Some good old fashioned Phone Phreaking

Those of you who call our home number (not the numbers on our resume and not one I will post here) may notice something different about our voice mail.  We’ve changed the message to make it a deterrent to auto-dialers and telemarketers.

We’ve had a terrible problem with being HARASSED by callers from political organizations and charities.  They. Will. Not. Stop.  No matter how many complaints we file, no matter how many times we tell them to take us off of their list, we’re averaging 5-8 calls a day from the same numbers.

And that’s everyday, people.  Every. Bloody. Day.

Geoff and I have had enough.  We’re tired of the phone ringing at all hours, we’re tired of the fact that political organizations and charities are exempt from the National Do Not Call List (which is useless anyway).  We’re tired of having to wait for the call to finish before we can use our land line again.

So yesterday I re-recorded our voice mail message with this at the beginning.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-z9Md8VM7pfVzN6a1FCb0NxZ28

In case you don’t want to click through and download it, that short MP3 file is the buzzing sound followed by the three tones indicating that a number is out of service, you have dialed the wrong number, or that you have to dial a 1 before the number.  In short, that MP3 is the sounds that tell a robo-dialer that the number is out of service or your average lazy telemarketer/scam artist that they should hang up and delete the number from their files.

We only added it yesterday, but we’re hoping it works.  It’s a Phone Phreaking trick of the extremely mild variety.  Until Verizon allows us to block calls, we’re hoping that it will make a dent in the number of harassing calls we get.

This is also to say that if you are calling our home number that you need to listen past the MP3 at the beginning.  Our number isn’t really disconnected.

~Kelly

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