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Emergency ring

A special ring for emergency phone calls
  [vote for,

Fairly self explanatory.

I don't always want to run and grab the phone when it rings. This is due to equal parts of laziness and answering machine ownership. However, I'm not necessarily near the answering machine either, so it might be some time before I find out the nature of the message (if there is one).

Baked for pagers, I propose allowing people to dial an extra set of digits - following the phone number itself - if the phone call is an emergency. e.g. 555-1212-911. The extra digits cause the phone to ring in an especially alarming manner, attracting the attention of those around.

This would probably be easiest (and best) to bake via the phone company itself. Note, however, that if the consumer were allowed to program various rings at the handset, then the consumer could define their own codes/rings.

phoenix, Aug 25 2001

Is it a good time to phone? http://www.halfbake...ime_20to_20phone_3f
Not a new idea: See this idea, especially my annotation (and the ensuing discussion). [egnor, Aug 25 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       I envisage my work calling me up using this ring *every time* there is the slightest problem or need for help.
sdm, Aug 25 2001

       Which is exactly why the consumer has to be able to choose the emergency code -- and change it, if it falls into the wrong hands.   

       And once it has been changed, the phone should give a special "warning" ring when somebody dials in using the expired code.
jjg, Aug 25 2001

       Oh dam this isn't the kind of ring one could wear in one's lip and which would contain road flares and rum and a small waterproof tent for emergencies, then? Buggerall.   

       Actually, this is a good idea, and I vote aye. I can't help outbursts like the one above, I'm congenitally silly.
Dog Ed, Aug 25 2001

       At least in the USA, many local exchange carriers (the LEC is the company that is most directly connected to your handset) already provide multi-line distinctive ring services. What this means is that you have multiple phone numbers (line 1, line 2, etc.) but only one physical line. Each logical line uses a distinctive ringing pattern to identify itself when a call comes in. Many fax machines support this feature and will only answer calls placed to the fax number, while voice calls will be allowed to ring until a person picks up or the voice mail system answers.   

       So, [phoenix], if you only give out your second phone number to certain people, and you designate that it is for "emergency use only" then you have essentially baked you own idea.   

       Now, if only you could set up this line to charge a special per-call fee (say, 50 USD or so?) for those idiots who insist that everything is an emergency...
BigBrother, Aug 25 2001

       I had considered the potential for abuse. This could be solved by:   

       1) Having the phone system monitor/log all emergency calls, and/or   

       2) Using Caller ID to do the same thing on the consumer end.   

       In either case, it could be made a crime to falsely use the emergency feature.
phoenix, Aug 25 2001

       I can see the trial now... "...but your honor, I really and truly thought that needing help accessorizing for this date WAS an emergency!!!"... I think, however, that receiving enough calls like that one will force us off our butts at least long enough to read the caller ID message... we ARE a nation of slugs...
keats27, Aug 25 2001

       Take your pick.
keats27, Aug 26 2001

The Military, Aug 26 2001

       "BRING! BRING! - you are urgently in need of double glazing" would need to be able to actualy procecute for calls like this...
RobertKidney, Aug 26 2001

       already have it..in indiana at least for a dollar and seventy-five cents a month
axemurdergurl, Aug 27 2001

       I, for one, am not in favour of giving the phone companies any more of my money than is absolutely necessary so I hope this would be a free service.   

       The low-tech solution is to get a cordless phone and pretend you are the answering machine - you answer saying *I can't come to the phone right now* etc., then you listen to what the caller wants.   

       axemurdergurl, you're kidding, right? Actual prosecution of telemarketers for a couple of bucks a month? Indiana here I come!   

       Dog Ed, I'm so glad to have found someone who has named our affliction!
Canuck, Aug 27 2001

       Canuck: I've done that...answered the phone with 'Hello?', then upon determining it was someone I was not interested in talking to, said '...Ha! This is an answering machine. Fooled you! Leave a message.' Hit two dial buttons at the same time and you get a different beep <like 1 and 3, or 1 and 7. They have to be in the same row or column>, and hang up.
StarChaser, Aug 27 2001

       I have verizon and, like BigBrother noted above, I already have this feature (sort of) through distinctive ringing. It's an alternate number (my alternate is unlisted) that I have given to a SELECT few folks with the "don't use unless it's an emergency," instruction. Causes the phone to ring at twice the rate. It get's the urgent feel across quite well.
bristolz, Aug 27 2001

       Ahhh, only in the information age would we desire, no, require as much information as possible before we even pick up the phone!   

       How about instead, a neural implant stimulating pain or pleasure centers in the body just before the phone rings, so one can quickly 'get in the proper mood' for the call?
Mojo, Aug 28 2001


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