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Three Crafty Ways To Stop Annoying Phone Calls

Posted on December 1, 2008



Who ever said that fighting telemarketers, prank callers, and another obnoxious tele-nuisances couldn't be a good time?

After all, if these people are spending hours upon hours coming up with clever ways to irritate you or to try to sell you junk, then why shouldn't your response to them be just as creative?

Sure, you can go the boring route, and just try to block their phone number, complain to your phone company (or the police), or even just change your own number. But where's the fun in that? These people take the time out of their days to annoy you, so might as well have a little fun with them and fight back.

Instead, here are three ways to get even with telemarketers or prank callers, and have a darn good time doing it.

1. Throw the book at them with the TCPA

Many telemarketers do not realize that there are pretty harsh laws in place about how and when they can contact you. In particular, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) mandates that telemarketers cannot contact you before 8am or after 9pm, and that they are required to maintain a Do Not Call List and a written do-not-contact policy.

Upon your request, telemarketers are required to put you on their Do Not Call List, and send you a copy of their policy. If they fail to do either of these two things, you can sue them for $500-$1500 per violation.

So, the next time some annoying telemarketer starts calling you day in and day out, just read them the riot act: "You are breaking the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, a federal law. Please give me your name and address, as I will be filing a $500 claim against you right away."

With that treatment, chances are that they'll hang up and do their best never to dial you again. Or even better, they may even start apologizing to you.

2. Make it seem like you are tracing THEM

Telephone companies have several ways to deal with persistent prank callers, including logging and tracing their dials, and then sending police to their homes to warn them.

So, if you have a prank caller on your hands, the next time he or she rings, just say the words, "Officer, this is the number. Start the trace." Or maybe say something like "I am now tracing this number and reporting it to the police department. They will be coming to see you shortly."

It doesn't matter whether you have or haven't talked to the police. Just saying the words is enough to have your average prank caller running for the hills.

3. Find out their name and address, and dial them back

If you are dealing with a really relentless prank caller, you can use a free reverse phone lookup service such as this website to track down their name and address. If they are blocking their number from appearing on your Caller ID, try turning on your phone company's Anonymous Call Rejection service, which will force them to unblock the number if they want their dials to go through.

Once you have their contact information from the reverse phone lookup, the fun begins. Just imagine their shock when you contact them back and address them by their own name and address.

In short, there's no limit to how creative you can get in dealing with unwanted telephone calls. If you're sick of letting people walk all over you because you're too polite over the wire, then now's your chance to take matters into your own hands. Don't let people bother you with annoying telemarketing offers; fight back and put an end to them for good.


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