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Shutting Down Annoying Recruiters? 612

Posted by kdawson
from the make-it-stop dept.
An anonymous reader writes "My company is under attack by the leeches and bottom-feeders of the IT recruiting world. They call into our company phone directory constantly — hundreds of calls per day — trolling for names, hawking their job candidates, and refusing to hang up or stop calling, even if we curse their mothers. Our attorney says the calls are perfectly legal: there is no 'do not call' list for US corporations, and it's not harassment. Through education, we've gotten our engineering group to stop answering the calls or hang up, but I was wondering if the Slashdot community has any ideas for more creative solutions to make this stop, either through technology, US law, trickery, etc."
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Shutting Down Annoying Recruiters?

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayaguNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:22PM (#19340023) Journal

    Ask if you can call them back... get their number.

    Post on /.

    All interested slashdotters should then call this company asking about possible job and recruiting opportunities.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:27PM (#19340127)
      i'll start.

      Company Name: Convergenz
      Website: www.conv.com
      Location: McLean, VA
      Target Area: Washington DC Metropolitan area
      Target Market: IT contracting from Helpdesk to System Administrators to LAN/WAN Engineers
      Phone: 703.584.3700

      These fuckers call my office on a daily basis with "new jobs which you are a perfect match". Please say Tyrone King referred you.
    • by JrOldPhart (1063610) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:33PM (#19340269) Journal
      don't go back. For grins time how long they wait. Waste their time.
    • Nah (Score:5, Informative)

      by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:41PM (#19340409) Homepage Journal
      That will only encourage them.

      Here is what to do. Tell them in no uncertain terms that they are not welcome to call. Now, if you have an ISDN PRI or similar system, you may be able to get the ANI (like the caller ID but not blockable). Then set up an asterisk box to do prefiltering. Have it recognize calls from that ANI, and route into an indefinite hold queue.

      Let them have tit for tat and pay back lesing for lies.
      • Re:Nah (Score:5, Funny)

        by N3WBI3 (595976) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:45PM (#19340485) Homepage
        Or better yet rout their call back to their number (if its local or an 800) It would be great to have them call their own receptionest..
        • Re:Nah (Score:5, Funny)

          by Scaba (183684) <joe AT joefrancia DOT com> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:51PM (#19340605)

          Wouldn't the universe implode or something?

        • Re:Nah (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:56PM (#19340705)
          I used to do something similar when I had my own business ...

          I had my phone line(s) through a VOIP provider who provided an awesome set of web-based tools for call management. Whenever I got a junk fax, I'd add the offending number to my call-blocking scheme, but instead of simply blocking it (actually, I had the option of having them receive a busy signal, an instant drop, or an endless ring) I would forward the number to the reception, contact number, or "to be removed" number from another previous junk fax. Every time a new junk faxer would get through, I'd add them. Later I started adding telemarketers to the mix.

          At one point I had something like 100 junk faxers and telemarketers all calling and faxing one another. The best part was that the CallerID for the forwarded calls would show the originating number - there was no indication it was being forwarded through me.

          It was a thing of beauty ... to bad my current landline provider doesn't provide these kinds of functions.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by fbjon (692006)
            What about forwarding them to some random number in North Korea? That'd give them pause.
          • Re:Nah (Score:4, Funny)

            by nitehawk214 (222219) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @03:26PM (#19342325)
            This reminds me of a company I used to work at.

            There was a bug in the internally developed fax software that would cause it occasionally to forget to dial 9 before dialing out. I would see "FAX SERVER" on the caller id window of my phone, so I would just hit the transfer button and hand it off to say... the developers responsible for it. The beauty of it was it would say my name as the originater, then as soon as they pick up "BEEP - SCRATCH - GARBLEGARBLE - incomming fax"

            That was quite effective in convincing them to fix the bug sooner rather then later.

            I also had an amusing time when dialing someone up and getting their voicemail. You could transfer them back to themselves, giving them a voicemail message that is their voicemail greeting.
        • Re:Nah (Score:5, Informative)

          by Beetle B. (516615) <{moc.liame} {ta} {b_elteeb}> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:12PM (#19341013)
          Precisely. I have a VoIP line at home and get a number of calls (4-8 a day) from a company which I refuse to talk to (apparently a surveying company - they are exempt from the Do-Not-Call list).

          My solution: Route all their calls back to them. They still try to call, but at least it solves my problem.

          BTW, a very relevant link: Who Called Us [whocalled.us]. If you get repeated calls from a number you don't recognize, type it in there and very likely you'll find out about those trying to call you.
      • Re:Nah (Score:4, Informative)

        by alienw (585907) <alienw DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:01PM (#19340799)
        If you have an asterisk box, just set it up to play back tt-monkeys.gsm (a hilarious sound file with 16 seconds of screaming monkeys that comes with the asterisk distribution).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bizitch (546406)
        Great idea, but

        If you dump them into a hold queue, they will burn one of your PRI channels doing it

        I would transfer them off to an 800 number or better yet - back to themselves!
      • Re:Nah (Score:4, Funny)

        by 241comp (535228) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @03:22PM (#19342247) Homepage
        Rather than block the number, route it to a box connected to the Internet with voice recognition and text-to-speech software. Direct the computer to answer as Alice [pandorabots.com] and proceed to engage the caller in mind-numbingly pointless but realistic conversation.
    • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:44PM (#19340467)
      Hire a college student at minimum wage.

      Their job is to hold the recruiting company on the line as long as possible. Trying to go up the sales chain as high as possible. If you can afford it have a second college student for the calls to be transferred to as "someone with authority to deal with your call".

      • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:48PM (#19340557) Homepage Journal
        Nah, ya just need one. Just tell him to put the call on hold for a few seconds, then speak in a different voice. It's especially entertaining when the intern goes from his "Tim the half deaf lumberjack" voice to his "Valry the heavy breathing transvestite" voice.

        -Rick
        • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:51PM (#19340613)
          Why bother with a different voice? Or even a different name for that matter? Just have the one person insist that they are in fact different people all with the same first name.
          • by Belial6 (794905) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @03:10PM (#19342087)
            Just make sure your phone system says that the call may be recorded, and you can record them and put them up on the internet. You can make money from the add hits when people go to listen to the fun that the college student put the phonespammer through. I can think of lots of people that would love to have the job of just screwing with people on the phone with no or responsibility for producing anything.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by cduffy (652)

              Just make sure your phone system says that the call may be recorded[...]

              Most states require only one-party consent -- so anyone who's a legitimate party to the call (like you!) can unilaterally decide to record it. (For interstate calls, federal law has a bunch of requirements like a frequent beep for *telecommunications companies* which do call recording, but those still don't apply to individuals unless you work for a telco).

              Now, in terms of being able to share that recording... you're probably safer with

        • by MontyApollo (849862) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:59PM (#19341881)
          I knew a guy who used to do this with sales calls meant for the owner of the company. Whenever we got one of those calls, the receptionist would transfer the call to him. He would be "Joe in Maintenance" then "Fred in Engineering" then "Tom in Accounting" etc... until the caller would finally just hang-up. Most peole only lasted being "transferred" about three times, but there was once or twice they went through about 5 or 6 "people" before finally giving up. His fake voice would become more and more exaggerated the longer it went on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by clem (5683)
        <ObDilbert>And so another journalism major enters the workforce...</ObDilbert>
    • by dattaway (3088) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:53PM (#19340641) Homepage Journal
      What's even better than asking for their number? Asking them questions! This is pure gold when it comes to social engineering. Pretend to be open and helpful, but interrupt their script with questions, any kind of questions! Have you ever wanted to ask someone an embarrasing question, but was too afraid to ask? This is the chance. You have their time. Its NOT considered RUDE to interrupt with questions. This shows interest, even if off topic and devious. Ask questions on crack. Take notes, compile the best, and compare with others. Research the physical call center and who runs it. Posting online to your favorite forum of choice is evil and I would never suggest doing such a thing....unless you want the most popular thread of the week! Give them the attention they crave. Stop them cold.

      Telemarketers can be fun. I've identified several, got a few shut down, and got retaliated against one (who happened to be the phone company forcing their employees to cold call during idle time.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by brownsteve (673529)
        Better yet, fight fire with fire. Just use this handy-dandy Anti-Telemarketer counterscript [xs4all.nl]. Works every time!
        • by dattaway (3088) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:38PM (#19341505) Homepage Journal
          The anti-telemarketer counterscript is a good starting point with great questions we want to seek, but it is a script. They can usually see through it pretty quick, especially if they are familiar with it. The average home should have enough opportunities a day (a dozen telemarketers) to work up a good fact finding set in short time. This is business, nothing personal, so hold nothing back. Their only goal is to extract money from YOU. Your goal is to extract INFORMATION from them. They give you time, you give them questions. Questions are the knife to pry information they can't defend. They can evade correct answers by making things up, but the score increases with each minute they don't make a sale. Its a game. A losing game. People just have to play it and telemarketers will cease to exist.

          Unfortunately, people are amazingly gullible. I learned how to fight them when I worked long hours on the nightshift at a manufacturing plant. They would call all day. I would play them and get email addresses "so I could send them my resume." I was very creative. They were too. One telemarketer was able to convince the powers-to-be to get my phone service suspended. I knew I hit the heart then. And with no profanity or threats either.
      • by JonTurner (178845) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:26PM (#19341309) Journal

        What's even better than asking for their number? Asking them questions!
        "What are you wearing?"
        I tell you what, I've gotten rid of more tele-marketers that way. They stop their script dead in their tracks and usually hang up on me without so much as another word. Mission accomplished.
        However, if they DON'T hang up after that, be very afraid.
        • by 808140 (808140) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @04:05PM (#19342931)
          This has happened to me. Once, when I was about 16, a telemarketer called our house, and I used a similar tactic: "You have a very sexy voice," I said. "Are you in the SF bay area? Perhaps we could meet?" (The telemarketer, like me, was male). There was a long pause, and I was sure I had him. Then: "Well... sure... I'd like that..."

          At that point, I really didn't know what to do. To this day, I don't know if he was simply calling my bluff, or whether he was truly interested. I remember worrying about it later though, after I hung up on him -- telemarketers typically have your name, address and phone number on the computer in front of them, after all. Nothing happened (this was more than 10 years ago) but since then it's occurred to me that using this strategy comes with a decidedly high risk of backfire. YMMV.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rakishi (759894)
        I say go one better, set up an automatic system that asks questions. Basically all it does is randomly choose from a pre-existing list of responses, be it questions, pauses, hold music, evil background ranting, screaming, etc. I'd be mostly incomprehensible and make no sense when put together but thats what a few "I'm forwarding you to X" lines are there for. Don't forget to begin with a statement saying "we will be recording this conversation and by continuing you agree to give us full rights to use the re
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by kalirion (728907)
        Heh, this reminds me of a recording I heard online. Telemarketer calls advertising grave plots or coffins or something similar, and the guy answers with "OMG! I was just considering committing suicide and was praying for a sign! You're like the Angel of Death, man!" This went on for 5 minutes or more, with in the end the telemarketer suggesting which of his products/services to get (and pay for) before doing the deed. Not sure whether or not this was a hoax, but was still funny.
      • by sd_diamond (839492) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @03:45PM (#19342651) Homepage

        Here's a few good starter questions:

        1. "The only functioning vehicle I have right now is a 40-foot motor home. Do you have space to park a vehicle of that size?"
          This will (hopefully) lead to a comment on how expensive it must be to drive such a vehicle. Fortunately, you're ready with this response:
          "Yeah, it used to be pretty hard. Fortunately, I've worked out a way to offset the costs. I've sold advertising space on the side of the vehicle to a local adult video store. And a strip club on the other side."
        2. "Do your employee guidelines say anything about the minimum amount of clothing required for employees to wear? If so, is it more or less than what is legally allowed to be worn in public?"
        3. "Do you perform random drug tests? If so, do you have any sort of an amnesty policy for positive results? No reason; just curious."
        4. "Do you have any sort of official hierarchy of how bad positive results are for different types of recreational drugs?"
        5. "What is your policy on employees carrying concealed weapons to work?"
    • by JonTurner (178845) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:59PM (#19340769) Journal
      I hate to be a paranoid, but I wonder if this could be a call from an internally-hired agency... you know, just calling up key people to see if anyone is disloyal? If the employee volunteers information or acts interested in a new job, they are mysteriously dismissed a few days later.

      I had heard of this tactic being used prior to the IT Tech Boom but not recently. [IIRC, it was the brainchild of the VP of a certain large database software company and also occurred at a large company which writes OSes and application software. The idea was to remove anyone who wasn't loyal. The result was a huge number of very qualified people were dismissed and morale was crushed. But I'm sure the VPs got a nice bonus anyway.]

      In this case, it might explain why the company attorney isn't too responsive, when they're normally over-eager to fire off letters of reprimand.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by raju1kabir (251972)

        "Hi, Mr. Agency, I'd like to pay you a lot of money to call my employees repeatedly and check whether any of them feel like quitting yet. Please call several times a day so they can't get any work done."

        Can you say self-fulfilling prophecy?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:26PM (#19341313)
        Maybe the solution is to act *crazy* paranoid about this possibility...

        This is a trick, isn't it??? You're questioning my company loyalty! You just want to know if I'll bail from the company for a few dollars more or divulge company secrets!! No sir! I like it here. I like what I'm getting paid. I'm completely satisfied! Our boss is great!! I like [him/her] on a professional level!! I am loyal to all levels of management!! I signed the NDA! I don't care if you offer me 50% more!!! Death before dishonor! I'll never quit the company!!! You'll NEVER MAKE ME TALK!!!!

        [click]
      • I hate when people mentions "company loyalty." You can have professional integrity(don't do anything stupid, give away secrets, etc...) as well as be under contract. Looking for a new job is not disloyal. It's logical. Maybe there is something better out there. Because, at the end of the day it's just a J-O-B. They aren't loyal to you(see: layoffs) and companies have very little loyalty, always going with the cheaper or better provider. Next time someone says "company loyalty" just laugh, out loud.

        My friend worked for a place that said "Don't post your resume online because we track all the job sites" and he just looked at her and said he'd make sure to post it right now just so she can catch it.
    • by Ngarrang (1023425) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:24PM (#19341273) Journal
      Have you phone admin setup a phone extension that all of the calls can be forwarded to. That line, when called, will play a LOUD shrilling sound, enough to scare the crap out of the caller, or at least give them an ear ache.

      On the other hand, if you tell someone to "Please remove my number from your database and do NOT call again", the next call is harassment. If you are a woman, you could threaten to file a sexual harassment lawsuit because you could swear they just said something derogatory. This should work if you are a minority, as well, play the race card.

      "We have a job that perfect for you!"
      "Why? Because I am black? What are you trying to say, that I am not good enough for my current job?"

      Forwarding their call to another recruiter might also be funny.

      Take a cue from one of the comedians on the BoB & Tom show and when the recruiter calls, ask about the location of the job. Tell them that you might need the job for 'about 7 years, until the statute of the limitations runs out.' Ask if the location has extradition agreements with your current state. *grin* And while you are at it, ask if the recruiter knows of a good way to get blood out of a shirt, a lot of blood.
  • by Buran (150348) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:23PM (#19340043)
    And that's that when you need someone to call and offer you a job or at least give you an interview, they don't return your calls. But when you don't want to hear from them, they don't go away?

    Tell them you're looking for work and want an interview/offer and they'll stop calling for sure.
  • DNC list? (Score:5, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:24PM (#19340055) Homepage Journal
    At one point I worked in IT support for a telemarketer. AFAIK, from what they told me, if a company tells them to stop calling, they're supposed to add you to their own DNC list and they are not to call you anymore for fear of fines. The laws could vary from state to state, so YMMV.

  • Lie to them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:25PM (#19340087) Homepage
    Tell your employees to answer the calls, give interviews, and when asked their current salary, give a number twice what they really are getting paid.

    If your employees are still being poached, then hey, you deserve it for underpaying them.

    More likely, the recruiters will stop calling your employees. (But they might ask for a job themselves.)

    • by kestasjk (933987) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:56PM (#19340731) Homepage
      Tell them your employees know Fortran, LISP, and Excel macros, they have all completed an A+ course as part of their training, and that many of your employees were part of the Adobe's Adobe Reader optimization team.

      Tell them that the employee they're currently after can't be reached because he has been trying to remove spyware from his work computer, or that he's out for a drink because it helps his code "flow".
      Or tell them that he'll take your call on the VoIP system he installed, and then just hang up.
  • what to do (Score:3, Funny)

    by miowpurr (1004277) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:27PM (#19340135) Homepage
    Airhorn into the phone? Nah, too harsh...
    • by MrNiceguy_KS (800771) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:51PM (#19340611)
      At my last job, I got a lot of telemarketing calls trying to sell me toner cartridges. I'd always say, "Let me forward your call to the right person," then forward them to a fax machine. If they called back, I'd apologize and do it again - repeat as necessary.
    • by hotdiggitydawg (881316) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:30PM (#19341373)
      Here we've settled on putting them on "hold" and seeing how long they'll stay on the line until they hjust hang up... and by "hold" I mean we physically attach the phone receiver to some headphones with Barbara Streisand and Lionel Ritchie mp3s on high rotation.

      So kinda like the airhorn then.
  • by taustin (171655) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:27PM (#19340137) Homepage Journal
    Have somebody ask for an interview. And go to it. And explain the situation to the company the leeches are shilling for, and that because they are using such an annoying headhunter, neither they nor anyone else in the company would ever consider working for them. Then just walk out.
  • by nuzak (959558) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:27PM (#19340139) Journal
    > there is no 'do not call' list for US corporations, and it's not harassment.

    Correct, there is no Federal Do Not Call list. It's also irrelevant -- if they are told to stop calling, they must stop calling -- period. Anything else is harrassment. If you're a big company, just ring up your legal department, tell them the problem, and they'll craft a nice Cease and Desist letter. They live for that sort of thing.
    • Fire that lawyer (Score:4, Informative)

      by JonTurner (178845) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:41PM (#19340411) Journal
      >>...just ring up your legal department, tell them the problem, and they'll craft a nice Cease and Desist letter

      Right, that's precisely why they're there. However, OP said "Our attorney says the calls are perfectly legal" which leads me to believe the company attorney is the one who should be looking for new employment!

      As you said, Harassment is illegal, and making many, many telephone calls which interrupt business after being told to stop is the very definition. This headhunting company has been instructed, verbally I presume, to stop contacting your company. It is time to put this in writing and start building an evidence chain so they can sue the pants off of the caller for lost productivity, misuse of resources and harassment. I'm sure a competent attorney can think of other charges to bring. But first OP needs to find one. IMO, the current attorney doesn't sound like he's earning his retainer.
  • Toy with them... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrentTheThief (118302) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:27PM (#19340143)
    Recruiters make money by getting candidates hired. Eat up their time, pass them back and forth. They are just like telemarketers. If they can't sell, they don't eat.

    It's been successful where I work.
  • I am pretty sure. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:27PM (#19340145) Homepage Journal
    I am pretty sure that if you ask them to not call you back and get the company name that you can stop then from calling.
    When they call they are using company resources so they are a cost to you. A simple nastygram from your lawyer should telling them to stop or accept that you will charge them by the hour for the time they waste should work.
    Or hire someone for minimum wage to waste their time. When ever they call just forward them to the min wage worker and have them just eat up as much of their time as possible. Summer is coming up so I bet some employee at your company has a teen that would like a summer job.
  • Meow (Score:4, Funny)

    by aarku (151823) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:27PM (#19340155) Journal
    Act completely insane, or just meow. Works for me. Acting... yes, just acting..
    • Re:Meow (Score:5, Funny)

      by east coast (590680) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:39PM (#19340373)
      Mac: All right, how about "Cat Game?"
      Foster: Cat Game? What's the record?
      Mac: Thorny did six, but I think you can do ten.
      Foster: Ten? Starting right 'meow?'
      [Mac laughs - they walk up to the car, and Foster taps on the driver side]
      Larry Johnson: Sorry about the...
      Foster: All right meow. (1) Hand over your license and registration.
      [the man hands him his license]
      Foster: Your registration? Hurry up meow. (2)
      [Mac ticks off two fingers]
      Larry Johnson: Sorry.
      [the man laughs a little]
      Foster: Is there something funny here boy?
      Larry Johnson: Oh, no.
      Foster: Then why you laughing, Mister... Larry Johnson?
      [pause]
      Foster: All right meow, (3) where were we?
      Larry Johnson: Excuse me, are you saying meow?
      Foster: Am I saying meow?
      [Mac puts his hands up for the fourth one, but makes an "eehhh" facial expression, as he is considering the last one]
      Larry Johnson: I thought...
      Foster: Don't think boy. Meow, (4) do you know how fast you were going?
      [man laughs]
      Foster: Meow. (5) What is so damn funny?
      Larry Johnson: I could have sworn you said meow.
      Foster: Do I look like a cat to you, boy? Am I jumpin' around all nimbly bimbly from tree to tree?
      [Mac is gut-busting laughing]
      Foster: Am I drinking milk from a saucer?
      [feigned anger]
      Foster: Do you see me eating mice?
      Foster: [Mac and the man are laughing their heads off now] You stop laughing right meow! (6)
      Larry Johnson: [the man stops and swallows hard] Yes sir.
      Foster: Meow, (7) I'm gonna have to give you a ticket on this one. No buts meow. (8) It's the law.
      [rips off the ticket and hands it to the man]
      Foster: Not so funny meow, (9) is it?
      Foster: [Foster gets up to leave, but Mac shakes his hands at him, indicating only nine meows] Meow! (10)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:29PM (#19340179)
    If it's a woman, start talking about how bad you want to drill her ass. Be very explicit. If it's a man, same thing. Just come up with the most vile stuff you can think of. If that doesn't work, bring some animals into your verbal fantasies. Try to make a game of it within the office to see who can come up with the most disgusting stuff or who can get the headhunter on the other end of the phone line to break down and start screaming.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rubycodez (864176)
      that might cause problems with passing by HR (they'll say you're language constitutes sexual harassment of any coworkers in earshot made uncomfortable). So farm it out, tell the recruiter in a hushed voice to call your cell phone number. Give them the phone number of an adult theater in a major city that has recorded message listing all the films and plots. Or whatever cranks your tractor, the possibilities are as numerous as your yellow page directory!
  • by moeinvt (851793) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:29PM (#19340201)


    press 1 now.
  • by Sargeant Slaughter (678631) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:30PM (#19340225) Homepage
    Act interested, put them on hold for 5 minutes. Act interested again, put them on hold for another 5 minutes. Act interested again, put them on hold for another 5 minutes. Then tell them they are suckers and they just wasted 15 minuted of their life on a fruitless venture.

    It is fun, rewarding, and it hurts their bottom line.
  • The answer is "UUCP" (Score:4, Informative)

    by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:30PM (#19340239) Homepage Journal

    At a certain large veteran's hospital, telephone solicitors used to call every phone in the building, one after another, trying to sell stuff to the patients.

    As it happens, the local sysadmin looked after quite a number of machines which updated each other via uucp, so he added an aggressive contact schedule for the number the telephone solicitors were calling from.

    After a few hours of autodialing by a pool of uupcds, he commented out the new number and called them by voice, to see if they would now agree not to call the patients.

    --dave

    • I was getting hangup robodialed calls about 10x per day, all hours. Sometimes it would fail over to a recorded message with an 800 number. Once when I was home during the call, I picked up and someone asked for a person with my first initial and last name. Different first name. I was so mad I had my modem dial every 60 seconds for a week while I was out of town. It made me feel good.

      Now that robodialers are becoming more and more of a nuisance, I want to enhance my counterattack. Anyone know of a fre
    • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @03:10PM (#19342077) Journal
      There was a story in the UK papers quote a few years ago about a guy who kept getting woken up in the early hours of the morning by repeating computer modem calls. After contacting BT he traced the call to a local supermarket who had incorrectly entered his number in the list to call. Trouble was it only called his number after the first on the list was busy so it only happened a few times a week. He repeatedly contacted them asking them to fix it and after a month of them not doing so he had his mate with a computer hook it up to await the incoming call.

      It turned out that the call was the supermarket's stock taking system trying to phone a central depot to order more stuff. Given the simplistic nature of the system the guy's mate fixed the stock levels for lots of items to zero and then told the system to call the next number on its list. The following day they drove past the supermarket to find loads of lorries there trying to deliver things they already had. The supermarket eventually figured out what happened and tried to sue. However, given the very primitive computer laws in force at the time the case was thrown out because the supermarket had initiated the call and so legally it was assumed that they wanted to talk to the computer on the other end. Needless to say the nuisance calls stopped!
  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:31PM (#19340241)
    Recruiters are clients of the companies they are trying to hire for. Ask them about the job, then get the company its for. Call that company's HR department and complain and tell them the recruiters they use are harassers. Ideally, if you expose these bottom feeders as being bottom feeders most rational people would drop them. What kind of candidates are they trying to get by using this method? Probably not very good ones.

    These recruiters are incredible. I used a few a few years back and I STILL get a phone call 3 or 4x a month from a breathless desperate guy who really needs to fill soem shit 2-week temp contract. I also submitted a resume or two fairly recently only to find they went through a recruiter who told me that job doesnt exist anymore and offered me to interview for some temp job. Bait and switch?

    The industry really needs to take a good look at recruiters in general. I cant see them being more efficient than in-house hiring.
  • Right (Score:4, Informative)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:31PM (#19340247)
    "...and refusing to hang up..."

    That's only a problem when YOU refuse to hang up, but I see that you've "trained" your guys to hang up. Problem solved.
  • by PackMan97 (244419) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:36PM (#19340335) Homepage
    The best way to get them to stop is to pay your employees what they are worth and treat them well. They'll stop calling once they realize no one wants to leave your company because they are fat and happy.
  • by gpuk (712102) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:45PM (#19340491) Homepage
    At our company we have a special extension we use for all suspected marketing calls, known affectionately as extension 101.

    This extension is hooked up to a CD player and is programmed to auto answer incoming calls. One of our audio guys has mixed up a CD containing endless "on hold" muzack and promotional messages for our company and this is left to play repeatedly in the CD player.

    End result - all unsolicited calls get responded with a "I'll just connect you to the person responsible for that department" and are then transferred to extension 101 where they remain until they hang up. The best bit is that a red LED lights up on the line the marketer has called in on (indicating line in use), making it possible to time how long they spend listening to the 101 CD before disconnecting. The record so far is just over 18 minutes :o)

    I suppose if you wanted to be even more devious you could set extension 101 to divert to a premium rate number and make a bit of extra cash for every minute the dumb marketer stays listening to the 101 CD - this is probably illegal though (as most fun things are)...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by raju1kabir (251972)

      I suppose if you wanted to be even more devious you could set extension 101 to divert to a premium rate number and make a bit of extra cash for every minute the dumb marketer stays listening to the 101 CD - this is probably illegal though (as most fun things are)...

      I doubt it's illegal, as you'd be the one paying the premium rates for the call.

  • by Jtheletter (686279) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:46PM (#19340511)
    Here's an oldschool fax machine DOS prank that should at least inconvenience them as much as they have you. There's a good chance the company has a fax machine, and since they're a business you should be able to get ahold of that number very easily. Worst case someone may need to pose as a prospective IT hire and get the fax number in order to "send in your resume".

    Once you have the fax number just put together about 6 or 7 pages of whatever you like within reason and the bounds of law (i.e. don't send death threats or pornographic images), usually something inane and anonymous, perhaps lolcatz pictures. Tape all the sheets together end-to-end then insert into your fax machine, once the first part of the now super-length page comes through, loop the top around and tape it together, forming a nice infinite paper loop in the fax machine. Let this send all day if you like. On their end it will either eat all their paper, toner, or at the very least render the fax machine unusable!

    Important! You obviously want to remain anonymous with this "fax" so be sure to prepend *67 to the fax number, this is the command to block caller ID. :)

    Enjoy!
    • by CodeMunch (95290) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:05PM (#19340875) Homepage
      I thought you were supposed to use black construction paper? Boy...did i ever mess this prank up :( Guess I'll need to re-do it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Phreakiture (547094)

        It should be feasible to modify some fax software to accomplish this feat with much less effort. Get an open-source fax package like efax and let it rip. For bonus points, you can set the fail-retry timers to 0 so that it will retry again immediately when someone at the other end hits the cancel button, causing the system to hang up.

    • Any time you can pull a silly prank and kill trees at the same time, you're really onto something.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:47PM (#19340529) Homepage
    Our voip phone system allows me to add in "blacklisted" phone numbers. that dump them to a generic mailbox. they cant access anything but the leave a message function. If your phone system cant do that, I strongly suggest upgrading as it's a function that is worth it's weight in gold.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jaredmauch (633928)
      Having this capability is an incredible asset. Frequently someone will 'sell' or 'donate' a company directory to these places. I've seen it happen at two different jobs where they call folks direct lines and have their names and titles. The ability to take someone and reject their calls either with a busy, a recording, forwarding them to another number (I use the FTC complaint number for my home phone when I blacklist folks there;)) or some other creative measures is valuable. You have a choice of who y
  • by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreed&gmail,com> on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:52PM (#19340619) Homepage
    "We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere -- like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. 'Give me five bees for a quarter,' you'd say.
            "Now where were we? Oh yeah -- the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."
  • by GuruBuckaroo (833982) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:57PM (#19340737) Homepage
    That's always worked for me. Somebody calls trying to recruit me, I tell them "Can you find me a job paying this much that doesn't require me to wear a necktie?" Wonder of wonders, they never call back.

    That's pretty sad, now that I think about it... tells you just how much recruiters think (or companies believe) a tie is worth compared to competency.
  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:09PM (#19340957) Homepage
    • "You just made a call to CIA/NCIS/FBI/NSA/KGB/Area 51/Special Unit 2/Stargate Command and your call is currently tracked down and monitored for further actions."
    • Tell them to wait, and play up some sounds as if in the bathroom. Flushing toilet, barfing etc...
    • Same as previous but to some service providing the current time, today's bible word etc.
    • Tell them to call back on a different number later, same services as before.
    • Connect a modem/fax to your phone line for a while.
    • Give them answers with a grave accent that appears to be undefined.
    • Ask them for their email address and publish it.
    • Same thing for a fax number.
    • Start all calls to the department with: "This call will cost $9.95 unless the correct code is entered."
    • Forward all calls that lacks caller-ID to an answering machine or answering service. Best is an answering service that can select by discretion if the call shall be forwarded or not.
    • Same as before, but forwarded to a fax...
    • "Oh what a sexy voice you have, I think I will...". Best said slowly.
    • Forward the calls to a randomly selected public payphone. Too bad you can't listen to the conversation when someone answers...
    • According to paragraph; (insert a random or favourite number here) of the law of (insert state/country here) your call is in violation of the beforementioned paragraph.
    • Hire someone on skid row to go to the interview for you. May cost you a bottle or two...
    • Hire someone from Hells Angels to go to the interview. May be more expensive, but also more fun.
    • Look up the phone number to an unpopular politician and tell them to call that number instead.
    • Give them the number to your manager.
    • Figure out who's hiring them and then challenge for a paintball war.
    • Figure out who's hiring them and ask the fire department to do a fire drill there.
    • Figure out who's hiring them and order a delivery of fresh manure for their lawn. (assuming they have a lawn.)
    • Figure out who's hiring them and see to that there has to be an asbestos inspection or other popular inspection done.
    • Figure out who's hiring them and ask the IRS to do a thorough review.
    • While you are at it, ask the IRS to review the headhunting company.

  • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:55PM (#19341807) Homepage Journal

    Our attorney says the calls are perfectly legal: there is no 'do not call' list for US corporations, and it's not harassment.

    I've got it. Direct all the calls to this attorney of yours, I bet it turns into harassment really quick.

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