The man, the myth, the beige raincoat: A screen grab from Rick Astley's video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up.'
Millions of Americans have gotten the call.
"This is the second notice that the factory warranty on your vehicle is about to expire," says the recorded voice at the other end of the line.
Most people hang up. The machine calls again later.
Michael Silveira decided to strike back. The 22-year-old laboratory technician, who doesn't own a car, says he was getting unsolicited sales pitches as often as twice a day on his cell phone.
So last week, Silveira began calling back an auto-warranty company that has become the focus of an Internet crusade. He left it voice-mail messages that contained nothing but a recording of Rick Astley's 1987 hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Using phone numbers for Auto One Warranty Specialists Inc. that users posted to a Web site called Reddit.com, Mr. Silveira joined dozens of activists who have peppered the warranty company with messages including elevator music, threats and offers of rude services.
"I thought, if you get a bunch of people together, you could blow up their voice-mail boxes," says Mr. Silveira.