An automated phone system problem in which people with certain kinds of voices produce sounds identical to phone tones (such as a number or the pound or star key). The system assumes a key has been pressed and processes it accordingly, which results in the person getting cut off or moved to the next step. Also: talkoff.
Example Citation:
Talk-off occurs when the device tries to translate voice to digits. Some people with gravelly voices trigger invalid conversions that can mess up a transaction. I had several of these units translate my voice into DTMF tones during testing. ...
To prevent talk-off problems, most of these cards can be configured to ignore single and doublepulses, which solves the problem but costs you two digits.
— Stuart Warren, "The $2400 Club," Computer Telephony, February 1, 1995
Earliest Citation:
Bicom's (Trumbull, CT) DSPbased 4LS and 4LSB provide advanced features at low cost. Both boards include high performance DTMF detection to eliminate annoying "talkoff."
— "PC board bonanza," Teleconnect, December 1, 1993
Related Words: Category:

New words. 2013.

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