“Hello, is that Mrs Brooks?”

“No sorry – she hasn’t lived here for about nine years.”

You done did the right thing dial up my ring ring. Pic: AFP

“That’s OK, this isn’t a personal call. If I can just have a moment of your time…”

And so it begins: one of those irritating telemarketing conversations that makes you wish you’d picked up typhoid instead of the telephone.

Nineteen per cent of Australian households no longer have a landline, and something like a third of young Australians don’t set up a landline when they leave home to get their own place.

And is it any wonder, when nine out of 10 people who call home phone numbers these days are generally trying to flog you something?

I once shared a grubby flat in East London with an aspiring actor who eked out an existence with a telemarketing company while he waited for his big break.

He’d come home with hilarious horror tales of unassailable sales targets, outrageously rude ‘customers’ and days spent dosing at his desk behind dark sunglasses.

It’s his demoralised face I see whenever the phone rings during those telemarketing torture-hours of late afternoon.

It’s his wretched voice I hear when I’m asked to take part in some harmless survey I know will end with a sales pitch.

It’s his empty wallet I recall whenever I’ve thought about surrendering my phone number to Australia’s Do Not Call Register.

But with seven million numbers now registered – including just over half of Australia’s fixed line home numbers – my resilience is waning.

It seems the more others bail out, the more we suckers left in the system get targeted.

And someone, somewhere, has just unearthed an old telephone number database – because I’m suddenly being asked at least twice a day if I’m Mrs Brooks, who sold us the house back in 2003.

It’s OK if they’re polite. But often, they’re not.  It’s OK if they take no for an answer. But increasingly, they don’t.

A few weeks back, I was asked to take part in a survey about the quality of Adelaide’s water. Recalling the wretched voice of my former London flatmate, I said yes.

At the end of the conversation, of course, I was entered into a free competition to win a “heavily discounted” water purifier. A week later, of course, I “won”. 

So I tried to politely decline, saying I needed to think it over and would call if I decided to go ahead. (I happen to like Adelaide water, especially when I compare my healthy fluoride-fuelled teeth to those of my UK-raised husband).

The salesman insisted. And insisted some more.

The third insistence call went something like this…

Me: “I’m sorry but I’m really not interested.”

Him: “OK, but before you go can I ask why not?”

Me: “I’m happy drinking tap water. I’m not interested in a purifying system.”

Him: “But aren’t you worried about all the chemicals in the water?”

Me: “No.”

Him: Really? Wow – we don’t get that [italics] too often.”

His final two sentences were uttered with such disdain that I would have slammed the door in his face if he’d been a door-to-door salesman.

I should have let him have it. I should have told him how disgusting I think it is that water filter companies are allowed to peddle crap that would have us all believe Adelaide tap water isn’t fit for human consumption.

I should have said that telemarketers like him make me resent even the nice charity people who ring up selling lottery tickets (wish someone had told me these donations aren’t actually tax deductible).

I could have told him that phone calls should only ever be one way (from customers to suppliers) and Telstra is doing a huge disservice to its landline clientele – and ultimately, I’m sure, to its landline business – by not better protecting us from aggressive telemarketers.

But I didn’t. I thought about my London flatmate’s empty wallet and lamely said, “Oh well. Sorry,” before hanging up the phone.

Then I went online, to the Do Not Call Register, and registered my home and mobile phones.

Apparently it stops some, but not all, telemarketing assaults for five years.

The silence will be music to my ears.

Most commented

64 comments

Show oldest | newest first

    • thatmosis says:

      06:39am | 18/12/11

      Several ways to deal with these people, one answer phone, find telemarketer on line, put phone down and walk away for an hour or two, two, answer phone and tell them you are recording this call for legal purposes, three, ask to talk to supervisor immediately and when he or she comes on start spiel to sell them a product choosen at random from your cupboard, four, hang up.
        One of the easiest ways is to have your phones placed on the do not call register.

    • bec says:

      10:24am | 18/12/11

      We give the phone to our cat whenever telemarketers call. She is very interested in what they want to sell us, and fortunately she doesn’t know our credit card number. *Yet.*

    • Kezza says:

      11:23am | 18/12/11

      There is a fifth option. When you realise they’re telemarketers, ask them incredulously how they got your unlisted number and demand to speak to a manager. I have found on numerous occassions that my call is mysteriously disconnected during the transfer to the manager!

    • Mouse says:

      12:39pm | 18/12/11

      I read about this somewhere and decided it was worth a try…
      I was rung by a very aggressive, pushy telemarketer one day so I asked his name and if he knew the person he was ringing, as I was Detective Inspector Karen White and was in Mrs X’s home because she had just been murdered. Without giving him a chance to tell me who he was, I threw the questions at him… What was his connection to Mrs X? When did he last see her? What happened during their last contact? Did he know her partner and what was his relationship with him? Did he know her financial situation, etc, etc…  lol Where was he and to stay there as my officers would be around to ask him some questions within the next half hour.  He crapped himself LOL It was so hard towards the end to keep the laughter out of my voice, but I did end the call without letting him know it was a joke. Poor guy, I wonder how long he waited for the police to arrive?

      Yeah, maybe nasty I know, but it kept a smile on my face for the rest of the day! :o)

    • Alf says:

      06:53am | 18/12/11

      I have bridged the international divide…even Indians can understand “fuck off” when you say it clear enough.

    • Utopia Boy says:

      12:53pm | 18/12/11

      Hahaha!
      I can see their heads almost wobbling off their necks!

    • Vaunted says:

      04:11pm | 18/12/11

      Contrary to what you evidently believe Alf,  being disgustingly crude and rude hardly positions you as the superior being you like to think you are. After all, telemarketers are just actual people, in most cases less fortunate than yourself, doing their best to make a living. There are well-publicised ways to stop unsolicited phone calls, not to mention kind but assertive ways to let someone else know you’re simply not interested, without engaging in indecent or racist invective. Have some dignity man.

    • Sam says:

      07:54am | 19/12/11

      Vaunted - “telemarketers are just actual people”.

      Who told you that? Sludge monsters are a higher life form. If they had *any* self respect they would find a real job.

    • Craig of North Brisbane says:

      02:05pm | 19/12/11

      Oh, Alf, you’re so clever and witty!  Please, regale us with some of your other tales of high hilarity!

    • TChong says:

      06:56am | 18/12/11

      Telemarketers- are often, though not always,fall into 2 main categories:
      1) some of the least skilled, people who have little alternative, and often rely on commisssion from a sale to supplement a minimal wage.
      But better than “the dole” - so good on them for been in paid employment.
      2) those with a bizness drive, starting ,in a modest way, up the capitalist corporate tree.  Good on them for having the required amount of ambition, to at least try to climb the corporate ladder.
      Dont both deserve some applause from good Conservative Punchers ?
      So, next time you recieve the annoying call, all you have to do is be polite and say thanks, but no thank you.
      Going to great lengths to invent marvellously witty put downs, to someone trying to make a living by telemarketting-  ?
      Get a life.

    • Alf says:

      09:39am | 18/12/11

      @TChong. “Going to great lengths to invent marvellously witty put downs, to someone trying to make a living by telemarketting”

      Not me. Mine is the KISS approach (see above).

    • Dissident says:

      11:30am | 18/12/11

      Absolutely right, TChong.

      People have to make a living doing all kinds of shit work, and if we aren’t going to buy their stuff, at least be polite about it.

      Besides, don’t you think people who call people every day trying to sell them stuff haven’t heard all the witty come-backs? They probably have an ever more persistent double-come-back sales pitchs.

      The only people who struggle with telemarketers are the people who can’t say no. Simply say, “no thankyou, I am not interested” and hang up. It isn’t that tough.

    • LDLS says:

      12:31pm | 18/12/11

      Well TChong I hope you buy something every time you get a call.  If not your pious attitude is BS.

      My home.  My privacy.  I owe no one a thing in that context.
      DNCR is the best way to deal with it.

    • Dissident says:

      01:38pm | 18/12/11

      I hope that reading comprehension isn’t one of your strong points, LDLS. If it is a strong point, your belligerent attitude is BS.

      Show me the bit in TChong’s post where they said you should always buy something. TChong was not being pious, they were just saying that a polite ‘no thanks’ works best. I agree with TChong on this one.

      You know what? It’s a free country - get angry if you like. If it makes you feel better, yell at the caller until the veins on your neck pop out. Just remember that people will invariably treat you the way that you treat them.

    • stephen says:

      04:13pm | 18/12/11

      LDLS you wanna lock all your doors, bolt the gates, glue up the windows and keep your guard-dog on notice ... not only will no-one get in, but hopefully, you can’t get out.
      You remind me of my parents, actually, who hated intrusions so much they got a silent line, except they kept to themselves so much, no-one in their right mind would want to talk someone so bloody boring.
      (They do, however, talk to themselves, just so they can win an argument.)

    • Sam says:

      08:03am | 19/12/11

      TChong - Sanctimonious dribble. 95% of the time I am as polite as you describe, but occasionally it is fun to try and bug the crap out of them. You annoy me, I annoy you.

    • mick says:

      06:59am | 18/12/11

      Have not had many calls since adding our number to the Do Not Call Register.  It has done the job. 

      I still get Rural Fire consistently annoying me and refusing to take our number off but the Indian Call Centres have stopped bugging me. 

      The odd sales pitch which does come is met with a very swift not interested at the beginning of the ‘survey’.  You are too nice to these invaders of your privacy and free time Lainie.

    • yourname says:

      07:26am | 18/12/11

      Dozing? Dosing? Funny, if the latter.

    • Tator says:

      07:31am | 18/12/11

      My sister in law was having a whinge on Facebook last week about the number of telemarketers calling her as she was getting up to 15 calls a week from them.  I pointed out the Do not call register website to her and she sent a message back yesterday stating all the calls have stopped pretty well straight away.  I have been on it since the start and the only improvement I can wish for is for ex wives to be put on the blacklist too smile

    • Steve says:

      07:56am | 18/12/11

      The Labor party has been hooked by Bruce Hawker

    • Telespace says:

      08:01am | 18/12/11

      I’m on Do Not Call Register but I still get overseas hawkers - you can tell by the 5 seconds delay before the person speaks.  The you say “I’ll just get Mr or Mrs X”  and leave them hanging there in telespace.  Or don’t say Hello for the first 5 seconds.

    • Groucho49 says:

      10:44am | 18/12/11

      I use the machine to filter calls. The 5 sec delay hint is right. If I do get caught, I just say “Transferring to Fraud Squad now”.

      Very gratifying sqawks result!

    • iansand says:

      08:03am | 18/12/11

      Just put the phone down (don’t hang up - just put it down).  Come back in 5 minutes and hang up.  If you are particularly cruel pick it up every so often and say “Uh huh”.

    • seniorcynic says:

      10:11am | 18/12/11

      I have tried maintaining a silence on the phone and they just hang up and sometimes ring back. I can recommend the Do Not Call register.

    • fish says:

      09:13am | 18/12/11

      Seriously - This is a no brainer, It was only your guilt that made you take the calls in the first place.  You could have just set up an answering machine on your landline and only took the calls when you recognise the person on the other end.  Any other calls that are not trying to flog you something generally leave you a number to call back on.

    • chuck says:

      09:19am | 18/12/11

      I reckon the “Do Not call register” is a fiction. Despite having registered I still get calls regularly from charities/hawkers in Oz for donations/purchasers as well as the Asian sub continent and Asian/american accented variety.

    • marley says:

      10:20am | 18/12/11

      I think charities are exempt from the Do Not Call.  But I can’t remember the last time I got a commercial enterprise spruiking their wares by telephone.

    • Kaz says:

      10:31am | 18/12/11

      Charities are exempt from the ‘Do Not Call’ rules.  What I found was I was getting regular calls from a couple of charities neither of which seemed to want to cooperate in removing me from their lists.  But, they always call from the same phone number.  I’ve simply saved this number to my phone with a name of ‘Charity Pest’.  Whenever they ring I simply ignore the call.
      As for overseas hawkers - they simply wouldn’t care about Australian law - unless you can establish they are operating on behalf of an Australian company.  In which case you would have cause for an official complaint.

    • Groucho49 says:

      10:46am | 18/12/11

      Bulldust.

      The DNCR works fine.

      Just RTFM, mate:
      “2. Will registering my number stop all telemarketing calls and marketing faxes?
      No, registration won’t stop all calls and faxes. Some public interest organisations (e.g. charities, political parties and educational institutions) can still call numbers listed on the register. This ensures these organisations can continue to provide valuable services to the community.

      If you have an existing relationship with a business, it can still contact you, but you can advise them you do not wish to receive telemarketing calls or marketing faxes from them in the future. ”

    • Hugo says:

      09:25am | 18/12/11

      Why oh why do people complain. Telemarketers are just trying to make money.
      So as long as they make money they will continue.
      Now I will ask you all, don’t hang up on them, talk to them as long as you can, make it a game. But please do not buy anything, they work on numbers, ring ten thousand people and get one sale, so if we all talk to them (for say 6 minutes) it will take them 25 weeks to get a sale. And ,pow, they are no longer making money and will undoubtedly give up.

    • Matt says:

      09:38am | 18/12/11

      I recommend the register, however the charities you’ve previously given your details to are still able to call you.  And if you do get calls, you have to complain, otherwise the register is useless.  I received a call from a certain cuckoo telecom co. after registering, lodged a complaint and about 2 months later received a letter from the register stating 12 other people had complained also so they slapped a hefty fine on them.

    • virginia walters says:

      10:32am | 18/12/11

      as some wise person once said ... when a telemarketer calls hand the phone to your 3 yr old and tell them its santa clause smile

    • Andrew C says:

      10:34am | 18/12/11

      I used to be nice and very polite to these people and it must be an awful job but now as soon as I detect it is a telemarketing call for a charity or whatever I simply hang up, no apology, nothing. It is a crappy, nasty type of marketing and the more people that simply just hang up the sooner some of these marketing gurus might get the message the telemarketing sucks.

    • Kheiron says:

      12:25am | 19/12/11

      Yep. I was initially nice but after a few months of getting regular calls from telemarketers and “We don’t accept money, we want to set up a regular direct deposit” charities I’ve taken to just hanging up. I get them at work too, which makes things more difficult. Many of our clients have heavy accents, so I’ve got to talk to them for a minute or two to make sure I’m not hanging up on the bloke paying my wage.
      It’s all getting a bit much, though. Half the TV time is adds, even with pay TV ((whose initial grand selling point when it first started up was that it had no ads) and most of these ads are about funeral insurance…why?)
      Ads all over the radio, ads all over the internet…hell they’re on youtube videos now. Then you get the guys calling you during dinner who usually wont take no for an answer. Give it five years and when you’re flipping through your favourite new release at the bookstore you’ll see a full page ad at the end of chapter 3…and it’ll be about funeral insurance.

    • MarkS says:

      08:41am | 19/12/11

      They are not as nasty as a Mokie-Coke ad, ........yet.

    • Maria says:

      10:43am | 18/12/11

      I was recently shopping with my daughter, my mobile rang…..
      The voice on the other end asked to speak to Mr Ian ........ my husband.

      I nearly collapsed, you see my darling husband had passed away 14 years ago of a heart attack, aged 36.

      To cut a very long story short I was able to find out who called me.  I complained via email and phone. After about 10 days I received a call from someone who sounded about 16 advising me they had a list of numbers from about 10years ago, they were very sorry and had removed my number from their data base.

      So Lainie I no longer take these calls in a friendly manner.  Oh I know like your friend they are only doing their job.  However they are the ones representing these ruthless marketers so they are the ones that are going to cop it.

      Enough said…

    • Dave C says:

      10:56am | 18/12/11

      The word nobody mentioned here is “unsolicited” I did not ask them to call me. I did not give them my number. Frankly I feel violated that they called me and wasted my time answering the call and then having to say not interested and then hanging up, The fact that they have the hide to ring me means they deserve everything they get.

    • jf says:

      11:37am | 18/12/11

      Violated?

      Really? You feel violated because someone rang you and tried to sell you something even though you could have pressed a number to end your dreadful ordeal?

      Your time was wasted? All five seconds of it? However will you get back those precious seconds you could have spent picking your toenails.

      Irritated, bemused, cranky, shitty: sure. But violated?

    • Gladys says:

      11:04am | 18/12/11

      I have had a silent number for years. I genuinely wonder why anyone wouldn’t have a silent number these days.

    • Monica's wicked stepmother says:

      12:04pm | 18/12/11

      Silent numbers will only work IF the telemarketers are using a current telephone directory. If you keep the same number, but pay to not have it in the directory, all the previous directories still have the number.  If you change the number and make it silent, you can still get calls if the previous user of the number had it in the telephone directory.
      I have a silent number, it is so silent that I haven’t put it on the DNCR, in case those allowed to call DNCR numbers (charities, political groups etc) can get my number from the register.  Yes, I am paranoid.
      I did get one call from a charity - they got my phone number from the stub of a raffle ticket I bought at a shopping centre - now I only write my mobile number on tickets.

    • Brando says:

      04:39pm | 18/12/11

      I have a silent number and only give to those who need it. Anyone one else gets my mobile which has a handy call blocking facility that refuses calls for those on the list.

      However everywhere I go I see people lining up to fill out entry forms to win some stupid prize. They happily hand over name, address, phone number (in many cases both home and mobile) and email addresses with no thought of this is exactly why the company is prepared to put the prize up in the first place.

      The price of a cheap car is nothing when you get get ten’s of thousands of people across the country to hand over their private details.

      I wonder how many people complaining here today have done this

    • Linda says:

      11:22am | 18/12/11

      I love all my telemarketers and have a great old time with them. Sometimes I ask them to tell me their name is Brian, ‘cause I can only talk to men named Brian, then ask them two minutes into the call what they’re wearing… or I tell them thanks EVER so much for the offer of the holiday, it does sound quite lovely, but unfortunately I’m not allowed to leave the property and if I do the police will turn up and shoot me. Or, that Mrs Whoever is in jail, or that I’m in fact a burglar and not sure who lives here really, I just want their dvd and laptop, and the phone once you hang up.  I have a favourite one whose name is Roger, who has a delightful sense of humour and calls when he is having a bad night just to cheer himself up. We’re getting married in July. Nah kidding, ha. Go easy on them, they’re just trying to make a quid in a third world country as best they can. wink

    • Eva says:

      12:12pm | 18/12/11

      I am not sure they are all calling from a thrid world country. In the past week all the annoying calls have started on my mobile. At first I took them as I was expecting a call from my dentist whose number I do not know. All of them sounded like very middle class Australian women.

      I have put up with the pest calls on my landline but now they have started on the mobile I will certainly be joining the no call list.

    • Anjuli says:

      11:52am | 18/12/11

      Then you have calls which are silent this is the automatic dialing they use to find out the time of day you are in . Then they will ring for real, if this happens I am told if you press the hash button several times and hang up it does some thing to their lines ,I hope so I do it every time.

    • yourname says:

      12:39pm | 18/12/11

      The world would be so much more congenial if I could have everybody who pisses me off dropped quietly into the Mariana Trench with a cannonball chained to their ankles—of course, there wouldn’t be many people left then, so it might be harder to get coffee and cakes. Catch-22—it’s the best there is.

    • Interested Observer says:

      02:23pm | 18/12/11

      We say “I never do this over the phone” to charity beggars which is as polite as we get.  For several months now we have been receiving between 3 - 6 calls every night between 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. from somebody claiming to be from Microsoft.  The entire area is being targeted since my 87 year old mother in law is also receiving these calls which she finds distressing as she lives alone.  We are both on the DNCR.  Our response has evolved from “not interested” to uttering threats of personal injury to the caller.  I have no sympathy for those people attempting to scam us - this is not an honest way to earn a living.

    • Al says:

      07:41am | 19/12/11

      Especialy as these calls are all commiting FRAUD.
      As indicated on Microsofts own website ‘We do not cold call our customers, ever.’
      Microsoft doesn’t so it and they don’t have companies doing it on their behalf.
      Just ask for the ABN of the company and they will terminate the call immediately (I am sure they don’t even know what an ABN is, I had one try to tell me their ABN was 4321. Then seemed upset when I told him he was full of shit as there were not enough numbers for an ABN (or even an ACN).

    • Ben H says:

      03:42pm | 18/12/11

      Tell them to take you off their list and threaten to sue them and the company if they call again. Or, if they get you while in a bad mood, just reduce them to tears over the phone. Get stuck right into ‘em and don’t hold back. They deserve it.

    • the Labor Landslide says:

      04:55pm | 18/12/11

      The Death of A Salesman !

    • thatmosis says:

      05:06pm | 18/12/11

      One of the failure of the Do Not call register is that people click on little boxes on these something for nothing emails that pop up and if they took the time to read them they would see that you have given permission for your number to be called by all manner of people. Whew, nearly ran out of breath there. Its a not very subtle way of evading the rules but most peope just click away and then wonder why Ron, from Bombay is calling you about buying just about anything. Read the condition on every web site that asks you to okay them or suffer the consequences. Simple logic.

    • Groucho49 says:

      05:54am | 19/12/11

      “Tick a little box”. In an email. Then fill in your phone no,  too. Well, that is just basic silliness.

      As is Thatmosis trying to claim it as a “failure of the Do Not call register”.

      It’s nothing whatever to do with the DNCR. Nothing, zip, zilch, zero, nada, nowt. Nuffink.

    • WayneT says:

      06:39pm | 18/12/11

      Unfortunately your telephone is like your front door, there’s an implied invitation to call your phone or knock on your door.  Unless you put up no trespass sign, or place yourself on a DO NOT CALL register; your fair game.

    • Al says:

      07:30am | 19/12/11

      How to get rid of telemarketers:
      Step 1) Ask for their ABN.
      Step 2) Ask for a number to contact them on when it is convienient to you.
      Step 3) (If it happens to be one of those ‘we have identified a problem with your computer’ calls that I seem to get regularly) Ask questions about what the issue is, if they request login info give them false info, then when they say they can’t do it you reply ‘obviously there is an issue with your system as I did everything you asked me too. The other one is to ask ‘what problem’, they usualy come back with ‘it’s a windows (or other OS)  issue’ to which I reply ‘I don’t have any computers using windows (or other OS)’. The last one I like is the ‘Great I’ve been waiting for you to call, can you tell me which one of my 300 computers the issue is with please, i’ve been trying to identify it for days now?’
      All these result in a quick call termination by them, funny that.

    • hmm says:

      08:08am | 19/12/11

      Al,  got that call last week about the computer.  I was all geared up to give the false information, ie 12345678ABC for a log in number, when I lost it and screamed down the phone, ‘DON’T YOU EVER CALL ANYONE IN AUSTRALIA AGAIN DICKHEAD’.  I felt better but furious at these people in Bangledesh or wherever because they obviously have a success rate, probably with some little old lady.

    • MarkS says:

      08:37am | 19/12/11

      Got one of those calls. Was quite nasty, they phoned back 2 minutes later to insult me back.  Even slime ball frauds dislike being insulted it seems.

    • Adele says:

      03:55pm | 19/12/11

      This one is a recognised scam. The end result is they get you to download a program that will fix the “virus detected” on your computer - and that’s a virus. It tracks your login details for bank accounts you access online and such.

      When I first got the call I laughed and laughed. Microsoft? Calling me? Because there’s an error with my computer? Pull the other one!

    • Eskimo says:

      07:35am | 19/12/11

      I always make them turn off the voice recording, as you are entitled to do under the Telecommunications Act. This is often difficult to do and wastes their time.

    • Stephan says:

      08:09am | 19/12/11

      Successfully avoiding telemarketers is as easy as;
      Call number display , and;
      Never, Never answering the phone until after the answering machine kicks in and they start to leave a message - then you decide if you’ll pick up.

    • hmm says:

      08:36am | 19/12/11

      Stephan, why should people have to use their answering machine when they’re home, just to please block out unwanted calls.  I know people, particularly the elderly, who do not like answering machines and refuse to leave a message.  Am I to miss out on taking the call, just in case it’s a telemarketer?  I never bought my answering machine to be used to ‘screen calls’ but to take calls in my absence.

    • Seth Brundle says:

      09:11am | 19/12/11

      Our landline mysteriously stopped working at the end of 2007 (though our broadband connection still funtions perfectly!?!).  We havent bothered getting it fixed, we all have mobile phones with massive caps so why would anyone bother with a landline ?

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      10:11am | 19/12/11

      Lainie!
      I get those calls too, but they are on the decrease.
      When you answer the phone is there someone on the other end immediately or do you have to wait for a few seconds before some almost unintelligible pseudo-American or Australian accent starts to speak?
      I have been told that this delay is caused because the call is Computer-generated, VOIP, Skype or soemsuch system.
      I have also been told that if you hit the #-button very quickly 5 or 6 times & hang up this does nasty things to the ‘callers’ system so that they have to go back thru the system & re-set it all!
      I do this every time one of those “delayed response” calls comes thru & it seems to work!
      If I get a real person who has actully tapped in my phone number I am always very polite, say ” Thak you for your call, but I am not interested, Good-bye” & hang up before they can get another word out. If they, as particularly women with toffee, would-be English accents seem to do, just keep chattering on I do one of two things: I tell them where to go & hang up or simply hang up!

    • Adele says:

      03:57pm | 19/12/11

      Sorry, but why is this article accompanied by a picture of monks?

    • crork says:

      02:18pm | 21/10/12

      qEIlYJ I really liked your article.Thanks Again. Really Great.

 

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The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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