The Quick Hang-Up Mystery

Do you speak a language other than English? If so, you might be able to solve a mystery. Read on to find out more.

I got tired of tele-marketers calling me at home while I was having dinner, and although the National Do Not Call Registry helped, I still got unwanted calls. I decided to escalate the battle. There is a neat little gadget from RadioShack called the Quick Hang-up Announcement Module that plugs in between your phone jack and your phone. It lets you pre-record a message, and when your caller ID announces a tele-marketer, you push a button on the Module and it answers the call, plays your message, and hangs up. A neat, tidy, hands-off way of dealing with undesired callers. Push the button, and your problem is solved.

I’ll get to the mystery in a moment, just bear with me. The trick described above deals with a single call, but what can you do to prevent them from calling again? It turns out that there is a way. Have you ever called a disconnected number and wondered why the phone company plays the annoyingly loud “doo…dah…dee” tones before playing the recording “we’re sorry, but you’ve reached a number that has been disconnected”? It turns out that those “disconnected line” tones signal to the calling phone that the number is disconnected. Many of the auto-dialer systems used by tele-marketers will remove your number from their database when that signal is detected. There’s nothing to stop you from using the Quick Hang-up module to play back those tones at the beginning of your message! That way not only do you avoid talking to the tele-marketer, but you might also trick them into removing your phone number from their list.

This brings me to my mystery. I bought one of the RadioShack Quick Hang-up modules mentioned above, and took it home with the intention to record the “disconnected line” DTMF tones at the beginning of my message. However, out of curiousity I checked to see if there was a default recording already on the device, and lo and behold there was! The existing recording is of a person speaking over a lot of background of noise in a language that I don’t recognize. Is this a factory test message? A plea for help? A message from Leeloo, the Fifth Element? A label on the device says it was made in China; if you have any idea what this woman is saying, please post a comment below!

To hear the mystery recording, play Quick_Hang-Up_Mystery.mp3 [164kb].

7 thoughts on “The Quick Hang-Up Mystery

  1. aries

    wellll…one thing’s for sure, it’s not filipino :-D i was holding my breath for a moment because i was afraid i’ll hear something that i’ll recognize.hehe
    anyway, it sounds asian. thai or vietnamese? def not korean or japanese though.

    (just passing by. hello from the philippines~)

  2. airam

    I know I know, she is asking us to put all our unwanted change in an envelope and send it to the People’s United Union Radio of Shack (PUURS) to fund their annual picnic…

  3. pjl Post author

    A friend of a friend of a friend wrote via email:

    “I’m definitely sure that it’s not Mandarin or Cantonese, as I don’t know
    Thai and Vietnamese. So, not sure what language it is.”

  4. pjl Post author

    Another friend of a friend of a friend via email:

    “It should be ‘Mandarin’ but I can’t hear it clearly. Part of the sound should be: ‘I haven’t received my classmate’s letter for 2 months…I have to talk to you but you couldn’t hear.’”

  5. nogard0

    i heard it too … it has to be testing to seeing the hang-up records o.k. … doesnt need to be anything really … just to test that it records and plays.

    i was going to use it as my message so that callers would figure i was not an english household and stop calling.

    it would have been cool for it to actually say dont call again in non english. but from the sound of it … it wasnt an outgoing information message. it seemed to start mid-sentance and go on like just talking.

  6. Turkey

    It would have been cool for it to actually say dont call again in non english. but from the sound of it … it wasnt an outgoing information message. it seemed to start mid-sentance and go on like just talking.

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