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.

*GASP*

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 114 Comments

  1. I have repeatedly asked Quicken Loans to stop calling me! I’ve even blocked the number but you just call me again from a different one. I’ve told your company I’m going with a different mortgage company and to take me off your list. What do I have to do to get you people to stop calling me????

      1. Hi zing admin, you are criminal scum and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

        “removing someone from your call list” is not enough, and linking to a quicken form which will likely put me on more lists isnt enough. YOU need to take a look at the federal DNC list, and YOU are legally obligated to maintain your own DNC list.

        1. Hi Will:

          I can remove you from our call list if you send us an email to Sarah@quickenloans.com with the phone number you’re getting calls to. I can’t find an active lead for you with your specified email address.

          I want to make clear that we respect the federal do not call list. However, the do not call legislation doesn’t apply if you fill out a lead form with us or lead aggregator services like Lower My Bills and Net Money Wizard. You’re raising your hand and saying you want to be contacted in regards to a mortgage. If you ask to be opted out after that point, we will do so. I understand your frustration and we will get you opted out as soon as possible.

  2. One day I realized that I was able to get the telemarketers to stop calling me by just making a new greeting on my answering machine that has a long pause after I say “Hello”.
    What you have to do is say, “Hello” and then wait 2 seconds.
    Then I say “I am sorry but we are unable to come to the phone right now, so after the tone would you please leave a message “.
    The “Hello” with the long pause will cause their computers to think there is a live person on the phone and then it connects you to a real person – A phone solicitor.
    Then after they hang up on you by pressing “Release” on their phones 2 or 3 times, their computer system will automatically take your number off of their auto dial list.
    ” Hello ” —— I am sorry but we are unable to come to the phone right now , so after the tone would you please leave a message “.
    Also if everyone would do this the telemarketers will go out of business in a few weeks. The reason this will happen is because their computers dial hundreds of numbers at a time looking for someone to say Hello and now hundreds of answering machines will say Hello. 🙂

  3. Everyone needs to make a new greeting that says’ ” Hello” then pause for 2 seconds and then say ” I am sorry but we are unsable to come to the phone right now. So please leave a message after the tone.”
    Now the call centers computer will think there is a live person on the phone and then connect to a live person at the call center. Now they will be talking to your answering machine. Every one needs to make a new greeting. Today

  4. my great grandkids have had to work as telemarketers. some did ok, but for the most these are commission only jobs and they are simple trying to pay rent & eat. For such a “rich” country, we do very poorly for the average caucausion single parent household. As an older 80 year old, I don’t have enough income to support them all. I hate calls that always come at dinner time, or GOD forbid, yesterday at 6:30 a.m. waking me up. I hang up, but someone says not to, I say please take me off your list, but in listing the calls that come thru- they were, 2494, 2495, 2495, etc , get the point. The employees don’t call, they are all rotary. Emplyees catch the ones that answer.

  5. Christine Brackel MAY have been a telemarketer at one time, & for the most part, what she said is correct. Except for the Do Not Call Registry. It’s my experience that my telemarketing calls have INCREASED since I registered my number. Why? Because with the increasing popularity of cell phones & the internet, it now costs telemarketer (both legitimate & not) next to nothing to call just about anywhere. They use stolen or spoofed caller ID’s to make the unsuspecting target they’re getting a call from a reputable company. Case in point, I just received a call from someone claiming to be from LendingTree. I have never filled out a loan app or even been on their site. Told her no thanks, wasn’t interested, hung up & blocked the number on my cellphone. Did a little research online, there is NO LendingTree office in the city the caller ID app in my phone said the call originated from. Called it back (after I blocked MY caller ID) The number was disconnected. This tells me the caller was using a robodialer with a spoofed caller ID.
    It’s fine to register with the Do Not Call Registry. That stops some calls. The best thing you can do is get yourself a phone with call blocking capability, other at least get yourself a good call blocking app. Do not answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize. When you do get a call, let it go to voicemail…you can always delete that, then block the call. Yes they can call back with a different spoofed caller ID. Block that call, too. Eventually, the calls do start to come with less frequency. It’s frustrating, but since we’re all addicted to our technology, this is the price we have to pay to have that technology.

    1. The problem with blocking the spoofed numbers (because I call them back sometimes and they are legit #’s), is I’m afraid they may use a number from somebody I actually know and then I’ll never hear from that person again because I’ve blocked their number.
      I don’t understand how spoofing is even legal and why isn’t something being done about it? I called Verizon to see what my options are as far as the spoofing; I was told “they are working on it” but other than that, I just have to deal with it. Yay…
      Since then, I’ve filed a complaint with the FCC for every call I get with a legit number. As far as spoofed numbers, I make sure to ask which company they are calling from so that I can file against them as well and make note that said company is using spoofed numbers. Not sure it will do any good but I’m exhausted with the phone calls.

  6. Do not call registry is a joke. All of this advice is a joke. Download Mr Number for free. It keeps calling registry and blocks all reported spam. Nothing else will work.

  7. I am bombarded by these calls 3-8 times a day on my work cell with no success in getting it stopped. What these companies fail to understand is that due to their harassment and total disrespect of my time, I will never ever use them in fact this turns me of using anyone within the solar panel. contractor, car and health insurance industry. YOUR MISSING THE POINT WITH WHOM YOU ARE TARGETING and I will NEVER NEVER EVER USE ANY OF YOU. No one ever takes my name off their list as I am still on it after 2 years of these calls. FYI not everyone lists in the small print that they sell on your phone number. As the consumer, we are all being abused and this is not what AMERICAN SERVICE should be or has been know for in the past.

    1. You got it right, suzi. I’ll be more than happy to waste as much of their time as possible. Then perhaps they’ll go get a real job. One that doesn’t cause the rest of us to waste out time.

  8. I get 20 to 25 calls per day but I don’t get angry at the poor slob on the other end. I understand there few jobs for people like himself. I am always very polite and answer all their questions thoughtfully.

    My goal is to keep them on the line as long as possible, if you don’t say no they will still think there is a chance they can get money from you. I’ve had stock broker telemarketers on the line for over an hour. If their talking to me they are not bothering other good citizens. I consider it my civic duty, I really get a good felling about myself.

    I am wasting their time, not mine, I can do the dishes, paint walls do laundry … Why, because time is money. If just a small percentage of people did this, telemarketing would cease to exist.

    There is no need for telemarketers. I know what I need to spend money on, I know how to research a product or service for myself. They have helped to unravel the social fabric. They are the reason we have caller ID. They are the reason we don’t bother to get up and answer the phone. One of the biggest causes for the financial meltdown was refi telemarketers deceiving people on the phone.

    I should not have to join the do not call list or anything this is my phone not theirs. I prefer to talk them to death, it’s fun and not as easy to do as you think. A flat affect helps, it works better sound stupid, they have heard all the clever remarks and will hang up on you and move to the next sucker.

  9. Kevin, you are answering each of these questions with I will have you removed. Can you share any details on efforts by QL to use any of these comments to change the policy and process of mining customers? I also took the bait on the harp refi. The impression is that I will receive via email or immediate information. Not once I click submit, an immediate phone call and persistent calling from that point on. This is disrespectful of the potential customer and a real turn off to respond. If the true intent is to make a sale, why not do positive things that produce results. Be less deceitful and transparent like saying once you hit submit, you will receive a phone call . none the less I have blocked the calls and won’t answer and take my chances of two weeks of harassment as this article states. Sad. If you would , remove me as well. Jim

    1. Hi Jim:

      First, I would like to apologize for your negative experience. We never want to here one of our clients feel this way. I would like to address some of the issues you bring up.

      When I get complaints such as yours about not wanting to receive phone calls from us anymore, I opt you out of phone calls and get it over to our client relations team to analyze the situation. This feedback is taken into account.

      In terms of your feedback as to the timing of the calls, I’m going to make sure this gets forwarded on. Thanks for reaching out.

      1. Same thing happened to me. I wanted a completely electronic experience and ended up having to repeatedly decline phone calls while I was at work.

        I’ve recently updated my preferences on the quicken loans do not call/email list. By making this comment, I am not giving permission, approving nor implying approval that you are allowed to email me in the future. Do not call, text, or email me ever again.

        1. Hi Katheri:

          I’m sorry your experience with us didn’t meet your expectations. I’m going to make sure you’re fully opted out of our system and I’ll send this over to client relations look into your experience. I can’t find your lead based on your email address, but if you would like to provide the phone number at which you are receiving the calls to Amanda@quickenloans.com, we can get you opted out.

          Thanks,
          Kevin Graham

  10. The one thing you didn’t cover is when companies completely ignore the do not call list and my request to be removed from their call list. A company call the Mortgage Center just hangs up on me when I ask to be removed, then calls me again in the next day or so. I get at least 3 calls per week!

    What do you suggest?

    1. Hi Jeffrey:

      I would look into services that block specific phone numbers. There may even be a way to do this on your phone.

  11. I have a loan with Quicken Loans, and I’m perfectly fine with the company, but by mistake I read an article about HARP and now I get 3-4 phone calls a day! On top of the fact I actually talked to a person from Quicken, who was very nice, and was told it would not to benefit me to refinance now. I actually answered one of the many calls (after I talked to someone and was told I shouldn’t refinance) and told them this, and yet I STILL get multiple calls a day. Plus, why do you have to be sneaky and call from numbers with my area code when I know you’re in Michigan? This smells of scam to me every day of the week! I get this is a business, I get this is a job for people, but when you actually follow through and talk to people and tell them you’ve ALREADY dealt with someone, and still get calls it’s frustrating for sure! There is a better way to do this. Call ONCE, leave a message if no one answers, if they are REALLY INTERESTED, they will call back. If you pay so much for phone numbers that you have to harass people, it’s time to stop doing this.

  12. Yeah, I’m not buying it. Telemarketers are the worst and the fact that you took the job knowing how awful they are, I have zero sympathy for the “we’re people too” plea. I get calls every single day 5-10 times a day from telemarketers. I’ve blocked every single number that comes through. I’ve tried talking to them. I’ve done exactly what you said and said “take me off your list”, but guess what? They just sell my number to someone else. They’ll call on one number out of my area code and then call me again with my area code two seconds later. I’ve tried saying you have the wrong number, but they still call. They think that I’m the owner of my parent’s house and so I get calls trying to refinance, trying to remodel, trying to whatever. It’s a waste of my time, it’s a waste of your time, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and no matter how many times I explain it to these people I still get calls. So, yeah you may be people too, but you’re jerks.

  13. I’ve been getting calls for 2 weeks now, those people are saying that I was trying to refinance something or whatever I told them not to call again blocked their numbers but I’m still getting calls. This is bull honky.

    1. Hi Dawson:

      If you’re referring to us, I’m having a hard time finding a record for you in our system based on your email address. With that being said, if you go ahead and email Amanda@quickenloans.com with the phone number at which you’re receiving the calls, we can be sure to go ahead and get you opted out. Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

      1. The reason you can’t find people based on their email addys here is probably because they’re smart enough to have made or used one that they use when they don’t want to be pestered by telemarketers and the like. I was looking for a HELOC , inquired and started getting bombarded with mortgage only companies like Quicken. BTW I just tried something on your website and if I put that I have a $0 mortgage (my home is paid off) it will not let me go to the next page after telling me it has something for me better than a HELOC. Having pop ups on this page doesn’t help either. Quicken is starting to look just as bad as the worst of the loan and telemarketing companies. Please leave people alone unless they’ve specifically come to you for something. If they ask for a HELOC they probably have done the research and know what it is they want. Stop wasting people’s time. I’m with suzi up above in that I’ll not do business with you or anyone else that employees deception and wastes my time and I’d certainly not recommend you to my friends. Leave us all alone unless we contact you and then don’t try and string us along into something we’re not interested in and didn’t ask for.

        1. Hi Craws:

          I’m sorry to hear you’ve had this experience with us. I’m going to get this over to our client relations team to have someone look into it. Although we don’t offer HELOCs, we do value your feedback.

          Thanks,
          Kevin Graham

  14. I keep getting calls from multiple different numbers all from Quicken, I explain to these people that they are chasing cold leads from a year ago and that they are wasting there own time as well as mine. Each time I ask politely to remove me from whatever robot list they have and they are nice about it and say they will oblige, after the call ends I block that number. But a few weeks later again “BAM”! Hi this is so and so from Quicken Loans blah blah blah. I wouldn’t get a loan from this creep troll farming clan called “Quicken” in a bajillion years. If I could join a class action suit against these morons I would in a heart beat. Maybe I will start one on my own. Cheers!

    1. Hi Ben:

      I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I’m going to get this over to Client Relations and make sure we get you opted out as well.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  15. Oh, the irony of reading this on the Quicken Loans website! Quicken Loans telemarketing is the worst, the most persistent telemarketing harassment EVER. I’m getting four or five calls a day from QL. I will refi my house, but my experience with QL has made me decide NOT to refi with them. They stink of desperation and creepiness, like the stalker who can’t stop calling. Ick.

    1. Hi Janet:

      I’m sorry to hear you feel this way. I’ve gone ahead and opted you out of all phone calls from us. With that being said, I do see that your lead came from Lending Tree. If you want to opt out of calls from other lenders, you’ll have to contact each of them individually. Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

    2. Ditto, within SECONDS of clicking ok on a refinancing thing, I was getting calls. How about you let a potential customer LOOK OVER the offers before calling every 30 minutes? Its gross and makes me not want to do business with your company.

      1. Hi Shannon:

        I’m sorry you’ve had this experience. We can opt you out and I’m going to get this over to our Client Relations team.

        Thanks,
        Kevin

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