How to Negotiate A Robodial – Do Not Call List Won’t Stop Telemarketers

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“Robodial” What is a robodial anyway? We all get them. Its those annoying phone calls that come in from unknown numbers and if you answer them one of two things happens; 1. A pitch recording for some get rich quick scheme starts up or 2. There is no one there. How do you negotiate that out of your life? Here are 5 tips on how to be informed, armed and defensive to negotiate these calls out of your life.

1. Do Not Call List Won’t Stop Robodials. It does not matter whether or not you are on the “do not call list,” that will not prevent you from getting these calls. The do not call list is a waste of time in my humble opinion. According to this article: there are over 200 million on the Do Not Call Registry but callers have ways to go around the law and only 600 telemarketers have been prosecuted since its inception in 2003.

If you give out your number anywhere you are subject to getting these calls because telemarketers have ways to not be traced or call from inside your area code which isn’t subject to the do not call laws.

Here are some of the places your number may be recorded and obtained by telemarketers.

Department Stores

Grocery Stores or anywhere you have a “rewards” card

Places you have purchased online (many won’t place the order without your phone number)

Email accounts such as yahoo or gmail

Facebook and other social media

Your website, Business Cards, Marketing Materials, Handouts

Many More

Basically unless you change your number and don’t give it out anywhere, you will get these calls.

The above may not give out your number but before you put in your number, you should ask if they sell contact details to 3rd parties for marketing.

2. Unlisted phone numbers don’t prevent robodials. It does not matter if your home phone is unlisted, you are still able to get random calls from people. I have received several calls to my home number which is unlisted. When I asked how they got my number because I don’t give it out, they said it was randomly dialed by their system. What that means is they have a system that randomly dials numbers in the area code they are targeting. Solution – ask them to not call again or don’t answer the phone if it’s a number you do not recognize. I don’t expect any calls on my home phone because I use it as a fax so I don’t answer them unless I am asking them to remove me from their list.

3. Look Up the Number Online to Get Type of Call Information. If you want information on the number, simply google it and see if it comes up on one of the “robodial” lists. There are websites where people can list the numbers that called them so you know where they came from. When I get a call from a number I don’t recognize, I usually don’t answer it and then check google and one of these sites typically comes up listing other complaints that have been made about the number if it is a robodial. Sites such as and You can go there and put in the number that called you, but I find it easier just to google the number so all of the websites come up with that number listed. Here’s a screenshot of one of the sites from a recent robodial that I received where no one was on the other end. Unfortunately there’s no way to stop those other than to not answer them from what I’ve found.

Screenshot  edited


4. Answer and Wait Until the End  of the Pitch for the Remove Option. If you answer and there’s a sales pitch, listen to it all the way to the end as there are options to remove you from their system. “Press X if you no longer want to receive these calls.” This has worked for me to stop many of the calls. That’s not to say that they have never started up again and that you might have to do it again later if your phone number gets out there.

5. Alternate Solutions to Reduce the Annoying Calls. To reduce the amount of calls, do not give out your primary number online or at stores on applications etc. You can get a phone number for messages at numerous sites – google “free 800 number” and analyze the best for your needs. Another idea is if you have a corporate job, put down your work number. Many of these calls are done at night so they will get a voicemail that says the company name. I started doing this when I was in the military and remember one time a sales call came through and the person on the other end said “is this a business?” I knew what it was so I responded with “this is the United States Air Force 49th Fighter Wing Holloman Air Force Base may I help you?” The response was – uh, no, sorry and they hung up.

The key is to not let it get you upset. I see many comments on those sites referenced in tip 3 above where people are so angry and going on a rant. Don’t let it take up rent free space in your head or suck any of your energy. These calls happen, you just have to have a targeted defense against them. Keeping these things in mind will help you be better able to handle these situations with minimal time wasted on your part. Being a master negotiator means negotiating more than just a business deal, its being a master at negotiating your life.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at


  1. Actually, on the Do-Not-Call website they advise not to press X number to be taken off the list. This leads to more robocalls.

    • Eldonna Fernandez says:

      I’m not sure what their advice is based on. In my experience when I have done that it stopped the calls completely.

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