Attention Telemarketers: I WIN (you f*ckers)

Dear Dish Network, Citibank, Chase, Bank of America, the person who wants to speak to the person in charge of the energy bill, the recorded message that tells me something about Bush making it easier for homeowners...just before I cut you off, the New York Post, the NY Daily News, the NY Times, Acura of Manhattan, every mortgage company on the planet, non-profits (even the good ones), the Police Benevolent Association, ghost callers, Harry & David, IDT x 100, "My Hot Leads" in Addison, TX and your 80 other aliases, Axiom Energy who illegally impersonates Con Edison, and the PBA again just because your tactics suck:

I win, mofos. My home phone is no more.

As much as I've enjoyed you interrupting me all hours of the day and night, I can not muster one more polite "I'm not interested and please take me off your list."

Truly, I wish I were the person with the hilarious comeback. The woman with the guts to use Seinfeld's, "Why don't you give me your home phone number and I'll call you back there tomorrow night." Or even ballsy enough for this. But I'm not. Generally I'm sympathetic to the fact that there's a person on the other end of the phone just trying to make a buck. Maybe a student. Or a stay-at-home mom. Or a divorcee who's trying to support her kids.

But then the final straw came last week, the guy who called at 10:13 at night to tell me about Dish Network's new whatever, waking the baby and forcing me to scream I DON'T KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS IN INDIA BUT IT'S AFTER 10 HERE AND YOU HAVE A LOT OF FUCKING NERVE.

At which point he scolded me. And told me I should be ashamed of myself. And I yelled back. and we both yelled over each other for a good minute about who should be more ashamed until I realized that I had stooped to the level of people who have arguments with strangers at Yahoo games. And I hung up.

So I'm done. Finished. Buh-bye land line. End of an era. It's been swell knowing you and I will certainly miss the confidence that I am not developing a brain tumor every time I dial my grandmother. But you know, brain tumor...telemarketers. When you weigh one against the other,

well, I've made my decision.

Mom-101. Unplugged.


PS The People have spoken. I think that 08 is the year I campaign for, and with your help, WIN the worst blog of all time award. I appreciate the support and encouragement.


PPS A huge congrats to Greg on his brand newest baby girl. Although damn, how come everyone else gets a sleeper except me?


Blogger Amy Urquhart said...

You can totally live without a land line, especially in NY, where I suspect everyone has decent cell coverage.

I went off on a telemarketer once. It felt great.


1/8/08, 2:53 PM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

You're starting the anti-landline revoultion! YAY!

1/8/08, 3:10 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

My dad's favourite trick is to set down the phone, start doing something else, and get a chuckly after a bit when the spiel is over and they start going, "Hello? Sir? Hello?" i've used it myself, when I needed a lift.

1/8/08, 3:37 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

Our landline has the bare minimum service, and it's only there in case of emergencies.

Also, if I say hello and hear nothing, I hang up. If it's someone who's actually calling ME, then they'll call back and say hello promptly.

1/8/08, 3:38 PM  
Blogger caramama said...

I totally hate telemarketers, but I usually try to be nice also.

We can't give up our landline because our house is located in some weird dead zone for cell phones and I don't trust the cable company to run my phones. Sigh...

Good for you though! Enjoy being off the landline!

(And I do not have a sleeper either.)

1/8/08, 3:42 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hey, I don't have a sleeper, either. You can't claim that title all for yourself. :)

I was really close to getting rid of our landline, but it doesn't cost us anything, because it's bundled with our cable and internet (which cost just as much if we don't have the landline).

But then the cable company introduced on-screen callerID - when someone calls, the callerID shows up on your TV screen.

So now I turn the ringer off on the phone, letting the machine take any calls, or if the TV is on, I check the callerID to decide if I want to answer or not.

OK, your way is probably simpler than mine.

And yeah, brain tumor risks may just be better than facing telemarketers.

1/8/08, 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I follow the "um" rule. The instant they say "ah" or "um" I interrupt and ask to talk to their supervisor.

Yes, I'm mean like that.

To wit: upon the ringing of a phone that I've been ignoring because I know from the caller ID its just some telemarketer. So I decide to get rid of them once and for all:

Me: Hello?
Telemarketer from Credit Card Company (TMCCC): Hello, this is bladeblah from Yaddayadda. May I talk to [cardholder name]
Me: This is she. Is there a problem with my account?
TMCCC: No! Not at all! we're here to offer you a special promotion on blahblah service because you're such a good customer!
Me: well, can you send me information on it!
TMCCC: Why of course! I just need you to sign up for it first!
Me: So you're reverse billing me? That's borderline illegal, you know, if not completely illegal.
TMCCC: I mean...
Me: I'm really not interested in something I have to sign up for before I get the information on it. Does that strike you as a good idea?
TMCCC: Uhm....
Me: I think I need to talk to your supervisor. I've asked you guys not to call me any more with any special promotions. I want to talk to your supervisor.

And the sweet sounds of silence, continue :)

1/8/08, 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I love Caller ID. But if those f*ers with the recorded message on credit cards don't stop jamming up my answering machine, I may join you in No Land Line Land.

1/8/08, 4:50 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Well, gee, now that I know you're rude to telemarketers I'm going to go vote for you for worst blog of all time.

The nerve.

1/8/08, 4:51 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

ha! my husband is one of those with the whitty comebacks. once he actually just barked into the phone, yes, like a dog! the telemarketer actually laughed and hung up. i consider that the biggest success yet!

1/8/08, 5:14 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

That's uncanny. We did the same thing this weekend. Critical mass?

1/8/08, 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason I keep a landline is because I taught my toddler how to dial 911 on it and I want it to be there for emergencies. I keep the ringer turned off, have no answering machine and the only person who has my number (besides the telemarketers....HOW DO THEY FIND MEEEEEE) besides my husband is my mother.


1/8/08, 6:23 PM  
Blogger Susan Getgood said...

Unfortunately we can't get rid of the landlines because cell coverage can be spotty at our house and both my husband and I work from home.

And not to play can you top this, but at least you aren't getting calls from unhappy cell phone customers thinking they are calling support. Yup, to turn on the sw in their treo phones, folks have to go to a website get.good.com When they have problems, though do they look up good.com? No, they got to my business website getgood.com. And call us. Sometimes late at night. And argue with us that they have the right number.

Darwin award candidates most of them.

1/8/08, 6:43 PM  
Blogger Gray Matter Matters said...

My favorite tactic of all-time is my husbands. He says, "Oooh, hold on one second, I'm really interested, just, um, hold on..." and then he puts down the phone on the counter and walks away.
God I love that man of mine.

1/8/08, 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually pull a Phoebe ala Friends and go something like:

Ooh Static. Sorry. Hello. Bad Connection. Sorry.

Except that makes no sense on a landline.

Oh well.

AND sleepers? Yeah. I've got none here either.

1/8/08, 6:50 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

If it wasn't for the f**kin' buzzer system in our building, we would not have a home phone - we never answer it anyway because it's always one of THEM!

What you've done makes me green with envy.

1/8/08, 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How I envy thee and thy cell phone coverage.

Out here in the facking sticks I can't use my cell.

Leaving me with a land line. So I can talk to all the telemarketers who call. I always like to ask about their mothers. Freaks them out every time.

1/8/08, 9:48 PM  
Blogger Nicole Pelton said...

When we moved we never got a landline. Only problem is when you lose your cell phone in the house and noone else is there - how do you call to find it? :)

Although I find it even creepier when they call me at work - how would they find that number? No telemarketers on my cell yet.

And I say totally go for worst blog of all times - way more interesting than the other one and you know you're loved.

1/9/08, 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the commments and no one said anything about the national DO NOT CALL registry.

You register your phone numbers (even cell), the telemarketers are NOT allowed to call you. If they do call you report them, and they will be fined big time.

We have been registered for years now and don't get calls, unless it's a company we have service with.

National Do Not Call Registry

1/9/08, 8:24 AM  
Blogger Haley-O (Cheaty) said...

My three month old is NOT a sleeper! So, don't despair!

congrats on the no landline -- now that's ballsy!

1/9/08, 9:01 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I am so honored that you all are so concerned with my safety.Don't worry, we have back up plans in place - plus 150 or so other apartments in our building with land lines that can turn to in an emergency.

Tilly28: Lord woman, if that do not call registry actually worked I'd be happy. I've registered with it consistently. The issue is that deceptive telemarketers block their caller ids, hang up when you ask what company they work for, and make it impossible to report them.

Check 800notes.com which I linked to above. Lots of stories about this.

And WK Soc Mom: Hilarious. In my email to friends/family about the change I actually referenced using a phone to call my cell phone when Thalia sticks it in the couch cushions. Good thing we're a two-iPhone family.

1/9/08, 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom101: I am very surprised that you are having that many problems with the National Do Not Call Registry. I worked for a company that I had to use the Do Not Call list. All the things that you are talking about telemarketers are not allowed to do.

Another idea, I know with Vonage we can block any calls that come up with anonymous on the caller id.

I'm just trying to think of ideas that would help people with land lines. Hope this helps.

1/9/08, 10:09 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Tilly - big difference between what's not allowed and what people will do anyway. Only 34 cases have been filed since 2003 so I think the registry helps, but isn't perfect.

The other issue is that it exempts non-profits, political pollsters, and anyone you've "done business" with in the past (ie your credit card companies) which casts such a wide net, we still get a ton of calls. I'd just as well not get any. Like, um, at 10 at night when the kids are sleeping in our little apartment.

Another good resource as I've heard however is grandcentral.com.

And thanks for the tips!

1/9/08, 10:32 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Good for you!!!! I may follow suit!

Once a telemarketer called my mom for spraying their yeard for a certain bug since it was foind in our area...my mom burst out in tears and asked if they had killed Herman, as he, her pet whatever-bug had escaped last week and she was so worried for his safety!

Thanks for sharing!

1/9/08, 11:15 AM  
Blogger Sincerely Iowa said...

Amen, sister! The only thing I hate as much as telemarketers are the political survey polls! Sheesh!

I wish we could get rid of the land line, but hubby refuses to get with the times and let me do it!

1/9/08, 12:06 PM  
Blogger The Growing Hennans said...

You go girl! I switched to just using a cell phone several years ago, and have yet to have my number in the telemarketing world, knock on wood. Now that I have a son, I debate getting it back in case of emergency. But honestly, what babysitter would I hire that doesn't have a cell phone anymore? :o)

Here's another great telemarketer laugh for you.


1/9/08, 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I don't have a landline. And what FOOL nominated you for worst blog? Idiots. You know you've loved by many!

1/9/08, 2:51 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

So, do you actually want us to go vote for you for worst blog? Really? Because, I'll do it, but only if you make me.

1/9/08, 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're on the do not call list and have had about 2 calls in the last 2 years. It's great! I live in the, shall we say, COUNTRY and we don't get much cell service here. The do not call list really works!

1/9/08, 4:43 PM  
Blogger jane maynard said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/9/08, 7:49 PM  
Blogger jane maynard said...

funny thing...we gave up our landline 6 years ago. it was awesome. haven't spoken to a telemarketer in years. but then I had to get a landline again when I started working from home - bummer. although, our number hasn't gotten out to the evil tyrants yet, so far so good. the only telemarketer we've gotten is the local newspaper...and when I figure out who gave them our number, heads are gonna roll.

1/9/08, 7:50 PM  
Blogger La folle maman said...

Good for you giving that telemarketer hell! Is it me or has the term "customer service" been completely eliminated from companies now? Not that he was serving you in ANY capacity but he WAS representing the company he worked for and that should make him be at the very least non-confrontational.

DH wants us to get rid of our line too because everyone but my mother uses our cell numbers. But I just kept the ringer off for a long time and we don't have an answering machine so I guess they figured it out and stopped calling. We still get the occasional telemarketing call but ignoring them seemed to really help (like that ex that just couldn't accept reality).

1/9/08, 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, don't the British sound just pleasant even when they are screaming cuss words and telling someone to...well, you know.

I don't think we will ever go to just the cell phone, because I can't get a signal in my house to save my life. And then there was the worst of the worst, I got a text message (I think, I am not sure where these words on my phone are coming from and I can't respond. I am definitely not a teenage girl.) that was an ad. At least, I didn't have to talk to them.

I would love to get someone like that on my phone, because I would love to jump through the phone and rip him a new one. You wake someone's kid? The only thing out of your mouth is, "I am sorry."

1/10/08, 11:50 AM  
Blogger modmom said...

congrats on no landline.
we did this by mistake + it's been peaceful ever since. 1st we switched to vonage, but we couldn't talk onthe phone at the same time as downloading movies, so we discontinued it until comcast is available in our area (they put in the cables last summer, but still not available).

1/16/08, 2:24 PM  
Blogger Mosshouse said...

I love it. Here's another of my favorite pranks on the pesky telemarketers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1waHJhb2wxo&feature=related

1/17/08, 10:50 AM  

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