Monday, March 11, 2013

Robo Responders have arrived, and we will all be the worse for it.

I got another Robo Responder call. This one allegedly represented Breast Cancer Research. The call came from Pleasanton CA, 926-271-2244. 

How do I know the "sales person" I was interacting with was not real, but a compilation of one human's voice recordings cued to respond based on how I was answering their questions? I think my career in film / video production and editing probably helped me figure it out. 

Once I realized I was dealing with a Robo Responder, I carefully chose my responses.

I don't know if the term Robo Responder already exists. I just coined it without googling it. Robo Responders interact via a pre-recorded  human voice on the phone that is posing as an actual sales person.
(Quick update March 12, 2013, 11:13 am, the term robo responder is infrequently used, I found less than 70 google  hits,  primarily in regards to automatically sending emails to politicians. end update).
This was my second encounter with a Robo Responder (click here for the first). I asked where they were calling from and the voice said Michigan (they were actually calling from Pleasanton, CA). I then asked what the weather was like and they said they did not understand the question and would have me speak to a supervisor. 

I actually laughed at one point during the short conversation and the Robo Responder spontaneously laughed at the beginning of their response.

Then came the "sell".  Just like the first Robo Responder, they asked if I could make a "purchase/donation" in the amount of 25 dollars, as soon as I declined, the amount was lowered to 15 dollars.

They then asked if they could send an envelope in the mail and would I make a donation at that time.

I don't know if I am the first to report on robo responding, but if I am and you are the media, PLEASE credit me, Alessandro Machi of 

Robo Responding is going to become a consumer nightmare as it gains traction.

If you are planning on creating or broadcasting a commercial and want an objective, outsiders point of view about your commercial, contact Alessandro Machi about his consulting services at...
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