Before I moved, I used to have an answering machine message which worked quite well:
“Hello. You are talking to a machine. The people who own me do not have any need for siding, roofing, lawn care, encyclopedias, windows, banking services, magazines, or another credit card, and they are perfectly satisfied with their present long distance service. Their carpets are already clean, they give to charity through their offices, and they do not need to have their pictures taken. If you’re still with me, leave your name and number, and they’ll get back to you.”
I was never bothered by solicitors. If they called while I was home, I just hung up the instant I realized who they were. I figure, hey, you don’t read junk mail before you throw it away, right? You just rip it in half and pitch it. So why waste time listening to their spiel before hanging up? It’s not like I asked them to call me.
Another one that works quite well is:
“You have reached the CPX-2000 Voice Blackmail System. As you speak, your voice patterns are being digitally encoded and stored in our data banks for later retrieval. Once this is done, our computers will be able to use the sound of your voice for literally thousands of illegal and immoral purposes. There is no charge for this initial consultation. However, one of our staff of professional extortionists will be contacting you in the near future to explain the benefits of our service, and to discuss your schedule of payment. Remember to speak clearly at the sound of the tone. We’ll be in touch.”
You’ll never get a message. Guarantee it.
Another fun way to mess with them is to answer the phone, “CIA, Langley.” And then when they ask, “Who?”, you bark, “Who is this? This is a secure line! How did you get this number??? WILSON, START A TRACE!!!” You’ve never heard people hang up so fast in your life.