Last week this lady was all over the news for being dumb enough to pay $200 for a sealed FedEx box that some guy at a gas station claimed had an iPad inside of it. Then, when she found out it was just a mirror and duct tape, she went crying to the news, hoping that the public would have sympathy for her because she got ripped off while attempting to buy stolen merchandise. The video above contains a phone call I made to the lady, where I pretended to be Apple and offered her a free iPad. Of course, a lady dumb enough to buy a FedEx box full of trash is also dumb enough to hand over all her private information to a guy on the phone.
In other recent news, a pizza delivery man in Des Moines, Iowa was upset that a lady didn’t tip her, so he peed on her door. And I just happened to do a followup on this story with prank calls too. You can blame Dark Stranger for both of these videos since she’s the one that suggested I call these people.
Lastly, here’s a series of phone calls we made earlier this year where we became obsessed with Starbucks employee numbers and what could be done with them. Listen in horror as Starbucks employees give us absolutely anything we ask for!
Here’s yet another post to tell you to watch PLA’s YouTube videos. These two videos might interest you if you’ve been into the PLA for a long time. Since I only have 8 months to live, I’m trying to give away tons of old PLA junk and photos. The first video contains the junk and the 2nd one contains the photos. Unfortunately a lot from the first video has already been taken, but most of the printed pages of stuff is still available.
Also on PLA’s YouTube are 3 more episodes of Sorry I Dinged Your Car and a Geek Squad prank, which are all embedded below. Apparently Geek Squad employees have been alerted to the video where we impersonate them because over 200 hits are coming from geeksquadcentral.com, which appears to be for employees only. If any viewers have access to those forums, please send us some screen shots so we can find out whether they’re LOLing or plotting their revenge.
Wal-Mart doesn’t seem too happy with our photo pranks, according to the memo below. This was spotted by a Wal-Mart employee who follows us on Facebook and was nice enough to snap a picture for us. The memo has done little good, though, because photo employees still give us anything that we ask for.
Attached to this post is the latest episode of The Phone Show, where you’ll find out what the word is if you listen long enough. You can click here to read the show notes. Don’t forget to listen to us live, every Tuesday night at 9pm Pacific / 12am Eastern.
Isn’t that an amazing picture of the outline of a removed pay phone? I took that last year at a gas station, just outside of Corvallis, Oregon. Before they removed the empty pay phone stand, they were hanging advertising banners over the front of it. Did you know it costs around $700 a year to maintain a pay phone, even when that pay phone is only making a couple bucks a month? These are the kind of useful facts you learn by listening to The Phone Show every Tuesday night at 9pm Pacific.
Have you people been to the PLA YouTube page lately? I’ve been spending way too much time on there lately and I’ve uploaded a lot of videos recently, of new PLA material that you can’t find anywhere else. Below I’m going to post a bunch of videos that I don’t think I’ve posted on phonelosers.org yet. You are hereby required to watch every single one of them.
Just as I did on the last phonelosers.org post, I’m attaching a recent episode of The Phone Show to this post for the podcast subscribers. I don’t have any plans to do any new episodes of PLA Radio, but I’m sure one will happen eventually. The Phone Show happens every week and there’s a separate podcast feed for that, plus all the YouTube videos are kind of in the old PLA Radio format of just being different collections of prank calls SO QUIT COMPLAINING! Oh yeah, nobody was complaining.
It’s been awhile since I shared any PLA videos here, so that’s what you’re getting today. First of all there’s the new Foursquare stalking video which just went up today. It contains a bunch of Foursquare stalking prank calls that you’ve already heard! But it’s more awesome now because we play beats by Rappy McRapperson over it all.
Next is a 9 minute borefest of the Cacti Radio studio, which will give you a tour of the equipment used for The Phone Show each week. I made this just before I packed up the entire studio and moved it into another room so that the video was instantly out of date.
Our new April 1st video on YouTube will show you how to scam a pay phone by dialing a 32 digit code that technicians use to empty the coin box. You can be RICH! That is, if you consider the very small amount of quarters found inside pay phones these days to be a lot of money. Not since our toaster/CB Radio/drive-thru video from last year have we brought you such useful quality video.
This video is for informational purposes only! Do not actually attempt to use this code to empty out coin boxes. Now that this information is in the public eye again, we hope the phone companies will use a little common sense and change the codes again like they did in 1995. But I wouldn’t count on it.
Also this week, I replenished the supply of black PLA t-shirts since they we running low. And while I was at it, I threw a few extra colors in there too. Purple, because I know you hacker types love wearing purple because it makes you look so fabulous. Some kind of reddish color called “cedar” and a hippie-looking green color named Olive. Here’s a picture:
Those 3 new colors are in very limited supply and only available in Large and Extra Large. Black shirts are available in all sizes. Visit the PLA Store to order a shirt. Be sure to put a note on the PayPal order form that you want one of the other colors, otherwise you’ll receive a black shirt.
In the newest episode of PLA TV, we pretend to be radio DJs calling pay phones and get people to do things for money. The videos in this prank span quite a few years, from 2003 to 2009. RBCP’s first attempt at this nearly earned him an arrest.
At the pet store pay phone, EvilCal and Mrs. EvilCal join in for the fun. The mother of the girl who spotted our camera pulls up next to us and asks what we plan to do with the footage. She says she doesn’t want the footage on the internet because of perverts seeing her daughter. Because, you know, grainy YouTube video shot from 100′ across a parking lot is much worse than a pervert seeing her precious snowflake in person somewhere.
In 2004, at the Wilsonville pay phone, Heywood and Heather from messedup.net provide the creamy, chocolaty hazelnut spread and provide a perfect pay phone to film. Heywood’s lost footage showed video of those big girls attempting to run as Heywood comments, “Geez, try the McSalad!”
Most of the music in that video is provided by at independent band called The Rhodes, which I found on the podsafe music site. Originally I had much more fitting background music, but as soon as I uploaded it to YouTube, their system automatically detected the copyrighted music (even with me switching the levels and talking over it) and pulled the video down. So I just kind of threw on the first independent band I could find. I’ll put a little more effort into using independent music for the next PLA project. (Check out Jenn’s Guide to defeating YouTube’s copyright filters. I should try that next time.)
What would you ask a stranger at a pay phone to do, using the DJ ruse? I’d like to try this prank again someday, so make some suggestions in the comments!
About a year and a half ago, I set up a wiki on phonelosers.org which caused conflicts with other scripts, so I had to remove it. Yesterday I discovered www.wetpaint.com which lets people set up their own wiki. It seems like a perfect solution for someone lazy like me, who doesn’t want to take the time to make it work on my own server correctly. So take a look at phonelosers.wetpaint.com and add whatever you want to it. I’ve also redirected our old wiki address ( phonelosers.org/wiki ) to that URL. And if you’re into wikis, there’s always the PLA entry at wikipedia.com.
In other news, there’s a new PLA TV video up which has absolutely nothing to do with PLA or phones. Makes sense, eh?
I read your article on how to modify a CB radio to broadcast on drive-thru frequencies today. It was a great article, and a good YouTube video as well. I liked it so much, I stopped by my local RadioShack after work. I asked the employee to direct me to the CB radios. He showed me the TRC-241. I said to him "I see the screen is digital; but is the CB radio fully digital?"
He went off to look up the specs. Meanwhile I pulled up phonelosers.org on my cellphone. I saw the model number you wrote down was an earlier version of what I was looking at. I interrupted the guy, saying "Never mind, the model you have looks fine. I'll take it." He responds "Is there anything else I can get you?" – "No, not unless you sell toasters." Perplexed his really cute female co-worker looked over, smiled, and asked me "What are you going to do with that?" I replied "Well see, toasters have a crystal that operates on a higher frequency, which will help me test a theory." Grining, I paid the man, gave a very flirtatious good-bye to the girl and went to Target.
I found their cheapest model for about 7 bucks. I was so excited to get some pranks going tonight, I couldn’t stand it. I kept fantasizing about how I was going to have a lot of fun, and maybe impress some friends.
I got home and set down the two items on my desk. I thought to myself "Hey, I'll film this as proof it can be done!" I set up my camera, hit record, and began to take apart the toaster. I was trying to be as entertaining as possible, all the while, sounding as educated about what I was doing (much like you were). I took off the knob and slider handle. Then I took off the bottom of the toaster; then the side. I saw a tiny circuit board, resting on the bottom of a support plate – mocking me. "Wait a second!?" I thought. "There should be a crystal soldered onto this board! RB said *all* toasters have these as a safety measure!"
I then took apart the CB radio and looked for the crystal there as well, only to find nothing. “What the fuck? 0 for 2, and I'm out $100+!” Surely I bought the wrong model, or sported for a toaster that was too cheap. I thought the comment section of your post would be a good start. Anyone that has run into trouble with this would have posted a solution, or their concern.
I was right. Someone said that the post was made near April 1st. I checked the YouTube page of the video, and plenty of people were shouting "this is so fake! you people are idiots!," etc. I knew right then, I have just been had. I started laughing to myself. I couldn’t believe that I wouldn't have second-guessed such a simple tutorial from you, the mighty trickster. I went back to the RadioShack and saw that the people I dealt with, had already gone home. I explained to the other guy that I was a victim of an elaborate joke, and how I took apart a toaster in order to get to a high-frequency crystal. The guy looked at me like I was the biggest moron on the planet, while he shook his head. "No.. No. You’re not going to find a crystal like that in a toaster." He replied.
To say the least, he refunded me my money. *whew!*
Thanks, RBCP, for giving me the motivation to tear apart a toaster!
So…it’s been a few months now and I guess it’s as good of a time as any to state the semi-obvious…that article about modifying toasters and the accompanying YouTube video on the subject were hoaxes. There is no crystal inside a toaster to “control the frequency of the heating coils” and you can’t replace anything inside a CB radio to make it transmit on a drive-thru frequency. Sure, there are ways to hijack fast food frequencies, but using a CB radio and/or a toaster isn’t the way to go about it. Our goal was to destroy as many toasters on the planet as possible.
This turned out to be my most widespread hoax, thanks to Gizmodo, Consumerist, Fark and Digg linking to it. The video was watched over 100,000 times and I don’t know how many people visited the phonelosers.org article on the same subject. It was a lot, though. I received at least 50 emails about toasters and many threads were created on the PLA Forums by new users, begging for help on the subject. We deleted a lot of them, but here are some of the surviving threads…
Even better than the forum posts were the YouTube comments on this prank. You’ll notice that many of the first comments were positive reviews of the video, a lot of them claiming that they tried the mod and it worked beautifully. These were mostly made by people from the PLA Forums, just trying to make the video more realistic by backing up the claims that it worked. The rest of the posts fall into these three categories:
You asshole, your prank cost me money! You suck!
Haha, your prank cost me money! You rule!
I’m so smart that I realize this is a prank and I’m desperate to prove this to everyone.
I have a lot of emails that are pretty funny, but I’m too lazy to search through my archived email, looking for the best ones. Many thanks to all the people who helped with this prank by debunking the debunkers on YouTube and by stringing along the new users on the forums. And a huge thanks to Zan, who not only had an awesome sense of humor about the whole thing, but even sent in the picture of himself with a disassembled toaster. Go visit his iNFEKTiD website and pay your respects!
And to you people who were hoping to hijack drive-thru frequencies – shame on you! Messing with minimum wage employees is wrong and very un-Christian-like! People like you cost these businesses lots of money and you shouldn’t be thinking of doing things like this! Shame, shame shame!
This short video is barely enough to even be considered a PLA TV, but since when have I ever had standards. Watch as I attempt to mess with some missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints via some security cameras and a two-way intercom. This happened in 2003 and 2004, but I don’t think I ever posted it on phonelosers.org. So here it is.
PLA TV: Those Wacky Missionaries[ 0:01 ]Download (6621)