Phone Losers of America is a collection of intertwined stories and high-concept pranks which take you on a twenty year journey of high-tech humor, culture jamming, and criminal mischief. From remotely controlling the overhead paging system of a large supermarket, to confusing the phone company with various call forwarding stunts, this bizarre collection of pranks will not only make you laugh, but will cause you to question the security and sanity of common, everyday business procedures.
eBay Pranks: Brad Carterâ€™s eBay feedback has been featured on Fark, countless morning radio shows, and even in a book about eBay. This chapter features the best of the feedback and some of the other pranks pulled on eBay users.
The Fred Meyer Prank: Years ago it was possible to call into any Fred Meyer department store in the country and take over the overhead paging system remotely. Once you were connected, you could stay on as long as you wanted to, saying whatever came to mind for all the confused shoppers and horrified employees to hear.
Finding A Job: Have you ever wanted a job so badly that you spent months systematically harassing all the other employees into quitting, just so a position would open up? Find out if driving convenience store employees insane, one by one, and causing thousands of dollars in damages in the process will actually work.
Dino and His Cordless Phone: The beloved story of a man using his cordless phone in the wrong neighborhood. While using a radio scanner to listen to Dinoâ€™s calls, a single night is spent relentlessly prank calling him and listening to his reactions with his wife, his friends and the phone company.
And Much More: This is more than just a simple book of pranks. Itâ€™s a cross-country adventure involving an accidental death, bizarre telephone experiments, credit card fraud, homelessness, automated harassment, computer hacking, interference with a murder case, and taking revenge entirely too far. After reading this book, you will never look at a telephone the same way again.
â€œA great read for anyone who enjoys prank calls. Whether you know the PLA or don’t, this book will definitely make you laugh. The book serves as a fantastic introduction to the PLA, phreaking and prank calls, and it definitely makes a great gift.â€ -Buzzard, Australia
â€œThe day I received the book, I finished it, all 300 pages. It is the greatest book I have ever read and easily the best. If you know anything about phone phreaking, want to know, or just want to read a funny book, get this!â€ -Copyright
â€œSocial engineering and tactful thinking seems to be a continuous theme throughout the book, making it a phone phreaking joyride!â€ -Douglas Berdeaux, WeakNet Labs
“I have read over 12 books in my life, and this on is by far one of the top 10.” -Rappy McRapperson
“The author makes no excuses for his criminal behaviour, and his stories veer from laugh-out-loud funny to disturbing to frightening, sometimes all in the same paragraph.” -Liam McEneaney
The stories contained in the Phone Losers of America book are based on the original issues of PLA, RBCP’s bio and other things found on this website. PLA has been featured in USA Today, the Boston Herald, 2600, on CNBC, CNN, TechTV, and countless other websites, books, magazines and radio shows.
The classic Phone Losers of America beige boxing story appeared in the book The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein, and a page was dedicated to the PLAâ€™s eBay pranks in the 2008 book The Rough Guide to eBay by Ian Peel.
Brad Carter began writing comedy material in 1991 while traveling the country and experimenting with various phone systems. These writings later evolved into the Phone Losers of America, which have been enjoyed by a fan base that has been continuously growing since the mid-90â€™s.
Brad currently resides in Albany, Oregon and maintains several comedy websites, the most popular being the Phone Losers of America. He also runs Sign Hacker (whose sign pranks have been debunked on snopes.com and featured on CNN), Old People Are Funny, and his personal website at NotLA.com.
The Phone Losers of America book is available for purchase from the PLA store, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or can be ordered by your local library or bookseller. It’s also available in digital form on your Kindle and in many other ebook formats.
Below is a list of all the chapters from the book. You may think that you’ve already read a lot of this material by reading the chapter list, but keep in mind that very little of it is just a just a cut-and-paste of material you can find on this website. Nearly everything has been re-written for the book and lots of new material has been added, all based on events and stories from the PLA.
Foreword by Rob Vincent: Rob T Firefly, known by some as Rob Vincent, recounts his personal history of being a phone-obsessed weirdo and tells us how PLA impacted his life a little along the way.
Leaving: A couple of phreaks on a routine trashing run at the phone company central office run into trouble that will change their lives forever.
Dino and His Cordless Phone: The classic story of a man using his cordless phone. Zak and RBCP spend a single night harassing Dino and listening to his reactions over a police scanner as he calls his wife and other people to tell them what’s happening. This chapter is based on the PLA issue, but is completely re-written for the book.
Fun With Fall Forwarding: Loosely based on PLA issue #19, this chapter details all the crazy things a person can do with the phone company’s call forwarding features. Read about the confusion caused at the phone company by forwarding calls, practical jokes we’ve played and our bizarre call forwarding experiments.
Credit Card Fraud: From flying around the country to staying in hotels to satisfying my material needs, there’s not a lot I didn’t try with other people’s credit cards in the 1990’s. Find out how it all began to how it all ended, from the free stuff to the busts that ended it all.
The Fred Meyer Incident: Years ago it was possible to call into any Fred Meyer store in the country and take over the overhead paging system remotely. Once you were connected, you could stay on as long as you wanted to, saying whatever came to your mind for all the shoppers and employees to hear.
Automated Harassment: Tired of pouring my own time and energy into making harassing calls to people, I completely automated the process by setting up a few websites to do the work for me.
Listening to Cordless Phones: After chasing off all the cordless phone users in my neighborhood with prank calls, I begin assembling a new cordless phone community by giving away cordless phones to all of my neighbors.
History Lesson: Detailing the history of the Phone Losers of America, this chapter tells you how it all began and how far its come over the past two decades.
The Zine: The Phone Losers of America zine is where it all began. This chapter contains a short description of all the original PLA text files, along with some details on how or why they were written.
Homelessness: I spent a lot of time sleeping on sidewalks, in parking lots and in bushes in between my flights around the country.
Wacky Morning DJ: The story of a certain morning radio DJ who had the misfortune to have RBCP as a listener. You’ve heard some of the DJ story from PLA’s podcast, but this chapter gives the complete details of everything that happened, including the hacked AOL and eBay accounts, the piles of phone bills and the emergency operator interrupting of on-air phone calls.
7-Eleven Looting: One thing leads to another during the night shift at 7-Eleven and the next thing you know, we’re stealing all of money from the safe and fleeing the state.
Red Boxing: Since red boxing is such a relevant topic in today’s world, it only makes sense that an entire chapter be devoted to this subject.
Taking Revenge Too Far: A few simple acts of revenge turn into a full-time job for RBCP and Zak. Read about the victim who endures daily torture for years.
Big Larry: He didn’t think anything would happen when he stole food from other residents of the house he was living in. Read about how wrong Larry was.
eBay Pranks: RBCP’s eBay feedback has been featured on Fark, countless morning radio shows, and even in a book about eBay. Read the feedback and some of the other pranks pulled on eBay users.
McDonald’s Sign Prank: A wooden sign in the parking lot of a McDonald’s becomes the victim of a prank by someone with too much time on his hands.
Boulder News Frenzy: How a national-murder case became the focus of the PLA for over a year, resulting in the closure of a major newspaper’s online forums. And how, 10 years later, this resulted in RBCP being the focus of one man’s murder investigation.
Beige Boxing in Celina: A few dozen phones lines are taken over and evil things are done with them.
Finding A Job: Have you ever wanted a job so badly that you spent months harassing all the other employees into quitting, just so a position would open up? Find out if driving convenience store employees insane, one by one, and causing thousands of dollars in damages in the process will actually work.
Yellow Pages Prank: Have you ever had someone send a pizza to your house? What if they took that prank and completely crossed the line with it, scheduling hundreds of businesses to show up at your door, all at the same time.
Back: After searching all day for a suitable pay phone for red boxing, Alex suddenly finds himself having a bizarre chat with a stranger.