Thursday, September 23, 2010

Listening Too Hard

This time it’s that ad for the service that books golf times for you. The one that starts with the guy telling the story of how the wife tells the husband that she and the kids are going out of town to visit her folks but he doesn’t have to go and he realizes he can go play golf if he's not too late to get a tee time.

This is where the stupidity starts.

The husband gets on the phone to the golf course and gets – a busy signal.

Not a ringing phone that isn’t being picked up – a busy signal.

Then the guy tells the busy signal to “pick up the phone.” He does this several times.

Only problem is that no one ever “picks up” when there’s a busy signal. Even if the person on the receiving end of the call who is on the phone generating the busy signal ends the call. The busy signal continues or the line goes dead.  (You can also get a busy signal if all available circuits are in use.)

So no one in his right mind would ever urge the unseen call recipient who is on the line to “pick up the phone.” When you dial a number and get a busy signal, do you sit there stupidly listening to the busy signal, hoping that someone will pick up? No, you hang up instantly and redial if you really need to get through.  So if anything, this numbskull is actually decreasing his chances of getting a tee time, since other smarter callers who have gotten a busy signal have wisely broken the connection and tried calling again.

Drives me nuts.


Chris said...

The Musers talked about that a few days ago.

I remember when I was a kid (mid-80's), and I don't remember if it was a feature, if everyone had it, if it was just our phone company, or what...but, if you got a busy signal you could stay on the phone and as soon as the other person hung up, their phone would ring and you'd be connected.

Now it's possible...POSSIBLE...the person that wrote this spot had the same experience when they were a kid and thought it was still around today. Again....POSSIBLE. But not likely.

The Plainsman said...

Chris, thanks for calling the Musers' notice of this to my attention. I hear most but not all of the Muser showgram most mornings, but I hadn't heard that. Well, good to know that I'm not the only anal listener around. Anyway, it's not a Ticket issue -- just something to throw in.

I've never heard of a phone system that would start ringing when the line cleared, but I suppose it's entirely possible. I'm guessing that near 100% of people who get a busy signal don't wait on the line for it to clear these days.

Thanks for the note, appreciate all pertinent info.

Jonaessa said...

I heard this commercial for the first time yesterday and had the same thoughts. It annoyed me so much that I wanted to click on the "CONTACT US" link on the webpage and tell them that no one waits for a busy signal to stop being busy and for the person on the other end to hang up! Then, doubt started to sink in. Maybe there are places in this country where a busy signal is actually the sound of a phone ringing on the other end. Then I thought, "That can't be possible. Phone sounds are universal." And I was annoyed all over again. The commercial tries to be clever with its narration leading from one scenario to the next in a single breath. Then, the busy single ruins it.

Glad someone else noticed. It's almost as obnoxious as the "I'm a P-1 and the Ticket was my idea" commercials. Almost.