Hang Up and Try Again

I know The Phone Company is not stupid. I spent the first 10+ years of my career working in the Telecommunications field, beginning at the cusp of The Great Divestiture, so I fully understand the technology. After all, many great technological advances came as a direct result of research performed by Bell Labs for telephone communications. The Unix operating system was developed for telephone switching systems. And C language (later growing into C++) and then fiber optic transmission of data were also created for and by The Telephone Industry.

With that incredible heritage it is even MORE FRUSTRATING to me when I use the public switched telephone network (in the USA) and encounter the following message:

“You must first dial a ONE when calling this number. Please hang-up and try again.”

Well, if the switching network can detect that I need a ONE when dialing this number why doesn’t it simply PRETEND I DID ?

“It is not necessary to dial ONE…” is equally annoying. For the same reason, why doesn’t the network simply absorb that one I dialed?

These issues do not appear when using a cellphone. Admittedly, the cellphone dialing is buffered (queued) as opposed to real-time (sequential). But that is no excuse.

We have electronic devices that even {find the name of the author of Dick Tracy} could not conceive less than a century ago. Yet, we are forced to tolerate verbal abuse and reprimand — in the form of an impersonal recording — for pressing a few too many buttons!

I use various devices (machines) to simplify my existence. I have grown to EXPECT them to act in an intelligent way. There is no good explanation for this behavior and no reason the telephone network should continue to operate in this way.