Tired of telemarketers? Now you can turn the tables on them with this clever bot

Sophisticated algorithms deliver payback at last

You're on every do-not-call list and you've tried opting out, but still the telemarketers keep pestering you. What's a consumer to do? Just ask the Jolly Roger Telephone Company.

That's what Roger Anderson did, though in his case it was a matter of creating the company first. Reportedly a frustrated telecom professional himself, Anderson did just that, and now it's on hand to help phone owners at their wit's end.

In a nutshell, Jolly Roger Telephone offers a bot that's designed to waste as much of a telemarketer's time as possible by making the caller think there's a live human reacting to their spiel. In fact, it's just a software robot equipped with clever algorithms to string them along for as long as it can.

When telemarketers call a phone equipped with Jolly Roger, they'll hear a sequence of “hello?… hello?…" messages followed by “hang on a sec” and then some silence. "Yes, uh huh, right" is another thing the telemarketer will hear along the way, and when the bot thinks the caller is getting suspicious, it will say something "completely inane," the Jolly Roger site explains. If the caller stops talking and there’s a long silence, it goes back to the initial "hello?... hello?..." handshake.

The video below is just one of many illustrating the bot's success.

Lest anyone begin to pity Jolly Roger's "victims," keep in mind that many are using fake caller IDs and other unsavory tricks to skirt do-not call rules.

Jolly Roger's website provides instructions for routing your own telemarketing calls to its robot, so you can try it out for yourself. The best part of all? You can listen in and savor the results.

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Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
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