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try-twice phone

super-simple phone problem-solver
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

So this is my first idea as a long time 1/2bakery lurker. I've searched through the phone ideas, and although a few have tackled the same sort of areas, I reckon that my idea is better, because it's *so* simple.

OK, on with the idea. I'm thinking of a box that you attach to your landline, or ultimately functionality built into a fixed-line phone.

So what does this device do? Well, whenever the phone rings, it automatically answers and then disconnects immediately. If the caller then attempts to ring you for a second time, it lets the phone ring until you answer it.

Now, why would you want to do this exactly? I can think of four reasons off the top of my head, and it helps to imagine that you're in the bath when the phone rings:

1) Tele-sales phone calls are usually dialled by an automated system, and then if there is an answer, a salesman is put on the line. Hence the tell-tale seconds of silence that identifies that type of call. So simply put the phone down before the saleman connects. The automated system moves on to the next number, leaving you alone, and you're untroubled by the call.

2) Mobile phone users inevitably forget to put the key-lock on their phone. If they do phone you accidentally, you simply cut them off, saving you the hassle of shouting at their trouser leg, and them an expensive phone bill. It's unlikely that you'll be accidentally called twice like this.

3) War-dialling hackers/ misdialled fax machines (or whatever that electronic screaching is I hear every so often), will be disconnected without you being subjected to the horrid electronic noise, hopefully not to phone back. In fact, wrong numbers in general ought to deflected like this, assuming the person on the other end has simply misdialled.

4) With a bit of luck, phone pests will get the hint that you're not someone to be messed with, ie. you're not scared to put the phone down quickly.

The trick to this is that anyone who really wants to talk to you will go to the effort of phoning you twice. It probably helps to warn potentially callers that you've got this system in place so they don't think you're just rude.

And technology-wise, it's super-simple. Heck, you can even do this manually. Although you'd have to get out of the bath first.

iivix, May 15 2004


       Bit of a pain in the arse to have to ring you twice everytime someone wants to speak to you.
Alternative solutions...
1. A quick "Fuck Off, stop calling" me usually does the trick (if followed by a swift slamming down of the phone).
2. A rather large bill to said mobile phone user will encourage him/her to lock their phone in future.
3. Dunno what the first bit is, but wrong numbers will probably press redail, as they won't realise they have dialed a wrong number (until you tell them on the second call).
4. See point number 1.
MikeOliver, May 15 2004

       Like most similar systems (spam blocking/avoiding springs to mind), widespread acceptance might lead to its downfall - when phones/diallers compensate by automatically dialling twice.
benjamin, May 15 2004

       re: 2. I don't think disconnecting at your end actually ends the call, does it? this has happened to me several times and nothing you can do will get rid of the accidental mobile caller until they realise what is happening.
po, May 15 2004

       A possible improvement: on the first inbound call the phone looks up the caller ID and allows the call to come through unimpeded, if the ID has the "allow" flag set. All other IDs, or blocked IDs, must ring twice.   

       Feeping creaturitis.
bristolz, May 15 2004

       There are blockers that listen for a characteristic silence that automatic dialers produce to verify if it's an answering machine or fax.
theircompetitor, May 16 2004

       If an automated telemarketer calls here, and I pick it up, I seldom get a saleman, I get empty space. I've been told the machine records what time you are at home,and they WILL call back the next day. So to solve my telemarketer problem, I got caller ID. This idea would make the problem worse in my case.
dentworth, May 16 2004

       OK, [mfd] me if you want, but you gotta say why! [edited to add] ok, removed pointless mfd...   

       So some feedback to all yer feedback...   

       MikeOliver - 1) Yes, you can shout down the phone, but my system means you don't even have to get up to answer the phone. 3) Wrong numbers won't redial your number again, IF THEY'VE MISDIALLED, like I said, ie. if the caller's finger has slipped. 4) See 1   

       Benjamin - yes, good point, re: spam callers/ tele-martketers. it's only a fix until they adapt, but I reckon you'd get a good year of peace, worth it for such a simple device.   

       Po - Yep, you're right here, it doesn't disconnect. But, that's not necessarily a problem, in that this device still stops you having to talk to them or answer the phone.   

       RE: everyone-else. I think you've missed the point of this device - of course you can get caller ID filtering, or simply shout at people/ put the phone down, but this device means that you have a super-simple piece of electronics, and *ideally you don't even have to get up to answer the phone in the first place*.   

       See, the principle is sound - accidental/ timewasting callers will phone once, serious callers will ring twice. Tell me why this isn't a good idea...
iivix, May 16 2004

       "it automatically answers and then disconnects immediately. If the caller then attempts to ring you for a second time" It has to know that it's the same caller or just if two calls are received in a specified period of time?
Gromit, May 16 2004

       [po]'s point is valid, but that only applies to accidental calls. Incidentally (I might be wrong) I believe there's a time limit of 2 minutes, after which the call *is* terminated.   

       But won't this effectively make phone calls cost twice as much to legitimate callers?
Detly, May 17 2004

       [Detly] I've sat for a good 15 minutes shouting into the phone, hoping someone will hear me shouting from their pocket and disconnect the accidental call. In the UK at least, there's no time limit,. Sadly. That would be an eminently sensible idea!
hazel, May 17 2004

       BT that lovely UK telco provider would love this feature, as would the mobile service providers, double connection fee charges.
engineer1, May 17 2004

       what hazel said! I have sometimes recognised the voice and gone round to their's to give them a thump!
po, May 17 2004

       I can see the benefits of this idea. One special case does concern me though - when the caller only has one chance to make the call. E.g. when you get arrested and phone your significant other to bring the bail money. Or possibly when you are in a call-box and only have one call's worth of coins to make that 'emergency' call. Hard to see how this special case could be catered for though so + anyway.
dobtabulous, May 17 2004

       For me, accidental calls are only a small percentage of my total calls.   

       It doesn't make sense to inconvenience all callers in order to handle the small percentage of mistaken callers. There are better solutions out there that are not so indiscriminate.   

       I wouldn't inflict this device on my friends.
Enjoyer, May 17 2004

       the best solution is for mobile phones to be designed in such a way that the number you store for someone isn't complete, or requires an extra button push. In the UK this could be achived by storing the numbers minus the inital zero, prior to calling a stored number you press 0 then dial.   

       iivix i had one particularly annoying set of calls that where obviously from a mobile by a bunch of kids who would ring at 5 or 6 in the morning ask for someone, realise they had a wrong number and promptly hit redial to see if dialing the same number got them through to someone else.
engineer1, May 18 2004

       [Enjoyer] RE: accidental calls being a small percentage of all calls. Yep, I guess I should admit a prejudice here, in that 90% of all my personal calls come through my mobile. Hence if the landline rings, it's virtually guaranteed to be an unwanted call...
iivix, May 18 2004

       It would be OK if all your friends were postmen. They always ring twice, apparently...
ian_mackereth, Nov 19 2004

       I just do not answer if I see witheld or number which I do not know:-)))
mobdir, May 06 2007


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