A telemarketer is usually a person (though sometimes an automated voice called a robocaller), who calls your home or place of business in order to accomplish one or more of the following tasks:
1. Gather information for survey purposes
2. Sell you a product or service
3. Have you make an appointment with a salesperson, in person, on the telephone, or sometimes through Internet conferencing
4. Get you to donate to a charity
5. Get you to vote a specific way, or in a specific election
6. Get you as a preexisting customer to purchase new products or services.
Telemarketers may also take calls that are generated via advertising or promotions and then attempts any of the above.
The telemarketer may work at a call center, an office, or from home, and some are particularly relentless in calling during family time or the dinner hour, or calling much later in the evening than you would wish. You certainly do not have to wait to listen to the whole pitch of telemarketers, and with caller id, you also have the choice of not answering phone calls from unknown sources. Alternately, you can let your voicemail pick up calls from telemarketers, so you can avoid calls you simply don’t want to answer.
It’s important to understand the function of the telemarketer, and also a little bit about their jobs, so you can meet these people with polite refusal when you are not interested in their services. First, telemarketers in the main tend to be working on either a commission basis, or at minimum wage. Some people really enjoy the work, while others do it because they have to. Most are employing the practice of cold calling, which means they are going to get a rude response from many. There is no need to be rude with these folks; just be direct.
Instead of raging at this phone salesperson for doing his/her job, simply politely inform the person that you are uninterested, wish them luck in their endeavor, attach a closing statement like “Good Night,” and hang up. Talk over them when you have to, to get your point across. When you are really uninterested, don’t waste these people’s time by letting them get through a sales pitch and then lambast them with comments on how rude you think they are for wasting your time.
In many countries and states there are Do Not Call Registries but these do not apply to all types of telemarketers. People who are conducting legitimate market research, making a call that is politically motivated, collecting money you owe, or raising money for a charity, may still call your home and in many cases are exempt from the Do Not Call Registry. However, you can ask these people to remove your name from their calling list, and they generally, except for debt collectors, must honor this request, though this may vary in different countries.
In addition to often being considered unwelcome intruders, many telephone scams have been perpetrated by innocent seeming telemarketers. This has left many people with a distinct distrust of all telemarketers in general, though many are legitimate telephone salespeople doing good work for a market research company or a reputable charity.
If you are legitimately interested in something a telemarketer might offer you, prudence dictates you do the following:
1. Ask the telemarketer for the real business address and phone number of the business.
2. Ask the telemarketer for his/her full name and employee number, so that person can be credited with a sale.
3. Look up the business on the Internet, and verify its legitimacy.
4. Use the website, and not any phone number the telemarketer gave you to contact the business.
5. If the business checks out, verify that the business is currently conducting telemarketing, especially before giving out private details like your address, full name, and information like your credit card number.
6. When you can’t verify a legitimate business, don’t buy anything the company offers or give out any information to the company.
Many telemarketers are absolutely legitimate and the products sold, or solicitations for charity are real. However, in the age of information stealing, it is very important not to be led by a good sales pitch into handing over information that might ultimately be used to your detriment.