Having Fun With Telemarketers

  1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money. Ask, "How long can I keep it? Do I have to ever pay it back, or is it like the other money I borrowed before my bankruptcy?"

  2. If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Or you can say, "I'm so glad you asked, because no one seems to care these days and I have all these problems, my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died...." When they try to get back to the sales process, just continue on with telling about your problems.

  3. If the person says he's Joe Doe from the XYZ Company, ask him to spell his name, then ask him to spell the company name, then ask where it is located. Continue asking personal questions or questions about the company for as long as necessary.

  4. This one works better if you are male: Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Judy and I'm with Canter and Siegel services.... You: "Hang on a second." (few seconds pause) "Okay, (in a really husky voice) what are you wearing?"

  5. Crying out, in well-simulated tones of pleasure and surprise, "Judy!! Is this really you? I can't believe it! Judy, how have you BEEN?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the heck she could know you from.

  6. Say, "No," over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each no, and keep an even tempo even as they're trying to speak. This is the most fun if you can keep going until they hang up.

  7. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with their Family and Friends plan, reply, in as sinister a voice as you can muster, "I don't have any friends...would you be my friend?"

  8. If they clean rugs: "Can you get blood out, you can? Well, how about goat blood or HUMAN blood - chicken blood too?"

  9. Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional "Uh-huh, really, or, "That's fascinating." Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. They get all flustered, but just tell them you couldn't give your credit card number to someone who's a complete stranger.

  10. Tell them you work for the same company they work for. Example: Telemarketer: "This is Bill from Watertronics." You: "Watertronics!! Hey I work for them too. Where are you calling from?" Telemarketer: "Uh, Dallas, Texas." You: "Great, they have a group there too? How's business/the weather? Too bad the company has a policy against selling to employees! Oh well, see ya."

  11. Answer the phone. As soon as you realize it is a telemarketer, set the receiver down, shout or scream "Oh my God!!!" and then hang-up.

  12. Ask them to repeat everything they say, several times.

  13. Tell them it is dinner time, BUT ask if they would please hold. Put them on your speaker phone while you continue to eat at your leisure. Smack your food loudly and continue with your dinner conversation.

  14. Tell the telemarketer you are on "home incarceration" and ask if they could bring you some beer.

  15. Tell the telemarketer, "Okay, I will listen to you. But I should probably tell you, I'm not wearing any clothes."

  16. Insist that the caller is really your buddy Leon, playing a joke. "Come on Leon, cut it out! Seriously, Leon, how's your momma?"

  17. Tell them you are hard of hearing and that they need to speakup... louder... louder... louder...

  18. Tell them to talk VERY SLOWLY, because you want to write DOWN EVERY WORD.

  19. Tell the Telemarketer you are busy and if they will give you their phone number you will call them back. If they say they are not allowed to give out their number, then ask them for their home number and tell them you will call them at home (this is usually the most effective method of getting rid of Telemarketers). If the person says, "Well, I don't really want to get a call at home," say, "Yeah! Now you know how I feel." (smiling, of course...)

  20. When they say "Mr. Smith... may I call you John" say "no." This really seems to throw them. They have real trouble getting back on their spiel.

(Funny as these are, try to remember that telemarketers aren't actually the spawn of Satan, that they are real people just doing a job and being cruel to them isn't right. So try to be relatively polite to them. Telling them "Please put me on your Do Not Call list" is actually the best response... and if niceness for it's own sake doesn't motivate you, remember that some of them keep 'meanie' lists of people who were particularly rude, so they can call you back at 3am, or add you to other lists as payback.)