Creative Alternatives to the Do Not Call List: 20 Responses for Telemarketers
How do you get a telemarketer to stop bothering you? They call at all hours of the day. They don't take no for an answer. Telemarketing calls seem all but impossible to stop.
If there's nothing else certain in the world, you can be certain of this: people hate telemarketers. Based on the response to a previous column, I've come up with an additional list of 20 things you can tell a telemarketer when they call during your next dinner. There may truly be no way to stop telemarketers, but telling them some of this stuff will surely slow the telemarketers down.
- "Hello? Oh, I'd be happy to, just one second." (put phone down) "Honey, what is that? Out the window. Yes, that! Is that? Oh my God! It's Godzilla! RUN!"
- "Hello? Oh, I'd be happy to, just one second." (put phone down) "Honey look, there's a bear in our backyard. Right there. No, honey, don't open the door. I said, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR! NO!" (Scream at the top of your lungs for about a minute and then go silent.)
- (assuming you recognize the caller ID) "Hello, Ms. Ellie's House of Pain. We greet you, beat you, and eat you. How can I help you?"
- (assuming you recognize the called ID) "Hi, you've reached my answering machine. If you'd like to speak to a real human being, press 1. If you'd like to hear smooth jazz, press 2. If you'd like to hear these options again, press 3. If you'd like to be placed on eternal hold, press 4."
- "Son, is that you? Oh my God, I've been waiting my whole life for this call. I'm so sorry for leaving your mother all those years ago, but I'm going to make it up to you now I swear. I swear."
- (you need bubblewrap for this one) "This is my third telemarketing call in the last hour. I swear I'm going to kill myself if you don't go away. Please don't call me. Please stop asking me questions." (if they don't stop) "Life just isn't worth living with you people in the world. Good bye." (pop bubblewrap and drop phone)
- "I don't have the time to answer your questions right now, so I will leave you in the capable hands of my trusty feline companion, Tinkers."
- "How did you get this number? How did you get this number? HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER? Do you know who this is? Do you know who you've called? Oh, my god. You have no idea what you've done. No idea!"
- "I was just touching myself and you've interrupted."
- "I would love to hear everything that you have to say, but first, I need to tell you about Jehovah's Witnesses. It will only take about 30 minutes."
- "Hey, I'm working on a Master's degree in sign language, so I'm going to sign my answers to all your questions."
- "Oh, I never get any calls. This is my first phone call in like three weeks. Will you be my friend? I'd be happy to give you my address and you can come over for dinner. How about tomorrow night? Please? No? Okay, what if I come over to your place? I can be there in an hour I bet. Just tell me where you live."
- "I'm going to sit on this phone now. Can you hum loudly?"
- "You sound a lot like my ex, you deadbeat. Do you know that your children barely eat anything all day because I haven't been getting that child support? And we had to put the dog down and move into a trailer. These are your children, Jacob! For God's sake, have the decency to send the money."
- "Is it safe? IS IT SAFE?"
- "So glad you called. The deactivation code for the nuclear missle launch sequence is Apple Victor Charlie One Five Three. When the package arrives, you're going to need to enter that code exactly as I read it to you. The fate of the world is in your hands. Goodbye."
- "Do you smell gas? I smell gas. Boy, I was just about to light this cigarette too. Do you think that's a good idea? I'm really jonesing for a smoke. Ah, what the heck, I'm going to light it anyway. Just a second." (Hang up the phone)
- "Hello? I can't hear you very well. You're breaking up. Did you say you're selling insurance? What? Can you speak up? Whoa! That's too loud. Tone it down. Nope, still can't hear you."
- "Can I answer you in my dolphin voice? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
- "Last night I was abducted by aliens and they stuck their probes in my ears and sucked out the part of my brain that allows me to provide answers to stupid, annoying questions. Look, if they return and give me that part of my brain back, I'll give you a call."
- Federal Trade Commission - The Do Not Call Registry
- 20 Quick Responses for the Telemarketer
The popularity of this original article spawned this current one. If you haven't checked it out, here it is.