You’re in the middle of changing the baby when you hear the sizzle of water burning on the stove. Dinner is boiling over. With a half-dressed baby on your hip, You dart towards the kitchen. But the phone rings.
You answer it because you suspect it to be a callback about the job you’re waiting on. It’s a telemarketer looking to sign you up for a one week cruise. Meanwhile, dinner is burning and your baby’s decided to use your shirt as a diaper.
Telemarketers can be the worst.
Unless you’re on the Do Not Call List, no one is exempt from those intrepid telemarketing calls. And even if you’re registered, some scammers still manage to get through.
But there are those few creative people who know exactly how to get rid of telemarketers. Here are 15 funny (and Not So Funny) ways people have messed with telemarketers.
1. Turn the Tables on the Telemarketers
Almost everyone has caller id. If you don’t, you might want to invest after this. The phone rings. It’s XYZ Marketing.
You: Hello, this is Deena from XZY Marketing. How may I help you?
Them: Um, this…is…Tara from XYZ Marketing.
You: Tara, you’re supposed to dial out not call other employees in the office.
The line almost always does dead after this. You completely confuse a telemarketer by pretending to be one of them.
2. The Stolen Phone Routine
No one should find humor in death, but this one by writer, Bobby Popovic, is a classic. If a telemarketer calls, answer and say, “I’m not who you’re trying to reach. That person’s dead. I found this phone in their pocket and I’m sticking around in case the police need some information.”
Again, death is not funny, but this one is sure to stump your caller.
3. The Bilingual
Most telemarketing companies have smart dialing systems that inform them if the person they’re calling speaks a foreign language. Sometimes they don’t. In this case, have a little fun.
Telemarketer: Good afternoon, this is…
You (interrupting): Juan! Juan!
Telemarketer: No ma’am. This Jack from…
You: Fernando! Hola, Mi Amigo!
Telemarketer: Ma’am I want to tell you about a cruise…
You’ll more than likely hear nothing but silence at this point. Kindly hang up.
4. Telemarket the Telemarketer
This one may make you chuckle but don’t try this at home. Someone actually did this to a caller and law enforcement landed on their doorstep.
A man spent a few minutes talking with a telemarketer like a friend, all while recording the call. He took the caller’s first and last name then looked him up on Facebook.
He posted the recording to his page with the message: I forgot to tell you I was also recording the call for quality assurance. He then took the telemarketer’s phone number off his profile, called his home, and left the recording on his voicemail two hundred times.
5. Pretend to be an Answering Service.
People don’t just do this to bill collectors, they do it to telemarketers as well. When the phone rings, answer it like an answering service. Offer to take a message or transfer them somewhere else, like a voicemail.
The answering service bit works all the time. AlldayPA is good with this.
6. The Malevolent Phone Owner
If you own a cell phone, you’ve more than likely got a call from Scam Likely. When this continues to happen, answer in a malevolent voice then play along. Make sure your chainsaw is running in the background.
Yes, this happened.
If T-Mobile calls to sign you up for the family plan, tell them you’re family can’t come to the phone right now. They’re in the barn. Then asked if they’d like to do the sale in person on your farm.
7. The Dirty Old Man
The phone rings. You answer in a provocative tone. They introduce themselves.
You: Are you selling hand creams? I love hand creams. What are you wearing?
8. Be the Badgerer
As soon as you answer the phone start asking a barrage of questions.
What’s your name?
How do you spell it?
Where do you work?
What’s the address?
Can I find that in Google Maps?
Some people are too nice. They don’t want to hurt the telemarketer’s feelings. So they lie. “Can you call me back. I’m at the vet with my dog right now. He ate a rat and he’s sick.”
The funny thing about the lie is they never ask for the caller’s phone number. The caller’s too sympathetic to realize they got played.
10. Confusion Works Sometimes
When they call, shout demands at yourself to them. People do this.
- I don’t have time for this! Leave you alone!
- I call me all the time with this! I don’t want to buy anything from me!
- Hang up on you now!
These commands confuse callers. Some of them laugh before hanging up.
11. The Speaker
If you know it’s a telemarketer calling, answer and go into motivational speech mode. “I have a dream…”
Don’t take a breath. Keep at it until they hang up.
12. Pretend to be in Danger
Answer the phone with a whisper. “Hey, it’s me. Don’t talk loud. Someone’s in the house and they’ll hear us. Call 911”
13. Be Rude
Telemarketers are human too. They have feelings. Some people have gotten them to stop calling by being rude. Say things like:
“You sound like a fat person.”
“I bet you’re ugly and lonely.”
“You weren’t hugged as a kid. That’s why you call me all the time.”
This method is hurtful but it works.
14. Party Time
They are people who can’t take it anymore and want to give telemarketers a good dose of ‘leave me alone’.
Before you answer the phone, turn the radio on full blast. Lay the phone next to the speaker then walk away like a boss.
Silence is golden. But someone on the other side of a phone line might disagree. Answer the phone but say nothing. Sit there and listen to them say hello over and over again until they hang up.
The only way to get around annoying telemarketers is by registering your phone number in the do not disturb database. In the meantime, find creative but safe ways to rid of them.
Take a look at some more of our laugh our loud articles to help move your day along.