Where's that list of things you can say to a telemarketer to discourage them from calling? Ah... found it! (See below.) It's funny to read... but I don't have the patience or the nerve to actually try any of these.
How To Deal with Telemarketers
1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money.
2. If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "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, my dog just died..."
3. 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, how long it has been in business, how many people work there, how they got into this line of work, are they married?, kids?, etc. Continue asking them personal questions or questions about their company for as long as necessary.
4. Cry out in surprise,"Judy! Is that you? Really?!? Judy, how have you been?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where she could know you from.
5. 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.
6. If MCI 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?"
7. 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.
8. Tell the Telemarketer that you work for the same company, they often can't sell to employees.
9. Answer the phone. As soon as you realize it is a Telemarketer, set the receiver down, shout or scream, "Oh No!!!" and then hang up.
10. Tell the Telemarketer you are busy at the moment and ask him/her if he/she will give you his/her HOME phone number so you can call him/her back. When the Telemarketer explains that telemarketers cannot give out their HOME numbers you say "I guess you don't want anyone bothering you at home, right?" The Telemarketer will agree and you say, "Me, either!" Hang up.
11. Ask them to repeat everything they say, several times.
12. 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.
13. Tell the Telemarketer you are on "home incarceration" and ask if they could bring you a pizza.
14. Ask them to fax the information to you, and make up a number.
15. Insist that the caller is really your buddy Leon, playing a joke. "Come on Leon, cut it out! Seriously, Leon, how's your mom?"
16. Tell them you are hard of hearing and that they need to speak up... louder... louder...louder...
17. Tell them to talk VERY SLOWLY, because you want to write EVERY WORD down.