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Original Publication Date: 2000-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a method that a user of home-electrical-appliance, such as a refrigerator, makes a phone call to a customer service center from a user -interface on the home-electrical-appliance and a telephone assistant at the customer service center acquires a data from home-electrical-appliance with keeping to talk with the user on the phone. To realize the method, this disclosure includes the following two elemental features. One of them is that a memory component inside the home-electrical-appliance has a phone number data. Another is that an appliance has a user-interface and mechanism for a user to command the appliance to transmit the memorized phone number data to the user's telephone. The home-electrical-appliance and the telephone are connected with some method, for instance, simple wireless data -communication technology, home-inside LAN and so on. The both of the telephone and the appliance must have a mechanism to communicate each other, depending on the communication method such as the above mentioned instance. When a user of the appliance faces some problem on it, the user operates the user-interface (e.g. push button) to call a customer assistance, with having handy phone device. Then appliance transmits the recorded phone number data to the handy phone device. Next then, handy phone makes a call to the customer service center with the receiving phone number data. In other words, the user isn't required to know the phone number for the customer service center, only needs an easy operation on the appliance with having his handy phone or placed his phone nearby the appliance. Once the telephone call connects between the user at home and a telephone assistant at the customer service center, the telephone assistant acquires an information of identified the appliance, an error data and so on, which are recorded in memory components inside the appliance, onto his personal computer. At the same time, the user and the telephone assistant keep to talk on the same phone line. At this time, two logical channels are on one physical phone line. One channel is for telephone conversation between the user and the telephone assistant, another is for data-communication between the home-electrical-appliance and the personal computer at the customer service center. Since the phone device and the appliance are connected with some communication method, it's possible that the customer service center accesses the appliance. That is to say, a phone device plays a communication gateway for a home-electrical-appliance to connect a