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A Bot That Drives Robocallers Insane 253

Trailrunner7 writes: Robocalls are among the more annoying modern inventions, and consumers and businesses have tried just about every strategy for defeating them over the years, with little success. But one man has come up with a bot of his own that sends robocallers into a maddening hall of mirrors designed to frustrate them into surrender. The bot is called the Jolly Roger Telephone Company, and it's the work of Roger Anderson, a veteran of the phone industry himself who had grown tired of the repeated harassment from telemarketers and robocallers. Anderson started out by building a system that sat in front of his home landlines and would tell human callers to press a key to ring through to his actual phone line; robocallers were routed directly to an answering system. He would then white-list the numbers of humans who got through. Sometimes the Jolly Roger bot will press buttons to be transferred to a human agent and other times it will just talk back if a human is on the other end of the line to begin with.
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A Bot That Drives Robocallers Insane

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  • Caller ID Blocker (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mister Transistor ( 259842 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:09PM (#51447191) Journal

    You can buy one of these for $50.00 from Amazon, and they have been around for a few years. Not so amazing...

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:20PM (#51447295) Homepage

      The bot is designed not just to reroute the callers, but to frustrate them and waste their time, as well.

      Oh, I don't know ... wasting their resources and annoying the hell out of them if you can sounds way cooler.

      So much telemarketing is just spam these days, and the companies who rely on it bought exemptions so the same people in the same call centers could call us with both "real" bullshit as well as the fully scam bullshit. Between that and the laundry list of exemptions, it's not like do not call lists work.

      If you can fuck up the business model and tie up their resources, maybe that will help get rid of more of it. And, really, where I live I have apparently called myself on numerous occasions with spam calls, despite me telling myself to stop doing that.

      I doubt your caller id blocker can fix the problem of carefully crafted fake caller ID which looks like a local call.

      What needs to happen is stop the stupid exemption for fake caller ID to allow corporations to use those call centers in the first place. If you don't have a real, verifiable caller ID, your call gets dropped in the system.

      I don't care if your business model is having someone call me from Bangladesh ... not my fucking problem.

      • If you can fuck up the business model and tie up their resources, maybe that will help get rid of more of it.

        This is exactly what I do, and I enjoy every minute of it. :)

        • by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:06PM (#51447771)
          I have several games I play with them. One is to make myself sound very old with a feeble voice, forcing them to listen closer, then scream bloody murder. Another starts the same but I kite them along until they want an identification of some nature. Then I tell them "I can't remember, I'll get my credit card." This engenders the desire to wait. Then I quietly set the phone down and go about my business.

          There are others, but those two are the most fun.
          • by ripvlan ( 2609033 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:24PM (#51447979)

            Yeah - I have 2 that I play. My time is valuable (to me) so I make it short - but I like to make them uncomfortable.

            Old married couple who can't hear what the person is saying. They keep talking angrily back and forth "if you put your hearing aid in like I said" "shut up woman" "you old sob - I should have listened to my mother" "I don't have a good grip - don't drop it" [drop phone] [click]

            When the Windows Tech Support people call I use this one:

            [Dad voice] "I have a virus on my computer again? hold on - I told my kid to stop messing with the computer. Son!! Get your ass down here now. How many times have I told you... why you S-O-B... I'm going to beat you"
            [whack some object for effect]
            [child voice] "Ow Dad, ow ow I'll be good. [waah] stop it please stop it"
            [Dad voice] "Here - you talk to this mother-f'r and fix the goddamn computer. We're going to have a looong conversation when this is over"

            • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:33PM (#51448069)

              I like it -- and if the fake tech support person is smart enough, he'll be even more offended: when the father calls his child a S-O-B, he's really accusing himself of bestiality.

            • Not exactly for sales calls, but when I'm stuck with tech support and they feed me some "got to reload the OS from scratch" B.S. that's going to take forever (for no reason), I find that putting the phone on speaker and setting it down next to a laptop cooling fan is at least some small measure of revenge.

              • by Rei ( 128717 )

                Back when I lived in the states (I've never gotten a single telemarking call here in Iceland) I've often been tempted to respond with, "Why should I buy your product when I'm going to kill myself as soon as I get off the phone?" Suddenly making their job waaaay more stressful than they expected when they picked up the phone.

                Never did it, but... ;) Honestly, I just couldn't get myself to be that mean to them, they're just normal people on the other end working menial, low paying jobs.

                • I get mean. Just because you aren't Hitler himself and are merely following orders, I don't let you off off the hook....

            • I told the "Microsoft Tech Support" crook "But I don't have a computer."

              That apparently wasn't in his script; it took a while for that to register.

              My wife was about to bust up laughing. After I hung up, she said "You lied!".

              I said "No, I didn't. I don't have *a* computer. I have *a bunch of* computers.

              • Re:Caller ID Blocker (Score:5, Interesting)

                by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper&booksunderreview,com> on Friday February 05, 2016 @04:41PM (#51449225) Homepage Journal

                I strung him along by responding literally to his questions while using a handy FreeBSD server I had sitting there under the table until he gave me their logmein url(which I later reported to logmein support, who promised to close their account), then allowed him to finally make sense of my somewhat responses (I don't see a Start button, but I do have a window I can type that command in... What version am I using? The OS says version 10, etc...) when I finally asked him what kind of computer engineer has never heard of FreeBSD before...

          • " then scream bloody murder."

            careful how loud you scream...friend of mine played a prank call on some guy once that incorporated some screaming, ended up rupturing the guy's eardrum. No idea of all the circumstances involved (phone volume etc.) but would be a good idea to not go over the top with it.
            • I think that rupturing a telemarketer's eardrum would be considered a feature, not a bug.

            • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:46PM (#51448789) Homepage

              We're talking about telemarketers here. If you can physically harm them over the phone line... it might delay the next call. Totally worth it.

              If no innocents are being killed, I say fire at will, stake those vampires!

              They have no right to call you, you merely don't have methods to stop them. Often they're calling in violation of the law, and if they harm themselves doing it, well they should buy telephones that don't harm them. Blaming their victim for screaming too loudly is pathetic; it is their telephone manufacturer who has a duty to make a safe device, not the person they call with it.

          • My greatest achievement in telemarketer trolling goes as follows:
            I'd been getting a lot of marketer calls, so I knew the ones calling me where going strait to a real operator, so I made a plan, and when I got the next call from them, I put on my most official sounding voice, and say:

            "Thank you for calling the FBI self incarceration hotline. To surrender in English, press 1. Para español presione dos."
            There is this pause, then the guy goes "Hello?"
            "Thank you for calling the FBI self incarcerati
        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          I wrote a few simple scripts for Asterisk using a bunch of celebrity sound board samples (borat etc), but something with silence detection and some crude speech recognition could be a lot more amusing...
          I'm surprised there isn't already something like this you can download and plug into asterisk.

      • Re:Caller ID Blocker (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mister Transistor ( 259842 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:51PM (#51447621) Journal

        Neither will the system in the summary. The advanced call blockers do everything stated in the summary with the exception of the last sentence, they don't jabber or press buttons randomly.

        They operate in two modes, whitelist only smart mode and white/black list or training mode. In the training mode everything rings through except black listed numbers. You manually indicate white or black list status to the device for a few weeks for incoming calls. Then, once you have built a whitelist database up, you put it in smart mode. That only allows whitelist calls through, and anything else gets answered with a prompt to be put through if you are a human caller.

        Rejected calls and "no caller ID", "anonymous" and "unknown" are all automatically blocked. I have one and I'm very happy with it, and no I don't work for either a manufacturer of them or Amazon.

        Although it doesn't maximize the time-wasting aspect of annoying the incoming callers, it at least answers and hangs up on them, so it costs them their dime.

        Anyway, most telemarketers use Entropy mass dialers that call 10 numbers at a time and only transfer the one that answers to a live agent, so 9 out of 10 times you're bot is only hassling another bot.

        • they don't jabber or press buttons randomly.

          ... which means they don't solve the problem by disrupting the business model. The jabbering and button pushing is the most critical feature.

          • Ehh. To me the most important feature is my phone not ringing with annoying, intrusive, unwanted sales or other annoying calls. Wasting their time is a plus, but not my primary objective.

      • Calling line ID spoofing is very common in corporate systems. Some carrier require to you identify you call to them, but still allow you pass a spoofed ID on to the called party. There are some very legitimate reasons for this such as: Changing your call back number to a toll-free number, and maintaining the original calling number on forwarded calls.

        • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @04:17PM (#51449047)

          . There are some very legitimate reasons for this such as: Changing your call back number to a toll-free number, and maintaining the original calling number on forwarded calls.

          It should be pretty trivial to develop a system where the carrier can verify that the spoofed ID is in fact a legitimate number tied to the calling organization.

          It should be even more trivial to develop a system where the callerid spoofed on my handset can be reported to the carrier, with the time of the call, and they can immediately determine where the call REALLY came from, and report that to me, to the police... to whomever.

      • So much telemarketing is just scam these days


        Most of them seem to be trying to get me to donate to their political campaign or charity, which after further research, doesn't exist.

      • If the call is routed from Bangladesh VOIP to a call center in Nebraska before hitting the POTS, I'm cool with that, the ID can read Nebraska.

        What I'm not cool with are the calls from different random area codes and numbers, over and over from the very same marketing scheme (claiming to "Update your Google Listing"), which change from pressing 2, 9, 7 or whatever to be removed from their list and only tell you that after 45 seconds of BS, and within a week you're getting another call with the same scam from

    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      This scenario is already inferred by TFS. The guy uses a white list of trusted callers. Not on the trusted caller list (no Caller ID data at all would fall into this category), then you're met with a challenge which requires a response before it'll ring through to the main line. So yeah, this scenario is already easily handled.

    • You can buy one of these for $50.00 from Amazon, and they have been around for a few years. Not so amazing...

      What is it called? Where can I find it on Amazon? Got a link?

  • Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:11PM (#51447201)
    You can't drive robocallers insane... they're already there!
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by OakDragon ( 885217 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:24PM (#51447345) Journal
      "Have your robot call my robot."
  • by Camel Pilot ( 78781 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:17PM (#51447261) Homepage Journal

    Why hasn't the Do Not Call list worked? Seems there was too many loop holes and ways around the law I guess.

    • Too hard to enforce. We get three or four robocalls plus one or two nuisance "surveys" every day. The robocallers almost never display a real phone number. How can the authorities track down and execute (robocalling is capital offense, right? If not, it should be) Rachel from Cardholder Services without her phone number?

      • I am in Europe and was getting up to 10-15 calls a week from Italian numbers 2-6 years ago. The numbers seemed to change pretty much with every call although I seem to remember it was only the last 4-6 digits which would vary. I would have cheerfully blacklisted the entire country but could not find a way to do this.
        As it was I would turn the telephone off when I was away for more than a day, really "off" - "The number you are dialing is currently unavailable".

        In the end (after years of this) they put me

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:58PM (#51447709)

        The robocallers almost never display a real phone number.

        That's the root of the fucking problem, right there. The telco knows where the call originated, they keep very good track of that for billing purposes. Even if the call is a nonrevenue toll-free call, they still log the information and can determine who made the call. In the case of VOIP gateways, they know which one injected the call into the POTS network and that gateway knows which of its users is responsible. But the telcos have no incentive to do anything about the problem or to help us do anything about it. The robocallers and scammers are paying customers after all.

        Caller ID has outlived its usefulness. I think we're at a point where consumers should receive the unforgeable ANI information by default.

      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        Put the companies selling these services under.

        Protip: Most of them are owned by, or subsidiaries of, Level 3. Of those that have failed to adequately obfuscate their phone numbers, every single one I've gotten so far has originated from Level 3 or a company directly related to them.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Why hasn't the Do Not Call list worked? Seems there was too many loop holes and ways around the law I guess.

      Because... technology.

      The same technology that enables you to call home and long distance for cheap is the thing telemarketers use to bypass the DNC list. Basically, telemarketing has been offshored.

      The telemarketers call using VoIP from places like India, ensuring that they do not have to follow the DNC laws (because they're not subject to US laws).

      And it doesn't matter if you go after the US company

      • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

        For me the obvious sign that it's a scam call is...the caller ID is not in my contacts list. The cool with cell phones is you can set them to not ring if the caller isn't in your contacts. That doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me just fine. If it's a legit call, they'll leave a voicemail and I'll notice that within an hour or sooner.

    • Because so far it's not possible to shoot whoever is on the other end of the phone.

      Invent it and becomes rich and famous.

    • by labnet ( 457441 )

      Maybe you should move to Australia; it works here.
      We also have free health care, 'the metric system', less corrupt politicians, sane gun laws, chill work culture, and hot women! ... Ohh And for you camel pilot, we have lots of them in our outback, so many in fact we shoot them on mass from helicopters, so come to Oz and be out Camel Pilot!

  • Kickstarter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:19PM (#51447281) Homepage Journal

    I see he has a Kickstarter going for a commercial version. Problem is that as soon as more than one person has it, the callers will learn to recognize the voice in the first few seconds. In fact they will train their computers to recognize the voice and not even put it through to a human being, so really it's no better than just hanging up.

    • Right, because there's totally no way you could record your own phrases.

      Before anyone gets carried away by how fucking brilliant I am, I'd considered building a telemarketer tormentor using Astrerix [asterisk.org]. It never got past the beermat stage, but we thought of that problem and solved it before we'd even finished the first beer.

      • Right, because there's totally no way you could record your own phrases.

        Before anyone gets carried away by how fucking brilliant I am, I'd considered building a telemarketer tormentor using Astrerix [asterisk.org]. It never got past the beermat stage, but we thought of that problem and solved it before we'd even finished the first beer.

        I saw this on kickstarter and considered supporting it until I saw that it was a subscription service. I have zero interest in a subscription service. Now if it was a consumer device for $50 (or an android/iphone app) then I would consider it especially if it allowed some customization and/or had randomization.

    • Then everyone can use his voice as their voicemail. Sounds good to me!
  • by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:21PM (#51447305) Homepage

    I love listening to the itslenny calls.... https://www.reddit.com/r/itsle... [reddit.com]

    • I just keep telling them stories that go nowhere to frustrate them. Like that one time when I was trying to get a new heel for my boot. I had an onion tied to my belt. Which was the style at the time...

  • Could be better. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marciot ( 598356 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:26PM (#51447369)

    To really piss off telemarketers, the robot should give itself away after a few minutes by saying "this has been a recording. Have a nice day." In this sample call, the telemarketer just eventually hung up, thinking he was talking to a person who just had too much time on their hands. I think the reaction would have been better had he known he had been duped by a machine.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:28PM (#51447399)

    I fuck with telemarketers mercilessly, waste their time, and generally ruin their day until they hang up. :)

    I also have a list of test questions that I make them answer before I let them proceed. Some are legit questions (how deep is the Mariana Trench?) and some are trick questions.

    Question: If I have 10 apples and you take 5, what do you have?
    They always say "5"....
    My answer: No, you have two broken arms, because NO ONE takes my fucking apples!

    I love running them ragged and by the time they hang up in frustration (or if they fail 3 questions) they realize that they suck and should seek honest employment.

    Sometimes I make an "appointment" with them, but I give them a bogus address. Sometimes I give them my actual address and just play dumb when they show up a day or two later. It quickly becomes a lose-lose situation for companies to hire these telemarketers and they don't re-hire them, lol. :)

  • Wouldn't take much to have the bot also submit a complaint to here:
    https://complaints.donotcall.g... [donotcall.gov]

    Who knows if the government checks the list but couldn't hurt.

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:32PM (#51447449)
    When I was unemployed for two years (2009-2010), and getting ready to file for chapter seven bankruptcy in 2011, the credit card companies sold my debts to the debt collecting agencies. Most debt collectors were disappointed to find a note in the file that I was filing for bankruptcy and left it at that. A few weren't so polite. One debt collector kept hanging up on me when I demanded that he acknowledged the note in the file. I called five times in five minutes, tying up his phone during that time, before he gave me what I wanted.
  • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:39PM (#51447513)

    I haven't had a landline in about 10 years, but I hand out my last landline phone number to anyone who asks for a phone number - let them waste time calling a dead line. Only real people that I know and trust get my cell number, and the are entered as contacts. Any call from someone in my address book pops up with their name, so I know it's safe to answer. If it is a call with no address in my phone, I don't answer. If they leave a message, I see if it is junk or if it is a legit communication. If legit, I add it as a contact and respond.

    I very occasionally will get a robocall from a random dialer, but the above procedure kills the problem in the nest.

    • by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <social@bronstrup.com> on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:08PM (#51447805) Journal
      You do realize that someone else has been assigned that number in the 10 years since you last used it, right? It's not a dead line if some other poor schmuck (your true victim) has to answer your calls.
    • I haven't had a landline in about 10 years, but I hand out my last landline phone number to anyone who asks for a phone number - let them waste time calling a dead line.

      Phone numbers get reused so there is a good chance they will not be calling a dead line but instead will be calling whoever happened to be allocated that number after you stopped renting it.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      To answer the question you posed in your subject, yes.

      When power goes out in an area, cell towers can get affected too... and if the outage lasts long enough, any backup generators they had on a given tower won't last through it.

    • by ripvlan ( 2609033 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:29PM (#51448023)

      Phone numbers get reused. I've been buying & agreeing to stuff in your name for 9 of the past 10 years.

      In other news - I moved to Google Voice and it has a "press 1" feature for unknown callers - plus they have to state their name. AND it has Google Spam detection which is pretty cool.

  • by Rudisaurus ( 675580 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:44PM (#51447557)
    Simply switching off the ringer on my landline has had the same effect; after tailing off over the first 6 months or so, I rarely get telemarketing calls anymore (as in, not even once a month). Anyone who really wants to reach me will leave me voicemail. Messages from those few telemarketers who don't hang up get deleted on recognition within the first couple of seconds of playback. And anyone who really needs to reach me directly will have been given my cell number to do so. Works admirably.
  • I do this on my voice mail, since robo calls will hang up. Just answer "Hello, Hi" wait 3-4 seconds, repeat, Takes about 5-6 seconds for the robocall to transfer to a human when it thinks its not voicemail. Really pisses them off when they transfer and they hear "Yup, its really not hear, you got the machine"

    I suspect they dont get paid for voicemails, so they get really really mad. I've heard some swearing and cussing, love it.


    • I think I might start doing something similar, but actually answer the call, say whatever is needed to get a real person on the line, then "Please leave a message after the beep..." [airhorn]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Simply set your answering machine to pick up in one ring.
    Set the answer to: "Hello..." Pause for about 7 seconds then "I'm sorry we're not interested, please remove us from your call list."

    We went from about 8 calls a day between 8am and 10pm to roughly 2 calls a week (most IRS scammers)

  • Sure, most people really despise the robocalls, but wasting the caller's time doesn't really help much, either. Just like with spammers, the robo-callers are being paid to do a job - and believe it or not annoying you is not what they are paid for.
  • by kuhnto ( 1904624 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:40PM (#51448127)
    Jennifer was SO TIRED of harassing telemarketing calls until she learned this one old telephone trick! Now Shes making them wish they never called!
  • Not a new idea (Score:3, Informative)

    by laing ( 303349 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:45PM (#51448185)
    The Telecrapper 2000 [frontier.com] is my favorite example of how to torture telemarketers.
  • by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:54PM (#51448273)

    Sounds like a reimplementation of the telecrapper.
    tho the telecrapper is over 10 years old now I can understand how people would forget..
    http://www.engadget.com/2005/0... [engadget.com]
    http://myplace.frontier.com/~p... [frontier.com]
    http://soundbytes.org/forums/t... [soundbytes.org]

  • How the hell is robocalling still a viable business when we are proving more and more every day that humans do not speak to other humans on phones anymore?

    Seriously, I can't believe we're not sitting here talking about what a pain in the ass robotexting is...

  • I guess we're NOT interested [youtube.com].
  • by DirkDaring ( 91233 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @03:31PM (#51448657)

    Listened to some of the recordings, very cool. I can just imagine when the logic in this gets better. Like when they ask 'Who....?' 'Which....?' 'What....?'

    The bot doesn't do any answers for that, just go 'mm-mmm' 'right' 'ok'. Same with 'How are you'.

    But these are fantastic, I'd love to enter voice into this.

  • by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @04:45PM (#51449259)

    I've been thinking about running my own in-home PBX to deal with this, too.

    Whitelisted numbers, friends, family, and businesses I want to talk to: Rings right through.

    Numbers not on the whitelist: straight to voicemail, my phone does not ring, not even once. The voicemail says, "Hello?" a few times to see if anyone answers, then says "This is a recording, please leave a message" in order to (presumably) get the robo-calls routed to an actual agent.

    Numbers on the blacklist: Forwarded to Lenny, or something very special I program myself. (I don't like that "Lenny" says "Yeah" and similar positive type words from time to time; those crooks might claim that was an agreement to get a subscription to The Wisdum of L. Ron Hubbard crammed onto my phone bill.) My ideal would be to sound perfectly normal, do some interpretation of what they're saying to actually address things they say, and do a "curious about the product but not agreeing to anything" act for as long as they stay on the phone.

    On the top of the blacklist are those evil <redacted> who call six times simultaneously, so the phone rings a whole lot longer than normal before going to voicemail, and the Caller-ID announces their name six times. Bastards. This is the sort of thing that makes me yearn for the "Scanners" power to reach down the phone line telekinetically and set their computer on fire.

    Bonus, custom voicemail messages for appropriate callers, white/non/blacklisted. Like "Hi, Mom, we're not home, call my cell."

  • "Remove" everyone. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @08:35PM (#51450695) Homepage Journal

    Years ago, I had problems with a FAX spammer who would send junk every night. We had to leave it on overnight because it was a transport company and we would receive bills of lading at all hours. This also meant, however, that we had a separate phone line for voice calls, which did *not* need to be left free all night.

    Anyhow, all of these faxes had a removal number to call, which made you jump through all sorts of hoops. I noticed shortly after attempting it that it actually *increased* the volume of spam to TWO a night. The "removal" number was, however, toll-free. This gave me an idea.

    I listened and noted the timing of prompts, and the associated menu options, for the "removal" service. I brought in an old modem from home, and set it up to autodial their number (on their dime) and start "removal" processes. This I did in two different ways:

    (1) First my modem would call them and demand removal of a number. They were so helpful and asked if I wished to remove another, so of course my modem would say YES, and proceed to "remove" the next number in sequence. It would cycle through all 1000 numbers in a block before disconnecting, and each time it did this, it incremented the number of the block being removed (except for invalid ones like 555). This took about four hours, all of which they had to pay the charges for. Not long after (and possibly as a direct consequence), they started limiting the calls to three numbers before hanging up.

    (2) My second iteration of the program would select a random number, go through the "removal" steps, but then when asked "are you sure?" it would hit the button for "NO", at which point the process would start again. It would pick a new random number and do this again and again. If the call was terminated, it waited five minutes and called again. Since it never completed the process, the three-number limit did not apply. I think this worked for three or four days before they implemented a fifteen minute cutoff regardless of what you were doing at the time. I didn't re-program for this at all, I just tolerated the 25% loss of efficiency at driving up heir phone bill and let it call back five minutes after being disconnected.

    Finally I got an angry call, during business hours, demanding that I stop doing this. I flat out said "sue me." The person at the other end finally said "why would you want me to do that?", to which I responded "because then I'll know exactly who you are, and can sue you for each of the hundreds of faxes you have sent, which I have been keeping as evidence." He coughed and said "Look, just stop calling us, eh? Nobody else can call when you're doing this." (Did I mention they were in Vancouver?) I just said "I will cease the calls as long as you do."

    We got another one two weeks later, but I could only run the auto-dialer at night, so I couldn't do anything right at that moment. I got a VOICE call fifteen minutes later telling me to please disregard and not start the remove-bot again. That was the last time I heard from them.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell