Telemarketer Ends Call, But Still Connected to Dialer?

I was recently called by a telemarketer who was seemingly on a predictive dialer system, given the fact that I had to say "hello" twice before being connected to someone.

I put the telemarketer on speakerphone, and once he was well involved in the sales pitch, I walked away to do something else and left him to make his pitch to an empty room. Eventually, I could hear him calling out my name and then ending the call after realizing that he was talking to no one.

However, upon returning to the phone, it seemed as if the call had not really been disconnected. There was just dead air between intermittent clicking sounds.

What was I connected to at that point (the predictive dialer?) and what was behind the clicking sounds? And will this show up on the telemarketer's phone bill or in their productivity stats as an unusually long call?

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This is just IMO, but if I understand predictive dialers, they are 'in charge' of the call; you are just a party to the call, the same as the telemarketer, but YOU are the 'most important' party; as long as YOU stay on the line, the predictive dialer will not disconnect. The 'clicks' you hear are the components of the predictive dialer attempting to 'test the line' for busy, meaning is it in use or not. It does not hear dial tone, therefore the line must be busy and it goes to some other port and tries that one instead. Depending on how many telemarketers work at that shop, chances are the predictive dialer has two or three more ports available to it (than employees on duty), so that it can keep on trying to stay even with (if not slightly ahead of) the number of telemarketers on duty. If you dialed in directly to a telemarketer's outgoing line you'd always hear that dead silence and occassional 'clicking' as it tried to find an outgoing line to use for a telemark- eter's outgoing call. I suppose that if you dialed in on (or were called by) enough telemarketers at the same shop, and you tried this with enough of them, very soon they'd all be sitting around with no calls to make. Your abandoning of the call off hook did nof affect the individual telemarketer's record all that much. He just eventually disconnected and the computer/predictive dialer simply connected him to a new call (although using a different outgoing line, of course, since you still had the one line off hook and busied out. I suppose it would show up as an exceptionally long call for the overall phone system however. PAT]
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