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Stop Phone Telemarketers: 20 Responses That Will Drive Them Away

Updated on September 27, 2013

Stop Annoying Phone Solicitors Dead in their Tracks

Americans do not agree on very many things, but you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody, Republican or Democrat, gay or straight, black or white, who does not start to foam at the mouth when they get that telemarketing call during dinner or while they're trying to give their kid a bath.

Are you one of those people? Well, this hub is for you. Below are twenty canned responses you can provide the telemarketer when he or she calls at the worst possible time. Just print them out and put them next to your phone.

  1. "Excuse me, but I was bathing my infant when you called and now I think he's drowning."
  2. "Tell me, what's your home phone number and when do youeat dinner?"
  3. "I'm sorry, I can't take your call now, my grandmother's dentures have fallen into the toilet."
  4. "Me and the family are all packed here. There's a tornado baring down on our house and we have five minutes to get out, but I'll listen to what you have to say if it's really necessary, but if we die, it's on you."
  5. "I've got terminal cancer and I'm getting my last rites. Could you call back? If I don't answer, I'm probably dead."
  6. "If you can accurately recite the chorus to Manfred Mann's 'Blinded by the Light', I'll answer any questions you want."
  7. "Well, I'll try to answer your questions, but I need to take my medication or else my split personality disorder is going to take hold, so whatever I say... Ben! Get that horse back in the barn!"
  8. "You kind of caught me at a bad time. Me and the wife/husband are, you know, doing it. But go ahead though, I'm a good multi-tasker. You'll have to excuse any grunting."
  9. "Can you give me about five minutes? I have a hamster in my pants and he's mad."
  10. "Sure, I'll be happy to answer your questions and... OH MY GOD!! HARVEY!! (drop the phone)"
  11. "Oh, thanks for calling. I'll be right with you." (put the phone down and do not pick it back up)
  12. "Oooh, a telemarketer. How exciting. What are you wearing? What do you look like? Are you sexy? What kinds of, you know, stuff do you like."
  13. "Please pardon me, but my Tourette Syndrome seems to be acting up." (follow with a string of profanities)
  14. "Not another call. I can't take this anymore. I just can't take it." (put the phone down. Blow up a plastic or paper bag, then pop it. Be absolutely quiet for a good five minutes)
  15. "I was just about to put my mother's head in the freezer, but maybe I have time for a few questions."
  16. "I'm happy to answer your questions. Please, go ahead." (after each question, delay for between five and ten seconds, just like their automated phone dialing systems do when you pick up their calls).
  17. "I'm going to channel my dead cat, Merdel, and she will answer all your questions. One meow is yes. Two meows is no."
  18. "I'll only answer your questions if I can do it in Klingon."
  19. (play the "I'm losing you" game) "Hi, I can't really hear you. (make static sound with mouth). "I'm going in a tunnel." (static sound) "I'm entering a haunted house." (static sound). "I'm putting my phone between my legs."
  20. "Oh, man. I've really got to go. I ate two huge burritos about an hour ago and combined with those fish tacos I ate at lunch, this is going to be messy. Might be a two flusher and you're coming with me."


Submit a Comment
  • ibbarkingmad profile image

    Brian Middleton 

    8 years ago from Southern Utah

    I realize this may be in fun, but having been on the other end of the phone from the telemarketer's prospective, I can say these suggestions are not very effective. It is not a fun job (it was the only one I could get at the time). I can also say that I have heard these and more and they do nothing to stop the calls. Simply politely ask to be placed on the do not call list. Enjoy imagining saying this stuff, but please realize that actually doing it will never stop the calls.

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 

    8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Just came from the sequel to this article and they are both hilarious! Thanks for posting and giving me a good laugh!


  • lddant profile image

    Leah, UnEarth'd! 

    8 years ago from Washington, DC

    Hilarious! Love it!

  • crankalicious profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Colorado

    Thanks to everyone for all the comments. I'm working on a follow-up column that I hope I can complete soon.

  • Robephiles profile image


    8 years ago

    A friend of mine used to give the phone to his daughter when she was about two or three whenever they would call. She would sometimes talk to them for a long time. We always wondered what the other end of the conversation was like.

  • Mamelody profile image


    8 years ago

    I used to be a telemarketer and I never understood why people were so rude. Until One day I got a call from a telemarketer, and I just bursted my wrath on the poor fellow. I quit my job the next day!!

    Great and funny hub, voted up!

  • Thatguypk profile image


    8 years ago

    Very funny hub.... thanks for the laughs.

  • northernwriter profile image


    8 years ago

    I think I wet myself reading some of these. My favourites were 8, 17 and 20. I'm totally using 20, if I can say it with a straight face.

  • ajcor profile image


    8 years ago from NSW. Australia

    this was a laugh out loud hub - enjoyed it...cheers

  • freecampingaussie profile image


    8 years ago from Southern Spain

    We had a good laugh at these even tho the only job I could get was as a telemarketer rather than be unemployed . No one likes that shift but you have to do them as well as working day shifts.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    LMAO!! I'm going to use ALL of these friend! My guts are STILL busting here! That was awesome! Keep up the great work friend!! Oh crap, a telemarketer is calling my other line....Let's see, # 5 or # 8?....Decisions decisions!! LOL

  • Julie2 profile image


    8 years ago from New York City

    AHAHA, I absolutely loved this!

  • crankalicious profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Colorado

    Thanks everyone. If you enjoyed these, you may also enjoy some of my other humor columns: Ask Mr. Reality, for example.

  • smackins1974 profile image


    8 years ago from UK

    had a good giggle at these and will have to use a few in the future, I have already used number 11 and also a really long loud blow of a whistle down the phone works well too followed by silence.

    Voted up and shared


  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    You have some really good ones here that I just may use. I have done #11 many times usually while I am eating dinner.

    Up useful and very very funny!

  • crankalicious profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Colorado

    If a telemarketer can accurately recite the chorus to "Blinded by the Light," I would feel obligated to talk to him/her.

  • aguasilver profile image

    John Harper 

    8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

    "Who did you want to speak to"

    "Mr Smith?"

    "How well did you know Mr. Smith, and when did you last see him alive?"

    "What´s your name?"

    "OK Mr Mouse, hears what you are going to do, we have your number traced and I want you to come down to Central Police Station, Homicide Squad and ask for Detective Clancy, tomorrow morning at 8.30am, and don´t be late or we will have to come and get you, do I make myself clear Mickey?"

  • BelGeode profile image


    8 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

    I will probably NOT try number 6... You never know, you might get the one dude who DOES know the chorus.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Too FUNNY! I used to get a chuckle when Tom answered the phone...He ACTUALLY has tried a couple of your suggestions! Even pretending NOT to speak English!! LOL

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I keep a bowl of uncooked rice by the phone. Hard on the teeth, but man, that's noisy when you start crunching on a mouthful of rice right into the receiver.

    Alternatively, there's the old hold-music trick. I like using the cantina band song from Star Wars.

  • Sweetsusieg profile image


    8 years ago from Michigan

    What GREAT fun!!! I had to laugh and will certainly share!! I've taken to arguing with them. When they tell me their name (which is an obvious lie) I will tell them repeatedly "You are not!!"... "No you're not!! I know Charlie Brown and this certainly isn't him!!" (Yes, Charlie Brown was just used the other day from a person who is in another Country)... Always good for a laugh!

    So are your's can't wait to use them!!!

  • Ancillotti profile image


    8 years ago from Brasil, Vitoria - ES

    Your hub made me great laughs! For sure I'll use one of those answers when they call me again. Believe me, I think that anger is not just in your country, at least here in Brazil we also very angry with this!


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