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Phone Weirdness


Gone But Not Forgotten
Jan 3, 2002
About six months ago the 'phone rang in the early hours, at about 03.00 am. I thought I'd answer it as if someone where calling at that time I thought it might be an emergancy. It was the voice of a young woman (Late teans early twenties I'd say.) who I did not know but none the less, she seemed to know a lot about me. It was like she was playing. She wouldn't give anything away about herself. Yup, my first thought too was prank 'phone call. I 1471'd and tryed calling back (We chatted for just under ten mins.) but it was unavailable. Not wanting the little scamp to get away with it (! ;) ) I called the operator. She checked the number. No this is the strange part, it was deffinatly from somewhere in England, but the number didn't exist. She even put me trough to directory enquireies and then a technitian. He checked my line, it was fine, and I'd got the number right, but he couldn't understand cuz the number didn't exist! :confused: I have no doubt who ever called was alive though.
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London telephone oddity?

Any posters in East London experience anything odd with 'phones today? Have just been speaking to a friend who has spent all morning trying to contact me about an urgent matter. She was unable to until now because she had no signal on her mobile (even if she went outside) and the landline was dead. I have had no problems in central London.

Similar things happened on 7 July allegedly because of overload on the networks but possibly because the police turned the networks off.

Wonder if there was a drill/test somewhere?
Funny. In my home town, the local police station is presently incommunicado becasue a JCB has cut through the telephone cables. So you can ring the main exchange but you can't be put through to the town police station.
The thing that happened when the bombs went off - that was the network being overloaded wasnt it? Like at New Year. As in, signal was there, but just no getting through.
The thing that happened when the bombs went off - that was the network being overloaded wasnt it?

Depends who you speak to ! :lol:

Initially it was reported that the network had been deliberately shut off because of fears that the bombs were detonated by mobile 'phone. Later, this was denied and the police said it was just network overload. The emergency services certainly have the ability to turn the networks off (or rather, demand the the telecoms companies do so).
I thought the emergency services had priority and what was left of the network for the rest of us overloaded.

Highly technical I know. I didn't really think much of that little conspiracy theory that 'they' 'switched it all off'.

Maybe there were problems with transmitters in the area or something? Although that doesn't really explain the simultaneous land line problem.
A mobile phone base station (the masts that people are so terrified of) can only handle so many calls at once. The last time I was involved in that side of things it was around 120 but has probably gone up. This is why you have lots of base stations in towns and cities whilst in the country they are more sparse.

So basically when 121 people on the Orange network are all trying to dial into the same base station, one person is going to be disappointed. This is why you get the 'network busy' thing and why everyone thinks the network has gone down. The network is still there it's simply working at maximum capacity.

The emergency services have nothing to do with this as they have their own networks, either the old fashioned radios or more recently the TETRA system. If they are using standard mobile phones then they would be stuffed along with everyone else. There is also the fact that the phone companies would want to be compensated for loss of business if they were forced to close their networks therefore I think it is highly unlikely that emergency services get any priority.

I suspect that Quake 42's problem was an issue with your friends nearest base station being out of action for some reason, routine maintenance or a fault. Had your friend walked half a mile up the road then they would most likely have been picked up by the next base station and they could have made their call quite easily.

I've no idea why the landline didn't work but again, a fault most likely which happened to coincide with the mobile problem.
Funny. In my home town, the local police station is presently incommunicado becasue a JCB has cut through the telephone cables. So you can ring the main exchange but you can't be put through to the town police station.

Your call is important to us... please continue to hold...
On 07/07 it was simply capacity on the network that caused the problems. Speaking as someone that works for BT I have never heard of a network being deliberately shut down, we have enough problems making it work in the first place :roll:
Even weirder, our local paper reports that the reason the police station was incommunicado was that a fuse had blown. Whereas I was persnally told when I tried to ring the police station that the fault was due to a JCB cutting a cable.

Incidentally, in case anyone is interested, I was on the blower to the filth in an attempt to recover property of mine which had been originally taken in evidence in a murder enquiry. :shock:
A couple of years ago I picked up the phone at home to make a call and instead of the usual dial tone I got what sounded like people in an office chattering away to themselves. I couldnt dial out and didnt get a reply when I said "hello?" I put the phone down and picked it up again a couple of times but still got these people gabbing away to themselves. Not sure why I thought it was an office but it was echoey and sounded like a room with several people in it. This kept up for about 20 minutes with me putting the phone down and picking it up until finally I got a dial tone.

On a weirdness scale I suppose it doesnt rate very highly but it was certainly disconcerting. Thing is Im sure Ive read on here about this happening before. Anyone point me in the right direction?
youcould have picked the phone up at the precise moment a call centre automatically called you but they didnt actuially man it. when this happens the line is open on their side and they have to close it before you can dial out. its happened to me a few times and its infuriating because you cant take or send calls until theyve put the phone down their end.
It's a call centre - they seem to have discovered ways of being even more annoying than ever recently, including automated ones that continue their speil even if you hang up. I was expecting an important call and had to put up with an 'IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT INFORMATION' recording for about half an hour despite trying repeatedly to cut it off and a constantly looped recording from the bank which must have been running for about two hours before I picked it up again and then would only stop once I'd gone through the rigmarole of the switching system to eventually talk to an actual person*.

What is it with those IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT MESSAGES anyway...? I've been out of work recently and I've been getting seven or eight every day. Does anyone EVER listen to them beyond 'Hello, this is AN IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT MESSAGE...'...?

* Resulting in an exchange along the following lines:

'How may I help you today, sir?'

'Err, you rang me...'

'Oh.' Pause. 'Any idea what we might have wanted?'

Which I guess means that this automated system isn't particularly popular at the other end of the line either...
The same thing happened to me about twenty years ago when I lived in California. I was working at a car dealership one early evening when the phone at my desk rang. I picked it up and heard what sounded like a family talking over dinner. I called to them, but got no response. I tried hanging up a few times, but to no avail. Finally, just before I was getting ready to go home, I checked the line again and had dial tone.

Just one of those things that happens through the phone system as designed, I guess.
basically you have a big dialing system fed with millions of phone numbers and names.

you'll have 10-500 people sitting in front of computers and in each circumstance the dialing system calls #'s ahead of time and then keeps them in a queue sitting there idle until the next person becomes available to start the call, during this leeway time, you will notice yourself picking up the phone and sitting there saying, hello hello with no answer.. then a few minutes later up comes a voice asking to speak with your name, sometimes brutally mispronouncing the name hinting to you that you don't know this person, which usually prompts us to say he/she doesn't live here anymore even though you know that they're calling for you

IF you do end up hearing office noise, chances are you have a person who does this job, not really doing their job :D they were probably sitting there pretending like they were working all the mean while, you yourself may have been entertaining to listen to depending on how crazy you started to trip when you thought something more was happening HEH
It's so annoying when they ring and then have you saying "hello'' several times till you hang up with frustration. Had a call a few weeks ago and when I said "Hello?" it paused then said " That is not an appropriate answer". Bang went my phone as I wondered what was lol but I suppose it was the end of someone else's call.
Also I had an forward saying that if you hit the hash key a few times it throws your name out of their list, so I've been doing that lately. Supposed to be on the do not call register but they still ring.
My wife picked up the phone the other day and a man says "Is [Danforth] there?" I was working from home at the time, so to find out whether it was worth taking to me she asked "May I ask who's calling?"

Short pause.



Probably end-of-shift larks by bored temps. I've worked in a call centre before (once. Never again!) and after several hours at the phones you go a bit strange. You start selling windows in a variety of comedy accents, or pretend to be stoned ("Windows, man... want some? Windows!!")
If I don't get a response to "good morning," I hang up as fast as I can, because it's almost certainly phone spam. If I get ten calls in a day, 9 will be phone spam and one will be my husband.

What I love are people who call and ask: "Is this a business?" If you don't know who I am, don't call me! And then there's people who call you in your home and demand to know who they're talking to before they'll identify themselves! And people who hang up when they hear your voice, because "sorry, wrong number" is too much bother to say. And of course the phone spammers who do their own dialling but call day after day after day after day until you're really thoroughly rude to them about three times in a row, when they'll finally cross your number off their communal list.
Since most of my communications are by email, my phone is just for emergencies and for internet access.

Recently I've been getting at least one spam phone call per day.

So now I answer the phone with "Swanvale Sewage!"

Then some female recorded voice says "Hallo, I'm Fiona... etc"

So I respond with several strong Anglo-saxon words, and put the phone down.

Makes me feel good, anyway! :twisted:

Had a really odd phone call one night this week. My daughter answered the phone and some woman asked for a Chris and was told she had the wrong number. She said well you live in .... don't you? Then she said she wanted my daughter to go and put her name and number in their letterbox, gave their nationality and their number.
My daughter thought this was very odd as why wouldn't you ring them direct so she declined., as noone in the court wants to go near them as they are the only feral family who live here.
We still thought it was odd that she had rung us and when we met a neighbouring family at the shops today the same thing had happened to them except the lady thought she was being asked to have a letter sent to her house and to put it in the other's box.
She doesn't have English as a first language and they were quite concerned as they too could not work out how someone could get our phone numbers from a house number.
As my daughter said it could have been a drug dealer or a debt collector but it just seemed strange, why not post to their house or ring them?
There is such a thing as a reverse telephone book, where you can look up the phone number and find out who owns it and where they live; there may also be directories arranged by address. That used to be standard, before telephones - it's great for researching your property! But the motivation is strange, and it's just as strange that she didn't lead the request with; "I know this is peculiar, but there's this situation and I was hoping you could help me because." Why would you expect anybody to be willing to do such a thing without a plausible reason?
At work in the U.S. we get constant (sometimes twice a day) calls from people (usually based in India, by the accent) asking us to update our online business listing. They never give a name or number, and don't respond to our requests to stop calling...it's not sinister or anything, just irritating. I have trouble figuring out why it's worth it to some nameless company to outsource a call center to call us as often as they do for information when they never get any.
My mobile phone occasionally rings itself on its own accord and leaves a message on voice mail. Doesnt say much though
My landline phone woke myself and my daughter up at two thirty this morning when it decided to ring itself. We have two cordless phones in the livingroom and if you press a button on the base unit it will ring the other handset using a different tone to someone ringing in. When it went off I was half asleep and very much dazed and confused so I just switched it off and went back to bed. Maybe something had fallen over and hit it but there's nothing near it to do that. I also thought that the dog had knocked it but he had been in with my daughter most of the night - the silly bugger had got himself trapped between her quilt and the cover and when the phone started to ring had struggle to get himself out.

I have spent the afternoon wondering what would have happened if I would have answered it and feel quite sad that I didn't.
Last week it rained here quite a lot, and since that happens so rarely the infrastructure always seems to fall apart. My sister's landline had gone out (gotten a little wet, or cold, apparently), and so she had only her cell phone. She got roused from bed Friday morning with a police officer at the door, checking to see if she were okay. He said they'd received a 911 call from her number. He called her by name, so clearly it was her phone that called. She had to use her mobile to tell me this story, because the phone wasn't working even then.
Weird telephone call!!

Yesterday afternoon my telephone rang and when I answered it and said 'Hello!' a couple of times I heard my voice played back to me saying the exact few words that I had just spoken! Then the line went dead! What could have happened? :roll:
Senior CND officials used to claim that the same thing used to happen to them in the 80s. :shock: