TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Need Help With a Telephone Mystery

Re: Need Help With a Telephone Mystery
19 Jan 2006 12:56:50 -0800

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I would be careful saying that it is
> a 'simple misdialing' if there are _many_ people calling it.

In this particular case, it does sound likely it's merely
misdialing -- people are trying to reach the company but reaching his
number instead. Yes I agree the translation table should've been
updated but nowadays it's understandable it wasn't. Indeed, with all
the mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies I'm frightened to what
exists out there.

Also remember that right now the new Medicare Drug Plan is being
implemented and it's a mess. Lots of people are calling in with
questions, so call volume is unusually high. That would increase the
chances of error dialing.

Don't underestimate the grief someone has with a phone number close to
a popular number. A friend's number is vaguely similar to a pizza
place and he gets frequent calls for the place. (Since he's not
usually there it's not a problem). A number I once had was similar to
a call-in for work assignments and I got calls regularly at 5am.

I remember when our family moved and got a new number from a newly
created exchange. My mother was concerned that it was ANC and an
exchange no one heard of; she thought it would make us look odd.
(Interesting how we were concerned with our appearances back then.)
However, we never got anyone wrong numbers for many years.

I wonder if Touch Tone pads generate more errors than rotary dials
since people can zip along much faster, increasing the chance of
error. Further, with portable and cell phones, people could not be
paying attention while dialing and make more mistakes.

The old Bell Telephone movies showing somebody dialing carefully from
a written down number while seated with good posture at a good desk is
not real life.

I think in the old days the phone company knew certain numbers were
error prone and avoided assigning them out if possible. Also,
businesses tended to have symetrical or even hundred numbers. But
today that's not the case. Further, many businesses use spelled out
numbers which I think are much more error prone. That is, dialing
ABC-BANK is trickier than say 922-4800.

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