How to Prank Telemarketers

Geek!This is John Albrecht’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money. Ask: “How long can I keep it? Do I ever have to pay it back, or is it like the other money I borrowed before my bankruptcy?”
  2. If they start out with: “How are you today?” Say: “Why do you want to know?” You can also say: “I’m so glad you asked, because no one seems to care these days and I have all these problems, my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died.” When they try to get back to the sales process, just continue sharing your problems.
  3. If the person says he’s Joe Doe from the XYZ Company, ask him to spell his name, then ask him to spell the company name, then ask where it is located. Continue asking personal questions or questions about the company for as long as necessary.
  4. This one works better if you are male: Telemarketer: “Hi, my name is Judy and I’m with Canter and Siegel services.” You: “Hang on a second. [pause] Okay, [in a really husky voice] what are you wearing?”
  5. Crying out, in well simulated tones of pleasure and surprise: “Judy! Is this really you? I can’t believe it! Judy, how have you BEEN?” Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the heck she could know you from.
  6. Say: “No,” over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each “no,” and keep an even tempo even as they’re trying to speak. This is the most fun if you can keep going until they hang up.
  7. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with their Family and Friends plan, reply, in as sinister a voice as you can muster: “I don’t have any friends… would you be my friend?”
  8. If they clean rugs: “Can you get blood out, you can? Well, how about goat blood or human blood – chicken blood, too?”
  9. Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional affirmation. Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. They get all flustered, but just tell them you couldn’t give your credit card number to someone who’s a complete stranger.
  10. Tell them you work for the same company they work for. Telemarketer: “This is Bill from Watertronics.” You: “Watertronics! Hey I work for them too. Where are you calling from?” Telemarketer: “Uh, Dallas, Texas.” You: “Great, they have a group there too? How’s business / the weather? Too bad the company has a policy against selling to employees! Oh well, see ya.”
  11. Tell the telemarketer that you’re busy and ask for their phone number so that you can call them back. If they say they are not allowed to give out their number, then ask them for their home number and tell them you will call them at home (this is usually the most effective method of getting rid of telemarketers). If the person says: “Well, I don’t really want to get a call at home,” say: “Yeah, now you know how I feel.”

15 thoughts on “How to Prank Telemarketers”

  1. Pingback: DogReader
  2. I think a bunch of fraternity boyz sat around, playing cards, out doing one another with these ideas, which they have no doubt field tested…have you thought of submitting them to Dave Letterman for his Top Ten?

    This is rich. Made me grin.

    Mother Connie

  3. The best way to treat a live telemarketer is to just leave the phone on speakerphone and keep them guessing if you’re there..Drives them crazy…Hello?!… Hello?….I can HEAR them! And let them “accidentally” hear your new GPS has tracked them and that you’re on the way…But they are 99% recordings these days.

  4. #11 = Seinfeld. Please, don’t rip off such well known things when submitting things. Chris, that counts as plagiarism.

  5. When I get calls for my partner, I say, “she’s not here – but I’m sure she’d like to buy whatever you’re selling.” Then the now excited telemarketer asks, “are you Mr. *****?”
    To which I reply: “No, I’m just here stealing her entertainment center and thought I’d answer the phone for kicks….”
    The long pause that follows is delightful. Too bad it’s not on video.

  6. i take several stances,
    -i never say hello first
    -just put the phone on the side next to the fish tank water filter.
    -tell them to post the information to using the details they have in front of them.
    – tell them they are breaking an injunction as you have been done for telephone harassment
    and my best one “i am just switching on my tape recorder for this call, you don’t mind do you?”

  7. I picked up a call from the 800 Service today in hopes that it would be a real person, but I was expecting a recording.
    Much to my pleasant surprise, it was a person!!
    I asked if they wanted to hear my dinosaur impression. Then I let out my best, screechiest dinosaur howl I could muster. xD
    Then I hung up.

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