How to deal with unwanted phone calls

I had the unfortunate misfortune of once subscribing to a prominent local newspaper under the assumption that it would be a one-time thing, and once I unsubscribed, I would never have to hear from them again. But like that one annoying coworker who always wants to hang out despite you explicitly saying that you’re booked for all of the weekends he wants to hang out with you due to a family reunion, unexpected emergency, or some out-of-town visitors, they just keep on calling. And it’s not just them. I also may have signed up for a free Caribbean cruise at one point not realizing that there’s no such thing as a free Caribbean cruise (although technically, there are Caribbean cruises where you only have to pay hundreds of dollars worth of taxes and nothing else), and so I’ve been getting calls wondering when I want to cash in on my amazing deal for a 10-day cruise in the Bahamas as well as calls wondering if I would be interested in renewing my subscription to the San Jose Mercury. Whoops, I said their name. Anyway, I’ve been devising increasingly ridiculous ways to get rid of them, and here are some of the ones that seem to have worked. I’m sure they’d work in other situations as well. Use with discretion.

1. The “I’m traveling right now, so could you call me later?”

They never call you later.

2. The “I’m moving to [a remote 3rd world country] tomorrow for [job].”

My favorite is “Malawi” for “the Peace Corps”.

3. The “Sorry, wrong number”

Has a 50/50 chance of working, so hang up immediately.


In case you want to blow off steam. Only works the first time.

5. The “I’m sorry, but he died a few weeks ago”

Easiest way of getting your name off of the mailing lists.


One response to “How to deal with unwanted phone calls

  1. #5 by far the best one on here althought #2 is good too

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