Friday, July 11, 2008

Telephone Squatters

There was no post yesterday because our Internet was broken from mid-afternoon through the time I went to bed. The TV was working fine, even the digital box, which seemed sort of strange.

Eventually I got impatient and called Charter to find out what was going on. Since I was lazy and pretty sure I knew the number, I dialed 1-800-GETCHARTER. That got me to a phone tree with a fairly generic welcome message with only two options '1 - for the best prices on cable, internet and phone' and '2 - all other inquires'.

I pushed two and it dumped me to a message telling me to call the 1-800 directory assistance number, over and over. Which seemed bizarre, but I wasn't really listening so I dialed the number anyways and, of course, got directory assistance.

By this time I dug out the last bill and found out Charter's number was 1-888-GETCHARTER, not 1-800. Apparently someone is squatting the 1-800 version of the number and probably trying to get commissions on the sales of people who push #1 at the menu tree. Plus I probably cost myself money by mistakenly calling the directory assistance number.

I'm familiar with domain squatting, but it didn't even cross my mind that I would find a squatter on a telephone number misdial.


McBrideFarm said...

That is so weird! I would have been really confused by that. I hate those freakin' voicemail systems. The one for our phone company is so poorly organized and only lets you do the thing where you speak your choice. Ugh. It can NEVER understand me, so I end up practically shouting into the phone. So irritating.

Steve Eck said...

I agree, I hate phone trees where you have to say your choice. Especially when they make you say your account number. "I have buttons on my phone that are specifically designed for entering numbers...let me use them!"