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Website / Jolly Roger Telephone Company

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"Could you start over?"
"Oh geez, hang on, there's a bee on me. Hang on, there's a bee on my arm. Okay, you know what? You keep talking. I'm not going to talk though, but go ahead and keep talking. Say that part again. And I'm just gonna stay quiet 'cause of this bee. ... ...Okay, so you know when I said I was listening to you during the bee thing? Actually, I-I was just concentrating on the bee. I'm sorry."
—A Jolly Roger bot, doing its best to distract a telemarketer

The Jolly Roger Telephone Company, sometimes shortened as simply the Jolly Roger Telephone Co is an Internet-based company which makes bots which are designed to waste the time of telemarketers. Users of the service can either transfer calls or have them intercepted by the cloud, and later receive a recording of the results. The bots are designed to trick the telemarketer into thinking they're talking with a real person and thus waste their time, preventing them from succeeding at whatever they're trying to sell or whatever scam they're trying to push. This also has the effect of preventing them from being able to call others as well during the time wasted.

The company was named after company founder, Roger Anderson, and thus each of the bots has a pirate-themed name, such as "Salty Sally," "Whitey Whitebeard" and "Kim the Kraken." Anderson, who is the voice of the original Jolly Roger bot, founded the company after a telemarketer was abusive to his teenage son. Having worked in the telecommunications industry and bothered by the use of the telephone system for telemarketing, scams, and what-not, he became determined to do what he could to put a stop to it.


Recordings of the calls have found some popularity on YouTube and can be found here, while the company's official website is here.

The Jolly Roger Telephone Company and its associated bots provide examples of:

  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: All the bots get distracted by stuff going on in the background.
  • Alliterative Name: Many of the bots have alliterative names, including Bloody Billy, Debbie Doldrums, Jolly Jenny, Kim the Kraken, Salty Sally and Whitey Whitebeard.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: One scammer mentions killing his own dog, then offers to do the same to a bot's puppy. He was probably trying to shock her so she would hang up the phone and let him call someone more receptive to the scam.
  • Bee Afraid: Jolly Roger, the OG bot, has a routine in which a bee crawls up his arm and freaks him out.
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  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Salty Sally has one. She's mad because Sally has made her pause her show to talk on the phone, she can't use the phone, or because she needs leggings washed and dried within 10 minutes to wear out with her friends.
  • Cheerful A.I.: When telemarketers and scammers have their time wasted by these bots, the telemarketers naturally get upset, although most of them don't seem to realize they're talking to bots, and unleash all kinds of verbal abuse and swearing, and some of them try to talk to female bots in a flirtatious or sexual manner. The bots, however, are not phased by any of this.
  • Christmas Elves: The Santa-bot will sometimes be interrupted by his elves singing, arguing or operating machinery.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: All of the bots, and some of the people they talk to.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Some of the callers get very abusive when they can't successfully complete a scam. This is probably because scammers are often not allowed to hang up on a recipient without permission from a supervisor. Because of this, if the scammer feels that they aren't getting anywhere with the scam they insult the recipient, hoping that they will get so offended that they hang up. Obviously, this doesn't work on the bots.
  • Deadly Gas: Implied, one of the bots mixes bleach with ammonia to make a cleaner, these react to form toxic chloramines.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: At one point, the female biz-bot will claim to have been distracted and missed what the caller said because a really hot co-worker just walked by. "Oooh, baby!"
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The Santa-bot thinks this about the "Jingle bells, Batman smells" song because he knows Batman, and he doesn't smell.
  • Fake Interactivity: The bots are designed to trick the caller into thinking there's a person on the line, when actually the bot is just responding with pre-written routines. However, they can never actually directly respond to what the telemarketer or whoever's calling says and will fill spaces in-between with phrases like "Yes, yes" and "Uh-huh" to make the caller think that they're responding. Later iterations of the programming have gotten more advanced, such as being able to detect certain scams and engage custom routines ("Oh, my back's really hurting me, do you have medication for that?") as well as pass the call off to another bot once one runs out of material, but the same basic idea still applies.
  • Forgetful Jones: All of the bots. All of them will eventually claim, often multiple times, not to know what the caller called them about and that they need the caller to start over.
    Whitey: What is it? What are you... are you selling anything?
  • 419 Scam: The bots were designed to respond to telemarketers, however, some enterprising scam-baiters figured out that they might be used to engage with this routine as well. They would trick the scammer by responding to their e-mail saying that they don't like to deal over e-mail and only want to respond by phone and then give out the number for one of these bots. Eventually, Jolly Roger creator Roger Anderson picked up on this and designed a couple of bots which are specifically designed to respond to this scam. They will do stuff like saying that they're worried about it being a scam and need reassurance, repeat that they only want to deal by phone and not e-mail and pretend to start reading off a confirmation number, only to stop before they can finish.
  • Harassing Phone Call: Designed to reroute telemarketer calls and scam calls to bots, so humans can enjoy dinner and time with their families in peace. It has also had much success with other types of nuisance calls: charity collectors, political pollsters, alma maters calling up alumni to ask for donations, religious queries, and prank calls. And theoretically, you can blacklist a number (say, that of your Psycho Ex), which will reroute them to one of the bots, even though they're not really designed for annoying personal calls.
  • I Can't Hear You: The bots will regularly say that they can't hear the telemarketer and they need them to repeat as a way of wasting a bit of time. However, there's one in particular that asks if the caller just said "English muffin," saying they could have sworn they heard them say that, then admitting that they just started a new diet with no carbs and they would kill for an English muffin.
  • Jerkass: While most of the bots are designed be sympathetic, there is one called Barbarossa who in general is not. During a call with him, he will admit to having cheated with his boss's wife (and is rather unapologetic about it because you're supposed to hunt for women), gone out for a night of drinking, drugs and more girls, calls his child "stupid," calls for someone else to clean up his dog's mess, and eats a foot-long burrito he shouldn't have and breaks his toilet.
  • Jewish Mother: Grandmother, actually. Crazy Mazy, with the accent and everything, laments the fact that her grandson can't be bothered to call her as often as she'd like him to.
  • Mathematician's Answer: The bots, when not in the middle of one of their routines, will respond with stuff like "Sure," "Mm-hmm," and "right." As such, any direct question, such as "Can you give me your credit card number?" (bank account number, etc.), "Could I have your name?", etc., will generally be answered in such a way, driving the telemarketers nuts, as the bots will say essentially that they yes, they can, but they never actually do.
  • Mister Muffykins: One bot has a new puppy and gets distracted fawning over her.
  • Must Have Nicotine: "Ox-Gut McGee" just quit smoking and has a routine where he is desperate for a cigarette, eventually breaking down and going outside to smoke while on the call.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Kim Kracken's son in the background, stripping off his clothes and running around.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Santa-bot will mention that his workshop could be considered a hostile work environment for his elves.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The bots act friendly and gullible, but they are also very forgetful and easily distracted, and often ask callers to go back to the start of their pitch. It's obfuscating because they could be programmed to simply block calls or give a snarky response, but this would leave the scammers free to make more calls to real people. Instead, the bots act stupid to lure scammers in and waste as much of their time as possible, preventing them from calling other people and potentially scamming them.
  • The Operators Must Be Crazy: One of the bots is a "biz-bot" designed for cold-callers to businesses that is actually a pair of two bots. One of them is a male bot who after a few minutes will say that he's not the right person for the caller and transfers them to an incompetent female receptionist. This receptionist will admit that it's first day on the job and she's not really the real receptionist, insist that the caller go slow as she types what they're saying into a text, and then start talking to someone else, saying that all her lines are flashing and she doesn't know who she's talking to.
    • Also, a "Congratulations, you've just won a free vacation package!" scammer does cocaine right on the phone with Roger.
    • This call deserves a special mention. Two scammers repeatedly insult and sexually harass someone who they think is an vulnerable, elderly man. In particular, they seem to think jokes about anal sex and sex toys are hilarious. They also pretend to be aliens.
  • Prank Call: Inverted, the bots give prank responses to scam calls. This is intended to keep scammers occupied to prevent them from calling real people.
  • Pirate: The website has a pirate theme and all the bots have pirate names. Averted with the bots themselves because then need to act realistically to trick callers.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In certain cases, the caller will be told by a knowledgeable supervisor that they've been speaking with a bot, only to refuse to believe that they could have spent that much time not speaking with a real person. In at least one case, the reverse was true and the caller figured it out, only to not be believed when she told those around her.
  • Santa Claus: There is a Santa-bot who, among other things, mentions living at the North Pole, asks for a product for his elves, gets distracted singing Christmas songs and asks to keep the caller on his 'nice' list.
  • Stink Snub: Santa-bot doesn't like people making fun of Batman by singing "Jingle bells, Batman smells".
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Whitey Whitebeard is designed to exemplify this and thus makes a great choice for those looking to scam the elderly. He rambles about the bad weather, talks about how hard it is for him to get up to go answer the door, and generally seems like he's not quite all there. Later iterations of him even have a custom routine in which if the AI detects a medical scam, he will start talking about his back pain and ask if the scammer has medication which can treat that.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: At one point during the routine of the female biz-bot, she will state that she can't hear the caller because a bunch of people just walked into the office! (Guys! Guys! I'm on the phone!)
  • Talk About the Weather: Whitey Whitebeard in particular will talk about the weather as a means of wasting telemarketer time as heard here, for example. He'll go on about how he recalls how wonderful the weather was for him during a vacation in Florida, and how it's storming now outside, so he can't really concentrate on what the person on the other end of the line is saying.
  • Too Dumb to Live: There's a female bot who has a routine in which the talks about mixing ammonia with bleach to make a cleaner, stumbles around stubbing her toe, and otherwise acts the idiot.

But, uh, you called me. It was nice talking to you. I hear your voice. But tell me, what-what you call me for?


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