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What to Say to Telemarketers

Guaranteed to work! Or not.

If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you sure could use some money.

If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Alternately, you can tell them, "I'm so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems; my arthritis is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, and my dog just died" when they try to get to the sale, just keep talking about your problems.

If they say they're John Doe from XYZ company, ask them to spell their name. Then ask them to spell the company name. Then ask them where it is located. Continue asking them personal questions or questions about their company for as long as necessary.

Cry out in surprise, "Judy, IS that you? Oh my God, 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.

Say "No," over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each one and keep a rhythmic tempo, even as they are trying to speak. This is most fun if you can do it until they hang up.

If MCI or AT&T calls trying to get you to sign up for the Family and Friends Plan, reply in as sinister a voice as you can. "I don't have any friends. Would you be my friend?"

If the company cleans carpets, respond: "Can you get out blood? Can you get out goat blood? How about human blood?"

After the telemarketer gives their spiel, ask him / her to marry you. When they get all flustered, tell them that you could not just give your credit card number to a complete stranger.

Tell the telemarketer that you work for the same company, they often can't sell to employees.

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

Tell the telemarketer that you are busy at the moment and ask them to give you their HOME phone number so you can call them back. When they explain that they cannot give out their HOME number, you say "I guess you don't want anyone bothering you at home right?" The telemarketer will agree and you say, "Now you know how I feel!" Hang up.

Ask them to repeat everything they say, several times.

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

Tell the telemarketer you are "grounded" and ask if they could bring you some beer.

Ask them to fax the information to you, and make up a number.

Insist that the caller is really your buddy Leon, playing a joke. "C'mon Leon, cut it out! Seriously Leon, how's your mom?"

If they are selling magazines, ask them if they come in Braille.

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

This works great if you are male: Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Judy and I'm with XYZ company" You: Wait for a second and with a real husky voice ask, "What are you wearing?"