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StankDawg

rudeness to telemarketers

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This was kind of fun, but it is a bit in-depth, so follow me on this one...

I got an automated call from some insurance company trying to get me to request information by speaking my name after the first tone, my address after the second, and my telephone number after the third.

Oddly enough, the number of the calling machine showed up on the caller ID box.

I called the number back and got a busy for the first 2 tries, but after the third, it rang and the machine picked up and started it's speal all over again.

I gave some thought to it and consulted a friend of mine who knows about these call out/recording machines. He told me that it works like an answering machine, and that eventually someone on the other end would have to sit down and transcribe all of the information the machine had collected into a computer database.

Now, I am a radio voiceover person by trade, and I record some very long voice projects for various clients. I also have a hybrid to play audio down the phone line in high quality... well... the best quality you can get feom a telephone line...

So I loaded up an 18 minute voiceover file and got it ready to play. I called the number and got back in after about 3 tries. Every time it asked me for information, I played the 18 minute audio file to it. I also learned that as long as it detects speech, it will continue to record until it hears silence.

After the track playes through, the system asked me for my address, and again, I played the audio track to it and it recorded it all again.

I did this a time or two, until I got bored. I went back to surfing the net for info and found out that when those machines hear a "S.I.T." tone, it assumes that it is a bad number and removes the number from the database. (which is the basis on which the "telezapper" works)

I called the number back with my stopwatch in hand and timed how long it waited to dial after it picked up, and what happened after it thought someone picked up. Turns out, it waited for a dial tone for several seconds, but if it didn't hear one after about 9 seconds, it would dial out anyway. I played the sit tone to it and it immediately hung up. 3 seconds later, it picked up again to start over... since the call normally originates from the callout device, it doesn't stay disconnected long enough to terminate incoming calls... I could tie this thing up all day, and it thinks nobody is answering at these numbers it is dialing.

SO... I went to the phone line and recorded a dial tone, a ring, and a sit tone. I opened up the audio editor and put 1/2 second of dial tone, followed by 3 seconds of silence, 1/2 of a ring, and the sit tone.

I called the machine back and played the recording to it as it tried to call out and timed the whole event to see how long it took to re-cycle back to the beginning. It took 9.5 seconds from the time it picked up, to the time it picked up again after playing the audio file to it.

So I added the appropriate amount of silence to the end of the file and saved it as a .wav file.

I opened it up in Winamp (set to repeat) and called the machine back. As soon as it answered, I clicked the "play" button to set things in motion. I came back to it at 8:57 pm (because I knew that they had to stop calling at 9:00 pm and listened to the last 20 or so calls taking place. The machine stopped it's calling promptly at 9.

I came back in the following morning (saturday) and called it up at 8:59am. It rang until 9:00am and then it started it's deal promptly at 9. I clicked on play and let 'er rip! Another 12 hours rolled by with this thing going strong.

Same thing on Sunday...

I came in the studio on Sunday afternoon about 6 to see if it was still working... The machine had stopped it's calling, so I assume it got all of it's numbers deleted out of the data base. I called it back on Monday, tuesday, and wednesday and it rang everytime. It was not making calls.

Thrusday about noon, I called it and it was back in business, so that weekend, I started the project all over again.

I did it a couple more times before the number was disconnected, so I am reasonably sure I created some level of problems for them.

I figure I was able to delete about 10,000 numbers from their database over the span of a weekend.

Teach those fuckers!

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Damn. That is quite an awesome hack you cooked up. Much respect due.

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This was kind of fun, but it is a bit in-depth, so follow me on this one...

<-- ** snip awesome story ** -->

Teach those fuckers!

owned.jpg

I am very impressed.

/me applauds...

:warrior:

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Would it be possible for you to upload that wav to a location we can all get copies? Perhpas we need to make a list of these numbers....

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I have been pretty busy in the past few weeks getting ready to sell my house, but as soon as I have a bit of time, I will definately post the audio on my website for all to download...

Thanks for the kind words.

I have been known to be a dangerous bastard; I know some neat trix with elevators, railroad crossings, and radio station transmitters too... Perhaps I will have a moment to share those as well! :)

I LOVE the inner workings of things the general public never gets to see or could care less about. I LIVE for the inside of an elevator shaft and the back-side of the bowling alley pinsetting machines! I absolutely LOVE to see things malfunction (as long as it isn't my computer!!!)

To quote my father:

People BOWL, son! They don't care about the "sweep bar".
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But I love the sweep bar.. control that and you have ultimate power... BTW, all the local bowling ally systems use a dos based setup.. ctr-alt-del on the score keeper resets them wonderfully. :D

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That reminds me of a friend of mine, Who was visited too often by the Jehovas Witness.... when he'd see them on his porch he'd fire up a porno, and when they knocked he'd invite them in... politly ask them to have a seat on the couch next to him where he proceded to get down with his bad self....

I also have a friend who had a great way to deal with Jehovas Witness. He would answer the door with his cat in one hand, and a huge kitchen knife in the other, and would politley say "Can you come back later? Kitty has been bad."

Me, I'd just say "Sorry. Can't be a Jehovas Witness. I didn't see the accident".

Ba-da-bum. :D

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I also have a friend who had a great way to deal with Jehovas Witness. He would answer the door with his cat in one hand, and a huge kitchen knife in the other, and would politley say "Can you come back later? Kitty has been bad."

That would be fun.. but I would make sure I had a small child in my hand instead of a cat, and for even more dramatic effect a chainsaw would be more interesting.

moogva, I think your going to fit in well here, welcome again. :D

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I LOVE the inner workings of things the general public never gets to see or could care less about. I LIVE for the inside of an elevator shaft and the back-side of the bowling alley pinsetting machines! I absolutely LOVE to see things malfunction (as long as it isn't my computer!!!)

Another elevator surfer... awesome!

We used to get onto the elevators all the time in college (three elevators side-by-side, 22 stories) and play with all the equipment on the top. Stopping between floors, turning on and off the door opener so it'd travel around aimlessly, and getting to attach my crappy X10 video transmitter to their RCA jack style camera was what we lived for for a few months.

Ahhh... those were the days. I think I'm going to have to start doing that stuff again.

And no, we never trapped anyone in the elevators. The worst we ever did to people riding along was to hit the switch that opens an exterior door as we went past. The elevator sees that one of the doors is open, stops, recenters on the next floor, and then keeps going. People got a kick out of it.

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I dont have any problems with telemarketers at all. Its pretty easy to avoid them provided you have your number unlisted and dont whore it out to every form/person/add/email etc, that you get. I get maybe 5-10 telemarketing based calls a year, if that. I worked for 4-5 telemarketing companies here and was pretty good at it, its funny telling them that they need to work on their presentation and selling points and how they presented themselves incorrectly. Usually after you do that they are a bit imbarressed and give up easily after you continue to rebutle every claim they make. :lol:

Ive heard for a while since the FTC imposed this, from a few friends who run smaller call back offices to larger companies that around this time most are moving from phone marketing to email marketing. :D Personally I dont think the National No Call List will last, and its weaknesses are already being attacked as you can see with the latest ruling a judge in OK ruled. http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,...3,60569,00.html

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