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An auto dialer is a software program used to automatically dial many numbers from a database. It can be configured to leave messages for people on answering machines, receive recorded responses or dial telephone numbers for an operator. Auto dialers are extensively used in telemarketing and customer support.
Auto dialers are used with telephones, pager networks or mobile phones. Once calls are established, auto dialers announce verbal messages or transmit digital data to caller parties.
Systems that perform call transfer to an operator when a call is answered by a person are referred to as predictive dialers.
The main principle behind auto dialers is the ability to detect live human pickup and answering machines. As there are no hardware signals when calls are answered by an answering system, auto dialers analyze received audio to make predictions.
Regular PCs or desktop computers can also be turned into auto dialers using telephony modems. There are special hardware-producing software programs, which set up functions similar to an auto dialer over a physical telephone line. Free or inexpensive auto dialers without modems also run using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the Internet. The traditional advantages of using telephony cards over modems include detecting the touch tones and call transfer to callers. Call progress detection, touch tones, call transfer, voice mail and detection of answering machines are generally present in voice modem auto dialing systems.