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Take THAT Telemarketers!

Home Stager with Faulkner House Interior Redesign


I recently wrote about my experience with telemarketing "crammers" here on Active Rain (Warning! Crammers and Slammers are on the Line!) and oddly I received the following in the mail the day before I became aware that I was a "victim". I was really steamed about this cramming business and when I read the email I thought how absurd some of the things were and had to laugh. 


Please don't try this at home though, no matter how funny you may think it is or even if you change some of the wording because you are much more creative.  The way to beat these businesses at their game is to just hang up as quickly as possible.  If you ask them to put you on their Do Not Call List, DON'T hold for them to switch you for "confirmation", "verification" or anything.  Just hang up. 


Switching you signals that you are opting in to whatever they are selling, which is an add on service to your phone line, in most cases. You wouldn't know this and that's what they are counting on.  Read my post on this scam for more.


In the meantime you may find at least one of these will bring a smile to your face.


Take "That" Telemarketers! *    

Have you ever been at home, enjoying the night with your family, and suddenly your phone rings?  You jump up to grab the phone, figuring the person on the other line is a dear friend calling to say they have an extra ticket to that event you wanted to go to, and suddenly your ears are assaulted by a stranger asking to tell you about an amazing deal, or conducting a survey.  You accidentally say yes and suddenly you're stuck in a 15 min sales pitch with no way out.  Well, you don't have to take it...fight back with one of these 10 tricks on how to handle a telemarketer:

1. Television Superstar

  • You: "Have you ever been on How to Catch a Predator?"

2.  Confusion:  Choose a random word and repeat...

  • Telemarketer: "Is this Mr. Smith?"
  • Response: "Pancakes"
  • Telemarketer: "I am conducting a survey; could I ask you a few questions?"
  • Response: "Pancakes"

3.  Convict:

  • Response: "Do you realize you have wasted my one call for jail?  Do you have any bail money?"

4.  Answering Machine:

  • You:  "Hello"
  • Telemarketer: "Is this Mr. Smith?"
  • You: "Haha, got you... This is Jon's phone, go ahead and leave a message after the beep" Pause a moment "BEEEEEP"
  • Wait a moment, avoid breathing into the phone and see what type of message they leave.

5.  The Set Up:

  • Response: "You sound so cute; you're not married are you?  I have the perfect person for you to go out with."  (then describe Carrot Top or  Rosanne Barr)

6.  Fake a Crime:

  • Telemarketer: "Hello is this Mr. Smith?"
  • Response:  "Quite, Shhhhh, he might hear you.   I was hoping it was the police, but you'll do.  I am hiding in the bottom of my closet, I don't know what to do, I came home and... quiet... he walked right past, he almost found me.   Maybe I should call the police.  I've got to go...."

7.  Baby Talk:  Talk to the telemarketer as you would a baby...

  • Telemarketer: "Is this Mr. Smith?"
  • Response:  "Who is this?  Is this my big guy?"
  • Telemarketer: "I am Andy with Company XYZ, how are you today?"
  • Response:  "Oohhhh I am with company XYZ, such big words for my little guy, what do you want to talk about?  Peak-a-boo! I hear you!"
  • Telemarketer:  "Is this a good time?"
  • Response:  "Sounds like someone has a case of the grumpies."

8.  Old Friends: Talk fast so he can't interrupt...

  • Telemarketer: "Is this Mr. Smith?"
  • Response:  "Hey is this Tommy? How are you? It's been too long, when was the last time we talked?  Remember that one summer, when we freed all of old mister Johnson's chickens?  I hear one of his hens still won't lay eggs.  And Mexico...don't get me started on Mexico, they are probably still looking for you..."

9.  Movies Help Us in Real Life:  Use quotes or plots from movies to end the call...

  • Telemarketer: "Is this Mr. Smith?"
  • Response:  "Dumbledore is that you?"
  • Telemarketer:  "No this is Andy from Company XYZ, how are you tonight?"
  • Response:  "Listen Andy, Ron and I were down at Train Station 13.5 and we missed the train to Hogwarts.  But that's not the worst of it. "
  • Telemarketing:  "Well I hope that works out, it will only take a minute, have you heard of..."
  • Response:  "Andy my lightning bolt scar on my forehead is hurting; he who must not be named is back... I have to go."

10.  The Jerk:

  • Telemarketer: "Is this Mr. Smith"
  • Response: "Your real parents are in Canada."
  • Telemarketer: "I'm sorry?"
  • Response: "This is the exact reason your parents gave you up."

*Info on the T-shirt shown click here

Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Too funny-- some of the responses are too funny.

May 12, 2010 05:34 PM
Laura Coffey
Laura Coffey & Associates - Valencia, CA
Broker Associate

I hand the phone over to my 16 year old who loves to toy with them. He will act like he is very interested. When they ask for payment he says he's only 16, he doesn't have a credit card, and his parents are sleeping. They will have wasted 20 minutes on a bored teenager wanting to mess with an adult.

May 12, 2010 05:35 PM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Pam, I am to the point where I have very little patience especially for those calling on my cell phone trying to get my site to the first page of Google.  If they use the right term my site is on the first page.  They dont' understand that I don't want Houston as a term.

May 12, 2010 05:37 PM
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

I find it easier to listen for a few seconds and then hang up.  I do it quietly so they can keep talking.

May 12, 2010 06:02 PM
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

That is too funny.  I will have to try the baby talk and the fake answering machine.  How clever!

May 12, 2010 06:03 PM
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

Hilarious, laughed out loud at these. I'm going to use #2 for sure, almost can't wait till my next telemarketer calls now!

May 12, 2010 06:53 PM
Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

Those are creat come backs.  I think I will work on them as a script for the next telemarketer.

May 12, 2010 07:39 PM
Mary Lou Teague
Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN

That is so funny and I will give some of your responses a try..I love to toy with them when they call. Especially now that they have my cell number !!!

May 13, 2010 03:36 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Pam- thank you for giving me a roaring good laugh today!!!

May 13, 2010 04:59 AM
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

Haha this is great!  I couldn't decide which one I liked the most!!!  I am almost hoping a telemarketer calls so I can try them out!!!  :)

May 13, 2010 10:24 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

haha!  These are pretty funny... I'm sure they would definately be frustrated!  My husband has done this a few times and they get really irritated... lol

May 13, 2010 01:12 PM
Kathleen Garvey
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver - Denver, CO
Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales

Too crazy....I could've used this list about 10 mins ago when a Voter Poll called me.  Ugh.  So OVER the disruption by telemarketers....thanks for the laugh!

May 14, 2010 08:24 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Oh wouldn't it be wonderful to get back at those irritating people!  I love these creative and funny ideas at turning the tables.

May 14, 2010 09:24 AM
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

If you get the automated telemarketers all you have to do is hit the pound key 5 times and it will automatically take you off the call list. try it, it works.

May 14, 2010 02:11 PM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

I'm glad this could provide a bit of humor.  I used to tell myself that the callers are only trying to make a living but the situation has changed.  Maybe the actually callers are OK, but the businesses behind them can be scammers, slammers, crammers and worse.  I'm of the mindset to just hang up, but since these are so bizarrely funny I had to pass them along.

May 15, 2010 02:37 AM
Lynn Crawford
A Different View - Olney, MD
Staging DC & Maryland

Pam - these calls have been driving me absolutely nuts on my cell phone which is also my business line. Fortunately, Verizon started a call-blocking serivce which started last month. They'll probably just switch to another number and keep calling but at least I feel like I'm doing something. I've actually had six calls today from the same telemarketer. I'm considering buying a whistle. . .

May 17, 2010 07:39 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA


SIX calls from the same telemarketer?  That's just insane!  Report the phone number and the times called to the FTC-you can do it online I'm told.  The law can't touch these people unless everyone take the time to report them.

May 17, 2010 07:54 AM