Some people are a little too smart to keep their revenge simple. Redditor MercuryFoReal took to the platform to share that one time when he and a friend took epic revenge on a buyer who flaked in the last minute and it is ingenious.
The user writes, "Back in the early 90's, my friend (I'll call him "Lou", because that's his name) was selling his RX-7 via an ad in the old print Auto Trader. It came out every Thursday, so that first weekend was critical for sales. The very first guy that came to see it on Saturday said he wanted to buy after driving it. Of course, he had to finance, so they couldn't finish the sale during the weekend. Lou was worried about losing all the bites from the new ad, so he asked for a deposit of $500.
The guy wrote a check. Lou told the rest of the callers that weekend that it was sold and, unfortunately, didn't ask for their numbers in case it fell through; this story predates callerid availability in my area by a couple years, so those leads were gone. As you surely expect by now, the guy flakes on Monday and Lou deposits the check. Payment stopped. Big surprise."
"Sitting around my apartment, we schemed revenge, but all we had to go on was the check. Lucky for karma, there was a phone number printed on it. Our first idea was to write a little program to dial his number repeatedly from my modem, but that would be easily stopped and probably get us in direct trouble. Then Lou got a page from his work: this was back in the one-way pager days. You call the pager's dedicated phone number, it sounds a tone, then you punch digits for the number you want to be sent to the pager. The person with pager receives the number you entered and, presumably, calls it. Everyone with a pager made sure that people who needed to get a hold of them had the number for their pager. You'd see pager numbers in print and TV ads all the time for various services."
"Boom: angelic choir sings, heavenly light goes off. Lou's pager number and my pager number had the same prefix (middle 3 digits). What if we randomly dial numbers with that prefix and page them all to this guy's number? So we order a pizza, open some beers, and start looking through the yellow pages at locksmiths and tow truck services to find more pager prefixes. We wind up with a dozen or so. After that, it's half an hour of coding in Ye Olde Borland C++. I put together a program that would cycle through our list of known prefixes and add a random final four digits to get a random pager. It calls the pager's number, pauses, then dials this asshole's number and throws a *911 suffix on there for good measure, which is something people with pagers understood to indicate an emergency of some kind. The whole thing was just generating a string like "ATDT602XXXYYYY,,<asshole number>*911#", where XXX is the pager prefix and YYYY is random. Commas make pauses, since you need to connect to the paging service before you can enter the message. Make string, send to modem, wait for "NO CARRIER", hang up, repeat."
"We start eating the pizza and let it fly. I was very picky about my devices, so my modem was a USRobotics Courier. You could set an S register to control how long it would sound each tone when dialing. Uber-nerds like myself would keep tinkering with that to get it as fast as possible while still being recognized by the phone service. It was very fast. I swag it could run through 4 pages per minute, so this guy would get 240 calls/hour. We just watched it run and laughed our asses off. We realized pretty early on that we didn't really know if it was working, so we wandered down to the 7-11 and called him from a payphone, just in case he could somehow trace it or the po-po were on the case and watching. A man answered and I said, "hello, I got a page at this number". I heard an audible sigh and then he just hung up. Gold!"
"We ended up running it for a few hours, then let it go quiet for a few days. Then we scheduled it to start dialing in the middle of the night every few days, plus we'd fire it up by hand randomly whenever we had a party. We checked again from the 7-11 after a week and it went to an answering machine, which did the rapid-tone at the end of the greeting to indicate the tape was full. We reasoned that the line was still ringing, anyway, so we kept at it for another month or so. Eventually, we got the disconnected warning when we made one of our regular checkups. I'm sure he just changed the number."
"I like to think about that guy answering the phone after a few days of silence when we started it up. I can vividly imagine his response at the "did someone page me to this number?" as he slams the phone down and then it rings again a few seconds later. Or, of course, coming home from work and having an answering machine full of random people asking about being paged. And, yeah, we annoyed several thousand people into calling this guy by the end. But each of those people was only put out for a single call. A cost, yes, but a necessary one for justice," the user wrote.