How you can avoid those annoying telemarketers once and for all 153



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When Aussie journalist Adrienne Tam received repeated calls from one number, she began to feel “stalked”. Here’s how she turned the tables on those pesky telemarketers.

“Every day, be it a work day or the weekend, early in the morning or late at night, my mobile would light up with a number now stored in my consciousness”, Adrienne said in her newspaper column.

Complicating matters further, the telemarketers were in fact working on behalf of a charity. As Adrienne explains, “nobody likes saying ‘No’ to charities”.

“Images of starving children and trapped bears run through your mind on repeat”, Adrienne said. “But if we said ‘Yes’ all the time to every charity which calls us, we’d likely be broke”.

Charities are exempt from the National Do Not Call Register, a secure database where people can “opt out” of receiving telemarketing calls.

This makes their phone calls harder to avoid. Apart from asking the charity telemarketer not to phone you again, sometimes it may be necessary to write a “Cease and Desist” letter or email.

Charities are obliged to respect your wishes, or else they can receive a fine from the Australian Communications and Media Authority. So keep a copy of any correspondence you send.

However, as Adrienne discovered, the easiest way is to donate to charities directly, cutting out the telemarketers. “That way, you’re sure your money is going to the charity, and not to a third party”, she says.

Next time telemarketers call Adrienne, she says she’ll “(simply explain) that I already donate to that charity directly”. Ahh, the power of saying ‘No’ hey!

Do telemarketers repeatedly phone you? What actions have you taken to prevent pesky phone calls?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Tell them F..OFF and hang up 🙂

    1 REPLY
    • There is no need to say F. off remember “No Thanks” is a decent reply, as the person phoning could be a very nice person, trying to earn some money for themselves & or family….at least they have a job …& are not on the “Dole” more than we can say for a lot of others that I am sure we all aware of. Did you ever think that It could be one of your family members or friends doing a job like this to make ends meet & they would be greeted with ……F off….. from someone like you. ????? Have a great day.

      1 REPLY
      • Well said, Lizzie. The people o the end of the phone are trying to provide for themselves through paid employment and while they may be an annoying callto it represents income to them. The polite response in this article is the best way to handle rthe situation and then place your name on the Do Not call list

  2. The Do Not Phone website works. Have not had a phone since signing up.

    4 REPLY
  3. I try to be kind and not hang up on them. Just ask them to wait a minute, put the phone down and walk away. They will soon take you off their list as they have a quota to fill, and it doesn’t include hanging on an empty line.

    2 REPLY
    • Yep, went through that too, but then, 6 months later… I do feel a bit sorry for these charity callers, They are only doing their jobs. However most of the charities that engage phone marketers are not the “not for profit” ones but have huge overheads, just like any business. I will support charities by direct donation to “not for profit” ones but not a business.

    • I work for a not for profit that does its own fundraising. They don’t pay commission to their telemarketers and they don’t last five minutes if they’re found to be pushy or rude. Pity the same can’t be said for some of the people they have to speak to! The point is that we are expected to fundraise ourselves to supplement whatever we get from the Government. There’s a lot of good work that wouldn’t have been done if we didn’t raise these funds.

  4. What is the problem with saying NO. The telemarketers have no conscience about taking over 50% of the donated money in fees.

  5. Saying “NO” doesn’t work. There are four charities who phone every 6 months regardless of our saying no during the previous phone call and asking to have our number removed from their call list. I now say that if they ring back again I will report them to the ombudsman. For the scammers claiming to be from Microsoft, the ATO, banks etc, I have an umpire’s whistle handy.

  6. Although you say in the article that do not call register does not exempt charities, I have been registered with them sir several years since they started. I can tell you I have not had any unwanted calls from call centres including CHARITIES, therefore I would recommend to anyone to register it is that simple!!!!

    3 REPLY
    • I agree. I still get the odd occasional charity call but apart from that, the only calls that I get are those ones from India (or wherever) and the DNCR can’t stop those.

    • Rosemary Miles then I consider myself very lucky because I don’t get any calls from charities, and as I don’t have family overseas I have a block on overseas calls.

    • Depending on my mood at the time sometimes I have a bit of fun with the overseas ones – like pretending I have no idea how to turn the computer on. They get so exasperated with me, particularly when I t5ell them I can’t see a little window logo. Let it go on for a bit longer and then tell them I have Mac lol

  7. I will not donate to any charity that phones or sends me glossy mail requests to donate. I won’t donate to the charity being pushed by those slick salespeople in shopping centres. At the end of each month I review my finances and do a direct bank transfer to a couple of charities as I can afford. I won’t pay my money to slick marketing companies that give very little of the collected money to the charity. I was quite put off one medical research charity when they offered up a salary of over $200,000 to a marketing position. I just say ‘not interested’ and hang up on charities calling by phone, I won’t engage then in conversation.

    1 REPLY
    • Not every charity uses an agency that receives a cut of the money raised. There are still charities around who do their own fundraising in-house. The unfortunate thing is they get tarred with the same brush regardless.

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