When "Samantha" first called me something didn't seem right. Her voice was too perfect. She didn't sound like a depressed person who hated her job; she sounded excited to speak to me. She sounded like a voice-over actress, and she certainly didn't sound robotic.
At first I thought that I was simply speaking with a girl who had recently started her job. She must not have been aware of how much everyone she was calling hated her and how the company she worked for lied about "working for Google" to get you to buy AdWords through them at a premium. The more I spoke to her though, the more I began to notice other strange tendencies. She paused after everything that I said a split second longer than a normal person would. The tone and reflection of her voice didn't always match her last statement or reflect the question that I had asked her. Eventually I had to ask "are you a robot?" After a slight pause she said "haha no, I'm a real person we must have a bad connection." Everything that she said was right, it was something any human might say. It was just the way she said it that didn't seem right. The more questions I asked the more confident I became that she was in fact a computer program.
Here's a video of her in action.
Now when she calls, I can instantly recognize her voice. She will call me as a Google certified specialist who noticed a problem with my SEO or she will call me as a credit card processing specialist who can save me money on my POS system. Being that I'm a bit of a nerd, Samantha was really impressive to me at first. This computer program almost convinced me it was human. Now, it just makes me mad.
In the past these telemarketing companies had to pay humans to sit down and make call after call. I enjoyed wasting their employee's time and in turn eating up profit for these horrible companies. Now, with recorded messages and computer programs like Samantha, what is stopping them from getting even worse? What is stopping me from downloading the software for Samantha and have her call every American 100 times a day and tell them to visit Fstoppers.com?
I've done the "do not call" list. I've asked to be removed from the call list every time I get a call. I personally block the number of every telemarketer that hits my phone every day. I've pranked every caller I possibly can to waste as much of their time as possible and nothing works. I still get multiple calls a week, sometimes multiple calls a day.
Does anyone know what the laws are with this? It doesn't seem legal, but it's only getting worse.
Update: I just came across an interesting article by Time that claims that Samantha is not actually a computer program. She may simply be a sound board.
Rasman said that Samantha West is not a robot but a computer program used by telemarketers outside of the United States—he would not say where–to allow English speakers with thick non-American accents to sort through leads to find real prospective buyers before passing them off to agents back in the United States.
When Samantha West calls, there is a person on the other end of the line, he said, who is an active participant in the conversation. That the person was limited to communicating through a machine with pre-recorded utterances did not change the fact, he said, that there was another human participating in the conversation.
At this point I don't know what to believe. Maybe I just need to start freaking out of these people like this lady.