What did dealers do before they had pagers? I don't know. I do know what they did with the invention of the cell phone and the Internet: nothing. Well, not much anyway. But they would be lost without their pagers. Pagers allow them to be notified that their customers want them, without requiring that they do anything about it. So don't get the idea that dealers are going to be giving up their pagers for a technology which is more convenient for the user. It ain't going to happen.
A common problem faced by users is contacting their dealers when they are not at home. An obvious though expensive solution to this problem is to invest in some kind of cell phone. It must be remembered, however, that analog cell phones are hardly private. For safety's sake, a digital system should be used. This is not that big a deal given that most stuff is digital these days.
Finding Call-Back Phones
The low-priced leader in devices for contacting one's dealer is still the payphone. The problem is, as pagers have become more ubiquitous, payphones that accept incoming calls have all but disappeared. And to make matters worse, many payphones which do not accept incoming calls are not posted as such. So a user may page his dealer to a particular phone and wait and wait for a call that cannot arrive.
Determining if Phone Accepts Calls
An easy way to find out if a payphone accepts incoming calls is to use it to call itself. If you get a busy signal, it means that the phone takes incoming calls. If the phone doesn't take incoming calls you will get some message from the phone company to that effect--even though you are calling from that same phone.
Determining if Phone Rings
There is another problem, however. Some phones that take incoming calls don't ring. This is not common, but it does occur. The only way to test this is to call that phone from another phone. If such a phone is found, it may still be used. After making the page, the user simply picks up the receiver every ten seconds. This will not work well for a dealer who waits a long time to call back.
Determining the Phone Number
Ironically, most phones that do not accept incoming calls still have their phone numbers dutifully posted. It is like the phone company gets some kind of thrill out of wasting the time of a person trying to make a page. Phones that do not have numbers posted are as likely as not to accept incoming calls. All one has to do to find out the number of an unposted payphone is call the operator and ask.