DEAR MISS MANNERS: I detest receiving telemarketing calls. I use my answering machine as a screening device, and try not to answer calls unless I recognize the number.
However, at times I mistakenly answer a telemarketer’s call -- especially if it’s my cellphone and I’m expecting business calls from unknown numbers.
When I do get a legal telemarketing call, I politely inform the caller that I am not interested, and ask them to remove my phone number from their list. This often leads to them talking louder to keep me from finishing my response, while I’m trying to reiterate that I am not interested, wish them a good day, and get off the phone. (If it’s an illegal or automated call, I just hang up.)
I don’t want to be rude in response; no matter how annoying I find them, they’re just doing their jobs. However, I cannot think of another response at that point other than to loudly say, “As I SAID, I am NOT INTERESTED! Have a nice day,” and then hang up on them. Is this acceptable, when they refuse to let me politely and properly end the call?
GENTLE READER: Housebreakers are also only doing their jobs when they force entry into your home. Nevertheless, you should not welcome them.
Unsolicited telemarketing is, at best, an intrusion into your home. Miss Manners does not consider that license for you to be rude, but neither are you bound to treat such calls as legitimate exchanges, for which you must reach a mutual agreement to end.
The word that should follow the declaration of your lack of interest is “Goodbye,” and it should be followed with a click.