For some reason I’ve been the target of telemarketers recently, and I think I’ve found the secret to getting them to hang up and stop calling: just say no three times. Three seems to be the magic number. The first two times you say you’re not interested, they continue to pester, but the third time, they thank you for your time and say goodbye. I have had much more success with this method than with simply hanging up on them. First, that makes me feel rude, and a telemarketer is still a person who has a job and there’s no reason for me to be rude to them just because I’m annoyed. But second, and more importantly, simply hanging up seems to increase the likelihood that the same people will call me back with the same offer. Saying no three times seems to reduce that likelihood in my non-scientific experimentation.