Telemarketing has been an annoyance for decades. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. are employed as telemarketers, it's no surprise that equates to hundreds of thousands of telemarketing calls placed each and every day.
Sure, you can join the Do Not Call registry to stop getting these calls, but some still might slip through the cracks every now and then. This is possible thanks to a whole host of different techniques, but the most popular is Caller ID spoofing, which adds a 1 or 0 to the beginning of a phone number with your area code (instead of a 1-800 number), making the number look legitimate and fooling you into answering.
When those calls get through, simply not answering or hanging up is the easiest ways to deal with those annoying telemarketers. Easy enough. But once Roger Anderson's son was old enough to answer the phone and heard some "bad language" from a telemarketer, he decided he had enough.
That's when he created the JollyRogerTelephone, an artificially intelligent robot that detects silences, pauses and other noises and uses that information to talk to telemarketers, attempting to waste as much of their time as possible.
At first, the bots will say "hello" followed by a series of "ums" and "OKs," depending on how the conversation is going. Next comes the biggest distractions. There's a series of, "I'm getting another call," a bee wreaking havoc, just-woke-up grogginess, a series of, "I'm sorry, can you start over?" and "I'm sorry, you sound just like someone I went to high school with."
Some telemarketers have gone as long as five minutes with the bots, others were not bothered at all, some figured it out, and others completely lost their cool. You can see a collection of phone calls on the JollyRogerTelephone Blog. Trust me. It's good for a laugh. Below is just one example:
If you want to get in on the fun, Anderson has published instructions on his website on how to send telemarketers that call you to the JollyRogerTelephone. They are:
- Press “add call”
- Dial my robot at 214-666-4321 While you’re dialing, keep chatting into your phone like you’re trying to get Mr. Jones (“yeah – phone for you”, “okay, he’s coming hang on…”, etc)
- Press “Add call” or “Merge call” or “Conference” or whatever will add the robot to the conversation.
- MUTE YOURSELF so your background noise doesn’t affect the conversation.
- Listen to the call, and hang up when the telemarketer hangs up.
As easy as the process is, it's easy to see why this program is being welcomed with open arms. A Gizmodo article hailed Anderson as a "hero" and the Official Facebook Page has been flooded with streams of praise, on top of requests for him to make an app and create a similar program for spam emails.
What do you think? Does this need to be an app? Will you be sending telemarketing calls to the JollyRogerTelephone robot? Let me know your thoughts by posting in the comments below.