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.

General

199 - Getting Started

First, thanks so much for signing up! The Jolly Roger bots are standing by!   So to get started, you probably want to review how we have setup your subscription for the number (or numbers) that you entered during the signup process.    If you are reading this immediately after your signup, then you are probably already logged-in.    If not, then you will want to login to your “Personal Porthole” so that you can review your subscription.    Want to know if you are logged in or not?   Or want to learn how to login?   Check out our FAQ “How to Login”, or view the really helpful tutorial called “A Quick Tour of the Jolly Roger Personal Porthole”.

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: 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!

101 - How Much Does It Cost?

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.

 

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.

 

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 at any time and get a prorated refund (see our Refund and Cancellation Policy” for more details).    From then on, each year you will be charged the same amount (once a year).

 

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
Call Logging/Recording Yes Yes Yes Yes
Call Screening (whitelists/blacklists) Yes *1 Yes Yes *2 Yes
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
Pirate Voicemail (like voicemail, but also screens) No Yes 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!  ​

Want to watch a video instead? Click here for a tutorial that explains everything!

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.

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.   If it’s a known telemarketer, we will answer the call with a robot (and send you the recording of course!).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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.

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:

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

Ready to try it? First of all, you will need a Pirate Voicemail number.   This number is provided to you on the “My Numbers” page, when you select the advanced features for a number.   Just click on the “Setup Pirate Voicemail” button to receive your new number, as shown below:

Use the “Setup Pirate Voicemail” button to claim a unique phone number that we will use for your voicemail.

After clicking update, the user can see their new voicemail number (in this case 1-425-835-8141)

To activate it, you type in a code in your phone (we support AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and all MVNOs using those services).   The code will set your phone to automatically forward to your 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 codes 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.
  • 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, here is an 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 support@jollyrogertelephone.com to let us know there is a problem.

Changed My Mind: How to Deactivate Pirate Voicemail

You can deactivate Pirate Voicemail at any time by just doing the following:

  • If you have AT&T, TMobile, or use an MVNO of these, dial ##004# to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.
  • If it works, you will see something like this on your phone:
  • If you have Cricket, or use an MVNO of these,
    • If you turned it on by dialing a string starting with “##004” then dial  ##004# to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.   Or contact their support team over chat.
    • If you turned it on by dialing a string starting with “**21” then dial  #21# to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.
    • Or contact their support team over chat.
  • If you have Verizon or an MVNO of Verizon, dial *73 to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.
  • If you have Sprint or an MVNO of Sprint, dial *730 to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.
  • 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 used):  Enable Voicemail .
  • If you have MetroPCS, here is an article which describes how to turn on/off Conditional Call-Forwarding and  (which is the feature you will need to use):  Enable Voicemail .

In fact you can use these codes to activate or deactivate Pirate Voicemail any time you like.   Your Pirate Voicemail phone number remains ready and able to take calls, regardless of whether or not you choose to activate or deactivate Pirate Voicemail.

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:

sip://3jrt66r-4999@jrt.bz

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 VoIP.ms), 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:

sip://3jrt66r-4993-t75@jrt.bz

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

sip://3jrt66r-4980-t100@jrt.bz

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. Google Voice: the feature is called “Simultaneous Ring”, and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here.)
  2. AT&T U-Verse: the feature is called “Locate Me” and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here).
  3. Charter.net Spectrum Voice:  the feature is called “Simultaneous Ring” and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here).
  4. Comcast Xfinity Voice:  the feature is called “Advanced Call Forwarding” and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here).
  5. Time-Warner Cable: the feature is called “Answer Anywhere” and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here).
  6. Verizon FiOS: the feature is called “Simultaneous Ring” and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here).
  7. Vonage: the feature is called “SimulRing” and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here).
  8. OOMA: the feature is called “Call Forwarding” and here is a link that tells you how to use it (click here).
  9. Frontier Communications: the feature is called “Simultaneous Ring” and here is a link that tells you how to use it ( click here )
  10. Optimum: the feature is called “Find Me” and here is a link that tells you how to use it ( click here )
321 - How to Setup "Simultaneous Ringing" for Google Voice

Use this page to configure Google Voice to simultaneously ring our robots.   We’ll answer the telemarketers for you (and send you recordings), but let the real phone calls through.​

Here are some helpful instructions for setting up Google Voice for Simultaneous Ringing of Jolly Roger robots.  If anything goes wrong with the verification with Google (steps 7 and 8 below), you can simply repeat these instructions and try again. It’s all automatic.

​Assuming you have already signed up for Google Voice, here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. You already have a Google Voice number right?  If so, you are ready for these instructions.  If not, go and get one from Google first.
  2. OK, now you will need to have your Google Voice number listed on the “My Numbers” page of the Pirate Porthole.    Go ahead and set that up.   If you need to learn about how to use the “My Numbers” page, then watch this tutorial ( click here).
  3. So you can see a row with your Google Voice number right?  Now be sure that in the “Type of Phone” column, you have set it to “Google Voice”.
  4. Click on anything on the same row as the Google Voice number you see on your “My Numbers” page ( for example, click on the gear-icon or on the phone number).   This will open a box with other information about the number.
  5. In this box you will see a button that says “Setup Simultaneous Ring”.   We need to assign a phone number in our system which will be used for hooking you up with your Google Voice number.   So to do this, just click on the “Setup Simultaneous Ring” button, and then confirm.
  6. The box will then close, but go click on that row again to re-open it.
  7. Now you can see your new “Simultaneous Ring” number….it is called the “Landlubber number, in the middle of the box (see below).    This is the number you will need to tell Google about, so they link it to Jolly Roger.
  8. Now you must login to your Google Voice portal and configure your Landlubber number.   Start by selecting “Settings” as shown in the screenshots below.

Find the “Settings” in Google Voice

Click on “Settings”

9) From the “Settings” page, click on the “New linked number” option (see below).

10) You will then see the  “Add number” page.   Click on the “Verify by Phone” link.

11) You will then get a slightly different page. Add the landlubber number we assigned you, to the hilited field.   Then click “Call”.

12) You will then see a window asking you to “Verify your Phone”.    Click on the “Call” button and Google will call your new number, and we will forward the call to your mobile.

13) Answer the call and enter the verification code supplied to you by Google and click the “Verfiy” button.

14) Google will confirm that you have set this up correctly by providing an “All linked up” page.  Google will now simultaneously ring your Landlubber number when you get a call to your Google Voice Number.   Of course, you can turn this on and off via your Google Voice Portal any time you like.

15) Jolly Roger Telephone will answer the incoming call if the caller-id is a known telemarketer.  A friendly robot will chat for a while and send you the recording when the call is over.

322 - How to Setup "Simultaneous Ringing" for OOMA

Use this page to configure OOMA to simultaneously ring our robots.   We’ll answer the telemarketers for you (and send you recordings), but let the real phone calls through.​    Assuming you have already signed up for OOMA, here are the step-by-step instructions:

First, you need to login to your account on the Jolly Roger Pirate Porthole website and do this:

  1. Click on anything on the same row as the OOMA phone number you see on your “My Numbers” page ( for example, click on the gear-icon or on the phone number).   This will open a box with other information about the number.
  2. In this box you will see a button that says “Setup Simultaneous Ring”.   We need to assign a phone number in our system which will be used for hooking you up with your OOMA number.   So to do this, just click on the “Setup Simultaneous Ring” button, and then confirm.
  3. The box will then close, but go click on that row again to re-open it.
  4. Now you can see your new “Simultaneous Ring” number….it is called the “Landlubber number, in the middle of the box  This is the number you will need to tell OOMA about, so they link it to Jolly Roger.  So mark it down (or copy and paste it, as you will need to enter it into the OOMA website.

 

Now you are ready to do the setup in OOMA:

1) Login to your account at https://my.ooma.com/.

2) Click on the “Preferences” icon on top menu

3) Click on call “Forwarding” in the left “Preferences” menu.

4) Check the box to enable ringing of another phone number, and ensure it’s set to “Always” ring

5) Click on the little gear icon to the right of the phone number (if needed)

6) Set the phone number to the Landlubber number that you got from Jolly Roger in the first couple of steps up above.   In the picture below, the phone number is JUST AN EXAMPLE.   You must replace that number with your Landlubber number.

7) Ensure the box “Require key press on enter” is NOT selected

8) Click on “Save” in the number edit box

9) Click on “Save” for the call forwarding settings to be applied

 

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.

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?

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 cancellations@jollyrogertelephone.com, 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.