What happens when

Report the employer to the Department of Labor in the state where the business is located. If the telemarketing crosses state line, report the employer to the U.S. Department of Labor. At one time I worked for a telemarketing company that made calls for insurance companies. However, they did not pay time-and-a-half to those employees who worked more than 40 hours in a week. Someone dropped a dime on them and the Feds came in and did a Wage & Hour Audit. The company had to pay a heavy fine and the overtime pay to the employees for the last two years. BTW, they are now out of business.
I think most people are answering this question backwards. If you hired a telemarketer, you should pay them. Are you saying they did a lousy job and you don't want to pay them? Tough luck.

If they were an employee, they can easily see a lawyer in town and get their money from you. If they were a contractor, the first lawyer may not take the case, but the second one will. Unless it was a severe breach of performance that you can prove, they will still get at least most of their money.

Now, seriously, why would you hire someone and not pay them for the work they did? Okay, maybe you don't call what they did work, but, you'll still end up paying them. Cost of doing business.... I've written a paycheck or 2 I didn't feel was deserved.

I think you write the check, wash your hands and move on. Otherwise aren't you just finding things to do that aren't making you money? You may not like cutting the check, but the situation looks better from the rear view mirror, rather than in front of you. no?
Not a trick question.

Just wondered how far the person who got stiffed would take it.

FWIW, I didn't stiff a telemarketer (but I have had a few try to stick it to me . . . Jamie . . .).

I pay for my leads (regardless of how they are generated). Even the ones that are lousy.

Just askin'
I don't believe an attorney would get involved for the small amount of money involved. The grieved party would probably take you to small claims court and possibly get a judgement, if they prevailed. And I suspect that's where it would die. Judgement outstanding and monies not paid.
you hire someone to do telemarketing and then you refuse to pay them?

Hmmm, that's an interesting question. I'd imagine the answer depend on the amount in question and what type of contract was signed by the employee and I.

If my contract specifically states the following should I have to pay the telemarketer
1) No leads will be accepted for anyone 65+ or older,
2) $20 a lead
3) A lead consists of XXXX, XXXX, XXXX.....

If she calls Bob Evans at 4:30 p.m. to take advantage of the dinner rush and obtains 20 leads should I have to pay for them? Not if we both signed off on the contract and she did not uphold her part of the contract.

If the telemarketer does a good job and is fair I have no problem cutting some slack on occasion. However, I wouldn't pay for stupidity.

Where did this come from? Are you having problems with Paul's stripper client?