pardon me?
Mungo: You mentioned Alliance is nice, I've never been. I've been to London though. You like it there?
Telemarketer: Yes, it's nice. [really uncomfortable silence]
Mungo: Uhm... so what are you calling about Debbie? I haven't been to Alliance.
Telemarketer: Yes, I'm calling from Alliance on behalf of Bell Canada.
Mungo: How's that?
Telemarketer: Sorry sir?
Mungo: You mentioned on behalf of Bell - we already have one thank you.
Telemarketer: I'm calling on behalf of Bell.
Mungo: We've got one, got it last month. It's quite nice really. [thoughtful pause] Where's Bell?
Telemarketer: They're all over the country, sir.
Mungo: Never been there myself. [uncomfortable silence]. Ever been there yourself?
Telemarketer: Thank you very much for your time today sir.
Mungo: Not at all, it's been really nice chatting with you today, will you be staying in Bell for a while?
Telemarketer: Thank you sir. [click]