weird phone calls

Thursday, July 10, 2003, at 06:35AM

By Eric Richardson

When I got DSL, I had to get a new phone line from SBC. We had an apartment line, but it was through Comcast, and couldn't be used. So I got just local, no long-distance, no frills, etc. Pretty much imediately the line started getting calls, mostly wrong numbers. That's not too surprising. I only really use my cell phone to recieve calls, so I've actually turned off the ringer on the line. Still, no big deal. What confuses me, though, is the answering machine messages I get. I swear 80% of them think they're talking to a real person. My message isn't deceptive, so I attribute some of them to callers who can't speak English. The rest must be telemarketers whose computers get confused and think it's a live person. In any case, it's very entertaining to come home and check the machine to find 6 messages which all start off with "hello? hello?"