Why do companies like to call me and then hang up?

Here’s a question that’s been baffling me for years: why does some company keep calling me and then hanging up? It happens all the time. I get repeated calls on my cellular from an unrecognized long-distance number. Usually I ignore it, but on the rare occasions that I answer, there is a pause of five seconds or so, and then they hang up. Most times it’s absolute silence at the other end, but once in a while I can hear breathing or faint conversations in the background.

I assume most of these calls are made by a computer. What could possibly be the motive? Maybe they’re just randomly dialing and compiling a list of people who answer, but why call repeatedly from the same number? I mean six calls a week from each of about five numbers lasting several months, when apparently they have nothing to say to me!

It is probably as you guessed an automated dialer. It probably happened to connect to another person with an actual live telemarketer around the same time you picked up, so it dropped you. Either that or it’s a weirdo.

I have this happen daily. The other day I had three of them within five minutes! They don’t usually trigger my answering machine, but all the same I leave my phone disconnected most of the day.

As I understand it. To save money, telemarketers will dial multiple people simultaneously. This will avoid them have to spend money dialing several people one after anoter, to find one who is actually in. The first person to answer gets to take the call (luck them :)), the rest just get hung-up on, whether or not someone answers.

Or they are robot dialers that are compiling lists of numbers for sale to telemarketers. They dial every number on an exchange from 0000 to 9999, and note which ones are answered live, which ones are answered by machine, and which ones don’t answer. If you answer, you are more likely to get more calls in the future.

The answers you’ve already gotten are more likely, but I’ve discovered others.

Sometimes the phone company itself will be dialing your number, either for diagnostic purposes or to see how the line is answered (our “unlimited” plan had fine print we didn’t notice that didn’t allow data use, and when the fax machine picked up, we got shut off for violating terms of service).

[hijack] robot dialers should be illegal [/hijack]

It used to happen to me all the time. Then I got on the Do Not Call list. It happened a couple of times, but when I informed them I was on the DNC list, they apologized, hung up, and never called again.