Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "What an interesting assumption." => Topic started by: Team HoundMom on March 20, 2014, 01:18:57 PM

Title: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Team HoundMom on March 20, 2014, 01:18:57 PM
I have a story about an "interesting assumption" that happened to me many years ago.

I hadn't gone to church since I was a little kid so I decided to give it another try.  I found a church that seemed pretty laid-back so I went to a few services and actually enjoyed it.  One day I picked up a pamphlet for a church softball team because I figured that would be a good way to meet people. I called the number on the pamphlet and it went like this:

Man: "Hello?"
Me: "Hi, may I please speak with Mr. <Name>?"
Man: "WE DON'T WANT ANY!"
*click.*

I thought "Aw man, he thinks I'm a telemarketer. I'll call back and explain."

So I called back.
Man: "I SAID WE DON'T F-ING WANT ANY!!" <-- with the full F word
*click.*

I called back AGAIN and their voicemail picked up.  I left a message and said "I'm not a telemarketer.  Your name is on a pamphlet I picked up at <Name of Church> about a softball team and I'd like some information about it.  You can call me back at <Number.>"

A few minutes later my phone rang and it was the man's wife.  She never apologized for her husband's behaviour, just said that it's a Men's Only softball league.  I thanked her for calling back.  I double-checked the pamphlet and nowhere on it did it say it was for men only.

I really should have written a letter to the church's pastor at the time, because he was a great guy and would have been horrified to find out that someone from his congregation treated a new person like that.  But it felt like "tattling" so I didn't.  But I never went back to that church, or any other one for that matter.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: alice on March 20, 2014, 01:21:44 PM
WOW....I wonder how he would have responded if he had heard a male voice on the other end of the phone.

He was very rude!
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: lakey on March 21, 2014, 10:09:43 AM
Letting the pastor know about the fact that you were sworn at when calling a phone number in the church's pamphlet would not have been tattling. It would have been doing the church a service. The only way an organization can fix problems is if they are made aware of the problems.

By the way, I've had some real problems with certain telemarketing schemes. If you start out with a reasonable response to a telemarketer, "Sorry, I'm not interested,", you can tell which type you are dealing with. The ones who are just legitimately trying to make a sale will say, "Thank you," and hang up.

The problem with the telemarketing industry is that there are a few who are deliberately trying to get around the "Do Not Call " list, and will continue to harass you. If you press "1" to have your name taken off the list, you will get even more calls. There are a couple of these schemes where you will get 3 calls in one day. You also get calls from the same scheme from different numbers from different area codes. If you answer one of their calls, they know that someone is there and will keep calling. I did some internet research on a couple of these numbers and they are well known for they do and there is very little you can do about them. You can ask for their information to report them for breaking the "Do Not Call" policies, but they simply give you false information.

One of them has to do with alarm systems for the elderly, another starts with "Hi, my name is Heather". The thing is, by getting mad and swearing at a caller, the guy from your church is upsetting people who nothing to do with the harassment, including cold callers who don't deserve to be treated like that.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: jedikaiti on March 21, 2014, 10:36:51 AM
Actually, I believe many if not most legit telemarketers are required to NOT take the first no, and if they do so on a regular basis, won't be working there for long.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: TootsNYC on March 21, 2014, 10:10:30 PM
The whole problem would have been avoided if you had first identified yourself--or the purpose of your call--before asking for that person. That's actually proper etiquette--they have no idea who you are, so you are supposed to say, "Hello, this is ...."

In your case, proper phone etiquette would have been for you to say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball league at XYZ Church, is Mr. So-and-so there?"

Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on March 21, 2014, 10:36:31 PM
The whole problem would have been avoided if you had first identified yourself--or the purpose of your call--before asking for that person. That's actually proper etiquette--they have no idea who you are, so you are supposed to say, "Hello, this is ...."

In your case, proper phone etiquette would have been for you to say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball league at XYZ Church, is Mr. So-and-so there?"

POD

OP, you should have identified yourself.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: JenJay on March 21, 2014, 11:15:43 PM
I don't think OP had a fair chance to identify herself. I mean yes, she could have said "Hello, this is Hurricane Marathon, may I speak with Mr. Whatshisface?" but I think the guy was far more rude to not say "Who's calling, please?" or "Speaking, how can I help you?", etc. He did provide his name and number for the pamphlet so I think he should have been prepared for the possibility that people from church may call to inquire, and those calls might be more casual in tone.

OP's phone style might not have been professionally proper but I don't think she deserved to be hung up on and cursed at. When I receive a sales call I always say "This is Jennifer." and give them a chance to speak. That seems like a much more polite way to deal with an unknown caller.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: jedikaiti on March 21, 2014, 11:55:39 PM
Or, OP could have ID'd herself and Rude Guy might well have hung up anyway, since OP is not a personal acquaintance of his.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: MrTango on March 22, 2014, 09:43:00 AM
Personally, I think that if the guy didn't want to be bothered by Telemarketers, he should just let all calls from non-familiar numbers to go voice mail.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: perpetua on March 22, 2014, 09:48:43 AM
The whole problem would have been avoided if you had first identified yourself--or the purpose of your call--before asking for that person. That's actually proper etiquette--they have no idea who you are, so you are supposed to say, "Hello, this is ...."

In your case, proper phone etiquette would have been for you to say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball league at XYZ Church, is Mr. So-and-so there?"

POD

OP, you should have identified yourself.

I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

It is not necessary to start your conversation with "This is X, may I please speak to Y about...". The above version is just as correct and polite.

The people on the other end of the phone, on the other hand, were *monstrously* rude.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: TootsNYC on March 22, 2014, 09:56:21 AM
I disagree completely.

The etiquette-approved way to begin a phone call is to idenitfy yourself first.

You are a stranger until you do so. You have created the interaction, and while you know at least something about who is on the other end (bcs you're initiating the phone call; in the OP's case, she knows it will be this man or his family members, since she's calling his home), they know -nothing.-

You are a stranger--in a way, an intruder--until you identify yourself.

That is why the first thing you are supposed to say is, "hello, this is ZYX" or if you are a real-life stranger as well, "hello, this is ZYX from ABD[company/reason/etc.]."

In the OP's case, since her name would be unknown to them, she should say, "Hello, I'm calling about the softball team; is Mr. KJLS there?"

You have interrupted them; they have been kind enough to answer the phone call. The least you can do is to indicate right away that you are not a threat, to establish your bona fides before you start prying into the presence or absence of whoever is in the household.

This is basic--identify yourself first. Then you can get to the business of your call. No one should ever have to say, "may I tell him who is calling, please?" That's a defense tactic that indicates that the person who initiated the phone call is in the wrong already.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 22, 2014, 11:23:35 AM
The guy was extremely rude.  I'm not sure that Hurricane Marathon identifying herself would have made any difference.  The lack of apology when the wife called back cements it for me.  This person has no business being in charge of a church team where strangers would be calling to sign up.

I would have reported it to the church.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: MariaE on March 22, 2014, 11:28:59 AM
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the story I doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: JenJay on March 22, 2014, 11:37:38 AM
The guy was extremely rude.  I'm not sure that Hurricane Marathon identifying herself would have made any difference.  The lack of apology when the wife called back cements it for me.  This person has no business being in charge of a church team where strangers would be calling to sign up.

I would have reported it to the church.

Exactly
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: perpetua on March 22, 2014, 11:52:11 AM
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the story I doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.

Correct according to who?

This may be regional.

I have never started a phone call with 'Hello, this is Perpetua' and I have very rarely taken one that starts with 'Hello, this is X, may I speak to Perpetua?'

I was always taught to say 'May I speak to X' and then the receiver of the call would ask 'Who's calling please' and at THAT point I identify myself. \Whenever I take a call it usually starts as per the above. That is very common here and there's nothing wrong with it at all so please be careful with blanket statements that something different is 'incorrect' (I was very careful NOT to say that in my post).

'Hello, this is Perpetua, may I speak to X' is a very American way of doing things, to my mind. I would not do this on the phone here.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: MariaE on March 22, 2014, 11:56:08 AM
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the story I doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.

Correct according to who?

This may be regional.

...

'Hello, this is Perpetua, may I speak to X' is a very American way of doing things, to my mind. I would not do this on the phone here.

Not American only. What I described above goes for Danish, New Zealand and South African phone etiquette as well. Probably other places as well, but I can only talk for etiquettes I've experienced personally.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 22, 2014, 12:06:00 PM
The way I have found best is to reverse the order of the facts.  Whenever I have said, "Hello, this is whatsanenigma, may I please speak to so and so?"  the conversation usually circles back and I am eventually asked "who is this?", whether it be that the person is going to transfer me to so and so, or take a message for so and so, or whatever the case might be.

What works better for me is to say "Hello, I would like to speak to so and so please, this is whatsanenigma."  That just seems to be a better information flow for the one listening, and I don't encounter the circling of the conversation.  It seems to be the "so and so" part that is important first-the person on the phone thinks about whether or not so and so is here-and then the name of the caller is next in importance-is this someone so and so knows? What is the relevance likely to be? Are the words "his daughter" included? And so on.

In the case of the OP, though, I don't think that the saying of her name would have done much good, if the person on the other end was so quick to assume it was a telemarketer.  Many telemarketers will say "Hello, this is Mary, may I please speak to so and so?".   They don't say "Hey, this is a telemarketer and I want to sell something to so and so."

And it doesn't seem like there was much time for the OP to get any clarifying information out, in that call.  The man jumped quickly to a conclusion and didn't give her time.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: perpetua on March 22, 2014, 12:21:54 PM
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the story I doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.

Correct according to who?

This may be regional.

...

'Hello, this is Perpetua, may I speak to X' is a very American way of doing things, to my mind. I would not do this on the phone here.

Not American only. What I described above goes for Danish, New Zealand and South African phone etiquette as well. Probably other places as well, but I can only talk for etiquettes I've experienced personally.

I didn't say it was American only. I said it seemed like a very American way of doing it and as such I wouldn't personally use this method. Also, it is not how I was taught.

I also agree with the people who say that it wouldn't have mattered even if the OP *had* identified herself in the manner that is apparently acceptable. She wasnt given a chance, and even when she did phone back and do that, they were still extraordinarily rude to her.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: gramma dishes on March 22, 2014, 01:10:13 PM

...   A few minutes later my phone rang and it was the man's wifeShe never apologized for her husband's behaviour, just said that it's a Men's Only softball league.  ...

It's entirely possible that she wasn't even in the room when the first two phone calls occurred.  She may not have even had a clue that her husband spoke to you that way.

I would have mentioned it to the pastor of the church.  He (or she) should know.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on March 22, 2014, 02:23:22 PM
Quote
I also agree with the people who say that it wouldn't have mattered even if the OP *had* identified herself

But she didn't.  No one knows whether or not it would have mattered.

Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: MrTango on March 22, 2014, 03:15:58 PM

...   A few minutes later my phone rang and it was the man's wifeShe never apologized for her husband's behaviour, just said that it's a Men's Only softball league.  ...

It's entirely possible that she wasn't even in the room when the first two phone calls occurred.  She may not have even had a clue that her husband spoke to you that way.

I would have mentioned it to the pastor of the church.  He (or she) should know.

Even if she'd been sitting right next to her husband both times he spoke so incredibly rudely, it's not her responsibility (or her place) to apologize for his behavior.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: #borecore on March 22, 2014, 03:18:33 PM
I honestly don't care what exact words you used. There's no excuse for cursing at a stranger for doing nothing more than calling your house--even if they're trying to sell you something.

It's much more polite to hang up silently or not answer at all, if you're so easily aggravated by callers.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: purple on March 22, 2014, 04:08:55 PM
I'm in Australia.

All the telemarketing calls I get here generally start with "Hello, may I speak with Mrs Purple?"

All the solicited and legitimate calls I get here generally start with "Hello, this is x from company y, may I speak with Mrs Purple?"

Didn't we discuss phone etiquette in another thread recently? I think the consensus was that it's proper phone etiquette to identify yourself when you call someone and it's rude when it gets to the point of the phone answerer to have to ask who you are.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Jones on March 22, 2014, 09:46:03 PM
Western US here. Most calls I get start like this:
"Hello?"
"Hi/hello/good afternoon. Is this Jones/may I speak with Jones?"
"This is she."
"Hi Jones, this is X, calling regarding Y..."

If I recognize the number I'll answer with "This is Jones" instead of Hello.

Funny thing is, thinking about it, I've always introduced myself first when calling others, before asking for Mr Whosits. I have no clue why I do that because I can't think of the last time someone calling me took that initiative.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: TootsNYC on March 22, 2014, 09:53:50 PM
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the storyI doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.

Regarding the bolded, I can't agree. If she'd immediately said, "I'm calling about the church softball league," do you think he'd have said, "We don't want any"?

I don't.

"Identifying yourself" doesn't mean giving only your name. Your name is just syllables to someone who doesn't know you yet.

You need to tell who you are and why you are calling. That's what "identifying yourself" means when you are the "cold call."

Sure, for family and friends, they know the purpose of your call, so giving only your name is acceptable.

But when you are making a cold call, you identify the purpose of your call before you start asking to speak with someone.

Who are you? You're the person who wants to ask about the church softball league. Your name is actually completely immaterial.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Psychopoesie on March 22, 2014, 10:38:07 PM
I do agree about identifying yourself first when you phone up.

It doesn't have to be too formal. Even when I call up my mum, I say "hi, it's me."  :)

I get a bit shirty with callers, usually telemarketers, who go straight to asking if this is Mr or Mrs Psychopoesie. I usually ask, "who is calling?" and sometimes "what is this about?"

I feel it is a bit rude to not identify yourself - you called so you should have a pretty good idea who I am, how about returning the favour?

Not sure if it would've made a difference in the OP's case - the guy sounds like he was pretty cranky and not open to listening. "I'm calling about the church softball club" might've worked as TootsNYC suggested.


Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on March 22, 2014, 10:40:43 PM
This isn’t a whole lot different from someone knocking on my door.  I might choose to answer the door, since I live here.  If I answer the door and see someone I don’t know, it is up to that person to identify themselves and their purpose.  After they do that, I can decide to say no thanks, please go away, or go get/call JoeSchmoe to the door.

But if they stand there and just say “Is JoeSchmoe home?”, that’s not enough.  Since I don’t know the person, I see no reason to tell them whether Joe is home, and I see no reason to call Joe to the door.  It’s not MY responsibility to spend my time asking the person more about who they are and why they knocked on my door......or why they dialed my phone number

(I also find it irritating when I answer a call and the person says "MsXXXXX?, how are you today?"  Then (without answering that question) I say "Who is this and why are you calling?"  They say "This is John from XYZ Security Company."  I say "No, thanks" and end the call.)
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Library Dragon on March 22, 2014, 11:15:16 PM
The man in the OP was rude and the pastor should have been told.

Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business. 
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: jedikaiti on March 22, 2014, 11:40:41 PM
OP may not have been at optimum politeness in asking for the guy before IDing herself, but as Library Dragon pointed out, there can be good reasons for not IDing oneself until the person you need to talk to is on the phone - maybe you have a houseguest/roomie who doesn't need to know you're talking to an attorney/seeing Doctor X/other private info, but also, if they have a wrong number, the person at that number* doesn't need to know that sort of thing either. OP was in no way actually rude, however. Maybe not optimum, but not actually rude, IMHO.

Guy was MEGA rude, and Wife wasn't much better. I bet he's wondering why he doesn't have more people signing up for the team, unless he is personally acquainted with every male member of the church who might possibly want to join, and knows them by voice (or they all ID themselves before he has a chance to cuss them out and hang u)p.

Pastor should definitely be notified.

*Probably a total stranger who won't care, but you never know, especially if you live in a small enough town.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Margo on March 23, 2014, 03:30:09 AM
I disagree. There are many correct ways of beginning a phone call. One of them is:

"Hello, can I speak to X?"
"Who's calling?"
"<identifies self>"

I completely disagree. If I have to prompt somebody to identify themselves over the phone, they're not practising correct phone etiquette.

That doesn't excuse the guy's behaviour though, and from the story I doubt it would have made any difference, but I completely disagree that your example above is a "correct" way to start a phone call. Far from it.

Correct according to who?

This may be regional.

...

'Hello, this is Perpetua, may I speak to X' is a very American way of doing things, to my mind. I would not do this on the phone here.

Not American only. What I described above goes for Danish, New Zealand and South African phone etiquette as well. Probably other places as well, but I can only talk for etiquettes I've experienced personally.

UK phone etiquette is the same - the caller should ID themselves. My personal experience is that younger people are less likely than older ones to do so - maybe due to caller ID being more common?

I wouldn't see it a particularly rude to do it the other way, but I think it is more polite to ID yourself without waiting for a prompt
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 23, 2014, 06:39:49 AM
I think another important point here is that the guy, I assume by his own free will, put his number out there as the contact for more information about the softball league.  So, there should be some expectation on his part that calls will occasionally come in for him, that probably pertain to this league, even if the caller is not using, as another poster put it so well, "optimum politeness". 

I personally happen to be the type of person who is very uncomfortable taking calls from people I don't know.  For this reason (among other reasons) I don't list myself as the point of contact for anything using my phone number, and on the rare occasions when it is necessary, I use my email address  as the way to do it.   So, I understand that someone would be sensitive to callers possibly being telemarketers or such.

But if you put your phone number out there like that, I think you have to be open to getting calls that are possibly a bit awkward, that are good faith, legit calls, about the thing you are the contact person for.  Not everyone is on e-hell, and not everyone knows standard phone business procedures (which seem to vary a lot anyway). 

So even if there was a better way for the OP to identify herself and purpose of the call (I think it's a good point that it might have been best to mention the softball league as the first thing coming out of her mouth) that's not really the point. The point is, he agreed to accept these calls, and while, of course, this would be no excuse for someone to make abusive or "crank" calls, he has to understand that not everyone is going to answer his answering of the phone with whatever script he has decided means "not a telemarketer".
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: rose red on March 23, 2014, 02:19:57 PM
I think saying the OP did not use correct telephone etiquette is blaming the victim.  Could it have gone better if she identified herself from the start?  Maybe (that is, if she even had a chance to speak further before being told "we don't want any!")  But that's no excuse to cuss someone else, even if she is a telemarketer. 
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Margo on March 23, 2014, 03:32:37 PM
I think saying the OP did not use correct telephone etiquette is blaming the victim.  Could it have gone better if she identified herself from the start?  Maybe (that is, if she even had a chance to speak further before being told "we don't want any!")  But that's no excuse to cuss someone else, even if she is a telemarketer.

Of course. I don't think anyone is saying he wasn't rude, simply that if the calls had been started slightly differently, he *might* have been less rude. Of cours, he might not have been.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: jalutaja on March 24, 2014, 08:17:10 AM
The way I have found best is to reverse the order of the facts.  Whenever I have said, "Hello, this is whatsanenigma, may I please speak to so and so?"  the conversation usually circles back and I am eventually asked "who is this?", whether it be that the person is going to transfer me to so and so, or take a message for so and so, or whatever the case might be.

Thank you for telling this! I was feeling so bad, as I need some time for warm-up during phone calls, so I usually lose the first sentence. So, yes, I am the person who has to ask later on (if I do not end call fast, as it is something I have no interest in).

It was good to know I am not the only one and, in fact, people with good phone manners, like you, have already found ways to make the phone calls easier for people like me!
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Wintergreen on March 26, 2014, 07:05:10 AM
OP may not have been at optimum politeness in asking for the guy before IDing herself, but as Library Dragon pointed out, there can be good reasons for not IDing oneself until the person you need to talk to is on the phone - maybe you have a houseguest/roomie who doesn't need to know you're talking to an attorney/seeing Doctor X/other private info, but also, if they have a wrong number, the person at that number* doesn't need to know that sort of thing either. OP was in no way actually rude, however. Maybe not optimum, but not actually rude, IMHO.

*Probably a total stranger who won't care, but you never know, especially if you live in a small enough town.

I agree with you. I feel that very little information should be said before you can make sure you are speaking to person who is allowed to have that information. I do think that saying your name is must, but after that it is slippery slope of how much personal information you might reveal to stranger about other person. Church softball team is maybe safe topic for some, but many other topics, even if seemly safe, might not really be so. Of course in this case the man had voluntarily given his phone number so it might be mostly safe to assume he is fine being associated with the church and the specific team.

Most importantly however, it is not my place to judge what information can be told to someone who might not be the person the information is related to.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Team HoundMom on March 26, 2014, 09:48:39 AM
I think saying the OP did not use correct telephone etiquette is blaming the victim.  Could it have gone better if she identified herself from the start?  Maybe (that is, if she even had a chance to speak further before being told "we don't want any!")  But that's no excuse to cuss someone else, even if she is a telemarketer.

No way on earth was I "rude" for not immediately stating who I was.  Since when has simply calling someone on the telephone become a huge invasion of their privacy?  I politely asked to speak to the man who's name was on the pamphlet. 

The reason why I didn't tell the pastor was because I used to have a very bad habit of always giving someone the benefit of the doubt.  My parents had a landline and constantly had telemarketers calling them.  I'm not exaggerating - I was at their house for 4 hours once and 5 telemarketers called within that time.  I admit I wasn't exactly polite to the 5th caller.  I figured that this poor old guy might have just had that happen and was at the end of his rope.  Or stressed out about something else, I don't know.  In retrospect I totally should have told the pastor and if something similar happened now I would.

Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on March 26, 2014, 11:58:27 AM
Going slightly off topic, I don't know how common this is but I'm aware of telephone SOP having changed. Until maybe 20 years ago, the standard sentence from pretty well anybody (in the UK - I can't speak for elsewhere) wasn't to identify oneself, but to identify the phone number. As a child, I picked up the phone and said '654321?' with a decided questioning tone. If one lived in a city this was enough; people in smaller towns that shared exchanges said 'Smalltown 654321'. (It would be the same code as LocalVillage and SmallHamlet, but one gave the name rather than the code '0987 654321?' Too many numbers, I suppose.) That established that the caller had called the correct number; after that we would enter into the negotiation of who precisely the caller wanted to speak to because it was one number per household, and I don't recall there being anything particular about whether the caller would say 'this is Caller, may I speak to Hippy Chick?' or 'may I speak to Hippy Chick? This is caller'. I think the split between answering just with the number, and answering '654321, this is Hippy Chick' was fairly even and tended to depend on other factors, such as the tendency for callers to assume that I was my sister.

Then we started being advised not to identify ourselves on the phone. I can remember this being advice from someone fairly official - the phone companies? - but I don't totally remember why. It might have been the start of telemarketing, but at the back of my mind I remember it being advice aimed particularly at women so it might have been to do with nuisance calls. At that point, I started answering my phone with 'Hello?' and waiting for you to tell me who you were and what you wanted. I don't actually like it, it seems abrupt, but I can't think that I would have broken the earlier habit without a definite reason.

Now, of course, when so many of us have mobile phones, it's changing again, because whan you ring the Hippy Chick landline, you might get any of the four of us; when you ring my mobile, I'm not going to identify myself because nobody shares that phone with me, so I assume that you're expecting to speak specifically to me.

I've had a clunky conversation with somebody in which each of us is failing to identify the other - a recruitment agency, where the caller wasn't going to tell me why he wanted to speak to Mr Chick, or even that he was from a recruitment agency, in case I was somebody who didn't need to know that he was looking for a new job. Equally, if the only message I had was 'John called, this number, wants you to call him back,' then while the job search was active, Mr Chick would probably guess that it was one of the agencies and call; three months later, when he had a job, he's not calling because John might be an agency, and might be trying to sell him life assurance.

So yes, in Hurricane Marathon's case, the man was rude, but I do sometimes think that phone etiquette hasn't quite kept up with changes in telecommunications.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Team HoundMom on March 26, 2014, 01:08:08 PM
Then we started being advised not to identify ourselves on the phone. I can remember this being advice from someone fairly official - the phone companies? - but I don't totally remember why. It might have been the start of telemarketing, but at the back of my mind I remember it being advice aimed particularly at women so it might have been to do with nuisance calls.

When I was little my mom taught me to answer our home phone with "Hello this is Hurricane speaking."  When I got older I just answered with "Hello?" because it was faster.  I also remember hearing something about not identifying yourself when answering your private line, I believe it had something to do with creepers then knowing your name and using it to make like they know you. (As a "latchkey kid" in the 80's personal safety was very important.)
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: perpetua on March 26, 2014, 02:05:55 PM
Going slightly off topic, I don't know how common this is but I'm aware of telephone SOP having changed. Until maybe 20 years ago, the standard sentence from pretty well anybody (in the UK - I can't speak for elsewhere) wasn't to identify oneself, but to identify the phone number. As a child, I picked up the phone and said '654321?' with a decided questioning tone. If one lived in a city this was enough; people in smaller towns that shared exchanges said 'Smalltown 654321'. (It would be the same code as LocalVillage and SmallHamlet, but one gave the name rather than the code '0987 654321?' Too many numbers, I suppose.) That established that the caller had called the correct number; after that we would enter into the negotiation of who precisely the caller wanted to speak to because it was one number per household, and I don't recall there being anything particular about whether the caller would say 'this is Caller, may I speak to Hippy Chick?' or 'may I speak to Hippy Chick? This is caller'. I think the split between answering just with the number, and answering '654321, this is Hippy Chick' was fairly even and tended to depend on other factors, such as the tendency for callers to assume that I was my sister.

That's very true. We said "Townname 1234?" when we answered the phone. My dad still does.

The identifying thing depended on who we were phoning. If I was phoning a friend, for example, and their mum answered and I recognised them, I'd say "Hi Mrs FriendsMum, it's Perpetua, can I speak to Friend please?" or some variation thereof. But I might also say "Hi, can I speak to Friend please?" and then Friend's Mum would ask who it was.

Again, this might even be regional within the UK. I grew up in a small place. Everyone I knew did it this way.

Nowadays, if I'm phoning a friend, I don't have to identify myself because of caller display.  If I was phoning a specific person at a business, I would ask to speak to that person before identifying myself, because the receptionist is going to ask who's calling anyway. So, the conversation would go:
 
"Hello, Company Name?"
"Hi, could I speak to Susie in accounts please?"
"Who's calling please?"
"It's Perpetua at XYZ company".

If a company calls me, it's the same but in reverse. Just this afternoon an estate agent called me and the conversation went

"Hi, is that Perpetua?"
"Yes?"
"Hi Perpetua, it's Dave at XYZ Estate Agency"

This is fairly SOP in the UK. You still identify yourself, just not in the same way. There's an extra step to it. That doesn't make it wrong, though.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: DanaJ on March 28, 2014, 12:01:25 PM

No way on earth was I "rude" for not immediately stating who I was.  Since when has simply calling someone on the telephone become a huge invasion of their privacy?  I politely asked to speak to the man who's name was on the pamphlet. 
I also do not think this is rude. I've lived in the U.S. and Canada, and the typical telepone "ritual" I am accustomed to is identifying yourself to the person you are trying to reach. 95% of the phonecalls I experience (whether as the caller or callee) go:

"Hello, may I speak to Ms. J?"
"Speaking."
"Hello, this is Dr. Smith's office calling about your x-ray results."

In my experience, the caller identification part comes as soon as you verify that you have reached the intended person. But perhaps I live in a world where 95% of the population is rude. I work for a company that does B2B calls and it's only in the business context that we say: "This is Dana at company X, calling for Fred in HR."

I figured that this poor old guy might have just had that happen and was at the end of his rope.  Or stressed out about something else, I don't know.  In retrospect I totally should have told the pastor and if something similar happened now I would.
I would still have notified the pastor. If the man is prone to flippng out on callers whenever he is stressed, then he is an inappropriate contact person to be put on a pamphlet, particularly if he is representing a church in some respect.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Hillia on March 28, 2014, 12:23:57 PM
And I don't think it would have helped in this situation anyway.  Just as many telemarketing calls (especially robocalls) start with 'Hi!  I'm Susie!...'

So I  can hear 'Hi, this is Hurricane.  I'm calling about...'
'WE DON'T WANT ANY'
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: perpetua on March 29, 2014, 03:28:29 AM
And I don't think it would have helped in this situation anyway.  Just as many telemarketing calls (especially robocalls) start with 'Hi!  I'm Susie!...'

So I  can hear 'Hi, this is Hurricane.  I'm calling about...'
'WE DON'T WANT ANY'

Very good point.

The more I think about this actually, the more I think 'identifying yourself first' should be reserved for people you know.

I mean, if you phoned a friend and they answered, of course you'd say "Hi Jane, it's Perpetua" right off the bat. If you weren't sure of who had answered, you might say "Hi, is that Jane?" first, but generally I think this is how the interaction would go.

But if you phoned, say, a business, why would the first thing you'd say be "Hi, it's Perpetua"? They don't know you from Adam, so this information would be completely useless to them. You'd ask to speak to who you needed to speak to, surely. Then if they asked who was calling, you would identify yourself.

Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: whatsanenigma on March 29, 2014, 09:53:52 AM
And I don't think it would have helped in this situation anyway.  Just as many telemarketing calls (especially robocalls) start with 'Hi!  I'm Susie!...'

So I  can hear 'Hi, this is Hurricane.  I'm calling about...'
'WE DON'T WANT ANY'

Very good point.

The more I think about this actually, the more I think 'identifying yourself first' should be reserved for people you know.

I mean, if you phoned a friend and they answered, of course you'd say "Hi Jane, it's Perpetua" right off the bat. If you weren't sure of who had answered, you might say "Hi, is that Jane?" first, but generally I think this is how the interaction would go.

But if you phoned, say, a business, why would the first thing you'd say be "Hi, it's Perpetua"? They don't know you from Adam, so this information would be completely useless to them. You'd ask to speak to who you needed to speak to, surely. Then if they asked who was calling, you would identify yourself.

Also, I think when calling a business, it's not so important to identify your self as to identify your purpose.   "I'm calling about a problem with my bill" will get you to the right person who can help you, or give the person on the other end time to pull up the correct computer screen to be able to help you.  And then when it's sure you are speaking to the one you need to speak to, then your name becomes important.  Said unprompted at any earlier point, I think it would just get lost in the shuffle and would have to be repeated anyway.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Raintree on March 30, 2014, 01:39:36 AM
Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business.

Exactly!! If I am calling for Person A, it's really none of Person B's business who is calling. It's Person A that I need to identify myself to.  Of course, Person B may say, "May I ask who is calling?" in which case I can tell them, or not, but I don't think it's automatically their business to know. If my doctor calls, and another family member picks up the phone and the doctor says, "It's Dr. So-and-So; I'd like to speak with Raintree" then several problems can occur: nosy family members wanting to know why my doctor's been calling, worry-warts hovering and wondering if everything's OK, etc. You might be waiting for the results of some highly sensitive and private medical test.

So this guy was totally rude; if he's going to put a pamphlet out there with his name and phone number on it, he's got to be prepared that people might, you know, call with inquiries.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on March 30, 2014, 09:17:16 AM
Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business.

Exactly!! If I am calling for Person A, it's really none of Person B's business who is calling. It's Person A that I need to identify myself to.  Of course, Person B may say, "May I ask who is calling?" in which case I can tell them, or not, but I don't think it's automatically their business to know. If my doctor calls, and another family member picks up the phone and the doctor says, "It's Dr. So-and-So; I'd like to speak with Raintree" then several problems can occur: nosy family members wanting to know why my doctor's been calling, worry-warts hovering and wondering if everything's OK, etc. You might be waiting for the results of some highly sensitive and private medical test.

So this guy was totally rude; if he's going to put a pamphlet out there with his name and phone number on it, he's got to be prepared that people might, you know, call with inquiries.

How often does your doctor call you at home – with or without relatives hovering and worrying in the background?

Most people can count on less than half of one hand how many times their doctor has called them.

As far as the identity of the caller not being the business of the person answering the phone, the fact is that (in business) many employees are instructed to get the name of the caller before putting the call thru.  It’s part of their job.  Many are also instructed to find out what the call is concerning.

That aside, this thread was not initially about a call to a business – it’s about a call to someone’s home.


Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 30, 2014, 09:24:08 AM
But the home of someone acting in a business like capacity (organizing a ball team) for a church.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: perpetua on March 30, 2014, 09:27:35 AM
As far as the identity of the caller not being the business of the person answering the phone, the fact is that (in business) many employees are instructed to get the name of the caller before putting the call thru.  It’s part of their job.  Many are also instructed to find out what the call is concerning.

Then they need to do their job and enquire by saying 'Who's calling please?' That's accepted phone etiquette and I don't see anything wrong with someone having to say that.

Quote
That aside, this thread was not initially about a call to a business – it’s about a call to someone’s home.

It's more or less. He's organising a team and has presumably given permission for his contact details to be listed on the flyer (or whatever it was, I can't remember. He's representing the church in that capacity and needs to be a bit more professional about answering his phone.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on March 30, 2014, 09:55:09 AM
As far as the identity of the caller not being the business of the person answering the phone, the fact is that (in business) many employees are instructed to get the name of the caller before putting the call thru.  It’s part of their job.  Many are also instructed to find out what the call is concerning.

Then they need to do their job and enquire by saying 'Who's calling please?' That's accepted phone etiquette and I don't see anything wrong with someone having to say that.

That's true and I do that at work. I'm a receptionist, and most calls, I just need to know where to transfer the call. I'd rather they started with "I'm checking on my order," or "Customer service, please." I hate calls that start with "Thus is Bob from ABC Store, Account 123." - then silence.
Me: "How may I direct your call?"
Bob: "Customer service."
Me (out loud): "Hold on, I'll transfer you." (To myself): "Well, why didn't you just say so?"

If a call if for a higher-up, I do have to screen. Again, nothing wrong with not IDing yourself right away, as long as you're prepared to do so when asked.

Two incoming calls I've dealt with:

Caller: Is CEO there?
Me: May I ask who's calling?
Caller: this is John Smith from ABC Company. I'm calling about (gives reason for call here).

Caller: Is CEO there?
Me: May I ask who's calling?
Caller: Mary (silence)
Me: What is this in reference to, Mary?
Caller (Mary) Your phone service.
Me: Where are you calling from?
Mary: St. Louis
Me: I meant what company?
Mary: XYZ Company.
Me: And what us this in reference to? (I need more than just "phone service and I can't think of a nice way to ask "what about it?" - I'm hoping repeating the question will be a hint that I need more detail.)
Mary: Your phone service.
Me: But what is it in REFERENCE to?
Mary: Is CEO there?

Both cases, I go to CEO with as much information as I have. Which call is more likely to go through?

My point: you don't have to ID yourself right off the bat, but please do so when asked. Don't make me have to drag it out of you.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on March 30, 2014, 02:39:35 PM
As far as the identity of the caller not being the business of the person answering the phone, the fact is that (in business) many employees are instructed to get the name of the caller before putting the call thru.  It’s part of their job.  Many are also instructed to find out what the call is concerning.

Then they need to do their job and enquire by saying 'Who's calling please?' That's accepted phone etiquette and I don't see anything wrong with someone having to say that.

Quote
That aside, this thread was not initially about a call to a business – it’s about a call to someone’s home.

It's more or less. He's organising a team and has presumably given permission for his contact details to be listed on the flyer (or whatever it was, I can't remember. He's representing the church in that capacity and needs to be a bit more professional about answering his phone.

And they DO do their job by asking who is calling - that was my point.  But some feel it's not the business of the person answering the phone, when, as I said, it is often very much their business.  Of course the caller can also say "Hello, this is Ms. xxx from XYC co.  Could I speak to Mr. X?"

Or, in a household with more than one person, It's not all that unusual for the person answering the phone to ask who is calling.  Or, better yet, "Hi, Bob.  This is veronaz.  How have you been?..........Is Jane available?" (as I did a couple hours ago when I called a friend and her DH answered).

Yes, the rude man referenced in the initial post needs to be more pleasant/professional.  That goes without saying; we all know that.  But who is going to make him do that?  (rhetorical)  Besides, HE isn't the one who posted asking for feedback and I doubt he reads this forum.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: TootsNYC on March 30, 2014, 02:51:29 PM

Also, I think when calling a business, it's not so important to identify your self as to identify your purpose.   "I'm calling about a problem with my bill" will get you to the right person who can help you, or give the person on the other end time to pull up the correct computer screen to be able to help you.  And then when it's sure you are speaking to the one you need to speak to, then your name becomes important.  Said unprompted at any earlier point, I think it would just get lost in the shuffle and would have to be repeated anyway.

This is what I think someone in the OP's position should do. "Hi, I'm calling about the church softball league; is Mr. Johnson there?"

Because your "identity" is "someone who wants to know about the church softball league." Since they don't know you, your name isn't a part of your identity -to them.-



A doctor calling w/ test results can say, "Is Jane Smith there? I'm returning her call." But if they say, "Is Jane there?" my husband is going to say, "Can I tell her who's calling?" It's relatively rare that there's a true need for secrecy, and those rare instances--outliers--are not the reason for everyone else to abandon the etiquette of stating your business when to seek to interrupt someone at their job or in their home.

Business people say, "This is Sam, how may I help you?" But at home people don't. Callers should state their business (in some cases, that's just their identity). The fact that a few people have reasons to be excepted from the rule doesn't change it.

It was once the rule that a man stood when a lady entered the room. The fact that one guy was in a wheel chair and another guy was elderly and frail doesn't mean that all the other males were now suddenly exempt from that rule.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Raintree on March 31, 2014, 11:29:39 PM
Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business.

Exactly!! If I am calling for Person A, it's really none of Person B's business who is calling. It's Person A that I need to identify myself to.  Of course, Person B may say, "May I ask who is calling?" in which case I can tell them, or not, but I don't think it's automatically their business to know. If my doctor calls, and another family member picks up the phone and the doctor says, "It's Dr. So-and-So; I'd like to speak with Raintree" then several problems can occur: nosy family members wanting to know why my doctor's been calling, worry-warts hovering and wondering if everything's OK, etc. You might be waiting for the results of some highly sensitive and private medical test.

So this guy was totally rude; if he's going to put a pamphlet out there with his name and phone number on it, he's got to be prepared that people might, you know, call with inquiries.

How often does your doctor call you at home – with or without relatives hovering and worrying in the background?

Most people can count on less than half of one hand how many times their doctor has called them.

As far as the identity of the caller not being the business of the person answering the phone, the fact is that (in business) many employees are instructed to get the name of the caller before putting the call thru.  It’s part of their job.  Many are also instructed to find out what the call is concerning.

That aside, this thread was not initially about a call to a business – it’s about a call to someone’s home.

I agree it's different if you're calling a business. I should have specified, I WAS talking about calling someone's home (as the OP was). And doctor's offices call patients at home all the time, for all kinds of reasons (doctor needs you to come in again, doctor is referring you to a specialist and has your appointment time for you, test results are in and you need to come in to discuss them, etc.) I think it's absolutely good manners, not to mention an adherence to privacy protocol, for them to ascertain they are talking to the correct person first.

I still think if this guy in the OP put his name and number on a pamphlet, he shouldn't be too surprised if strangers call him and ask to speak to him.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Danika on April 01, 2014, 01:49:40 AM
The pamphlet didn't state that it was a men's only league. My guess is that it was not a men's only league. The man was embarrassed that he'd just cussed out and hung up on a new parishioner, so he had his wife return the call, and since it had been a female who had called, he manufactured a reason why she couldn't join the league. He was too embarrassed to deal with Hurricane Marathon further.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Team HoundMom on April 01, 2014, 10:49:02 AM
The pamphlet didn't state that it was a men's only league. My guess is that it was not a men's only league. The man was embarrassed that he'd just cussed out and hung up on a new parishioner, so he had his wife return the call, and since it had been a female who had called, he manufactured a reason why she couldn't join the league. He was too embarrassed to deal with Hurricane Marathon further.

This was exactly my thought at the time.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 06, 2014, 12:36:38 PM
As someone who works in the healthcare industry, I'm not supposed to identify myself or why I'm calling until I know who I have on the phone.  Saying to a random person on the phone, "Hi, I'm calling from Dr. Whosit's office, can I speak with Mr. Lancaster?" just told that person that Mr. Lancaster goes to Dr. Whosit, and that random person may have no need to know that.  Mr. Lancaster may not want that random person to know he goes to Dr. Whosit.  So I call and say, "Hi, I'm looking for Mr. Lancaster.  Is he available?"  Only after I get Mr. Lancaster on the phone can I say, "I'm LadySnowdon calling from Dr. Whosit's office.  I wanted to let you know about xyz."  I know it's what telemarketers say, but that's kind of what I'm limited to.  It's run over into my personal life too, unfortunately. 
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on April 06, 2014, 04:12:03 PM
As someone who works in the healthcare industry, I'm not supposed to identify myself or why I'm calling until I know who I have on the phone.  Saying to a random person on the phone, "Hi, I'm calling from Dr. Whosit's office, can I speak with Mr. Lancaster?" just told that person that Mr. Lancaster goes to Dr. Whosit, and that random person may have no need to know that.  Mr. Lancaster may not want that random person to know he goes to Dr. Whosit.  So I call and say, "Hi, I'm looking for Mr. Lancaster.  Is he available?"  Only after I get Mr. Lancaster on the phone can I say, "I'm LadySnowdon calling from Dr. Whosit's office.  I wanted to let you know about xyz."  I know it's what telemarketers say, but that's kind of what I'm limited to.  It's run over into my personal life too, unfortunately.

The OP was not calling from a doctor’s office or as a representative of the healthcare industry.

I’ve seen several posts about calls from doctor’s offices, etc. and that’s veering away from the issue, imo.  No one is suggesting that anyone violate HIPPA, breach confidentiality, or break other laws/rules or that anyone divuldge secrets and cause chaos and hardship in someone’s life.

The OP could have simply said “Hi, my name is Mary Jones and I’m calling about the church softball league.  Is Mr xxxxx available?”


Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: CakeEater on April 06, 2014, 05:28:40 PM
As someone who works in the healthcare industry, I'm not supposed to identify myself or why I'm calling until I know who I have on the phone.  Saying to a random person on the phone, "Hi, I'm calling from Dr. Whosit's office, can I speak with Mr. Lancaster?" just told that person that Mr. Lancaster goes to Dr. Whosit, and that random person may have no need to know that.  Mr. Lancaster may not want that random person to know he goes to Dr. Whosit.  So I call and say, "Hi, I'm looking for Mr. Lancaster.  Is he available?"  Only after I get Mr. Lancaster on the phone can I say, "I'm LadySnowdon calling from Dr. Whosit's office.  I wanted to let you know about xyz."  I know it's what telemarketers say, but that's kind of what I'm limited to.  It's run over into my personal life too, unfortunately.

Honestly, that's exactly what telemarketers say, and I've taken to saying 'no' and hanging up. Someone calling from a doctor's office would need to convince me that they had legitimate business in the first about 4 seconds of a call before I would pass the phone onto my DH, and vice versa.

Actually, now thinking about it, if a doctor's receptionist gave me their surname, that might make me think it's not a marketer. Or if they called back having been hung up on.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on April 06, 2014, 06:50:07 PM
I've had various telephones for decades, and I can't think of one instance when a "random person" has answered my telephone.  In fact, I can't even recall any "random people" hanging around in my home.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: TootsNYC on April 06, 2014, 07:08:14 PM
Well, yes, but I can see that even a doctor's office doesn't want to tell my husband that I went to the doctor. Even family members aren't entitled to medical info.

However, I still maintain that a doctor's office (or the credit card company calling about a delinquent account) is an outlier. And all the rest of us should identify ourselves immediately, since the person on the other end of the phone has no idea who we are.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on April 06, 2014, 08:45:37 PM
Ah, yes.  The doctor’s office.

This discussion is reminding me of an office I worked in a long time ago.  Employees were spending way too much time on personal calls (spouses, gf/bf, chatty friends, etc.).  Management circulated a memo (this was before email) that essentially said personal calls should be kept to a minimum.  Employees immediately became defensive ….”Oh my!  What if my doctor’s office needs to reach me?   What about my children’s doctors?  Do they expect me to ignore calls from my doctor?  What if I need to call my doctor?”

::)

As far as the thread topic, as I said before, the OP could have simply said “Hi, my name is Mary Jones and I’m calling about the church softball league.  Is Mr xxxxx available?”
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Hillia on April 06, 2014, 11:01:22 PM
Again, given his response, I don't think she'd have gotten past, 'Hi, this is Hurricane...' because that is often how telemarketers start calls.  It's the 'I'm a personal friend' approach rather than the 'this is a legitimate business' approach.

And for the medical situation, a random person answering a phone call is anyone who is not the patient - spouse, parent of a child over 15 (I think), etc. 
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Tea Drinker on April 06, 2014, 11:51:49 PM
A "random person answering the telephone" would be the friend of my parents' who was visiting and happened to be nearest the phone, so picked it up and said hello. Half an hour later, she told us that she had been chatting with someone who had called the wrong number.

OK, most of us wouldn't chat with a wrong-number caller: but the phone might plausibly be answered by a visitor to the home, who might or might not be visiting the person who the doctor's office was trying to reach. You might tell your husband what doctors you're seeing, and not want your sister- or brother-in-law to know.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on April 07, 2014, 01:52:01 PM
Re debate about “random people answering the phone, who is/is not considered “random”, doctor’s offices and various health care professionals calling………is ‘reaching’.

The OP clearly stated what happened in her initial post.  She was not a doctor calling a patient’s home, and the man’s wife was not a random person.  I don’t see why hypotheticals are necessary in this situation.

Also, no one knows what would have happened if OP had said she was calling about the church softball league.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Danika on April 07, 2014, 02:52:49 PM
If the man organizing the league had such an issue with telemarketers I think the onus was on him to ensure that anyone calling him who was not a telemarketer was able to be identified as not a telemarketer. It's not on the OP to assume that the man hates telemarketers more than most people do, and uses profanity on the phone, and to introduce herself in such a way as to avoid that.

I think she did nothing wrong.

If the man didn't want people calling and asking for him, he could have:

1) not volunteered field calls about the team

2) given his number for the pamphlet but not his name, so that callers would be forced to start with "I'm calling about softball" instead of asking for his name

3) just supplied an email address/mailing address, not a phone number

4) given a fake name for the pamphlet so he'd know what they were calling about.

A guy I dated in college had to supply a phone number for an activity he was the director of. He lived in a fraternity with few phone lines and so much chaoes that men hardly ever got their phone messages. So instead, he gave his work number out. But he wanted to be able to know that they were calling about this activity instead of work, so he gave a fake name. He knew that anyone asking for this fake name was calling about the activity instead of work.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Wintergreen on April 23, 2014, 04:32:40 AM
Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business.

Exactly!! If I am calling for Person A, it's really none of Person B's business who is calling. It's Person A that I need to identify myself to.  Of course, Person B may say, "May I ask who is calling?" in which case I can tell them, or not, but I don't think it's automatically their business to know. If my doctor calls, and another family member picks up the phone and the doctor says, "It's Dr. So-and-So; I'd like to speak with Raintree" then several problems can occur: nosy family members wanting to know why my doctor's been calling, worry-warts hovering and wondering if everything's OK, etc. You might be waiting for the results of some highly sensitive and private medical test.

So this guy was totally rude; if he's going to put a pamphlet out there with his name and phone number on it, he's got to be prepared that people might, you know, call with inquiries.

How often does your doctor call you at home – with or without relatives hovering and worrying in the background?

Most people can count on less than half of one hand how many times their doctor has called them.

As far as the identity of the caller not being the business of the person answering the phone, the fact is that (in business) many employees are instructed to get the name of the caller before putting the call thru.  It’s part of their job.  Many are also instructed to find out what the call is concerning.

That aside, this thread was not initially about a call to a business – it’s about a call to someone’s home.

Doctors? Far more often, at least for me - and I'm generally healthy person. I've also gotten surprise phone call from police - it was not about anything I've done, but the matter was such that I do not wish others to be familiar with it and I would have hated to explain for my family why police is trying to reach me. Even if people do call mainly for my mobile these days, my fiance or friend/relative might answer that too. Especially if I have my hands full or I am in bad place, like I answer sometimes for their phones.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Wintergreen on April 23, 2014, 04:48:07 AM
Re debate about “random people answering the phone, who is/is not considered “random”, doctor’s offices and various health care professionals calling………is ‘reaching’.

The OP clearly stated what happened in her initial post.  She was not a doctor calling a patient’s home, and the man’s wife was not a random person.  I don’t see why hypotheticals are necessary in this situation.

Also, no one knows what would have happened if OP had said she was calling about the church softball league.

They are necessary because hypotheticals are all that callers know. Caller does not know if the person answering is the person she was trying to reach or a burglar. You (general) don't know that woman answering would be the wife. You know nothing, so you must prepare for the worst, not the best scenario. Also, I do think that religious matters are quite personal. What church if any I would be attending is information I would not want to be published. My spiritual preferences are my own, and not information even my relatives need to know. And here comes the thing what I was trying to say in post way back. It is obvious that many think telling "he is attending church X and runs softball team" is ok to tell, for other people it might not be okay information. For me, telling that I run softball team would be fine, but telling somebody I attend church X would not be. That is why it is not up to the caller to decide what information can be enclosed to total stranger.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Aquamarine on May 17, 2014, 04:14:24 PM
People feel super harassed regarding phone calls from strangers anymore.  I would have introduced myself by saying "Hi, I'm calling about the softball league, my name is__________.  That immediately lets them knows it's not a telemarketer and still allows you to introduce yourself.  Most telemarketer calls start out "Hi, my name is_______" which instantly puts me on alert and which is why I now say why I'm calling before giving my name.

The man was rude to swear at you like he did but it's his house and he can answer the phone anyway he chooses to.  The pastor needs to know this is the response people will be greeted with when they call this person.  FYI I wouldn't have gone back either.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: veronaz on May 17, 2014, 04:36:21 PM
Quote
Caller does not know if the person answering is the person she was trying to reach or a burglar.

 ;D

I doubt that many burglars take time to answer phone calls for their victims.
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Danika on May 17, 2014, 05:27:17 PM
Quote
Caller does not know if the person answering is the person she was trying to reach or a burglar.

 ;D

I doubt that many burglars take time to answer phone calls for their victims.

I've had it happen!

I had left my car for a short while at my apartment complex. It was locked, but as I planned to return in a few minutes, I just hid my possessions (like my cell phone) under the seat. I did have my wallet with me but left everything else like my sunglasses and a camera.

Some jerk(s) broke my passenger window and stole everything in my car, including my cell phone. When my parents called me later, the thief answered my phone!!!!
Title: Re: Not every cold call is a telemarketer.
Post by: Softly Spoken on June 25, 2014, 04:19:01 PM
The man in the OP was rude and the pastor should have been told.

Also, not every business should identify itself first. If my doctor, lawyer, CPA, calls they don't know who is answering the phone.  They need to ask for me without identifying themselves.  I may not want my husband, sons, son's friend answering the phone to know my business.

That is a great point. I also think caller i.d. (or maybe people assuming everyone has it) may have changed how we handle phone calls.
Thinking back on it, I realize that my doctor's office has always asked to speak to me first, before identifying themselves. But then so do many telemarketers. I recognize my doc's # on caller id, so I don't ask who is calling because I know, so I just tell them it's me and we get on with things. If I don't recognize the number, I ask who is calling and if it's some scam or whatever I tell them "she" (i.e. me) isn't available.
I called my friend the other day and when she answered I said "Hello, Friend? This is Softly." She said yes she knew - I didn't realize her phone had caller i.d. We had a laugh about it.
Family and friends know my voice, and jump right into the conversation after I say "Hello?" with a "Hey Softly how's it going?" etc. I can usually in turn recognize their voice (could do that before caller i.d.) and we just talk - no introductions needed.
However, barring special situations I think you can never assume a) that when calling you will get the person you are looking for, or b) that the person either calling or answering knows who you are.
So if you are calling a stranger, it's good to both introduce yourself and confirm who they are - in whatever order feels appropriate. Whether it's "hi this is myname may I speak to so and so?" or "Hi can I speak to so and so? This is myname." I get including your business affiliation as necessary, but I don't think it's prudent or polite to state your actual business/reason for calling unless asked directly or until after you've confirmed you are talking to the right person.

I don't think it is rude to ask who you are calling/speaking to or if soandso is there, especially if it is an unfamiliar number/first time calling, because you could have easily misread or misdialed etc.