Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To help you with the most commonly questions we receive and issues we have solved for others, we have provided this extensive FAQ page.


199 - Getting Started

Did you just signup and you’re trying to figure out how to use our website to protect your phone?    Click here   for instructions.

101 - How Much Does It Cost?

The first 30 days are free for all new subscriptions, so that you have a comfortable amount of time to test our our service and see if it lives up to your expectations.  When you sign-up we ask you for your payment information, but you are NOT charged anything until after the 30 days of your free trial period.   At any time during the free trial period you can cancel the pending payment, and just let your subscription expire at the end of the trial.

If you choose to keep your subscription after the free trial period, then you be charged  for a one year subscription.  The basic service is for a single phone line and UNLIMITED calls, and costs $.99 per month, but is charged annually ($11.88).   We charge annually because we can make it cheaper that way…instead of paying the bank a transaction fee every month when they charge your credit card, we charge you just once for the year (so 1 transaction fee instead of 12), and pass along the savings to you.

You also get a chance to try out the “Summon-a-Pirate” feature for free, because with every subscription we include a couple of minutes of connect-time.

AND we will give you your own “landlubber number” – a new phone number that we can use to enable cool features like Pirate Voicemail and Simultaneous ring.

When do I get charged?

The first 30 days are free, so when you sign-up you will be asked to provide a credit card number or paypal account which will be stored by our bank, but you will not be charged (as we said, the trial is FREE!).    During the 30 day trial period, if you use up your free Summoning-Time, then you will need to manually purchase more (in other words, only 11 minutes of Summoning-Time are included in the free trial).

You can cancel at any time during the first 30 days and you will not have been charged anything.   But we sure hope you choose to continue using our service!   If you do, then after 30 days we will automatically charge you the annual cost of your subscription (e.g. for 1 phone line, you would get charged $11.88).    From then on you can cancel during the first 60 days of your paid subscription and get a prorated refund (see our Refund and Cancellation Policy” for more details).

Are there any extra charges?

The only extra charge is for Summon-a-Pirate time, and this is NOT an automatic charge.   If you want more Summon-a-Pirate time, you need to manually purchase it, by clicking on the “Add Summoning Time” link on your “My Numbers” page of the Pirate Portal.

This basic service includes everything you might want to do with this line (i.e. all of the features we advertise) except Summon-a-Pirate.    For Summon-a-Pirate you pay a bit extra because this feature requires that we launch outbound calls which cost us a couple of pennies per minute.    So we ask that you pay-as-you-go with Summon-a-Pirate by providing you with 200 minutes of service for just $8.00.

How Much for More Lines?

We allow the same account to have up to 7 phone lines,  and there are discounts for accounts buying multiple lines.    Here is a chart that shows our prices by number of lines:

Number of Lines Price for 1 Year Sub
1 $11.88
2 $21.99
3 $31.99
4 $41.99
5 $49.99
6 $59.99
7 $69.99


Also, you can upgrade at any time to add lines.   When you upgrade you will pay a prorated charge for the first year to close out your old subscription, and then the remaining funds are credited to your new subscription.  From then on, you will pay the new annual subscription price.    For example, let’s say you purchase a subscription for one line, use it for 6 months, and now want to upgrade to two lines.  Here is how we compute the upgrade pricing:

  1. You have used 1/2 of your subscription of $11.88, which we are now cancelling to replace with a new subscription for two lines. So you get a credit of $11.88/2 or $5.94.
  2. The new subscription price (for two lines) is $21.99
  3. Since you have a $5.94 credit with us from step 1,  you will be immediately charged $21.99-$5.94 = $16.05
  4. Your new subscription for the upgraded 2 lines, starts on the day you upgrade, and extends for 1 year.
  5. So one year later you will automatically be charged $21.99 should you choose to continue using our service.

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220 - Here are the different features, and which phones they work on

Not all phones have the same capabilities. For example, a regular old landline phone doesn’t have the capability to do texting or play music. It is important to remember this, so that you don’t waste time trying to configure a feature that won’t work on the type of phone you are using.

The table below is a quick summary that shows you which features are available for each type of phone.

Landlines Mobile VoIP Google Voice/Fi
Call Logging/Recording Yes Yes Yes Yes
Call Screening (white/black lists) using “Simultaneous Ring” Yes *1 No Yes *2 Yes
Call Screening via Pirate Voicemail (like voicemail, but also screens) No Yes no no
Merge (conference in a robot by dialing) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Summon a Pirate (conference in a robot by texting) no Yes *3 no no

*1, 2  – Only supported for landlines from carriers supporting Simultaneous Ring

*3  –  some carriers use CDMA networks for all or part of their coverage area.  This feature does not work on CDMA networks.

115 - What is the "Call Logging / Recording" Feature?

Every time we handle a call for you we create a “log entry” that tells you all about the call and what we did.   To see all of these log entries, you just login to your Pirate Porthole, and then go to the “Call Log” page by accessible from your dashboard.   We also record every call if it ever got connected to someone/something.  So your Call Log let’s you see all kinds of helpful information about calls AND let’s you listen to them.

There’s a great tutorial on this at this link:  Quick demo of the Call Log Page


116 - What is the "Call Screen (whitelist / blacklist)" Feature?

Want to try it?   Check our FAQ “How to Use Whitelists and Blacklists”   for instructions.

119 - What is "Simultaneous Ring"? Why should I use it?

For landlines that use VoIP,  your phone company may have a simultaneous ringing feature that makes it REALLY EASY to use our robots!  ​

What is this feature?   Simultaneous ringing lets you tell the carrier to always ring BOTH your phone AND a Jolly Roger robot.   This allows us to implement “Call Screening” for you, checking each call automatically against our database of known telemarketers  AND your Whitelist and Blacklist,  before you even answer.  If you set this up with your carrier, here is how it will work:

  • Every time your phone rings, our robot will get a ring too. It will look at the callerID and compare it to real-time database of phone-numbers being used by telemarketers and scammers.
  • It will also compare it to your Whitelist and Blacklist (check out our tutorial on how to use the Whitelist and Blacklist  pages of our Pirate Portal to set up your Call-Screening rules).
  • If the number shows up in the database OR if they are on your Blacklist, then the robot will answer the call, talk to the caller, and send you a recording as usual.   We also send you some extra information about the call.
  • If the number doesn’t show up in the database, or if it is your Whitelist,  then the robot will NOT answer the call.    You will however get an email telling you about the call.
  • So you will get an email about every call to your number (this is the default, but you can turn it off with the “Settings” page of the Pirate Porthole).   You will also see every call in the “Call Log” page of your Pirate Porthole.
  • You can use links in the email to place callers on your Whitelist or Blacklist, or you can do this directly from the Call Log page.

Want to try it?   Check our FAQ “How to Setup ‘Simultaneous Ring’ with Your Phone Company”   for instructions.

117 - What is the "Merge (conference in a robot by dialing)" Feature?

The “merge” feature is the most basic way to get a robot to talk to a telemarketer.   In a nutshell, you are answering the call and then conferencing in the robot of your choice, who you then let do all the talking. The rest of this FAQ provides instructions for how to do this.


If your landline is a VoIP service like Vonage or AT&T U-Verse, try Simultaneous Ring for an easier way to use our service!


For landlines ( you must have the “conference call” or “three way calling” service)

  1. Answer the call and say hello as usual.  Then say something to have them wait on hold.  They are accustomed to the “endless hold” prank so it’s not likely they will wait very long. Your mileage will vary. So say something convincing so they’ll hold for a moment (e.g. “hold on, my husband is right here and is very interested in your offer!”).
  2. Press “Flash” or just flash the hookswitch like call-waiting.  This will take several seconds and the caller/telemarketer will not hear anything.
  3. Dial your favorite robot (see the ‘Our Robots” page). Depending upon your phone company, you may be able to immediately press flash again. Some carriers will require the second leg to actually connect first. But my robot doesn’t ring so you should hear “hello?” quickly. Also, some VoIP carriers will connect faster if you put a # at the end. You should practice this procedure before you have a telemarketer!
  4. Press MUTE on your phone. If you don’t have a mute button then stay quiet. Any background noise will affect the robot. If you have it, press SPEAKER so you can set the phone down and continue with your life.
  5. If you want an easier way to do this, consider a “Summon a Pirate” subscription (click here)


For mobile phones (iPhone/Android):

  1. Press “add call”
    Dial your favorite robot (see the ‘Our Robots” page). While you’re dialing, keep chatting into your phone like you’re trying to get Mr. Jones (“yeah – phone for you”, “okay, he’s coming hang on…”, etc)
  2. Press “Add call” or “Merge call” or “Conference” or whatever will add the robot to the conversation.
  3. MUTE YOURSELF so your background noise doesn’t affect the conversation.
  4. Listen to the call, and hang up when the telemarketer hangs up.
118 - What is the "Summon a Pirate (conference in a robot by texting)" Feature?

The “Summon a Pirate” feature is an easy way to merge a robot into a conversation you are having with a telemarketer.  In a nutshell, when a telemarketer calls, you answer the phone, and then send us a text message.   A couple of seconds later, one of our robots calls you back, and you let them do the talking.

Have you ever received a call to your cellphone from a callerID you don’t recognize and on impulse answered it, only to realize a couple of seconds later that you are about to be hassled by a telemarketer?   That’s why we created this Summon-a-Pirate… to make it easier to merge a pirate into an ongoing call.  The idea is that instead of you having to put the scammer on hold and then dial a pirate (our “Merge” feature), you can keep talking and just send us a text message   As soon as we receive the text we have the Pirate call you.   When you see our inbound call you can quickly/quietly merge the robot into the conversation.   About 5% of our subscribers use this feature on a regular basis and they love it.     Also, we have a free app for Android which is in Beta-Test, which automates this even further, so that if you answer a call that is blacklisted, the text is automatically sent and the next thing you know, a pirate is calling you to help!  (To participate in the beta, use this link: . )

So now a little bit about how “Summon-a-Pirate” relates to our regular subscriptions:   First of all, you must have a regular subscription to use Summon-a-Pirate,  and if you buy any regular subscription, we always include 11 minutes of “summoning time” free, so that you can try it out.   We charge $11.88 per line (which is 99 cents a month) for a one year subscription, and you get unlimited use of everything with this price, except for Summon-a-Pirate.   It is an exception because it requires us to make an outbound call, and the phone company dings us a couple of cents a minute when we do that.   So we need to charge for this feature on a per-minute basis to cover our costs.   We sell the minutes in bundles:  200 minutes for for $8 (or 4 cents a minute).

In summary, most of our subscribers who are using our service with a cellphone are using Pirate Voicemail because it’s a great way to screen calls and mess-up scammers at the same time (and unlimited use comes with a subscription).  And some of our subscribers purchase add-on minutes for Summon-a-Pirate because every once in a while they mistakenly accept a telemarketing call, and this feature makes it easier for them to get the scammer talking to a pirate.

Want to try it?   Check out the  “How to Use ‘Summon a Pirate’ ”   page for detailed instructions.

110 - What is the "Pirate Voicemail" Feature?

Just recently telemarketers have started to call mobile phones at the same annoying rate that they’ve been calling landlines for years.   Pirate Voicemail replaces your current mobile phone’s voicemail with a more helpful version that screens out telemarketers.    It’s kind of a cross-over between regular voicemail and call-screening because it challenges callers to prove that they are human (i.e. not auto-dialers).    So it allows you to ignore unrecognized callerIDs, and then quickly find out if you want to answer them the next time they call.   This feature is also useful for take care of young kids and/or senior citizens:   you can set it up for them but then have all the voicemail sent to your email for review.     Our kids have never bothered to record a voicemail greeting,  so this is perfect for them.   And the elderly get tons of medicare scammers calling, so you’ll hear these scammers speaking with robots that they think are your parents.

This is how Pirate Voicemail will handle your calls:

  1. Your phone rings.   You can answer the phone as usual, or you can let the call keep ringing and get picked up by Pirate Voicemail.
  2. Let’s say you let it ring through to Pirate Voicemail.
  3. If the caller is someone you know, and you have added them to your whitelist, then the greeting they get is just like any voicemail greeting (you can record your own version of this if you like):
  4. If it’s a known telemarketer, we will answer the call with a robot (and send you the recording of course!).
  5. If we are not sure whether or not the caller is a telemarketer, we will answer the call with a pleasant greeting and challenge the caller to prove they are “real” (i.e. a human and not an auto-dialer) by pressing 1.     If they don’t press 1, they are encouraged to leave a message.
  6. If they do press 1, then we will immediately text you to let you know that the caller was human.    At about the same time, we will tell the caller that you have been texted, and ask them to “call back right away”, and that you might answer the second time.    They can leave a message here too.   Once a caller proves they are human (by pressing 1 when requested), they will never be challenged again….in the future you can answer their calls or let them rollover to a basic voicemail greeting and take a message for you.
  7. If they meet the challenge, the text we send you also includes the contact information for the caller so that you can easily add their number to your phone’s contact list.
  8. Each caller will be challenged THREE TIMES (and warned).    If after three times the caller still hasn’t responded to the challenge (i.e. pressed 1), then the caller will be marked as a scammer and all future calls from that same number will automatically be sent to a robot.
  9. Anonymous callers will ALWAYS be challenged.   If they meet the challenge (i.e. they press 1), you’ll get a text so you know to answer when they call right back.

Want to record your own greetings?   Click here for instructions.

Please note that all telemarketers use predictive-dialers (these are the machines that try to detect if you are a human).   All predictive-dialers will stop at step 2 (the “Challenge Step”), because they think they have reached an answering machine. Almost all predictive-dialers will throw your number back into the queue and will eventually call you back.   They can’t help it, and they can’t ever stop.    So eventually they will trigger step 6 and will get a Jolly Roger robot, which will then engage the telemarketer and it will be extremely entertaining for you.   After EVERY call, you’ll get an email to tell you what the caller did or didn’t do. More importantly, there will be links so you can tell us what to do the next time that same caller calls.

Please be aware that messaging and voice rates from your carrier may apply.   Your mobile carrier will probably charge you for the call to the Pirate Voicemail number we assign you.    If you do not have a plan with unlimited minutes, then do not use this feature!   Also, Pirate Voicemail will send you a text when it gets a real person, so don’t use it if you have to pay for messages!

Also while you are using Pirate Voicemail, you will no longer receive “visual voicemail” from your carrier.  We just email the recordings of your voicemail.  These emails will be sent to you un-encrypted over the internet.  If you get confidential or urgent messages, then please be wary using this feature.

Want to try it?   Check our FAQ “How to Setup Pirate Voicemail”   for instructions.

Still want more details?  More Info About Pirate Voicemail”   contains very detailed information.

123- How to Record Your Own Greetings for Pirate Voicemail

Pirate Voicemail comes with a set of greetings voiced by Jolly Roger himself, but if you would like to record your own,  you can do so by calling into our special recording number.   Here are the instructions: “How to Record Your Own Greetings”

121 - More Info about Pirate Voicemail

When Pirate Voicemail is properly configured it integrates nicely with your Whitelist and Blacklist numbers and patterns.   Here’s how it all works together when someone calls your cellphone:

If you answer the call, then we will not know about it.  Our service works like voicemail, so you need to let it ring and go to voicemail (or if your line is busy or if your phone is off, it will go directly to us).   Once the call gets forwarded to us, we check the callerid.

1) If their callerid is on the whitelist –  they will be asked to leave a message after the tone.   You will get a text telling you that they called (if you turned on this setting), and you can listen to the message in your Call Log.

2) If their callerid is on the blacklist – they will be sent to the robot configured for that number.   You will get a text telling you that they called (if you turned on this setting), and you can listen to the recording of their conversation in your Call Log.

3) If their callerid is not on either list, but when we check it against our database of telemarketers, it shows up with a score HIGHER than your threshold (by default, if this is set to 80%), then they will be sent to the robot configured for that number.  You will get a text telling you that they called (if you turned on this setting), and you can listen to the recording of their conversation in your Call Log.

4) If their callerid does not fall into any of the above categories they will hear a “Challenge” message, which offers them the chance to “press 1” to prove they are NOT a telemarketer.   This works because telemarketers do not use live-sales-people at the start of the call (they use robo-dialers), so they will never press anything.   But a real caller will press 1.   If they do press 1, then their callerid is placed on your whitelist, so the next time they call, they are treated like (1) above….they are asked to leave a message after the tone.

For any particular callerid, the caller is given three chances to press 1.    So if a caller doesn’t understand and hangs-up without pressing 1, then the next time they call back they will hear the challenge again.

If they try three times, and each time they do not press 1 (i.e. they do not respond to the challenge), then their call goes on the blacklist (so the 4th call-back will get a robot).

122 - Does the Call Log include every call I received?

Does your Call Log include every call that you received?  Not always, because your Call Log only shows you calls that we at Jolly Roger actually “handled” for you.  And whether or not we “handle” the call depends on what kind of phone you are using and which features you turn on.   For example, if you just sign-up but do not setup simultaneous-ring or Pirate Voicemail, then the only way we know about calls is if you conference in our robot.

So the Call Log only includes the calls you sent to us.

If you turn on Pirate Voicemail, then every time you let a call go to voicemail, their will be an entry about it in your Call Log.   Of course if you answer a call BEFORE it goes to voicemail, then we are NOT aware of it and it will NOT appear in your Call Log.

If you turn-on Simultaneous Ring for a VoIP phone, then we will see every call to that phone and give you a record about it, even if we don’t answer it (e.g. if it is on your whitelist)….in which case you would NOT have a recording (because we didn’t answer), but just a Call Log entry with time, date, callerid, etc..

112 - What is the difference between Personal Pirates and Pirates for Businesses?

Personal Robots are  designed to act like consumers receiving calls at their homes,  while Robo-Receptionists are built to sound like office-telephone operators answering calls at a busy office building.   While our Personal Robots talk about inane topics and ask salesmen to repeat themselves, our Robo-receptionists discuss business and ask telemarketers to wait while they complete administrative tasks. These specialized roles allow our robots to maintain believable characters while still producing hilarious recordings!

Personal Robots are ideal for everyday use for individuals or family phones. We offer options for landlines, mobile phones, voip phones, and Google Voice, so that every phone which you own can be safe from telemarketers. Our pirate crew has characters ranging from the classic Jolly Roger to the crotchety Whitey Whitebeard, each with their very own personalities and lines. These services can be found here.

Business Robots, also known as Robo-receptionists (or Biz-Bots), are designed to protect small business phone lines from cold calls and scammers.  We currently offer both a male and female robo-receptionist, Jolly Roger and Polly Crackers, to suit your business preference. You can learn more about Robo-receptionists here.


111 - What is the maximum number of lines per account?

While our original service allowed up to three lines per account, the new and improved Pirate Porthole can accommodate up to seven. If you wish to have more than seven lines on your account, please submit a support ticket here.

103 - Will this work with any internet phone company?

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

If you are going to use a “simultaneous ring” type service, be sure to claim your landlubber number so that it will work reliably. If you’re not sure how to set it up, ask our Support Team, and maybe we’ll have some very detailed instructions for your specific telephone company.

106 - How are telemarketers able to spoof so many telephone numbers?

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.

107 - It seems that more scammers are spoofing callerID. Is this making it harder for you to detect them?

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.

HOW DO I ….. ? (‘how-to’ answers for common tasks)

307 - How do I login to my Pirate Porthole?

You can login to the Personal Porthole from any page at our site.    Just click on the Login menu item at the top right of the page as shown below.   If instead of the word “Login”, you see “My Account”, then you are already logged in.    If you want to log out, follow the instructions in our FAQ “How do I logout of the Personal Porthole”.

You can login at any time by clicking on the “Login” button.

You will then be presented with a login page, and then after you successfully login you will be presented with your default home page, which for most of us is the “My Numbers” page as shown below.   Want to change your default home page?  Follow the instructions in our FAQ “How do I change the default home page?”.

This is the default home page: the “My Numbers” page.

308 - How do I logout of my Pirate Porthole?

If you are already logged in, then you can logout of the Personal Porthole from most pages on our site.    Just click on the Logout button at the top left of the page (just under our Jolly Roger Logo) as shown below.    If you want to login instead, follow the instructions in our FAQ “How do I login to the Personal Porthole”.

You can logout at any time by clicking on the logout link shown above.

309 - How do I change the default home page?

You have a couple of choices for which page is the first page you are presented with immediately after you login (personally, I like to see the “Call Log” page first, instead of the default “My Numbers” page).

To select your default home page, first you need to login (see FAQ “How do I login to the Personal Porthole”.). Once you are logged in you will get a dashboard across the top with a couple of options, one of which is “Settings”. Click on this option and you will see our settings page as shown below. Then just select one of the pages from the list (e.g. “Call Log”).   The next time you login, the Call Log page will be presented first, instead of the default “My Numbers” page.

Using the “Settings” page to change the default home page for an account.

310 - How to Setup "Pirate Voicemail"

If you haven’t already, please check out our FAQ “What is the Pirate Voicemail Feature?” before setting it up.    This will give you a helpful background about how it works and why it may or may not fit your situation. 

How to Activate Pirate Voicemail

First of all, you will need to know the phone number that we assigned to you to be your personalized Pirate Voicemail number.   You can find it on the “My Numbers” page, by clicking on the phone line that you are interested in.   Here’s an example (look for the field that says “Pirate Voicemail: 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx”):


Every phone company has a different way of letting us become your voicemail.    All of them are using a feature called “Conditional Call Forwarding”, but how this feature is turned on/off depends on the phone company.    For most of them you need to dial some kind of special sequence.   For others, when using an Android phone, you can make the changes right on the phone’s “Settings” menus.   Once you tell your phone company to turn on “Conditional Call Forwarding” to your new Pirate Voicemail number, they will automatically forward your calls to your assigned Pirate Voicemail number if you don’t answer or if you reject a caller.    So when you don’t answer your phone or don’t recognize the caller, the call will come to us.

Here are the methods to activate/deactivate the Pirate Voicemail on your mobile phone:

  • If you have AT&T, TMobile, or use an MVNO of these, WITH AN IPHONE dial **004*# to enable it.
    • For example, if the Pirate Voicemail number you claimed is 2505551212, then you would dial:   **004*12505551212#
    • Don’t forget that you need to preface the phone number with the digit “1”
    • If it works, you will see something like this on your phone:
  • If you have AT&T with an Android, then you can use menus on the phone to enter your Pirate Voicemail number:
    • Open “Phone”
    • Tap “Menu->Settings”
    • Scroll down to “More Settings”, tap on that option
    • On the “More Settings” menu, tap on “Call Forwarding”
    • On the “Call Forwarding” menu, tap on “Forward when busy” and enter your Pirate Voicemail number
    • On the “Call Forwarding” menu, tap on “Forward when unanswered” and enter your Pirate Voicemail number
    • On the “Call Forwarding” menu, tap on “Forward when unreachable” and enter your Pirate Voicemail number
  • If you have Verizon or an MVNO of Verizon, dial *71{insert the Pirate Voicemail number that you claimed in the first step up above, here} to enable it.
    • For example, if the Pirate Voicemail number you claimed is 2505551212, then you would dial:   *71 12505551212
    • Don’t forget that you need to preface the phone number with the digit “1”
    • Total Wireless is an MVNO of Verizon, and they support this
  • If you have Sprint or an MVNO of Sprint, be aware that they have recently been changing their setup.
    • SPRINT WEB SITE NOW SAYS: Sprint Instructions
    • BUT USERS REPORT THAT dialing *73 did not appear to work.  So they turned it off using *730, then dialed just *73 by itself.  They were then sent to a system asking for a number to forward to, and used the Pirate Voicemail number that they claimed in the first step (without the preceding 1). That worked.
    • Which ever options work for you, be sure to test it when you’re done by dialing your own number and checking that your calls are forwarded to Pirate Voicemail.
  • If you have Cricket or use an MVNO of these,
    • Some users have reported that this works:
      • dial **004*# to enable it.
      • For example, if the Pirate Voicemail number you claimed is 2505551212, then you would dial:   **004*12505551212#
    • Other users have reported that this works:
      • Contact Cricket and ask to “activate call forwarding” on your account
      • dial **21*# to enable it.
      • For example, if the Pirate Voicemail number you claimed is 2505551212, then you would dial:   **21*2505551212#
    • Some users have also reported needing to contact the Cricket support team.   Chat works great with them.   Tell them you want to a different voicemail, one from another company (Jolly Roger!), and then tell them the Pirate Voicemail number that you claimed in the first step.
  • If you have Republic Wireless, here is the manual which describes how to turn on/off conditional call-forwarding (which is the feature you will need to use):  Enable Voicemail
  • If you have Consumer Cellular, here is the manual which describes how to turn on/off conditional call-forwarding (which is the feature you will need to use):  Enable Voicemail – see page 50
  • If you have US Cellular, here is the manual which describes how to turn on/off Busy Call-Forwarding and No Answer Call Forwarding (which are the features you will need to use):  Enable Voicemail .
  • If you have MetroPCS, we have received different reports about what works well.   One user called MetroPCS Tech Support and was tolled to dial **61*NUMBER#  to turn on Conditional Call-Forwarding.    Others have used this article which describes how to turn on/off Conditional Call-Forwarding and  (which is the feature you will need to use):  Enable Voicemail

Immediately after enabling it, please call your mobile from a different phone and let the call last at least 6 seconds. When the call is over, you should get an email from us describing what we saw.    If you do NOT get the email, then deactivate this feature and contact us at to let us know there is a problem.

Changed My Mind: How to Deactivate Pirate Voicemail

You can deactivate Pirate Voicemail at any time, click here are instructions.

330 - How to Deactivate "Pirate Voicemail"

If you have turned on conditional call-forwarding for your cellphone to use Pirate Voicemail, and now you wish to turn it off, click here are instructions.  

311 - How do I change which robot I am using?

You can change the robot which you are using at any time through the Jolly Roger Web Porthole. Click “Login” on the top menu and enter your username and password to access your account.

Once you have logged in, click the gear button next to whichever of your phone numbers you wish to change to access the settings for that number.

By clicking the drop-down “Robot” menu, you can bring up a full list of available robots for that number. Choose the robot that you wish to use, and click “Update” to save the change. The default Random Robot portrait should be replaced with the corresponding portrait for the selected Robot.

For more information on how use your newly selected robot, you can hover over the [___] button to access instructions based upon the type of phone line you are using. To meet the members of our pirate crew, head on over to the “Our Robots” page!


320 - How to Use Whitelists and Blacklists

If we let a caller ring through to you, but you thought the caller was a nuisance and in future you want us to answer all calls from that number, then you click to put that number on your “Black-List”.   If we thought the call was a telemarketer, but in future you want us to NOT answer calls from that number, then you click to put that number on your “White-List”

So you use the “Whitelist and Blacklist” page to create rules to specify when robots answer calls for you. A “whitelisted” number will always be answered. A “blacklisted” number will always be sent to a robot. “Patterns” are just an easy way to specify a more general rule – for example, to block all calls from area code 877, add the pattern “1877*” to the BlackList Patterns. If a callerid doesn’t match anything on these lists, then we will use the spam-score to decide whether or not to send to a robot.

Want to be sure that your rules work? Try entering a callerid into the “Test a CallerID” field to find out what would happen to a call from a particular callerid.

318 - How to Integrate with SIP

As a Jolly Roger Telephone subscriber you are assigned a unique “SIP Code” that allows you to send calls to your favorite bot over SIP. Now, most of you won’t care, but some hard-core hobbyists or power users might want to do this.

To find your SIP Code, check any of the post-call emails that you get when you send a call to a Jolly Roger bot. There will be a line with the code and a link to this page. The code is something like ‘3jrt66r’. OR you can find the SIP code for your account in the Pirate Porthole. It is on the Settings page (see snapshot below):

Once you have the code, construct a SIP URI like so:


Notice the 4999 there? That’s the last four digits of our “random bot” telephone number. Just replace the 4999 with any of the numbers in the table below. Be sure to put a dash between the SIP Code and the four digits.

NOTE!! If you have a carrier who can simultaneously ring a SIP URI (our favorites are Callcentric and, then you can replace the last four digits with ‘4949’ and we will only answer the known telemarketers, or the callers that you have blacklisted.

Of course, since this is SIP, it will work anywhere in the world! Don’t be concerned that the telephone number is a USA number. The SIP URI example above will work worldwide. So, if you have any advanced VoIP service, there’s no reason not to be a Jolly Roger Telephone subscriber!

Telephone Number Last four Bot
206-259-4999 4999 Random Bot
206-259-4990 4990 Random Male Bot
206-259-4980 4980 Random Female Bot
206-259-4981 4981 Debbie Doldrums
206-259-4982 4982 Jolly Jenny
206-259-4983 4983 Salty Sally
206-259-4984 4984 Kim the Kraken
206-259-4985 4985 Crazy Mazy
206-259-4986 4986 Hurricane Allie
206-259-4965 4965 Jolly Jenny AI
206-259-4991 4991 Classic Jolly Roger
206-259-4992 4992 Whiskey Jack
206-259-4993 4993 Whitey Whitebeard
206-259-4994 4994 Moby Dick
206-259-4995 4995 Thomas Black
206-259-4996 4996 Barbarossa
206-259-4997 4997 Bloody Billy
206-259-4967 4967 William Kidd
206-259-4968 4967 James Cook
Specialty/Seasonal Bots
206-259-4975 4975 Santa Claus (Moby Dick plays Santa Claus)
206-259-4976 4976 Sandy Christmas (Salty Sally Christmas Edition)
206-259-4973 4973 New Year Bot (Jolly Jenny New Year Edition)
206-259-4977 4977 Lonely Switchman (bot that never says “Yes”)
206-259-4931 4931 Nigerian Prince Baiter-Bot (pre money transfer)
206-259-4932 4931 Nigerian Prince Baiter-Bot (post money transfer)
206-259-4978 4978 IRS Baiter
206-259-4979 4979 Windows Support Baiter

How to use these with Simultaneous Ring

There are two ways to use Simultaneous Ring with our SIP URIs. The “classic” way is to use the four digits of 4949. This will trigger our standard simultaneous ring logic, which will answer with a random bot if the SPAM score is 80 or higher.

If you want more control, you can use a directed SIP URI like so:


This will will answer with Whitey Whitebeard if the caller’s SPAM score is 75 or more.


This will answer with a random female bot only if the caller’s spam score is 100.

Your standard whitelists and blacklists will apply to calls to SIP URIs.

319 - How to Setup "Simultaneous Ringing" with Your Phone Company

For landlines that use VoIP,  your phone company may have a simultaneous ringing feature that makes it REALLY EASY to use our robots!

​What is this feature?  We have a nice high-level FAQ click here that explains what it is and why you may want to use.

This FAQ provides detailed instructions for setting up simultaneous ringing with specific phone companies (we call them “carriers”).

  1. AT&T U-Verse
  2. Blue Stream Cable
  3. Google Voice
  4. Google Fi
  5. Comcast
  6. Frontier
  7. OOMA
  8. Optimum
  9. Spectrum
  10. Verizon
  11. Vonage
  12. Help! My company is not on the list!
105 - How can I change a phone number?

You can change any of the phone numbers associated with your account through the Jolly Roger Web Porthole. Click “Login” on the top menu and enter your username and password to access your account.

Once you have logged in, click the gear button next to whichever of your phone numbers you wish to change to access the settings for that number.

Once you click the gear button and open the settings, type in the new number that you want that line to use, and click “update” to save your changes. Your number should update, and is now ready for use.

108 - How can I delete phone numbers?

Deleting a phone number is more complicated than changing one because reducing the number of lines on your account will most likely change the price of your subscription. If you wish to delete a line from your account, please submit a support ticket here. If you want to change an existing number on your account while keeping the same number of lines, you can learn more here.

Controlling My Personal Robot

203 - The bots are intercepting my calls, but the telemarketer don’t always engage

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.

We have recently learned of various “scrubber” companies that call you just to see if your number is valid. We think there is a new industry that validates a list of telephone numbers and checks for the times of day the call is likely to be answered. They may even provide reports of the gender, age, and race of the person who has answered. These companies have no intention of selling YOU anything, so this may not even be illegal. It’s a horrible industry. Jolly Roger bots will definitely make it harder for these companies and the telemarketing industry as a whole.

And as these “scrubber” companies get smarter, they may even recognize Jolly Roger bots (not likely, as we keep rolling out new bots all the time, but it is certainly possible). If so, they should filter out your number from their reports since their clients will NOT want numbers that go to bots.

So even if you get dead air on some calls, you are still helping everyone!

204 - What's the most efficient way to use "Summon a Pirate?"

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.

About Subscriptions

901 - How do I cancel my subscription?

If you are still in the free trial period, just click on the “Cancel Trial & Payment” button on your “My Numbers” page and your subscription will be immediately cancelled and your scheduled payment (to be charged at the end of the free trial) will be cancelled.

If you are past your free trial, then to cancel your subscription, navigate to the “Help” page on the website’s top menu. Scroll down to the “Cancel Subscription” button. Clicking this button will open up a support ticket through which you can request the cancellation. Prior to cancelling your subscription, please review our Refund and Cancellation policies.

On the “Help” page you will find the “Cancel Subscription” button.

902 - The "Cancel" link isn't working. What do I do now?

So you tried a link or button for cancelling something (e.g. “Cancel Automatic Renewal” or “Cancel Subscription”),  but nothing happened.    We we were trying to open up a new email window using your email client, and then pre-fill in some fields for you.   An example is shown below.     Probably the issue is that your browser is not currently configured with a default email client, but no worries, you can just send us an email directly to, with a descriptive header explaining what you are contacting us about (e.g. “Please turn-off my Automatic Renewal).    If you are choosing to cancel your subscription, please review our Refund and Cancellation policies.   After sending your email, please give us a day or two to respond.

Google Voice

1100 - I have two Google Voice Numbers, do I need two accounts?

We can support multiple Google Voice (or Google Fi!) numbers in the same account. For more details about how we can automatically protect Google Voice, see this page.