Google’s new phone software aims to end telemarketer calls for good

29 comments

  1. condensate17

    |Author

    What this software really needs to do is engage the caller in a looooonnng drawn out conversation. If every call a telemarketer made was simply to a bot, they would be overwhelmed. Every one of their employees would spend almost all day talking to no one. The signal to noise ratio would make their business model impractical.

  2. I get easily 10-20 telemarketing calls a day for the last 13 years… I even tried to change my number to get away from them. They start at 7am and call until 9pm. I have reported them, argued with them, insulted their mothers, and even politely asked they just stop wasting both mine and their time.

    The sad fact Google is working harder on this than the FCC makes me really think switching to the Pixel 3 sounds like a great idea.

  3. CivilServantBot

    |Author

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  4. MrCda

    |Author

    Telemarketers will quickly learn not to answer like is shown on the image in the article with an obvious telemarketing come-on. If they decide to stay on the line, it will be more like: “Hello, this is the doctor’s office, we need to speak with you …” or something that sews seeds of doubt that it might be legit. Then the telemarketing B.S. will start if & when you have you live.

    Still, it could be a useful feature.

  5. shortcircuit15

    |Author

    Meanwhile I get Robo calls multiple times a week, sometimes multiple a day, telling me that my business listing with google is going to expire and I need to do something about it. The kicker is I don’t have a google listing.

  6. sharkinaround

    |Author

    i can already tell when a telemarketer is calling without the help of any tools.

    just figure out how to automatically detect when a call is being received from a spoofed number and filter it out before my phone even rings or provides any notification at all. or give us an option to disconnect (without answering first or sending to voicemail) or auto- forward all spoofed numbers to a different number, etc.

    the whole issue with robocalls, for me, is the fact that the phone rings at all. also the fact that we either have to send them to voicemail, or quickly answer and hang up, which likely still gets you added as an “answered call”, which leads to more calls.

    it just blows my mind that that absolute joke of an industry is profitable enough to warrant their ongoing efforts.

  7. poncewattle

    |Author

    I’d just like selective call forwarding where if you’re not in my contact list, the number is forwarded.

    Then I could send the unknown calls to something like Twilio where I can have the number looked up on nomorerobo, figure out identity of caller, type of phone, etc, and decide how to handle it from there.

  8. Jessie_James

    |Author

    There is a smarter solution, one which I hope manufacturers figure out soon. Captcha IVR for your phone. Specifically, for your CELL phone. **Require callers to enter a code to ring through.**

    You would simply record a greeting such as “**To** protect my phone from spam, please enter the solution **to** 1 plus 3.” The answer is 4, obviously, but there is enough “numbers” (saying the word “to” sounds like “two”) in the greeting to make it hard for voice recognition software to get through.

    Obviously real callers would press 4 and get through.

    In practice, it would be better to have a two or three digit code so systems could not easily guess 1, 2, 3 etc.

    I have a VOIP line in my house, and setup an IVR doing just this. When someone calls, my IVR picks up and says just that. Then I created an “extension” for me, which is 461. Once someone enters 461, it rings through to my VOIP phone in my house. If not, I never hear it, my phone never rings, and – best of all – I *never get a voicemail*!

    I’ve had an absolutely 100% success rate for about to, er, two years now.

  9. How are these telemarketing companies paying their bills? Who is getting duped into sending them money?

    This seems like a problem that requires consumer education. Regulation isn’t going to be able to fix human stupidity.

  10. jaydee_says

    |Author

    The problem with this is that Google answers the call. Most of these robocalls are looking for a “live line” to call. By answering their call you’re bumping yourself up the list and will just end up getting more of these calls.

    Also, in what world is a spam caller going to comply when you ask to be taken off their list? In my experience they just hang up on you when you push back at all on their scam.

  11. JimNtexas

    |Author

    T-Mobile does a decent job of warning you about most scam calls. And since my exchange number is unusual, and none of my contacts have the same exchange, just by ignoring that prefix I miss even more.

  12. ubergeek77

    |Author

    I really like this feature, and I’m excited to try it. But just as the article points out, my concern is that it will just increase the amount of calls I get.

    Right now, I’m having a huge problem getting calls from numbers with the same area code and first 3 digits as me. I literally got three just this morning. This article isn’t the first time I’ve read that simply answering any of these calls marks you as a “live number,” meaning you are more likely to receive even more calls if you answer any of them. I’ve definitely observed this to be true.

    The call screening feature is neat, but as far as the spam callers are concerned, you just answered the phone, so you are now marked as a live number, so the calls will continue.

    The only way I see this working to end spam calls for good is if it worked a little smarter. Obviously I don’t have a Pixel 3 yet, so I can’t see for myself, but from what I’ve seen, the user has to acknowledge the call and ask for the call to be screened every time. Not everyone will have the time or the patience to do that every single time. What I’d like to see is a way to handle these calls silently in the background, and hang up if it’s definitely a fake call. It would only do this if the caller isn’t in your contacts.

    To take that a step further, Google can add a specific question to Duplex that can ask the caller something like “Who are you calling for?” If they say your name, then your phone rings like it normally would, with some on-screen indication that this person actually asked for you.

    My proposed solution probably won’t work well in practice for any number of reasons, but if Google really wants to end telemarketer/spam calls ***for good***, there needs to be a little more going on here.

  13. “All you need to do is to route all your calls through us, so we can harv-, I mean, *screen* all your communications. Hell, what we can do with the meta-data alone…” the analyst trails off with a glazed look in his eyes.

    “Did… you just *ejaculate*?!”

    “N-No!”

  14. Could the telemarketer agency somehow refuse to put the number on the no-call list since it would not be a human making this request? And would laws have to be updated to take into account user automated text-to-speech? This sounds really awesome.

  15. Ragecc

    |Author

    Weird enough I have google voice linked to my phone and I get no calls on that number, but no less than 8 calls a day that I don’t know who they are and from different states.

  16. AngryCod

    |Author

    Here’s the problem. I dont want my phone to ring from spammers *at all*. I want to be able to make intelligent decisions about a call before the call even grabs my attention. Not on my Contacts list? Straight to voicemail. On a custom black list (or a curated list like Nomorobo)? Hangup, no voicemail. Give me control over how my phone asks for my attention. These are very achievable if phone vendors would just do it.

    This is no better than just getting spammed with robocalls.

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