The Most Expensive Pay Phone Call in History

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On 02/12/2016 11:24 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote: much better than:

Heck, I don't recall my parents asking me where I was going.

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On 2/12/2016 3:27 PM, philo wrote:

Yeah, and look how *you* turned out!! (ducks) :>
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On 02/12/2016 04:42 PM, Don Y wrote:

yep, pretty badly!!!!
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Where are you going?
Yomama
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On 02/12/2016 05:16 PM, snipped-for-privacy@Im.Watching.U.Now wrote:

HA!!!!
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On Friday, February 12, 2016 at 11:21:15 AM UTC-5, philo wrote:

I'm a hypochondriac. One time I sat on the mute button and thought I went deaf. ;-)
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On 2/12/2016 11:26 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

LOL!
--
Maggie

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On 02/12/2016 11:26 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

As I get older my hearing gets worse, but I can hear the low frequencies fine. The last time I had a doctor check, he said it was normal for someone my age.
When my wife tells me to get my hearing rechecked I ask her why I should pay to find out something I already know. The fact that my low range is good means everything is basically ok other than having lost some cilia .
Possibly the same reason I never took a MENSA test:
I am smart enough not to pay someone just to tell me I'm dumb!
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On 2/12/16 8:21 AM, Don Y wrote:

<SNIP>

Back in the day, there was a way to multi-bend a foot-long length of coat hanger wire which could then be inserted up the open coin return slot of the old Bell System pay phones-- the ones before they installed pull-down doors on the coin returns-- that would lodge behind the holding box and prevent the operator-activated solenoid from tipping it backward into the money box. A skillful jiggle on the wire would tip the holding box forward sending the coins back down the coin return slot. Free call!
The increasingly widespread use of these "pay phone hooks" back in the 50's and 60's was a contributing factor in Ma Bell's replacing all the old open-slot coin return slot phones with the pull-down door kind...
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On 2/13/2016 9:50 AM, Wade Garrett wrote:

a penny down the nickel slot and bump the coin return button as it was going down. That would send the penny into the dime slot area and turn the phone on. Another trick was to flatten out a plastic straw and shove it down the dime slot and drop a penny down the nickle slot and pull the straw out as the penny was going down. Had the same effect.
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On 2/13/16 11:15 AM, Mr. Emann wrote:

Another old trick I read about was to bring a portable tape recorder into a deserted phone booth and record the "bong" noises a series of quarters made as they dropped into the coin slot. From then on, when making long distance calls and the operator asked you to deposit X dollars, you just played back the proper number of bongs with the phone handset's mouthpiece close to the speaker on your recorder.
The only way operators determined how much you deposited was to listen to the sound a coin made as it hit the bonger under the quarter slot, the single bing under the nickle slot and the double bing under the dime slot. She couldn't tell the difference between the real thing and a recording of it. Remember the old ad slogan "Is it live or is it Memorex"?
The advent of electronic coin sensor/counters ended that little scammy-doo.
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On 02/13/2016 06:39 PM, Wade Garrett wrote:

The real scammy-doo was the exorbitant long-distance rate charged by the phoney company..
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On 2/13/2016 8:50 AM, Wade Garrett wrote:

There's also a spot on the "Fortress" where you can drill a little hole and get similar results.
Ma Bell went to great lengths to protect the cash it had collected; not so much *future* cash!
Coin mechanisms (and coin handling) suffer from being a relatively complex task *and* one that you would ideally NOT like to spend lots of resources ($$) on -- as it adds no direct value (it's more of an insurance policy).
Early dollar bill validators could be hacked by attaching a length of clear plastic to the bill (most typically, a long piece of tape that is then folded back on itself to double its thickness/strength *and* cover up the exposed adhesive soas not to get caught in the mechanism).
The coin mechanisms in pin-tables (and other arcade pieces) can almost always be conned into accepting a penny as "payment" (in lieu of a quarter).
Red boxes can con TPC into thinking you've inserted coins.
Some slot machines could be "confused" to miscount dispensed coins (on a payout) by flashing a light *inside* the hopper (coin dispenser) to blind the photoelectric "coin detector".
Etc. The number of vulnerabilities that folks will uncover "to make/save/steal a buck" is amusingly large: "Why didn't anyone think of PREVENTING this *obvious* hack?"
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Heck, around 1965 or 6, one could call long distance from a pay phone and just charge it to another phone. I was in college and I used my mother's phone, in a 3rd state. They might call her to check, but if no one answered, they did it anyhow. But too many people did this with people who weren't their parents and didn't know them, so now none of us have this convenience.
So around 2008, I was coming back from Indiana, running late, and going to miss a meeting in Baltimore that night, and I'd look bad if I just didn't show up. So I stopped at a pay phone in West Virginia, and was going to charge it to my credit card. For some reason I checked the price in advance, $26 for the first 3 minutes!!! I ended up borrowing a cell phone from a museum hostess, who got free long distance. I had to go outside to the curb to get a signal and even that didn't bother her.
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On 02/12/2016 07:53 AM, Micky wrote:

Woow!!! a lot of $$$$ I

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I coudln't believe it. And yeah, it was some 3rd party company.

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wrote:

At some point in the 1990 era many of the pay phones were operated by other long distance companies. They could charge whatever rates they wanted. Some would pork you good.
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On Friday, February 12, 2016 at 4:45:36 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

Too bad there's no way to preview it...
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On 2016-02-12 4:43 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

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Quando omni flunkus, moritati
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On Fri, 12 Feb 2016 19:47:26 -0500, FrozenNorth

Thats a pretty fun website. I like listening to those old recordings...
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