Author Topic: Wrong number, please stop calling  (Read 5218 times)

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oceanus

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Wrong number, please stop calling
« on: February 06, 2013, 01:51:16 PM »
I’ve had the same cell phone number for over 3 years (I changed carriers and had to get a new phone and number a few years ago).  I know numbers are recycled, and periodically I’ve gotton a call or vm msg for (I’ll call her) Mona Smith.

I always saw “Wrong number, no one here by that name” and terminate the call.  Sometimes I’ll say “Wrong number, please remove this number from your records”.  Sometimes a pushy collector or whoever will say “Do you know Mona?” or “Could you take a message?”  (What?!)  :o  If they ask my name, i just don't answer, say "Wrong number" and hang up.

This morning I got a text - "Mona, urgent that you call (number)".  I deleted it.

I find this annoying.  I know these people are doing a job but once I tell them they have the wrong number, please don’t call again I feel I should be finished with it and they deserve to be hung up on. 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 02:26:14 PM by oceanus »

bloo

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 02:01:28 PM »
I have had the same business number for 3.5 years. We regularly get calls for two different businesses. It's not constant, but it's regular. Maybe 3 or 4 times a year. Since the calls are always local, I'm really friendly and try to be helpful (not that I'd be rude if they weren't local - but I am trying to run a business so being nice to the locals certainly won't hurt me).

There was also a misprint using our number for an important community meeting in the next town over and we got so many calls in one day I maintained a polite phone voice but had to direct them to call the local newspaper for the correct information. In other words, I was less helpful but still maintained friendliness.

I'm assuming the calls and text came from the same number? I don't think there's anything wrong with how you're handling it, but maybe if you took a few more seconds to explain that Mona Smith no longer has this number before disconnecting, that might help.

gellchom

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 02:23:13 PM »
Oceanus, I know how irritating this is -- we all do.  But please don't hang up on people who are just making an honest mistake.  It only takes a few seconds more to be minimally polite and keep both your day and the caller's pleasant.  My aunt even ends by saying, "It was nice talking with you!" which gives the embarrassed misdialer a laugh.

In order to avoid repeat wrong number calls, I always say, "There's no one here by that name; what number did you dial, please?"  Usually they respond with a number one digit off, and I can simply say, "Oh, looks like you misdialed.  Try again!"  If they have the right number, I just say, "Well, that's what you got, but there's no one here by that name.  Good luck finding her."  (Thinking of my aunt, I sometimes even say, "Tell Mona I said hi.")  That way they don't just dial me back again.

It sounds like in your case that Mona once had your number (second situation).  And she still gets a lot of calls on it.  As I said, I know that that can be irritating -- it seems the calls always come when I'm up to my wrists in a messy cooking project.  But if I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that the cumulative time I've spent dealing with them in my whole life is probably just a few minutes, and although I think it will make me feel better to let my indignation show, it never does -- I feel better if I'm polite.

Think of it from the caller's point of view.  They have no idea that they have the wrong number and are bothering you.  None of us wants to be punished every time we make a mistake.  That's a real person with feelings you are hanging up on.  I don't even hang up on unwanted solicitation calls to the right number, I just say "Sorry, we aren't interested," say goodbye, and end the call.  Two extra seconds.  No need to be mean to some poor person working the best job they could find.  So much more so for someone who innocently dialed a wrong number.

By the way, I think that this goes for the caller, too.  I think it is so rude when I get a wrong number and say nicely, "I'm sorry, there's no one here by that name," and just hear a click as the person hangs up.  I'm sure they're embarrassed, but they can't be THAT embarrassed, and they did just inconvenience me.  In just five seconds,

"Oh, I'm sorry."
"That's all right.  Goodbye."
"Goodbye."

leaves everyone feeling better.

oceanus

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 02:29:51 PM »
Quote
I'm assuming the calls and text came from the same number?

No, the calls come from various numbers.  Some toll free, some not, but never local numbers.  And, as I said sometimes I do say "Mona Smith no longer has this number, please change your records."  That sometimes results in a "Do you know her new number"? 

Twik

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 02:32:45 PM »
If it's a collector, they likely know that someone has called that number before, and been told it's wrong. But it's the only link to Mona they have, and they're cynical enough to believe oceanus is lying about knowing her. And, if Mona has collectors after her, she well may be using a fake number to throw people off her track.
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oceanus

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 02:37:37 PM »
Quote
If it's a collector, they likely know that someone has called that number before,

Yes, and in the case of repetitive calls from the same place, someone hasn't done their job by noting it's a wrong number.  Or they don't care; they'll just keep calling.

Your points re: suspecting I'm not telling the truth or covering for Mona are well taken.

I've also seen reports about abusive (even illegal) collection practices.  These people are not known for politeness.  A few have spoken to me in haughty, even gruff tones.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 02:41:31 PM by oceanus »

Pioneer

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 02:42:28 PM »
Our phone number is a very similar to that of the county jail.  (Yes, we get some very interesting questions in the middle of the night!)  If we simply say, "I'm sorry, you have the wrong number." then typically we get another call 43 seconds later from the same individual.  We quickly learned to ask, "Are you trying to reach the jail?  If so, you have the digits in the wrong order." 
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 02:46:05 PM »
I have had the same cell number since cell numbers began...   

I once had a collecter tell me that xyz used to have this number they must have changed it.  I said, "no, I have always had this number, you have the wrong number."

If it is a text I would let them know it is the wrong number and then block their number. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 02:49:23 PM »
One of my coworkers was assigned a cell phone number (for her work phone) that was one digit off from a local pizza joint.  She eventually had to ask for a new number.

OP, I think you are fine to hang up once you've told them they've got the wrong number.  And deleting texts is fine, too, I think.  But I wouldn't just hang up as soon as they ask for 'Mona'.  Unless it is the 5th call in a row from the same number or something.  And at that point, I'd look into blocking that particular number.

Many years ago, this guy kept leaving a message on my answering machine for someone else.  He'd never leave a number and he'd never call when I was home.  So I finally resorted to changing my answering machine message, 'You have reached 123-4567.  Please leave a message after the tone.  If this is Nick, calling for Nancy, you've got the wrong number.'  I left it on for about a month.  Never heard from Nick again.  Amused my friends no end, though.
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JennJenn68

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 02:52:33 PM »
Our phone number is a very similar to that of the county jail.  (Yes, we get some very interesting questions in the middle of the night!)  If we simply say, "I'm sorry, you have the wrong number." then typically we get another call 43 seconds later from the same individual.  We quickly learned to ask, "Are you trying to reach the jail?  If so, you have the digits in the wrong order." 

Sounds like my in-laws, who used to have a number that was one digit off the local taxi service.  You can imagine the number of drunken phone calls they used to receive regularly on Friday and Saturday nights, after the bars closed...!  Politeness didn't work, apparently, since the inebriated callers rarely paid any attention to what the voice on the other end of the phone was saying after they figured out that they'd misdialed.  Sometimes they same person would call back several times before he/she got it right, and this was in the days of rotary dial phones, where making phone calls was a bit more of an adventure.

For the OP, I would agree with PPs that say that those callers who don't "get it" know full well that the person they are trying to reach is not available; they're just operating on the assumption that if they persist, "Mona" will suddenly be there when oceanus "gets tired of covering for her".  In those cases, politeness is wasted.  I would simply hang up with no further words.  They don't even deserve to be acknowledged.  I've done that with telemarketers that have been warned several times that I am on the "Do Not Call" list and that I've asked them not to call again.  If I answer the call by mistake, as soon as I figure out who it is, I'll cut the caller off in midsentence.  Life's too short to waste my time dealing with those who will not listen.

oceanus

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 02:53:37 PM »
Quote
But I wouldn't just hang up as soon as they ask for 'Mona'.

I never do that; I always respond.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 02:58:01 PM »
Quote
But I wouldn't just hang up as soon as they ask for 'Mona'.

I never do that; I always respond.

Then you're good.

I have one telemarketing company that keeps calling me.  As soon as they identify themselves, I hang up.  I've asked them dozens of times to take me off their calling list and they haven't.  If I don't hang up, I get so mad that politeness (and my language) goes right out the window.  So it is less rude just to hang up and it saves my blood pressure.  (Air Duct Cleaning, anyone?)
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GratefulMaria

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 02:59:18 PM »
We had bill collectors contacting us for a long time.    It was really a bit scary at first because the other person's first name was a variation of my middle name, and I thought we might be dealing with identity theft . . . checked all our credit reports, etc.  InDebt Person had the same very-uncommon-around-here ethnic family name we do, so it was even a reasonable attempt (don't know if legal) on the collection agency's part to try us.  I ended up asking each and every caller where they got my number -- had they found it themselves on the off-chance we were related to her, or had the customer given it to them (I just wanted to make sure this wasn't someone who'd submitted my information to get credit.)?  After a few calls like that, it all trailed off.

Our land line is only one digit off the public library's and also one (different) digit off a small engine repair shop.  I'll help with books, but keep me away from your chainsaws!   :)

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 04:17:43 PM »
I actually work as a collector one evening a week - once someone asks me not to call them again I am not supposed to call them.  As long as I have another method of contact: email, mailing address, etc.   This is to avoid being charged with harassment.

You might try that; state that they have the wrong number and NOT to contact you again.  Get a name, badge number, reference number or something and a phone number and name of the collection agency if you can.  If they call again you may have some legal recourse.

(being very careful not to offer any legal advice but just generalities as this varies from state to state) 


mstigerlily

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Re: Wrong number, please stop calling
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2013, 07:58:37 PM »
I had this same problem for a while. "John Doe" had quite a list of collection agencies calling him- or rather, calling my cell phone. It got really irritating after I'd had the number about a year....

Finally I asked for a supervisor and told them who I was and that I'd never even been to X and to stop calling me, and if they ever did talk to John Doe, to tell him to stop giving out my number!