Pitch Fail

The phone rang, at suppertime as usual.  Hubby and I both know what that means:  Either it’s a telemarketer or it’s Hubby’s mother, who belongs to the generation that always called at mealtimes because there were no answering machines and you were more likely to catch somebody at home then.

We have call display, so we knew it wasn’t Mum.  But we also have some new acquaintances whose numbers we don’t know at a glance, so I picked up.

Before I could even utter the second syllable of “Hello”, the world’s most obnoxious voice interrupted:  “Hi!  I’m Bob Shit-For-Brains (I admit I might have made up his last name), and I’m calling on behalf of the Society of-”

I hung up.

We’re in the Do-Not-Call registry, but nothing stops the idiot telemarketers.

I hate telemarketing companies; but I feel sorry for the poor employees who actually have to make the calls.  If our caller had been a real human being, I would have at least stayed on the line long enough to politely say, “Not interested”; but it was a recording, so I felt zero guilt about my abrupt disconnect.

(Well, okay; not zero.  I’m Canadian, so I did feel a teensy bit guilty even being rude to an obnoxious recording.  Sad, but true.)

But I wonder:  Who in their right mind would hire a voice actor who sounds like a cheesy good-ole-boy used car salesman?  Even if I might have been interested in their society, that voice killed any chance of me listening to their pitch.

But maybe it was the International Society of Cheesy Used Car Salesmen calling.  If they were doing a recruiting drive, then their choice of voice actor was a brilliant way to qualify their respondents… unless even cheesy used car salesmen can’t stand the sound of their own voices.  That would explain a lot.

What’s your favourite solution to automated telemarketers?  I like the idea of getting an autodialler of my own and setting it to call their company’s CEO at home, every ten minutes for the next five years…


Thank you to everyone who voted in my poll last week!  I’m a creature of habit so I’ll probably continue posting on Wednesdays, but apparently I can stop obsessing about word count and schedules.  🙂  (To see the responses, click on the “View Results” link at the bottom of last week’s poll.)

30 thoughts on “Pitch Fail

  1. One of my pet peeves in todays world. I must get 6 – 8 “robo dial calls” daily. Any number I don’t recognize, I never answer…if it’s legit, they leave a message, otherwise I immediately go in and block that number. Doesn’t stop it….I happen to have an area code that is from another part of the US…the robo calls find numbers in that area code…pretty obvious, but so annoying! I keep thinking I should just have a voice mail that thanks the caller for calling the Police Department and please leave a message. Probably wouldn’t stop anything….ugh!!


  2. I’m usually typically Canadian polite and say I’m not interested and goodbye. However I have an Australian friend who will appear interested and then have some imaginary thing she asks the person to hold for. Then she goes about whatever she was doing letting the wait in limbo. Don’t know if I could do it but seems like it might get the point across.


  3. For some reason, I hardly ever get real people on the phone anymore. It’s been recordings for a long time. But here’s the hot tip! Download an app called CallProtect from ATT. No kidding, it filters out more than 90% of the spam calls I get. And those calls never even show up. My phone never rings when they call. Automatically blocked. The peace and quiet is amazing. Highly recommended. I always tell my students about it on the first day of class. Lots of ‘thank-yous’ from that.

    If a call does sneak through, you can log it with the app, and it it goes on their auto-block list so that they can’t bother anyone else.

    For e-mail, I have my spam blocker set to ‘kill.’

    Granted, I’ve played with spammers before, too. “Hallo. Wat joo wan? O, ju sellin DAT crep, too? Iss crep, dat stoof! Crep! Mae ju mamma katch snifflus from Siberian Death Yak! Hoo joo ar? Tell mih joo nayum! I haff my onkl Smibius hunt joo doen and gut joo lyk gefeltephisch!!”

    They almost always bailed before I did. Dunno why. No fortitude, I guess. Panty-waists. Quitters. Ah, those were the good old days…


    • Bahahaha!!! Okay, that’s my new favourite phrase: “dat crep”. But remind me not to piss off your Uncle Smibius.

      That AT&T app is brilliant! The anti-spam part of it won’t work here (US calling areas only), but you’ve inspired me to go looking for a Canadian equivalent. We won’t be able to do anything about our landline, but Hubby could sure use something like that on his cell phone!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We have an old phone in the living room without call display. If I answer a call on this device I use a very child-like tone of voice: “Hellooo?” (our friends know I do this, so they laugh at me and I know this is okay!) To a real telemarketer I say: ” Wait, I’ll get my Mommy” And leave them waiting. And waiting. Chuckle. Just need to be careful about those idiots from the Indian Sub-continent who will charge a huge long distance bill to your number! Sometimes I also use a heavy East European accent: “Helloooo?” Reply: “You vait, pleeeese. I get Missus” I love paying games and wasting their dialling time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do those accents so brilliantly, and your time-wasting strategy is sweet, sweet revenge! Now, if only there was a way to determine which telemarketers have called you thinking, “I’ll just make this one more call before I take a potty break.” It would be even more fun if there was some way to secretly observe them while they wait and wait and wait, with their legs twisted together and their back teeth floating…


  5. Ha ha! I’m all over the place with my response, depending on the day and my mood. Caller ID helps me decide which calls to ignore, but if I’m not in the room with the only phone with Caller ID and I answer (because I’m expecting a phone call or I’m worried it might be my mother trying to get me), if it’s a live telemarketer I might wait for a break in the babbling and say I’m not interested, I might interrupt them and say I’m not interested, I might quietly/audibly/loudly crash the receiver back on the hook, or I might, as I did with one very bloody persistent man, crash the receiver back on the hook SEVERAL TIMES. That’ll sure show him, right? No, but it made me feel better 🙂

    If it’s a recording, I just hang up normally and curse to myself. No audience, no performance 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 0830 and 1005 . Hello I’m ***** from Microsoft calling about your computer. I was very restrained ,just hung up. Do they think I’m daft?


    • Argh. Nope, they don’t think you’re daft; but they’re hoping. Back when I did computer training for a living, it was sad to see how many novice users got sucked in by those fake Microsoft scammers. I hope there’s an extra-special place in hell for those assholes. (The scammers, I mean; not Microsoft. Although… um… hmmm…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • i got so tired of the “there is a problem with your computer” foreign calls, that one day I told them that I had let them have access to my computer and it proceeded to blow up, catch fire and burned my house down and I wanted to know where to send the bills for its repair. The guy stuttered something and finally hung up. It was several years before I had any of those calls again.

        Also heard about the guy that once a telemarketer called him, that he started asking questions about him, where he lived, how many children he had, etc. and then pretended to call over his wife and tell her what he said and acted like he was a long lost friend. Kept him on the line for about 15 minutes.

        The ones that are calling now are about my truck “expired” warranty and they want to get me to extend it. Also get a lot of “reminders” in the mail. I’ve told the callers everything from the truck was sold, wrecked, stolen and that I was too old to drive and have a vehicle any more. That will last for about a week and here they start again. I’ve tried blocking their numbers,. but my phone only holds so many blocked numbers. I’ll have to check out the AT&T app.


        • Argh, that’s so annoying! But at least you’re exercising the full scope of your creativity with your answers – your response to that Microsoft call was brilliant! Hope the AT&T app works for you…


  7. This is a situation where I should have a funny, cleaver, or at least mildly humorous responds. Sadly, the only answer I have is that I’ve given up on answering the phone and if you want to get on a “voice” call you need to make an appointment via email, confirmed with a text, based on a phone number that you ‘snail mail’ to my home. I will require two forms of ID and a drug test. So, yeah, I’m just a boring person …

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re much more patient and restrained than I! I think I’ve only managed to make it through the stupid automated message once; although that one time it was satisfying to know that at least I’d told a real person to take me off their call list. They actually did it, too!


  8. Years ago I used to have a police whistle that I blew when I received an obscene call. Hopefully, they wouldn’t be able to hear for a while. Now my phone has a message that says “sorry I can’t talk now. ” Then, I go to recent calls and hit block this caller. I’m also on the do not call list, but seems not to work. At least that caller cannot get to me again.


  9. So annoying, aren’t they? I don’t answer them and then I block the number. Usually I can tell by caller ID if it’s a spammy call, so I’ll block the number straight out. Or sometimes they leave a message and make that determination even clearer. If I’m not sure about the number, I’ll wait until they call again. If they don’t leave a message the second time, they’re blocked at that time. 😄


    • A fine way to do it! I used to do that when we lived in Calgary, but after we moved here I developed a Pavlovian response to the ring of the phone while our house was under construction. If we didn’t speak with contractors at the exact moment they phoned, we’d never hear from them again no matter how many return messages we left. But that’s all over now, so I guess it’s time to deprogram myself. Ahhh, I feel better already…


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