Oddly Enough

Japan man stalks toll-free line to hear woman's voice

The keypad on a public phone is shown in this file photo. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese man was arrested for calling a food company’s toll-free number 500 times in 16 months because he wanted to hear the woman’s voice on the automated tape, police said on Monday.

The 38-year-old plumber, who was arrested on Sunday, made 3,100 hours worth of free calls to the company, costing it almost 4 million yen (19,500 pounds) in phone bills, a police spokesman in Takasaki, northwest of Tokyo, said.

“He gets excited by the woman’s voice on the guidance tape,” the spokesman said, adding that the voice sounded normal to the detective who was involved in the investigation.

The food company asked for its name to be withheld. The spokesman said police are investigating if the man placed an excessive number of calls to any other firms.

Reporting by Yoko Kubota; editing by Sophie Hardach