- YouTube screenshot
Telemarketers are a menace to society, but one man has found a genius way to fight back against them.
Roger Anderson was tired of dealing with telemarketers, especially after one of them swore at his son,he writes in a blog post. Since he works on telephone systems for a living, Anderson decided to see if he could beat robocallers at their own game.
First, he set up a system that sent humans through to his phone, while sending robots straight to the answering machine. He did so with a system that asked if you were human and then made you click a button to get through. Human numbers would then be whitelisted so he didn’t continually annoy his friends and family.
This dealt with robocalls, but human telemarketers could still get through, so he also set up a system where he could manually blacklist them.
This two-part system worked like a charm, and he was able to cut telemarketers out of his life altogether.
- Kamil Porembiński/Flickr
But, though he had blocked them, something didn’t sit right with Anderson. “I had successfully blocked them, but I wasn’t causing them any pain or discomfort,”he writes. And he had to strike back for all the unfortunate souls still getting harassment by telemarketers.
This is when Anderson had his stroke of genius. He created an algorithm that performed a “handshake” (saying “Hello?”), then “engaged” (“yes,” “uh huh,” “right”), and then once it felt like the telemarketer was catching on, would launch into an inane mini-story. If there was ever a long silence, it went back to the handshake (“hello?”), and so on.
Here is perhaps the best line we heard from Anderson’s robot, giving an excuse as to why he wasn’t fully paying attention to the telemarketer: “Oh, hang on, there’s a bee on me, there’s a bee on my arm, keep talking but I’m going to stay quiet cause this bee is freaking me out.” The telemarketer totally bought it.
You can hear that exchange in the sample call below, or check out Anderson’s website for more.