FAQs

Bot Control

When using simultaneous ring, always use the number 206-259-4949. If you are not using this number, the bots will pick up every call. The ‘4949’ number will only answer known telemarketers or numbers that you have blacklisted. Whether or not a bot picks up, you will receive an email after every call with links to tell us what to do with this number next time.

For now, the white and black lists are managed via email. After every call, you will get an email with links so you can tell us what to do next time. We are working on a customer portal for you to manage this yourself. It will allow more flexibility with these lists.

Telemarketers always use predictive dialers, which is why you have to say “Hello” a couple of times before the agent comes on the line. These machines dial multiple people at the same time, in hopes of reaching a live person. Sometimes, they reach two or more people at the same time and don’t have an available agent to respond after you’ve answered. The predictive dialer will wait for several seconds, hoping an agent will become free, but if that doesn’t happen, the dialer hangs up on you.

If the telemarketer organization is at all savvy, this will show up on their timing reports so that they can tune and improve their autodialers. However, if this is an exceptionally shady organization they won’t bother to look at their autodialer reports and continue to call you repeatedly. This can be why you will often see the same caller over and over. Although, because they will often spoof their numbers, it can also appear to be several different callers. Hopefully, Jolly Roger Telephone is intercepting these calls for you. While not satisfying to listen to, if the organization is watching their stats, they will increase the number of agents, which ultimately costs them.

[update] There is also the case where telemarketers are probing the telephone network for valid numbers. They may be compiling a list of numbers that are valid. Or, they could simply be badly-programmed predictive dialers that don’t know what to do when the call engages.

If nothing else, Jolly Roger can answer these calls for you and save you the hassle.

Telemarketers are trained to not wait very long, so it can get tricky if you ask them to hold. We just send the text while we are talking to the telemarketer and typically they don’t even notice the voice change. Sometimes we do ask them to hold on and say, “You want to talk to the home owner,” or whomever they are asking for.

If you are using an iPhone, we recommend using an app called “Other” by Daniel Farrelly, which allows users to send a text to one specific contact. It makes it easier for us to summon the pirates. We believe there are apps for the android that do the same thing.

If you are not receiving an email from Jolly Roger Telephone after every phone call, then we are probably not getting all of the information that we need from your carrier. We use something called the Redirected DNIS to associate incoming calls with your account. If we don’t receive this, we have no way of knowing that these calls were originally placed to your number. We can fix this by assigning a dedicated number to you. Please send a note to support@jollyrogertelephone.com and we will get it sorted out. Please include a recent call that you received, but did not get a corresponding email from us.

We are currently working on a new portal to enable our users to modify this on their own. Until then, however, we are more than happy to get this set up for you. You can choose a random male bot, random female bot, or a specific bot.

For more information about the different bots: http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/pick-a-robot

Just send us an email at support@jollyrogertelephone.com to let us know which option you prefer and we’ll switch it over for you.

At the moment, we always send an email in case you change your mind about how you want us to handle the call (so you don’t have to go back and dig up an old email). We are currently working on a web portal for you so we don’t have to email everything. All the emails contain a unique string in the subject line. For now, you can create an email rule in your email client to filter out the notes with “(jrt-ignore)” in the subject line.

General

First, thanks so much for signing up! The Jolly Roger bots are standing by! The trick is getting the bots engaged with your telemarketers. There are several ways to do this:

1) If you answer your phone and it’s a telemarketer, then you’ll need to set up a three-way call and “conference” in a bot. The bot will then take over the conversation. You’ll need to stay connected, but you can put the phone on mute and listen along. Instructions for most carriers are here: http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/use-a-robot

2) If you answer a telemarketer on your mobile phone and you want a quicker way to add a bot, then consider the “summon a pirate” service where you send a text and a bot calls you back immediately. There’s no hold time for the telemarketer. All of a sudden they are talking to a bot. Summon a Pirate instructions are here: http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/how-to-use-summon-a-pirate

3) If you’d like Jolly Roger bots to *automatically* protect your landline, then you can use a feature that your landline carrier probably offers called “simultaneous ring”. This enables Jolly Roger Telephone to intercept your telemarketers if we detect that a known telemarketer is calling you. You can also ‘blacklist’ and ‘whitelist’ callers. Be sure to use the telephone number 206-259-4949 and see the instructions here: http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/how-to-use-simultaneous-ringing

4) There’s a new service in the works to automatically protect mobile phones as well. It’s still in beta-testing phase, but you can see the post about it here: http://jollyrogertelephone.com/call-for-beta-testers-new-service-to-automatically-protect-mobile-phones/

Our apologies if this looks overwhelming. The service has evolved to make it as automatic as possible. We keep coming up with easier ways to get Jolly Roger bots engaged with your telemarketers. Remember – every minute you keep a telemarketer engaged is one less minute they have to scam the next person. Jolly Roger Telephone automates this process and protects your phone *as well as* the next person on their list! Thank you for joining the fight!

If you answer and it’s a telemarketer, then you’ll need to do a ‘three-way call’ to add the bot to the conversation. The instructions for most carriers are here: http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/use-a-robot

We can automatically protect most landlines using the ‘simultaneous ring’ feature the is generally available from most carriers.

http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/how-to-use-simultaneous-ringing

However, there is a neat trick with Google Voice. If you have answered a telemarketer that called into your GV line and you are using the ‘Deep Six with Google Voice’ subscription from Jolly Roger Telephone, then you can press ‘*’ to join a bot to your call. You can listen along or hang up, either way, the bot will continue wasting the telemarketer’s time.

The short answer is not yet, we are working on a “press 1 if you are human” thing. The closest thing we have at the moment is our Simultaneous Ring feature: 

http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/how-to-use-simultaneous-ringing

Jolly Roger Telephone is able to intercept telemarketers to your landline using something called ‘Simultaneous Ring.’ Each carrier calls it something different, but essentially it is a service that will ring another number as your home phone rings. Unfortunately, this service is not available on mobile phones. Google Voice offers this, but none of the traditional mobile carriers will do it at this time. We are working on a solution for mobile phones but we have not released it yet. You can see more information about the beta program at http://jollyrogertelephone.com/call-for-beta-testers-new-service-to-automatically-protect-mobile-phones/

Yes! There are three ways you can use our service with your mobile phone.
1) The standard “three-way call” where you conference call in the bot: http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/use-a-robot
2) Using the “summon a pirate” service: http://www.jollyrogertelco.com/how-to-use-summon-a-pirate
3) Our new beta program where Jolly Roger replaces your existing voicemail: http://jollyrogertelephone.com/call-for-beta-testers-new-service-to-automatically-protect-mobile-phones/

Yes! As long as your phone service can simultaneously ring another number, then it will work.

We do have to assign a dedicated number to you, so if you decide to sign up, please purchase the “Deep Six for Google Voice” plan which includes a dedicated number. You may not have Google Voice specifically, but the fundamentals are the same.

We are working on a self-service portal for you to make these changes yourself. For now, just send an email to support@jollyrogertelephone.com and we will take care of it.

When Caller ID was invented, it was expensive to make telephone calls and required special equipment to set the Caller ID. Because of the cost, the telephone network did not authenticate the Caller ID. Now, anyone can place a call anywhere in the world and it costs almost nothing to make calls. Believe it or not, the caller chooses the Caller ID when they place a call on the telephone network today. There is no verification at all.

This is necessary and used legitimately all the time in cases like findme/followme services, doctor’s appointment reminders, school announcements, etc. The downside of this is that telemarketers can and do also use this technology to spoof numbers. They don’t really HAVE these numbers, they just present the number as they call. It is similar to you writing any return address you want on an envelope that you mail.

As telemarketers use a new Caller ID, it can take a while before the spam companies recognize it as fraudulent. It is a very difficult problem to solve right now. The industry is working on a solution but in the meantime, Jolly Roger, with the feedback of our users, is here to help support spam companies identify these number more readily.

Telephone numbers are rated in terms of their likelihood of being a telemarketer, known as a Reputation Score. The higher the score, the more likely the number belongs to a telemarketer. Jolly Roger Telephone uses a third-party service (TrueCNAM) to assign a Reputation Score. The actual process is complicated and involves several hundred thousand ‘honeypots’ throughout the USA in addition to feedback from Jolly Roger Subscribers.

Some types of telemarketing fraud are easy to detect, such as commonly used numbers, or invalid telephone numbers, such as 000-000-0000. Other numbers can be more challenging to identify, especially ‘Family Reflection’ where the telemarketer spoofs the first 6 digits of your telephone number, hoping that you will pick up a ‘local call.’ The industry is working on a method to validate Caller ID, but at best it is several years away. In the meantime, we are working to enhance the service, allowing our Users to enter custom ‘White’ and ‘Black’ list patterns.

Google Voice

You can use the same mobile phone to register both of your Google Voice numbers, all we do is forward the call to you, so the number doesn’t really matter. Once we set up your account, please send the “Landlubber” text to 214-666-4321, and you should get a confirmation text with both Landlubber numbers. Then you can add your Jolly Roger Landlubber numbers to your Google Dashboard. When Google calls to verify each number, we will forward the call to your mobile. We will only forward Google’s verification number to your mobile, all others will be ignored/answered by the bots. You can repeat the verification as many times as is necessary and you DO NOT need to repeat the text once you get confirmation.