One of the good points about being on the Internet is that you build up a large number of friends all over the Internet. Most of them you will never meet but as you exchange e-mails you really do get to know them. One such person for me is John Fox-Kirk a legal consultant who lives in Leeds.UK

The other day John passed on to me an e-mail that he had received from a guy called Andy Rooney who I had never heard of. Andy’s pet hates are telemarketing and junk mail and he sent out an e-mail with his tips on how to deal with these problems. It is obvious that we are kindred spirits so I thought I would pass on some of Andy’s ideas along with a few techniques of my own.

One rule I have is never to be rude to whoever is calling. I don’t believe anyone works at a call centre out of choice and many work part time in the evenings to supplement their income. I think you must really need the money to do that so why be rude to the messenger. So you can picture it, you have just sat down and the phone goes, it is between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. so it is a 3 to 1 chance it is going to be sales call.

Andy has a very good technique; he just uses 3 little words

“Hold on, Please”

and he puts the phone down and walks off. He claims this is more effective than just hanging up because it slows the whole system down and ties up the telemarketer for longer. If everyone did this it could possibly bring the whole system to a halt. Once you hear your phone beeping you can replace the receiver.

My own technique for dealing with calls for anything to do with the house such as double glazing, conservatories or extensions is to say “You will have to talk to the landlord” This works really well and they are usually off the line in seconds.

If it is anything to do with credit cards, loans or banks, “Does that apply for bankrupts?” also works well. I don’t know them and they don’t know me so why should I worry if they think I don’t own my own home or am a bankrupt, it usually gets me off their list and that is all that matters.

I never really used to worry too much about junk mail I just but it straight into File 13 (the waste bin) but recently I have become conscious of the environmental issues and the total waste of resources that are involved.

For a long time now whenever anyone encloses a paid reply envelope I have enclosed some of my marketing material and popped it into the post. This has 2 effects, the company have to pay the cost of the return postage and the person who opens the letter might just be interested in what ever the offer I am making is. Let’s face it if you had a boring job of opening all the mail that comes into an office you might just be looking for a way out.

What Andy does is he recycles his junk mail. He takes the contents from one envelope and stuffs them into the reply envelope from another company. Just as effective would just be to send their own material back to them. If you wanted to remain anonymous you could just send the empty envelope, it will still cost them the postage.
Apparently according to Andy in the USA a lot of the credit card companies and banks are getting a lot of their own junk mail back.

If enough people follow these tips we could cut down on waste and help the environment.

Dave Bromley edits and publishes one of the UKs leading online home business magazines, Money Master Online. As well as the monthly magazine he is also webmaster for the Money Master Online Web site which is packed full of information for anyone looking to run a home or parttime business. To subscribe and receive the home business profit pack go to