Originally posted by Deke:
I got a call today on my cell phone and answered it and nobody was there. Did a Google on it and found this:
I guess we don't have enough tellemarketers in the US now they are going to strart bombbarding us from Canada.
When you answered the call, and no-one was there, it was probably because the telemarketer was using a Predictive Dialer. A computer sequentially composes phone numbers, and dials them to see if they are live. If the Predictive Dialer finds a live number, it adds the number to its data base, then hangs up.
It is the telemarketers' way of "harvesting" phone numbers for their data base - sort of the equivalent of e-mail spammers harvesting e-mail addresses for bulk e-mailing.
There are certain tones that are generated on a phone line for various situations. One such tone is generated when a phone number has been disconnected. Telezappers work by generating that tone. Predictive Dialers don't add numbers that give that tone to their data base. They also tend to remove such numbers from their data base.
The following link gives a bit better description of this. It also allows you to download a .wav file that gives the same tones as a disconnected phone line. If you have an answering machine or voice mail, you can record this set of tones before your greeting. It will give predictive dialers the impression that your number is disconnected. But, real people trying to phone you may find the tones a bit annoying.
Check it out here.