The title of this blog refers to the Dove Foundation, a non-profit charity that does phone surveys to try and convince people to help them ‘clean up Hollywood’, preventing it from putting out unethical films and moving it towards a more family-oriented style. I received one such call from the foundation today (June 25th, 2007) between the hours of 10 and 11 AM. The person who was speaking to me was named ‘Cami’…or so I thought. She made her scripted sales pitch and then asked me a question, to which I gave a short reply after thinking about it for some time. Then she went on another scripted sales pitch followed by another question, and then…DEAD silence in waiting for my response. I got out a few words, and then she went on yet another scripted tirade. The final question she asked me I replied “No” to, and after trying to convince me again, I said “No” and she thanked me for my time. By this time I believed I was talking to an automated response system. Here’s how I believe it’s constructed:
1. A woman records a number of questions/answers/responses onto a computer in several different sound files.
2. Those sound files are distributed to a number of computers in an office (most likely through a network) so that every person at a computer terminal in that office (most likely a telemarketer-style setup) has access to them.
3. Each person at that computer terminal is given a list of phone numbers to call (just like telemarketers), but instead of using their own voices, Cami’s voice is used, not a live human being, but a computer masquerading as one. The person at the computer has a number of different voice commands to choose from based on your response or answer, and to keep you from discovering that it’s automated, they go with the response that best matches your answer, making it seem like a real conversation.
This leads me to the conclusion that telemarketers are becoming automated, and they’re making it seem like you’re talking to a person! In a way it’s a good idea because when you get mad at one of these automated response systems, you’re going to be yelling at a machine and not a real person, so no one will get hurt in the end; however, trying to trick us into thinking that we’re talking to actual, live people, when it’s a person behind a computer clicking on responses is a great deceit.
Check out these links for more of what I’m talking about: