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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000379.txt from 2001/02

From: Bilwright@-----.net (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Telemarketers
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2001 10:52:16 -0500

Another 'prank' that I used to do --- which didn't stop
telemarketers from calling, but it was a more benign form of retaliation
that gave me satisfaction under the circumstances:

My voice card on a previous machine included a program from Voyetra
that repeated whatever it heard, but it also interrupted and interjected
an occasional pre-recorded comment (in your own voice).
The program was called Parrot, and it was smart enough to recognize
the pauses in a normal speech pattern and therefore to repeat back
whatever it had heard at reasonable moments.

So I told the telemarketer: "Hi, I'm willing to listen to your
information, but first you must do something for me. I'm learning how
to mimic voices... you know, the way Rich Little does. So I want you
to say something to me, using whatever tone of voice you can imagine,
the weirder the better, and I'll try to repeat it back to you in exactly
the same way. In fact, if you want to read your sales pitch to me in
as many different voices as you can, I'll listen and I'll repeat it back
to you.
Of course, this sounds like a good idea to the telemarketer. What
better way to be sure that your victim has heard every word that you
said and perhaps has also hypnotized himself into believing it?

Then I arrange the telephone mouthpiece next to my computer's
microphone and the telephone earpiece next to my computer's speaker, and
I let the telemarketer talk to himself in weird & increasingly childish
voices while I go to the 'fridge for a sandwich.
Some of the telemarketers caught on after 10-20 seconds, but some
of them hung on forever, trying to 'trick' me by saying something that I
couldn't repeat back to them.
The feature of pre-recorded comments was especially effective
because it reassured the telemarketer that I was still there. He (or
she) would say something such as "....and for only $26 per month", and I
would (apparently) interrupt in my normal voice and say, "Yeh, but have
you ever heard Kenny Davern play Summertime?" The telemarketer would
reply with, "What are you talking about? Who is Kenney Davern?", and I
would (apparently) return to my mimic mode and I would repeat "What are
you talking about? Who is Kenney Davern" back to him in his own
voice..... and so the conversation would continue.

The one satisfaction that I never experienced was to hear what the
telemarketer's boss said after the call was over. "Lisa, why in the
name of heaven are you using those ridiculous voices!? You sound like
a 6-yr-old child! Did you actually expect to sell anything that way!?
If I hear that once more, you're out'a here!!"

....hmmm, actually I may have been doing the person a favor.

Cheers,
Bill

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