Sacramentans bugged by the 'Butt Dialing' blues

11:23 AM, May 8, 2012   |    comments
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What's Buggin' You with Kate Larsen

SACRAMENTO - "Butt dialing" or accidental calls are an annoying side effect of cell-phone use. Whether you're on the dialing or receiving end of the call, almost everyone has experienced a butt dial.

"Hello? Can you hear me?" That's what you might hear if you pick up a butt dial, but the person on the other end of the line doesn't know they've placed a call so no one answers.

Other names for the accidental call are pocket and purse dial.

Whatever accessory or body part is doing the dialing, it's accidental. And generally, it bugs people more when they're on the receiving end of a call.

Kenny Woerner, mobile manager at the Roseville Best Buy, says his grandmother is responsible for frequent late night calls. "You'll get phone calls at one o'clock in the morning just because she'll get up and bump it off the table or something. She pocket dials all the time, I've probably received 15 or 20 in the last month."

"When you throw your phone in your purse, what happens? Things move around and us women, how many things do we carry? Lots of things," says Maria Garcia Lerma who used to place embarrassing butt dial calls to 911, but has now butt dial-proofed her phone. "So now I have my protector, I have my password so I have no more problems with 911."

Woerner recommends setting a password on your phone to prevent hitting buttons accidentally and placing a call. He says flip phones are the best line of defense between your phone and pocket. Older candy-bar phones with raised buttons on the outside are the worst, and if you have a smart phone, you should be well protected with a password or a pattern lock

There's also an App for beating the butt dial blues called "Call Confirm," available on Android phones. The app works by popping up a dialogue box that asks you to confirm the call before it's placed.

If you still think butt dials are harmless, you might want to think twice about who's on the other end of the line. Most people News10 spoke to say they listen to butt dials for up to a minute before hanging up. Woerner says he hears stories about butt dial recipients hearing the unintended all the time. "Basically his wife was complaining about him the entire time, never does anything around the house or to help with the kids or things like that. It's a pretty common thing., you hear a lot of people come in and say I got pocket dialed and I heard some pretty juicy stuff."

If something is bugging you, then bug Kate! You can email her at


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