I do enjoy purchasing online, but there is nothing more annoying than getting phone calls from telemarketers. I have actually turned off my land line because the only people calling it were telemarketers and CVS letting me know my prescription is ready.There are “Do-Not-Call” lists, which I have joined, but still they persist. So a guy decided to fight back and has started a Kickstarter campaign for a robot program which answers the call and keeps the telemarketer busy for as long as possible. Your phone never rings but you get the satisfaction of knowing you wasted the time of the person calling you (which is even worse than hanging up on them.)I’ve posted a couple of the calls below, but there are many more on YouTube if you want to listen to them. Occasionally the caller will figure out it’s a robot, but most of the time they just can’t help themselves and continue to try making their pitch. While I feel sorry for the poor people who are making a living making these calls, anything to keep companies from making unwanted calls is fine in my book!
If you start boiling over in frustration at the mere thought of telemarketers, you’re not alone. Roger Anderson of The Jolly Roger Telephone Company was so sick of unwanted callers, he created a robot to deal with them. The Jolly Roger bot is brilliantly simple: When telemarketers call, it keeps them occupied for as long as possible, using a few pre-recorded words and phrases like “yes,” “uh huh,” and “all right.”
Anderson has made something of a hobby out of recording these calls, and a few of them are pretty hilarious. In addition to non-committal phrases like “yeah, uh huh,” the bot has some more complex tricks up its sleeve to keep telemarketers on the phone. Frustrated or suspicious telemarketers get strung along for just a bit longer with lines like “Hold on, there’s a bee crawling on my arm,” or “Sorry, I just woke up from a nap.” The idea isn’t to torture human telemarketers—the robot is extremely polite—but to waste the time and money of the companies who employ them.
At the moment, use of the robot is free and instructions are available on Anderson’s website. However, Anderson has dreams of turning his robotic telemarketer repellant into an actual paid service that anyone can use (right now, he’s using his own money to keep the bot going). He’s currently raising money to expand the project on Kickstarter. Learn more about his project here, and listen in on one of the robot’s calls below.