Maryland man exacts sweet robocall revenge

Snow day announcement prompts robocall revenge plot

Have you ever wanted to get some sort of revenge on those automated robocalls that in some cases continue to interrupt dinner or in this situation, sleep? The Washington Post has a story today about a Maryland man who'd had enough and exacted some revenge of his own.

From the Post story: "Awakened at 4:33 a.m. Wednesday by a ringing phone, Aaron Titus jumped out of bed in a panic. Maybe something terrible had happened, he thought. Even if nothing was wrong, his heart raced with other considerations: His five children, ages 5 and under, including his week-old daughter, were mercifully still asleep, and he wanted to keep it that way. In a blurry rush, Titus answered the phone halfway into the second ring, listening in disbelief to an automated caller tell him what he already knew: It was a snow day. School would open two hours late. In other words, he and his family could sleep.  But now he couldn't. "

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The story goes on to say that a sufficiently irked Titus exacted a measure of revenge by hiring an online robocall firm of his own the next day, taping a message and listing every phone number he could find for Prince Georges county Maryland school board members.

From the Post: "At 4:30 a.m. Thursday, phones began ringing with 29 seconds of automated, mocking objection:  '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. Quit robocalling parents at 4:30 in the morning or at least allow us to opt out of these intrusive calls.'"

The robocall revenge worked or at least the county's executives got the message.

From the Post: "In Prince George's, the early-morning robocall went out to all households in the 127,000-student district because "the wrong time was put in," said spokesman Darrell Pressley. The delay had already been announced on the system's Web site and by e-mail - just after 11 p.m. Tuesday.  Usually such calls are placed "in the 6 o'clock hour, and sometimes the 5 o'clock hour," Pressley said - with a concern for safety and recognition that not all families have easy online access. This robocall was pegged for the 4 o'clock hour. It was a rolling series of calls that took about 75 minutes to complete, he said. It's the first time - and the last time," he said of the timing."

Chalk up one for the anti-robocall following.

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  

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