Don’t Pick Up the Phone review: Leaves the viewers questioning

‘Don’t Pick Up the Phone’ follows the investigation into a nationwide hoax where restaurant managers were talked into strip-searching their employees. The docuseries is now streaming on Netflix.


On April 9, 2004, Detective Buddy Stump was called to the local McDonald’s restaurant in Mount Washington, Kentucky, to look into a case that was about to define his career.

Someone claiming to be a police officer had called the restaurant’s assistant manager to inform her that one of the restaurant’s female employees has been accused of stealing a wallet from a customer who has been there.

The officer authoritatively asked the manager to strip-search the female employee to the point where she was standing naked in the office.

Following that, he convinced the manager to bring her fiance into this and literally ordered him to sexually abuse the employee, suggesting that this is all part of the process.

Stump’s investigation into the matter revealed that this isn’t the first time a restaurant has received a call like this. Phone calls with a similar MO have been occurring since 1994 all around the nation.

Over 69 other businesses in 32 states have fallen victim to this hoax call, and Stump is chasing someone who has literally practiced this and has gotten his way out of this numerous times.


‘Don’t Pick Up the Phone’ does a good job of going deep into the case that brought these hoax calls to notice. The first episode is completely dedicated to the intricate details of that case, which involves Louise Ogborn.

Louise’s story is heartbreaking, as all she did was trust her seniors. At the same time, her story raises a lot of questions. You will constantly find yourself wondering why the adults didn’t act responsibly and why the teenager didn’t object.

For the ones who don’t know about the case, the documentary’s storytelling creates a kind of tension and mystery before revealing what led the cops to the suspect.

Apart from that, the documentary has stayed true to telling the stories from all perspectives. The creators claim that they went to lengths to bring everyone involved in the case on board, though some of them denied the request to join this documentary.

The attempts of these creators can be seen as the viewers get to hear the side of someone who was convinced that they were talking to a police officer on that hoax call and how they felt after realizing that they had made a big mistake.


The different perspectives and different cases with similar MO featured in the documentary are all over the place. They could’ve been placed sequentially.

These experiences must be heard, but they are thrown at a point where the investigation part has completely lured the viewers in.


‘Don’t Pick Up the Phone’ brings up a bizarre case that’s definitely not an everyday thing, at least today. It definitely feels odd at first.

One is left with a number of questions, but, at the end of the day, the documentary successfully captures the impact these hoax calls have had on the individuals involved.

Don't Pick Up the Phone
Don't Pick Up the Phone review: Leaves the viewers questioning 1

Director: Sara Mast

Date Created: 2022-12-14 13:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Don’t Pick Up the Phone explained: Did the hoax caller get caught?

More from The Envoy Web