Dealing with Cold Callers

cold call tacticsI’m not at all sure that many businesses could give a flying frick about the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (oh, those catchy names just roll off the tongue so easily don’t they)? And registering your number on TPS – you might as well not bother, for all the good it’ll do.

The upshot means we’re all stuck with one of those scourges of modern life - cold calls.

From the Telegraph 02/04/13:

Here are five of my favourite countermeasures, tried and tested against a variety of cold-callers, from double-glazing salesmen to people conducting lifestyle surveys from a call centre in Mumbai:

1. Be even friendlier than the cold-caller. This counter-intuitive ploy wrong foots the caller and enables you to occupy the moral high ground. Greet them effusively, say how nice it is to get their call, ask where they are calling from, what sort of day they have had, etc. Then, when you have softened them up, change tack. “Listen, mate, I hope you are not trying to sell me something, are you? Don’t you hate those creeps who try to flog you something over the telephone?!” It is extraordinary how quickly they beat a retreat.

Hmm – interesting, but this requires having a conversation with one of those fetid imbeciles which is usually just too painful to bear.

2. Ask cold-callers for their home number. I have tried this several times and the results have been gratifying.

Tee hee. Good one.

3. [Challenge their use of a the word “courtesy” when receiving a ‘courtesy call’.] Rather than just ranting at this travesty of the English language, I ask them what exactly they understand by the word “courtesy” – and whether they regard getting someone out of the bath to discuss mobile phone charges as exemplifying the quality.

Ooh – good thinking. I remember a moron cold caller tried opening a conversation with me once by saying “it’s just a quick call” to which I said, “it’s going to be a very quick call” and put the phone down. I’m still rather proud of that one.

4. Refer them to non-existent legislation that they may be breaking. Crude, but effective. Nothing disconcerts a cold-caller more than an authoritative voice warning them that they are in breach of section 117 of the Telecommunications (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007.

Haha… love it.


  1. I take a different tactic when I have time on my hands - while they're speaking to me, they're keeping away from more gullible people. This video gives the highlights of a recent call.


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