Anyone frustrated with telemarketers may have a new best friend. A Los Angeles man created a new robotic answering service that wastes telemarketers' time.

Roger Anderson started the Jolly Roger Telephone, which lets users start a three-way call so they can listen gleefully as the bot rambles on. It's designed for everyone who is weary of the phone calls.

In a typical call, the robot keeps the telemarketer on the phone for a few minutes, but in some cases they go on for much longer. The robot does this by exploiting a flaw in the telemarketer playbook: staying on the line if the person is agreeable. So the system leans on "yeah," "sure," "OK" and "yes." In one instance the robot kept a cable company on the line for 22 minutes.

Anderson experimented with personalities for his robot before deciding on an odd man who just woke up from a nap. For instance, the robot burned time by telling the telemarketer they sound like a former high school classmate or rambling on about needing coffee.

The system is programmed to be agreeable until it senses suspicion in the telemarketer. Then it will say something inane and ask for the sales pitch to be restarted.

Washington Post