Hung Up on Viagra Calls

Greg Richter takes another telemarketing call. (Photo by Laura Axelrod)
Greg Richter takes another telemarketing call. (Photo by Laura Axelrod)
Greg Richter takes another sales call for Viagra during his 50th birthday dinner. (Photo by Laura Axelrod)

If you ever get on U.S. Pharmacy’s call list, you’re screwed.

That’s OK, though, because they’ll sell you enough Viagra, Cialis and Levitra to screw as many other people as you want.

My cell phone started getting calls from the company a few months ago. Initially, I hung up as soon as they started their sales pitch, but they were persistent.

Common sense should tell you to take a number off your call list if you never make a sale, but not so for U.S.  Pharmacy. They just call and call and call. So I decided to just start wasting their time.

First, I figured I would challenge them on the legality of their operation. But my conscience got to me when I realized the caller on the other end of the line might actually be a poor person in a developing country. The guy might well have needed a job and applied at a call center not knowing about the nefarious deeds of his employer.

So I figured I’d give “Dave” or “Bob” or “Steve” or whomever the benefit of the doubt when I took the call.

Story continues below.

Sure enough, the phone rang one Sunday night, and I immediately told “Doug” that he was unwittingly participating in illegal activity since American law forbids selling prescription drugs to someone without permission of a doctor. Doug assured me that everything was completely on the up-and-up and that his company has been in business for seven years.

I told Doug that I was going to continue talking to him simply to waste his time and keep him from calling other people.  After all, he was trying to illegally sell them medications.

“I have all night, sir,” Doug smugly replied.

“So do I,” I shot back.

After a good 10 minutes of arguing with Doug, he admitted that he was in Pakistan, so U.S. law didn’t apply to him. Aha!

After another 10 minutes, Doug was begging me to hang up the phone.

“I thought you said you had all night, Doug,” I said. “It hasn’t even been half-an-hour!”

I told Doug he was free to hang up anytime he wanted, but he wouldn’t. Clearly, U.S. Pharmacy won’t let their employees hang up first.

So I started taunting him. “Come on, Doug. Hang up! I’m not stopping you.”

“Please, sir, hang up the phone,” Doug pleaded.

Story continues below.

Finally, he told me his shift was over and he had to get home to his girlfriend. I told him to hang up and head on home. He wouldn’t because he couldn’t.

Eventually, his “girlfriend” got on the line and continued the pleading.

“Do you know you’re boyfriend is working for criminals?” I asked her.

“Please, sir, let him go home!” Doug’s girlfriend begged.

I kept taunting.

Finally, they hung up.

And that was the end of that.

Until two days later when they called right back. I kept up the routine. They kept begging me to hang up.

Story continues below.

“Just quit calling me if you don’t want me to keep you on the line,” I told them.

But they didn’t.

And, if you are wondering, they mask their number, so you can’t call them back or even block them.

My wife got tired of hearing me berate them and made an alternate suggestion: Preach to them.

She was raised Catholic in New England and didn’t think I would really do it. Her Southern evangelical husband proved her wrong.

Every call after that became a Billy Graham crusade.

“I don’t need Viagra,” I’d say, “I’m a Christian priest. But I do want you to know that God loves you and has a great plan for your life. Did you know that Jesus died for your sins and wants to be your Lord and Savior?”

“I am Muslim, sir.”

“Oh, well that’s nice. Does your Islamic faith condone attempting to sell illegal pharmaceuticals to people?”

“Uh, no sir.”

“Then why are you doing it?”

“Have a nice day, sir. Goodbye.”

“Oh, don’t go. I’d like to say a prayer with you. Would that be OK?”

“Uh … OK.”

(Photo by Greg Richter)
A pile of pills (Photo by Greg Richter)

“Lord, I thank you for the opportunity to talk to Jimmy today, and I pray that you will show him he is not living right by trying to sell drugs to people that are probably just vitamin pills. Please, lead him to the light of Jesus Christ so his sins will be forgiven and he will live in heaven with you forever. Amen.”

“Uh, OK sir.”

“God bless you!”

“Thank you, sir.”

This went on with several callers until they finally started having Americans call me. One American told me he was an atheist.

Story continues below.

“Well, how does it feel knowing you’ll just die and cease to exist?” I asked. “That has to be depressing. I guess that’s why you have no morals.”

“I get my morality from my humanistic beliefs,” he assured me.

“Oh, well that’s nice. Does your humanistic value system condone attempting to sell illegal pharmaceuticals to people?”

“Uh, no sir.”

“Then why are you doing it? Let me say a little prayer with you …”

“Have a nice day, sir. Goodbye.”

Even though they clearly weren’t supposed to hang up first, my conversations were getting shorter and shorter. I was beginning to think they were passing word about me around the office.

Then it happened. The phone rang and I went into the witnessing routine.

“Oh, you’re the God guy,” the caller said. “I’ve heard about you.” And he immediately hung up.

So, they had heard about me. But still, they wouldn’t stop calling.

I figured I had discovered their two weaknesses: 1. They couldn’t hang up first, and 2. they didn’t have the ability take a number off their list.

Clearly, though, my “God guy” routine was over. They were hanging up immediately. I had forced a rule change. But if they still were too cheap to delete numbers that wasted their time I could keep up the fun – I’d just have to change my act.

I came up with a few scenarios, and my wife suggested I start recording them.

Wouldn’t you know it – they quit calling.

And then – after several weeks – they returned.

You can hear the result in the video below:

Story continues below.

Not wanting to repeat my performance, I had another story ready for the next call.

But I was in a restaurant celebrating my 50th birthday when my phone rang. That put me at a double disadvantage: I couldn’t put the call on speakerphone to record his side of the conversation, and I could only use words that would be acceptable in public.

This time, it was “Brad” calling. I told him I was eating dinner, but he was undeterred. He asked if I was taking any medications.

I told him I used to take Viagra, but it gave me a permanent erection. But I would be interested in some sort of drug to return my penis to flaccidity.

But, like I said, I couldn’t be quite that graphic, so Brad didn’t really catch my point. He kept trying to sell me a lower milligram dosage of Cialis because he promised that it did not have the same side-effect.

I told him it was too late. I’ve had the erection for two solid weeks and it wouldn’t go away. It was making it impossible for me to go out it public. I’m not sure he ever understood. But he did hang up.

I’m toying now with saying I’m a woman or that I’m actually currently having sex with three people simultaneously as we speak. Better yet, I’m really ugly and no one will have sex with me. If I take Viagra, it will just remind me of how bad my life is.

Until then, I’ll be waiting by the phone.

If you want to join the fun, send me suggestions in the comments.

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Greg Richter

Greg Richter has 25-plus years experience as a journalist. He spent 17 years with The Birmingham News in Alabama and currently freelances for a conservative-leaning news website. He is author of an e-book, “The Easy Budget,” written under his pen name, Owen Tew. He is almost an expert on the song “Sweet Home Alabama” after writing an opus on its background for The Birmingham News. His work also has appeared on The Huffington Post and The You can follow his rantings on politics, religion and more on Twitter @owentew or at his blog, Syncopaterfamilias.

  • Strangely enough, I do get e-mails trying to sell me “male enchancement” pills.

    But I’m a cis woman, and I’ve never had a penis.

  • jai

    Haven’t had any ED calls, but here’s a technique that works on insurance sales calls (sometimes). I interrupt them immediately to tell them I will be recording the call for quality assurance purposes. Sometimes they immediately hang up. I have said I am with the Internal Revenue Service and will be recording the call as a part of an investigation. I’ve told them how much I appreciate their returning my call to the phone sex line and asked them if they can counsel me about my sex life. I’ve expressed how glad I am to hear from the suicide prevention line and gone into a long depressing fantasy story. I sometimes answer with the name of my town’s Police Department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    And best of all, I try to keep them on the phone trying to sell them something. I often try to sell them a car with a bad transmission and go into how to repair it and all kinds of oil and repair tools.
    It’s a time killer and can be quite entertaining.
    I wrote a play called “Phone Sex” about Viola, an octogenarian with a malfunctioning hearing aid that screeches at appropriate times. Desperate to earn $500 before Tuesday and inspired by her wonderful husband, Howard, she goes to the unemployment office and through a misunderstanding gets a job in a phone sex bank where she encounters a blind girl earning money for an apartment for herself and her dog, a Harvard grad down in his luck, a double knowing she will not have the $500 by amputee vet, drunken manager, and a drug addicted prostitute. Thanks to the timely screams of her hearing aid, Viola, who still doesn’t know her job title, is winning the $500 she needs in a contest for callbacks. Her unexpected success inspires jealousy in the guy from Harvard and the prostitute. But when a blizzard knocks out the electricity and phones, she comes to the rescue with candles and in the candlelight, the phone sex employees share their stories.
    When they question Viola, she bursts into tears Tuesday supplies candles and in the darkness,

  • Greg Richter

    Here’s the latest — and best — call so far:

    • Joel Miller

      The best part is when he tries to get you to buy pills and sell them to other people LOL

  • Maadddd

    1-866-348-8989 is their number…. Have fun

    • Al Rohrig

      1-707-666-7647 this is guys cell number , i call him once a week to bitch him out.. Enjoy!

  • Keren Lugasi

    Lol so funny – they oh me on a weekly basis …. I just get furious and hang up … Promise to start taunting them toO

    • apianist

      Nothing will stop these people. However there is a great free phone that has worked wonders for me called “Should I Answer”.Since installing this on my phone (Samsung s6) I have had zero calls get through from people like these. It works great and is behind the scene. A nice bonus is that if you like you can report a number to them and then you will help anyone else not get a call from them too! Sweet revenge!Think of it as a community based effort. There are various settings. I have mine set to also block unknown callers. Once in a while this might block legit call but legit callers will always leave a message if they want to talk with you. I know have my phone back! Yippee!!

  • Wowser McGee

    I’m on the list too. They actually hang up on me fairly quickly though, as I just speak in gibberish the entire time. “Gleep glorp glop gleep”. “ruzzzabuzza huzza wuzza”. Or if I actually use english, I say things that just don’t make sense. “If the dog eats pizza in the van the grass is concrete”. It works, and its actually a nice break from the normal grind of the day.

    • m185

      They hang up on me really quick also.

  • Phil Brown

    I have an air horn. I talk very softly and when I’m sure that mahatma has the earpiece as close as possible, I blast his ass. If I’m near a car I’ll use that horn if I have someone with me to honk it. It’s not stopped the calls but it gives me some satisfaction.

  • mark clark

    they all are fucking scammers, they fucking charge my card and never ship the pills, Now I only deal with peter hill, ext 126 and i am very happy

  • Lisa Miksa

    Us Pharmacy has been calling me for 4 years I am so sick of it I can’t get rid of them one night I kept them on the phone for over 20 minutes gave them a fake credit card number and everything they said they couldn’t find me on Google I said how do you like it wasting your time now they hang up they call me from several different numbers every day I can’t get rid of them.

  • Robotech

    I bought something 2 years ago. Ive been receiving calls ever since. Got a call yesterday. I did all the things you did. Questioning legality, recording names and conversations, threatening with lawyers, …
    Then I went into talking for a long time and getting them all excited they are about to make a big sale and when we are about to finalise the order i say i was just messing with him to waste time. That works OK gets them dissapointed and upset.
    I also went into lecturing them on life, education, skills, goals and making them feel like loosers for doing this particular job and not suceeding better in life.

  • Marc Chomel

    Erka I am trying to. Marc Chomel em me at [email protected]

  • Bushgirlsgonewild

    The best and only way to stop them or retaliate: call their company number and ask them if they like to F*** dogs, etc. (get creative!). Their number is 1-888-860-6650.

    • TX Tech

      Thank you so much! Every time I call this number, I get a different sales person to harrass and they have no idea that I have actually initiated the call. Soooo much fun to turn the tables on them.

  • John Dohe

    Ask them if you buy a bottle of Viagra, can you stick your dick in their ass?

  • Diane Bacher

    Crazy I am not the only one. They have called me three times a day for nine years … my kids even know who they are and laugh when I ask him for heroin and cocaine

  • Mike R

    I just babble unintelligibly with inflection and passion. They always hang up. Sometimes I will scream into the phone. I have an adult child with down syndrome and when one of their numbers showed up I would give the phone to Bob and let him talk to them about his favorite subject, pizza. There is no end to the possibilities but I really like your industrial accident scenario.

  • Chance

    They call me several times a day and have for years now. When they call I am on a mission: Make THEM hang up! I have discovered a way that works 100% of the time and the stunned “Uh…we do not do that” when I deliver my script of “I’m sorry, I get paid for this type of call. My rates are $125.00/hr with a 4 hour minimum for a total of $500.00. I will need your credit card information to continue the call” every time they TRY to say anything I remind them that I will need their credit card information to continue the call. This works every time.

  • Juggernaut

    If you receive a call from US Pharmacy, call back to the number 888-860-6650 or *67 314-666-9790 Be sure to *67 to block your number. Just Keep calling them over and over and over and over and over and over and if u dont even distribute any insults to their character, nationality or religion u can just call and not say anything to just essentially make them lose money. JOIN THE FIGHT

  • MrsKameron Williams

    Better than the disgusting things they say about having sex with my mother and the strange way they dont propperly use american cuss words but manage to be gross and perverted. They literally call me dozens of times a day. From so many numbers I can’t block them because Verizon wants me to pay to block numbers and my bill is already over $200
    I started getting the calls after the Verizon update that made my phone unable to block phone numbers….. I think they may have deeper pockets protecting them.

    • Anne

      I’m also a female and they’ve called me everyday for the past 4 years, I can’t do anything about it…i’ve been calling this number: *67 314-666-9790 everyday for the past week, I usually call it right after they call me because I know I’ll actually get a person instead of the message machine (if you do get the machine, press 3 after you leave your nasty voicemail so it actually sends, note that it won’t allow you to send messages over 4 mins). When I call I usually just have them listen to music until they hang up, when they hang up, I call them back (over and over) until they finally stop answering.