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Dealing With Telemarketers & Junk Mailers

I got an e-mail recently from my Dad about dealing with telemarketers and junk mail senders. It was one of those e-mail messages that is forwarded endlessly around the Internet, but this one actually looked like it might have some useful information contained within.

The old tried-and-true methods like picking up the phone and then asking the telemarketer to “hold on” and setting the phone down until their patience runs out was covered as well as a new idea or two I had not heard of.

I have no idea if this next one actually works, but I just may give it a try next time I get one of those annoying telemarketing calls that hangs up on you without saying a word.

The information I got from a telephone company employee differs a bit from the explanation of these “hang up” calls that appears in the e-mail, but for all I know, there could be more than one purpose for these annoying phone calls.

image Anyway, this e-mail reports that if you hit the ‘#’ button on your telephone a bunch of times (like 6 or 7), the system that makes the call will recognize it as some kind of signal that will remove you from their calling list.

I’m a pretty skeptical guy and these are the kinds of things that always sounds like a load of crap to me. Frankly, I doubt this button-pushing will do a darn thing, but I figure it won’t hurt to give it a try.

The information in this e-mail regarding junk mail was nothing terribly new, but it did give me an idea or two.

People have been playing tricks for years on junk mailers by using postage-paid envelopes to send their junk mail back to them. I’ve done this a few times myself in the past but have not done it for quite a while.

One of the suggestions was to take the little advertisements that utility companies, credit card companies and others enclose along with your bill and send them back along with your payment. The only problem with that idea is that I do 100% of my bill-paying online these days. I did get another idea from this, however.

As a small business owner, I can use some of the postage-paid envelopes to send advertisements for my products or services back to the sender. Sure, it’s a long shot that the employee charged with opening the mail will actually buy anything from me, but it’s not impossible. Besides, it gives me a small sense of satisfaction to return some of my own junk mail to the junk mailer.

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