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AIBU to be rude to cold callers?

(114 Posts)
Yambabe Fri 05-Dec-14 22:50:57

Seen a few topics on the subject of people being telephoned for various scams, selling purposes etc recently, and I am amazed at how many people engage with the caller. I assume this is mostly because of good old good manners?

My phone is registered with the TPS but I still get cold calls (I think the foreign ones aren't subject to the regulations and some UK companies know that they can be hard to trace so just don't care) so to me they are fair game. I am perfectly happy to cut them off, speak sharply to them (although I never swear) or sometimes if I'm bored string them along for a bit for comedy value.

DH is even worse than me.

My Dsis works in a call centre (although it's for one of the big energy providers so she doesn't cold-call) and says I should have some sympathy for the people making the calls, they are just trying to make a living. I kind of get this but my perspective is I have opted out of having to deal with them and if they persist in still calling me despite this they certainly don't deserve my respect or any more of my time than I care to allow them.

AIBU to not care about the person, just get rid of the call?

KingJoffreysHasABigWhiteBeard Fri 05-Dec-14 22:53:58

Your phone, your decision. Deal with them however you want.

Cold calls are massively intrusive.

Funkytown Fri 05-Dec-14 22:55:46

i just put my ds on the phone we had some one calling saying i had an accident ( i hadn't) so the poor man had to listen to ds singing frozen 'let it go '

Gawjushun Fri 05-Dec-14 22:57:25

YANBU. As long as you're not being abusive, swearing, or talking to them like shit, then you can deal with them how you like. Working on phones gives you a pretty thick skin anyway, so I'm sure you being abrupt isn't going to ruin their day.

Soleurmange Fri 05-Dec-14 22:57:53

I just put the phone down without saying anything as soon as I hear where they are calling from- I feel bad about it but I think it helps us to get less calls. I think being outright unkind, which it doesn't sound like your being, is just bad karma though.

CyclopsBee Fri 05-Dec-14 22:58:54

Im with you all the way OP. I string them along, get rid of them,leave 'em listening to corrie depending on my mood!

Bean89 Fri 05-Dec-14 23:01:48

I agree with pp, I worked somewhere that used to cold call (quit after 3 days because I felt wrong doing it and it was you know, soul destroying) and as long as people aren't being outright awful to you it's pretty easy to pick yourself up and move on.
Always make sure you actively tell them you don't want them to call though. Whenever you just hang up on them they'll just put down that you weren't available and keep calling.

shelfontheelf Fri 05-Dec-14 23:04:19


They generally get a rant from me 'do you realise the majority of people that have kids will be doing bed / tea time right now' and hang up or 'it's Sunday morning, you're intruding on my quiet time and I am not interested' before hanging up. The husband engages and tries to be nice and it drives me bonkers.

KatieKatie1980 Fri 05-Dec-14 23:04:19

I keep getting ones where the caller wants to speak to me about my non-fault motor accident, where I was the driver.

Sometimes I hang up straight away, sometimes I let them go on before I tell them I can't drive.

Cherrychocolate Fri 05-Dec-14 23:05:26

YANBU. My Mum is elderly, and gets so many cold calls. She always engages in conversation with them, so she then gets more cold calls. She will answer all their questions, and give whatever info they ask her for. I try and answer her phone as much as I can (we live in the same house) and I have no sympathy for these people. I usually string them along, and waste their time, like they waste mine.

I don't ask them to phone me. I don't want them to phone me. If they don't want me to be rude to them, they know what they can do........ Stop phoning me!! Aghrrrrr

yanniwoo Fri 05-Dec-14 23:18:31

YANBU. They are a pain. I have a fairly childish sense of humour, and if i'm not busy will keep them on the phone asking stupid questions now.

The double glazing sales people think I live in an underground nuclear bunker, the accident people think I have a chauffeur (so I couldn't possibly have been driving), the conservatory sales people think I live in a 8th floor flat.... and the ones who ring me to tell me my computer is broken get put on "hold" (stuffed down the arm of the sofa).

ohdearitshappeningtome Fri 05-Dec-14 23:20:02

If you don't recognise the number don't answer! A lot of them are pot luck trying random nuggets and if u don't answer to them your number doesn't exist

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Fri 05-Dec-14 23:23:15


I know how annoying these calls can be, but at the other end of that phone there is a worker who is probably on minimum wage. A little bit of emphany goes a long way. I bet the people working there have no other choice.

Would you like a job in which a majority of people are rude and unpleasant to you.

Karenthetoadslayer Fri 05-Dec-14 23:23:28

I usually apologise profusely and make up an excuse, like I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, or I'm driving and cannot talk even if they phone on my landline.

Piercy Fri 05-Dec-14 23:24:00

For computer ones I always ask which computer, give me the IP address they soon bugger off

Viviennemary Fri 05-Dec-14 23:24:01

We are plagued by them. I keep meaning to get a phone which displays the caller's number. Now I answer 'yes' in a fierce voice. And if they start babbling on about solar panels, boilers I put the phone down. If it's somebody I know they say are you all right. grin

KeatsiePie Fri 05-Dec-14 23:33:24

YABVU. Sorry. I totally get it -- everyone hates cold calls for very good reasons.

I cold-called earlier this fall to help with a state election (US). Despite the fact that the computerized list we were working from was supposed to include only people who had not opted out, I called a fair few people who had opted out and should not have been on the list. I really, really appreciated it when they were nice to me about the mistake. Because it was not my mistake. I had no control over what numbers I called and no way to tell anything about those numbers.

Similarly, cold callers also have no control and no way to tell. And they have to make these calls to earn their wages. And it's a terrible job. (I thought it was fucking miserable making those calls over and over, even for a good cause.) So I do think YABVU -- and unkind -- to be so rude.

If you're pissed off at the company for calling you, which is not U at all, then ask to speak to a manager and tell him/her you are reporting their company for breaking the law.

scousadelic Fri 05-Dec-14 23:35:22

Even if you have a call which shows the callers number anyone ringing from somewhere with a switchboard (so most companies and schools) or anyone who is ex-directory is withheld so I daren't ignore them just in case.

I am being driven mad by the recorded message ones. I can get 8 or so in a day and last time we went away, the entire message service was filled up with them

Chennai Fri 05-Dec-14 23:42:41

We're registered with the TPS and still get cold callers. I just tell them our number shouldn't be on their list and end the conversation.

Cold calls are intrusive and a pain. But you're being unreasonable to be rude to them or string them along. People need jobs and sometimes the jobs available are in call centres. It's not the caller's fault that your number is on their list when it shouldn't be.

Imagine doing a job where most of the people you speak to are horrible to you. There's no need to be unkind.

Dailylurker Fri 05-Dec-14 23:44:22

When I worked as a cold caller the really rude people were diarised for another call... The polite no thank you's were marked down as not interested, do not call grin

JohnCusacksWife Fri 05-Dec-14 23:44:52

YABU. The people calling you are wage slaves just trying to earn a living. Direct your ire at the companies not the individuals. You can be say you're not interested courteously or not in the same timeframe but politeness costs nothing.

Embarrassedtobeasking Fri 05-Dec-14 23:45:37

Would you feel better if they sat on there bum funded by your taxes? I've had to do it to avoid that. No one there was there by choice and your paid min wage, you don't pick who you call.. You get given a list. Just a polite 'no thanks' is quicker than getting Arsey with the poor person on the line trying to make a living who's probably already been abused by 10 people already.

Bulbasaur Fri 05-Dec-14 23:47:05

When I was a teen we liked to mess with them. Now they just have machine automated calling here in the US.

But it'd be harmless stuff, like asking every single person in the house if they were "Mr.Bulbasaur" "Why, not I'm not, why don't you ask him?"

Or "He can't come to the phone right now, he's out back burying the body"

Obnoxious stuff like that.

WorraLiberty Fri 05-Dec-14 23:50:27

"Please remove my number from your database - thank you", is all you need to say before hanging up.

If you're going to waste your own time by stringing them along, then you've got no right to complain about them wasting it too imo.

FoodPorn Sat 06-Dec-14 00:00:15

The thing I hate is that when I am polite to them about not being interested in whatever bullshit they are pedaling, they are rude to me! I've lost count of the number of times they've hung up during my polite rejection. There used to be manners in cold calling.

You can't win, really. So I'm just hanging up now.

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