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How Should I Deal with Telemarketers?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dealing with telemarketers can be challenging as their telephone calls usually interrupt our day or evening. Also, the products or services the telemarketers are promoting may be things we may not need or want. However, it's important to be courteous, yet assertive when dealing with telemarketers.

Remember that, like you, telemarketers are just trying to earn a living by doing their job. Arguing with telemarketers is pointless as chances are what they're saying is a written script that they've been instructed to stick to closely. If you really don't want to listen to their speech, tell them that you're not interested but thanks anyway. This way, you're being assertive in stopping them, while setting a polite tone by also thanking them.

If telemarketers don't listen to the answer that you're not interested in what they're offering and keep trying to pitch their offer to you, then you may want to consider hanging up the phone. You can repeat that you said you weren't interested and say goodbye before hanging up. Arguing with telemarketers just wastes your time further.

You should make sure you understand what organization the telemarketer is representing. Then, call the manager at that company to complain if you have issues with the telemarketer. Sometimes if a company is very small, the business principal may do his or her own telemarketing or cold calling. You may even find that you’re interested in a telemarketer’s offer.

If you're interested in the telemarketer's offer, but it's an inconvenient time for you to speak on the phone, ask the telemarketer to call you back another day. Telemarketers are usually very willing to make a note and call again another time so that they don't miss a possible appointment booking. If you do want to make an appointment or other response to a telemarketer's offer, remember that you can first check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Don't feel pressured by the telemarketer to agree to anything you're not sure about or don't understand clearly. You can also enter the company name and/or phone number into a search engine on your computer to try to find out more about the organization being represented.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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