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Old 11-21-2017, 11:25 AM
2Bits 2Bits is offline
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"Spam" (?) phone calls that are only dead air

What do they want from me (or perhaps what are they getting form me?)

I get quite a few.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:49 AM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I think to make sure there's a live person or a working phone number. They're annoying.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:04 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Some telemarketers have a live person sitting at an automated dialer. While the dialer is busy with the next number, the telemarketer is busy talking to someone else. Often when a live person picks up the phone, the telemarketer just isn't ready to talk to them yet.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:32 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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The autodialer makes the connection, but it has to be transferred to a live person to actually make the call. If no live person is available, then there's dead air.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:55 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is online now
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I love the ones where, when I answer, has a recording that says "that is not a valid extension - please try your call again". What a lame-assed system. How are you loser telemarketers making money? You can't even get your internal system to work.

I think it's like internet advertising. No one is really making money at this. The spammers are losing money, too, it just takes them a while to realize it.

The only one making money is the phone company.
  #6  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:01 PM
2Bits 2Bits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
Some telemarketers have a live person sitting at an automated dialer. While the dialer is busy with the next number, the telemarketer is busy talking to someone else. Often when a live person picks up the phone, the telemarketer just isn't ready to talk to them yet.
Perhaps but I get 6 - 8 of these calls daily (mostly from different numbers) and 90% of them are dead air.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:52 PM
motu motu is offline
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At work, we get a lot of these calls and I have noticed after the initial greeting if you speak a second time it hangs up, if you do not speak after the initial greeting, it seems to wait a set amount of time then hangs up. My theory is that not only are they looking for working phone numbers but they are looking for numbers with a live person on the other end. They probably then sell the numbers to telemarketers.

Last edited by motu; 11-21-2017 at 05:52 PM.
  #8  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:02 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
The autodialer makes the connection, but it has to be transferred to a live person to actually make the call. If no live person is available, then there's dead air.
That's not the way they're supposed to work. The one I worked with (not making calls myself, but it was in our department) wouldn't dial until the phone clerk was ready for a call and pressed a button; it would then go through the phone numbers until someone answered, and then that clerk would get the call. When I get these calls, I usually wait for several seconds before hanging up and there is never any sense that anything is happening or anyone is at the other end.

I think motu probably has the right of it, at least most of the time. This is why I try not to answer calls I don't recognize.
  #9  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:14 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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After getting a few of these, I had a brilliant idea -- I pressed 0 to get the operator.

Awesome. I got a person ... who I had to now hang up on.

Yikes.

*SIGH*

Mom's home phone and my cell phone have this new invention -- its called an answering machine. Like a washing machine lets me have clean clothes without slapping my clothes on rocks by the side of the river, an answering machine handles my phone calls, letting me decide when and if I'll addressee the topic and its sender. People I know who "just don't like" answering machines have to justify their use of washing machines to me.
  #10  
Old 11-21-2017, 09:38 PM
Karen Lingel Karen Lingel is offline
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Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
I pressed 0 to get the operator.

Awesome. I got a person ... who I had to now hang up on.
This is brilliant! I am going to try it.
  #11  
Old 11-21-2017, 09:57 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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If there is nobody at the other end for more than 2 seconds, I hang up. Often in Montreal, someone starts to speak French to me. I usually hang up.
  #12  
Old 11-22-2017, 09:06 PM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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Do you get charged for dead air phone calls?
  #13  
Old 11-23-2017, 07:28 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
That's not the way they're supposed to work. The one I worked with (not making calls myself, but it was in our department) wouldn't dial until the phone clerk was ready for a call and pressed a button; it would then go through the phone numbers until someone answered, and then that clerk would get the call. When I get these calls, I usually wait for several seconds before hanging up and there is never any sense that anything is happening or anyone is at the other end.
That's the old style dialing machines. They are wasteful. Time is wasted waiting for the operator to press a button to get the next person (and they could goof off by waiting a bit), and then more time is wasted while the machine dials numbers to find one where someone answers. All this is time that your phone operator is not talking to anybody, but you are still paying them.

So newer machines are 'predictive dialers'. The machine knows how many operators are taking calls, how long (on average) each call lasts, how many hang up immediately, and how many of the numbers on the list will be answered. From this is 'predicts' how many numbers to dial and how far ahead of the operators to do so. The goal is to, at the same time an operator finishes a call, to have a new person answer the phone and switch them to that free operator.

If the predictive dialer is set too passive, there isn't a new customer just answering when the operator finishes the previous call, so your operators sit around for a few seconds. If it's set too aggressive, there are customers answering the phone but no operator free to speak to them -- so they hear dead air when they answer.

Lots of effort goes into formulas to figure out just how to set these machines for the best productivity.

Last edited by t-bonham@scc.net; 11-23-2017 at 07:29 PM.
  #14  
Old 11-25-2017, 07:37 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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I have noticed some of the robocalls I get are caller ID'd to be in my area code, sometimes with the same first digits the same as mine. Advances in robo-dialing now let them imitate numbers that seem similar to the called number. This makes weeding out the robocalls more difficult. Unless I recognize the caller, I don't bother answering. If somebody actually wants to talk to me, he'll leave a message. Robocalls have nearly ruined the experience of having a phone for me.
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2017, 07:45 AM
Maserschmidt Maserschmidt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
If there is nobody at the other end for more than 2 seconds, I hang up. Often in Montreal, someone starts to speak French to me. I usually hang up.
My wife suggested a new thing that we do, which is when we get one of those transfer calls we stick the phone under a nearby pillow for a while. I can't even begin to tell you how satisfying that is.
  #16  
Old 11-26-2017, 07:52 AM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AskNott View Post
I have noticed some of the robocalls I get are caller ID'd to be in my area code, sometimes with the same first digits the same as mine. Advances in robo-dialing now let them imitate numbers that seem similar to the called number. This makes weeding out the robocalls more difficult. Unless I recognize the caller, I don't bother answering. If somebody actually wants to talk to me, he'll leave a message. Robocalls have nearly ruined the experience of having a phone for me.
I notice this as well. Lots of calls in my same exchange (same area code and first 3 digits). Since my wife's phone is in this exchange, I can't block it if I want to stay married.
  #17  
Old 11-26-2017, 08:06 AM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net View Post
If the predictive dialer is set too passive, there isn't a new customer just answering when the operator finishes the previous call, so your operators sit around for a few seconds. If it's set too aggressive, there are customers answering the phone but no operator free to speak to them -- so they hear dead air when they answer.
I think this (predictive dialing) is part of the OP answer. Predictive dialing is trying to hit the sweet spot between dropped calls and agent idleness. It's more expensive to pay an agent to sit there doing nothing, so it's better to have the machine harvest more live calls than the agents can handle. More so if they're anonymous cold calls... it's not like there's any customer relationship to be damaged, so why not waste people's time?
  #18  
Old 11-26-2017, 08:11 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
I notice this as well. Lots of calls in my same exchange (same area code and first 3 digits). Since my wife's phone is in this exchange, I can't block it if I want to stay married.
Aha! I've noticed the same thing lately. I was figuring that they were trying to look like my friends' numbers to inveigle me to pick up the phone. Your guess makes more sense.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:10 AM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is online now
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Aha! I've noticed the same thing lately. I was figuring that they were trying to look like my friends' numbers to inveigle me to pick up the phone. Your guess makes more sense.
Well, it's kind of the same thing. My wife & I got our phones at the same retailer at the same day, so our numbers are literally 1 digit apart. The same might happen with your friend or neighbor, plus or minus a few days or a few doors down. Since the scammer is going to spoof the number anyway, may as well spoof a number that's that's more likely unblocked.
  #20  
Old 11-26-2017, 11:30 AM
casdave casdave is online now
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In the UK, these dead calls can result in large fines for the companies concerned were are talking in the millions of $ fines and withdrawal of operating licenses.

You can do a search and discover lots of companies that have been fined - we don't get anything like as many such calls as we did a few years back

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom...d-silent-calls

http://researchbriefings.parliament....ummary/SN06033

https://www.choose.co.uk/news/ofcom-...nce-calls.html

Maybe you should lobby your representatives and get something similar enacted over there
  #21  
Old 11-26-2017, 04:52 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
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I once read that businesses that have phones that will supply ID to callers get a fraction of a cent per call from the phone company. If they can auto-call enough people, they can harvest noticable cash even if they never talk to anyone. Hiring people to talk would be an unnecessary expense.

Not that I have any clue what the actual costs and benefits would be - or even if anyone is actually doing this.
  #22  
Old 11-26-2017, 06:57 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Originally Posted by casdave View Post
Maybe you should lobby your representatives and get something similar enacted over there
In the U.S., we've had the Do Not Call Registry since 2003. And, when it was first enacted, and we signed up on it, our level of junk phone calls dropped to nearly zero.

But, in the past 2 years or so, it's skyrocketed again. I'd guess we get 3-5 junk calls on our land line each day, and I get at least that many on my cell phone, too. I'm going to guess that the calls are largely coming from outside of the U.S., where the existence of the U.S. law is irrelevant.
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