Amy, the perky robo-shill, called me again yesterday. This time I actually listened to the pitch.
They’re selling vacation getaways.
Actually, they’re “giving them away” but I assume they’re somehow monetizing it on the backend.
One of the tricks the recording pulled was the default “get out of jail, free” robocall excuse, “because we’ve done business in the past, I’m calling you…” which plays into the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations on robo-calls that have a couple of huge cut-outs in them for: charities (“Hi, this is the fraternal order of police…”) politicians (“Hi, this is Representative Wanker…”) and businesses you’ve done business with, before. I dare you – dare you – to try to guess which influence groups helped FTC develop those rules!!! Go ahead, give it a shot! And, for extra credit, try to guess whose opinion they didn’t consider!
The “we’ve done business before” trick is incredibly obvious and I’d be very surprised if the FTC didn’t realize all along that the robocallers would immediately game it. “Oh, gee, we had him in our customer database that we bought from a company that sanitized it from the list of all Yahoo! users that those Russian hackers sold.” The robocallers also ignore the FTC guidelines about having a way to unsubscribe. The marketers have been slowly ignoring each of the FTC rules, in turn, and when the FTC demonstrates it isn’t able to do anything, they get bolder.
Remember when the marketers thought they needed to have a real human on the phone? Then you’d get those 1/2 second of someone saying “hold for an important message…” calls that switched to a recorded message. You used to be able to shout “PERMANENT DO NOT CALL LIST” if you were fast.
Now, we have Amy.
Now we have phone-aggregators that have egress points in every state, like Onion Router (TOR) nodes, that allow them to appear to be calling from your area – and, thanks to the magic of voice over IP, they don’t cost the marketers anything. Remember what happened on the internet: as the system cost of sending spam dropped to zero, the spam content of the internet went to around 90%. And, of course the spam senders and robocallers leave a godzilla-size footprint on network traffic: they’re very very easy to identify. But the phone companies will not do anything because, well, when did capitalism care? Hey, who do you think owns this thing, anyway?
I will say this much, the clarity of the recording is amazing, and the actress who did “Amy” was perfect. Her timing and tone was spot on. I bet that she probably got paid for an hour of recording in a sound booth somewhere, and “buh-bye!” I hope she gets a good job doing voiceovers for computer games, or animated features.
Meanwhile, the FTC is “sending messages”[ftc] by trying to look tough on robocalls:
Tired of robocalls? The FTC just shut down Payless Solutions, a scam using illegal robocalls to lie about lowering your credit card interest rate.
Yes, FTC. I’m tired of robocalls. Don’t just shut down one of them: stop producing regulations with pre-configured holes in them. I don’t want scammers calling me at home. Any scammers, not just political scammers, police scammers, and the perky miss Amy. Given the inauthenticity of the government, I know which side they chose in the War on Authenticity.