News

Dad Gets Mad At School's Robocall, Gets Even

| 14 Jan 2011 20:05
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When life gives you an obnoxious automated call, make a satirical one and send it back.

When the phone rings at 4:30 AM, it usually prompts a panicked answer. Such was the case for Aaron Titus, a father in Maryland, who found his phone ringing at that ungodly hour. Instead of an emergency, though, Titus discovered that this was an automated phone call from the local school district. Instead of grumbling about stupid notification procedures and going back to bed, Titus decided to get creative and fight fire with fire.

The School district's message was to let people know that schools would be opening two hours late due to a snow day, something that had already been announced on the Web and via email the night before. It turns out that the wrong time had been put in for the robocall, which meant that a message designed to let people know they could sleep in had the exact opposite effect.

Titus, in turn, found a company that would make robocalls for him and recorded his own message. He arranged for the company to call the numbers of nine school board members, the Superintendent, and the General Counsel at 4:30 AM the next morning. Here's what his message said:

"This is a Prince George's County School District parent, calling to thank you for the robocall yesterday at 4:30 in the morning. I decided to return the favor. While I know the school district wanted to ensure I drop my child off two hours late on a snow day, I already knew that before I went to bed. I hope this call demonstrates why a 4:30 a.m. call does more to annoy than to inform.''

It ended: "Quit robocalling parents at 4:30 in the morning or at least allow us to opt out of these intrusive calls."

Titus's response is both clever and funny. The school board members that the Washington Post talked to about Titus's message seemed to think it was well-done and an effective way to voice his displeasure and noted that a phone call at 4:30 AM shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Source: Washington Post

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