1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money.
2. If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Alternately, you can tell them, "I'm so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems; my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died..." When they try to get to the sell, just keep talking about your "problems."
3. If they say they're Joe Doe from the XYZ Company, ask them to spell their name. Then ask them to spell the company name. Then ask them where it is located. Ask them how to spell "Milpitas." Continue asking them personal questions or questions about their company for as long as necessary.
4. This one works better if you're male: Telemarketer: Hi, my name is Judy and I'm with Canter & Siegel services... You: Hang on a second. [a few seconds' pause] Okay, [in really husky voice] What are you wearing? Telemarketer: [Click.]
5. Cry out, in well-simulated tones of pleasure and surprise, "Judy! Is that you? Oh, my GOD! Judy, how have you BEEN?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the hell she could know you from.
6. Say "no", over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each one, 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 out blood? Can you get out GOAT blood? How about HUMAN blood?" Alternate: "Sorry, my floor is made of stone."
9. Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional "uh-huh", "rilly" or "how fascinating". Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. When they get all flustered, tell them you couldn't just give out your credit card number to a complete stranger.
10. Tell them you work for the same company they work for. Example: Telemarketer: "This is Bill from WaterTronics." You: "WaterTronics! Hey, I work for them too. Where are you calling from?" Telemarketer: "Uh...Milpitas, California." You: "Great, they have a group there too? How's business? The weather?!?" Telemarketer: "Sorry, we can't sell to employees." You: "Oh, okay. Bye!"
11. Answer the phone. As soon as you realize it is a telemarketer, set the receiver down, Shout or scream "Oh my God!!!" and then hang up.
12. (Jerry Seinfeld version) Tell the telemarketer your busy at the moment and if they give you their phone number, you'll call them back. Telemarketer will say "We're not allowed to give out our number". You say, "I guess you don't want anyone bothering you at work, right?" Telemarketer will agree. You say "Now you know how I feel!" Hang-up.
13. Breath heavily and tell them you were in the middle of having sex with your wife/husband. Tell them that the deal sounds good, but you are not waiting for another month to finish the sex.
14. Sound happy to see hear from them, and ask them if they have (a) insurance (b) a burial plot, or (c) a stock broker and that you are one.
15. Say "speak up" and continue to do so.
16. Keep one of those personal siren alarms near the phone.
17. Ask them if they are aware that you are with the District Attorney's Office, Division of Consumer Fraud, and that the conversation is being taped.