Here's how we stop them... for good
I've always hated telephone cold calls. Maybe there is someone out there that is just waiting for yet another company to call them with a great deal if they switch their internet provider, but I haven't met them yet.
I find it morally distasteful too, as they seem to be targeting older or less-informed people. They often mention the names of larger, reputable companies in what seems to be a bid to impersonate them.
I used to get annoyed when people cold-called my home. I would ask them where they got my number, and instruct them to remove it from their database and not call again. I doubt it had any meaningful effect, and the main result is that I would be stressed and angry for a while.
Then I thought about the problem a little more.
Basically, companies are still cold-calling because it makes economic sense. They pay their telephone operators a low hourly wage, assume most people will hang up almost immediately, but the one sucker they find from the hundred calls they can make per hour makes it worth it.
So the only way to get rid of cold-calling is to make this equation unprofitable. The easiest way for an individual to do so is to increase the time per wasted call, thus reducing the number of calls they can make per hour. However, you probably don't want to waste your own time talking to these people.
Here is my new technique. When someone calls me up at home and we don't have a previous relationship, I just say: "Please wait a minute" in a friendly way, and put the receiver down. I then carry on with my day as they wait for me to come back. Most of the time they wait for more than twenty minutes. I had one guy on the line for 47 minutes.
Obviously the more people do this the less well the cold-calling business model works. It works even as more people start doing it, as the cold-callers can't just move on from a 'just a minute' as that could be one of the rare and valuable suckers.
I have discovered that this also makes the whole thing completely stressless, as I don't get at all angry or upset. I can just sit back and enjoy knowing that I am messing with the cold calling company's bottom line.
What about you? How do you deal with cold callers? Is there a flaw in my evil plan?