Why are cold calls "cold"? According to Wikipedia, the word "cold" is used "because the person receiving the call is not expecting a call or has not specifically asked to be contacted by a sales person". To me, they are as offensive as someone splashing a bucket of cold water on you.
"Cold calls are at best a nuisance and at worst an intimidating intrusion into our lives." Ceri Stanaway of Which?, the British consumer group, said. "Three quarters of the people we asked said they'd like the practice to be banned outright."
What is it that makes cold calls so loathesome? To me, a lot. First, the mere fact that they are unsolicited makes them an intrusion. Second, they are frequent. According to a survey by Which?, people in the UK on average receive six cold calls per month. My feeling is that there are more than that here. I receive more anyway. Third, those callers typically go about their business very badly. I've said before that some of them don't even get the gender of answerers right. Some use a very fastidious sales pitch. Worst of all, the way they highlight what they are promotion as a "special offer" or as something "free" is very insulting.
It has now got to a point when I feel that I've had enough and have started to take action to prevent them. At first, I simply did not answer when the number displayed was not on my acquaintance list, hoping that they would stop calling because it would just be a waste of time. I soon realised that it wouldn't work. The callers may be using autodiallers to phone multiple numbers (which might explain why they sometimes get the gender wrong - they haven't had enough time to listen before speaking to the person who answers) so they are not wasting much time anyway. Now what I do is quickly decline the "special offer" and ask to be removed from their contact database. It seems to be working so far, as such calls have become less frequent.
I have always actively resisted any such calls. My philosophy is simple. Why should companies pay someone to introduce some offers to you? Is it simply because they are so "special" or "free" for you? It simply doesn't make sense.