Phone ringbacks

OK, a question for the ‘why does this stuff work the way it does?’ file.

Using regular old, land-line phone service, sometimes when I call some place and I’m listening to their voice messages/voice tree, if I hang up, the phone rings back and I am reconnected to that same #, sometimes with the voice message still going.

I don’t remember this ever happening for conversations with real humans - only when in some kind of voice message system.

Why does this happen?

I think the movie Poltergeist clearly showed that this is due to your daughter being in communication with the dead.

That sounds like an unintended side effect of modern phone systems that support call waiting. The telco call switching equipment thought you were line switching (via a brief on hook signal) vs actually hanging up.

FWIW I’ve never ever had that happen to me, so it might be that your local telco has some funky or misconfigured equipment.

It’s happened from different land lines I’ve used, though, IIRC all within the same basic geographic area, likely serviced by the same provider. And it’s happened when calling different businesses, though perhaps those businesses are using the same equipment providers for their voice mail.

Usually this happens when the system thinks you’re on a second-line call. Make a call, hang up (but not long enough) and pick up – the system thinks you meant to put the first line on hold. Make another call and just hang up, and it’ll ring back with the first call still on the line. Are you sure that’s not what’s happening?

Happens to me all the time. I’ve always thought it had something to do with call waiting…like if I hang up sloppily, I’ll click the cradle twice, and the first click “flashes” to a dial tone and the second hangs up on the dial tone. Then the phone thinks there’s a caller because the actual call was never hung up on, so it rings.

[edit] Did it really take me 2 minutes to write that and get scooped by ciparis? Forgive me, I woke up at 1 PM…