A few minutes ago, I was in the middle of a 2-person meeting at work, when the office phone rang, with no caller ID identified (which just means it came from an external location, I think). Excusing myself, I answered the phone, to hear an automated voice. (“Oy,” I thought. “The telemarketers have tracked me to work!”)
No, it was a collect call from King County Jail! They had a recording of the person’s name (someone male), garbled and unintelligible so I had no idea what the name actually was (although maybe if I knew the guy’s voice and name, I could have understood what was said), and then a request for me to accept the phone charges or not.
Two user experience issues with this:
- No idea what the cost of accepting the call was
- No way to replay the person’s name if I didn't catch it the first time around (and since I was a bit shocked to get a call from the Jail, I wasn’t listening all that closely)
Hope it was (a) a wrong number rather than someone I know who was depending on me, and (b) the inmate isn’t limited to the stereotype single attempt to call someone and I blew it for him. There hasn’t been a second call, so who knows?
Updated on January 21, 2010