Telemarketing Enemy Foiled
Telemarketers everywhere may be rejoicing. Or lamenting the loss of their free moment of publicity. On Feb. 29, the Kickstarter campaign for The Jolly Roger Telephone Co. failed, taking with it the solution promising a major time-waster for human telemarketers.
The idea was that if telemarketers called a phone — cell or landline — they would get the recorded voice of Roger Anderson, a telecommunications consultant in Los Angeles who “got tired of getting endless telemarketer calls, so I created a robot to talk to telemarketers.”
If it had been funded, consumers could’ve subscribed to the service that would take over the telemarketing call for them and listen to the telemarketer, responding depending on the caller’s inflections and pauses.
“UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You are the homeowner, correct?” quotes NPR on Feb. 25, citing one of Anderson’s recorded telemarketer sessions. “ANDERSON: Oh, gee, hang on. There's a bee on me. There's a bee on my arm. You know what? You keep talking. I'm not going to talk though, but go ahead a keep talking. Say that part again. And I'm just going to stay quiet 'cause of this bee. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What we do is that every year annually, I sent you a mailer about two weeks ago. And they had a picture ... ANDERSON: Look, I know I'm kind of out of it, but that was way too much information all at once.”
But Anderson says he’ll be back.
“If you don’t like or understand The Jolly Roger Telephone Company bot,” Anderson writes on Feb. 28, “then it’s simply not for you. That was the best advice I’ve read from Seth Godin. And he has dispensed a lot of good advice. I cannot expect unanimous support, but I’ve been ripped rather quickly from my protective-introvert-shell and I am working on developing the shields to protect myself from this criticism. To my supporters, thank you.
“So the Kickstarter is not looking good,” he continues, writing the day before the project failed. “I must be realistic and assume this is not going to get funded. Please be patient because it may take me a while to pay the infrastructure costs, incorporation fees, insurance, and legal services in order to set up an inexpensive subscription service. I do have a lot of plans to disrupt unsolicited telemarketing. And to be funny, entertaining, and effective at the same time.”
The campaign failed, despite having 718 backers who would have given $25,597. Kickstarter didn’t give Anderson the money because he didn’t reach his $46,000 goal.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 3,146 people liked his Facebook page.
Telemarketers, what do you think of this occurrence?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: 12 Steps to Successful Telemarketing Calls