Stop the Phone Calls: Confessions of a Telemarketer - Quicken Loans Zing BlogI’ll let you in on a little secret, if you promise not to hate me.

I used to be a telemarketer.


I know, I know, not the most honorable of professions. But it had flexible hours, decent pay, and I could do my homework while the computer dialed numbers. It was the perfect job for a busy college student.

Telemarketers can be irritating, no doubt about it. The repeated ringing of your phone at inopportune times can really get under your skin. So if you’re looking to keep your blood pressure down and your phone relatively silent, here are some suggestions for freeing your phone from those pesky – but hardworking – telemarketers.

Don’t let it ring
This is one of the biggest mistakes people make. While I can’t speak for all call centers, I’ll give you a brief idea of how our system worked. Any phone calls that weren’t answered were redialed about an hour later. The repeated calls would continue for several days until the phone number was taken out of the queue and filed away for later. The point here is that letting it ring will eventually get them to stop calling you, but only for a few days. You’ll still have to endure several days of repeated calls, and once those stop, it’ll probably happen all over again.

Don’t hang up
Picking up and hanging up has the same effect as letting it ring: we’ll just call you back later. And silently hanging up after initiating a conversation is just as bad. This is extremely irritating, and the system will force me to call you back until you let me know whether or not you’re interested. After all, if you didn’t say goodbye, how could I know if we got disconnected or if you were genuinely not interested?

Don’t pretend to be interested
As a telemarketer, I worked on a commission. Getting someone to answer the phone was the hardest part; when someone did actually pick up, I tried desperately to make a sale. Many people would answer the phone, and to be polite, listen to me for 30 seconds or so. Then they would hang up without saying anything. If you know you’re not interested from the outset, tell me. It’ll save both of us time, and it won’t hurt my feelings.

Don’t be rude
Let me just start by saying that telemarketers are people too. This means two things:

  • They’re not evil.
  • They can get frustrated, like anybody else.

When you’re working in an industry where you’re constantly being yelled at, hung up on, and treated poorly, it’s easy to have a bad attitude. While a telemarketer will never, ever be explicitly rude, some telemarketers can become downright vindictive after a hard day. I had co-workers who’d call rude people back just to be irritating. Was it wrong? Yes. Did it still happen? Absolutely. Be nice to your telemarketer, and they’ll be nice to you.

Don’t lie
Give your telemarketer a little credit: They know when you’re lying. People often try to shake telemarketers by telling them that the person they’re trying to reach is out of town. If you tell me that the homeowner is out of town for two weeks, I’ll call you back in two weeks, simple as that. I’ve heard every excuse in the book: vacations, broken toes, gunshot wounds, jail time, and one woman even told me she couldn’t talk because her stairway had collapsed. People are creative. While their extravagant lies sometimes gave me a good chuckle, they wasted everyone’s time. Lying to your telemarketer is usually a lose-lose situation.

Use five simple words
The best technique for curing your phone line of unwanted calls? Answer the phone and say “take me off your list.” If you’re one of those well-intentioned folks who say that you’re “not interested,” we’ll probably call you back in a few days. Why? Purchasing phone numbers can be expensive, so companies will call you as many times as they legally can just to try to make a sale. If you’re truly “not interested,” you can avoid the calls by telling them explicitly to put you on their do not call list. By law, your phone number will be permanently taken out of the queue, and you won’t receive calls from that company again.

Get on the National Do Not Call Registry
Since February of 2008 it’s prevented most telemarketers from doling out unsolicited calls to annoyed consumers. It’s really easy to register. Just head over to their website, and enter the phone number(s) you wish to add, as well as your email address. You should stop receiving calls within 31 days.

Be aware that placing your number on this registry won’t stop all calls
If it did, I wouldn’t be writing this article. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), calls from, or on behalf of, political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors are still permitted, as are calls from companies who you have an existing business relationship with, or companies to whom you’ve provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. To break it down for you, certain groups can call you, and so can anyone to whom you’ve given written permission. Which leads to my next point…

Don’t give out your phone number unless you really know where it’s going
People always demanded to know how I got their number. The truth is, I didn’t know. They could have called our hotline for information, requested information from our website, or more likely, provided their phone number to a third-party website who sold us their information. If you enter your phone number online, read the fine print to make sure they won’t be selling it.

My experience as a telemarketer gave me a lot of insight into the best ways to deal with telemarketing calls. While some of these techniques may not work for all telemarketing calls, many of them will. Just try your hardest to remember that telemarketers are hardworking individuals, just like you. By being polite, answering the phone, and requesting to be placed on their do not call list, you can stop the phone calls, and give the telemarketer more time to call customers who may actually be interested.


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This Post Has 43 Comments

    1. Hi Srinivas:

      We’re sorry about the inconvenience and would be happy to opt you out of phone calls. We’re having a little trouble locating you in our system but if you email with the phone numbers you would like opted out, we can take care of that for you.

      Kevin Graham

  1. Interesting part about letting it ring, or doing a quick hang up leaving you in the call list. I have just realized that some numbers in my call log are repeated calls. I will try the advice.

    As for the do not call registry, it is a joke, and just another half hearted government “solution” as are so many things they do. My number has been on it for years now, and I get more calls than ever. Waste of time.

  2. “They’re not evil.” Right, and Nazi soldiers were just taking orders. If you work for an evil company doing evil things, you’re evil. Sorry.

    If your job is to bother people all day who aren’t interested in your product, you’re an a**hole. Find another job.

    If your job has you constantly being yelled at and mistreated by your “customers” that should tell you something about the work you’re doing. I don’t get yelled at all day at my job, because my job is not based on inconveniencing people.

    I get phone calls from the same company using the same robodialer, same message, offering my business a loan. I don’t have a business. I have asked to be taken off the calling list. Know what that results in? Getting hung up on immediately, and called back in a few weeks.

    You and your kind are shameful. Accept your shame. You took the job.

  3. OMG Qucken loans is horrible, granted I did give them my number because we are in the EARLY stages of buying a home, not 10 minutes had past when I started receiving phone called from all types of area codes. IT was all Quicken Loans calls at 8 30 on the morning dont leave messages, so when I did call back in went straight to the person who called and said hi Robert how are you?? and I said who is this, she said this is quicken loans how are you? and asked her you just called me why didn’t you leave a message, she said I did leave a message (which there was no message) and she quickly apologized and tried to send me over to the person whom runs credit checks, I told him I’m not giving out my ss at this time because we was in the early stages, he tried to sell me that rates are going up and he needs to check now, so I said k take me off your call list then hung up on him, I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH QL EVER

    1. Hi Rob:

      I’ve gone ahead and opted you out of phone calls. That said, I’m very sorry to hear you’ve had this experience and we’d like the opportunity to look into this for you. We never want our clients to feel this way. Someone will be reaching out.

      Kevin Graham

  4. I kept getting a call from a number that would call regularly. When I picked up the line, it would hang up on me. Did a reverse search for free by type the number into google. After a few web pages it returned a telecom company out of California. I called the companies 800 number and explained the situation to her. Told them it is under your companies name and how I found them. The lady on the phone was most helpful. She took my number down and told me she would be contacting the client. The calls immediately stopped.

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