General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Wrong Number / General Calling Etiquette?

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Softly Spoken:
Okay this literally just happened and it left me a very strange mix of  >:( and  ???, so I had to come here and get some feedback...

My cell phone rings. The number is unavailable, which I've never had on my cell. I should have just ignored it but I almost never get calls from people I don't know. I had also given my number to someone for emergencies and I was worried it was her and she needed me. So I answer:

Me: Hello?
Unidentified Female: Hello? Who is this?
Me: (thinking - um, you called me lady what the ehell?) Uh, this is *Firstname.* Who is this?
(Still) Unidentified Female: Oh, I'm looking for *John Doe.*
Me: I have never heard of them I think you have the wrong number.
(Apparently Determined to Remain) Unidentified Female: Oh. Okay.
Me: (uncomfortable pause wherein I realize she isn't going to apologize for interrupting a stranger, so I decide to commiserate with her on her inability to contact Mr. Doe) ...Well, sorry. Bye.

I am used to getting random wrong numbers on my cell. There is even some lady who has called repeatedly under the assumption that my number belongs to a friend or relative of hers. But the exchange above really irritated me. The woman's tone was like "who are you?" Very accusatory and it got my back up. It really seemed rude to start in with questions when she was the one calling. >:(

I can understand that if you call a number and assume 1) you have the right number and 2) you have dialed correctly, then hearing a voice you do not recognize can be disconcerting. However, when it happens to me, I do not assume something crazy like that the guy I'm trying to call is cheating on me or that someone has broken into my friend's house and answered their phone. I go back to #1 and #2. Voice I don't know? Does the person sound like the wrong gender? Duh, maybe I have the wrong number! ::) So my first logical thing would be to try and confirm and say "Hi, So-and-so?" or "Hi is So-and-so there / Can I speak to So-and-so please?"

FWIW, I feel that calling someone is like being invited into their house (yes, even on a cell). You are asking to "come in" as a "guest" to their time and headspace. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect basic politeness from people who use a phone to intrude on my time. You say "please" and "thank you." You introduce yourself and state your purpose. Is is really that difficult?

What say you ehellions? Was the phone call I got rude? What are your rules for basic phone etiquette?

Library Dragon:
Yes and it was rude.  When I call a wrong number I usually apologize and say, 'Sorry, I missed dialed.'
What irritates me is when someone misdials and doesn't say anything, hangs up and calls again.  Then it's my fault that it's my phone.

I often get wrong numbers.  I always answer the phone.  It's a work phone so it may be someone that is on a board or other work related person.  DS2 is on active duty so I always answer the phone in case he has been hurt and his sergeant or a friend is calling.

GratefulMaria:
I was at the receiving end of a misdial and when I automatically said, "Sorry, I think you have the wrong number," the person at the other end said, "Oh, that's OK!" before hanging up.

That was a moment.   ???

laceandbits:
I usually ask what number did you want?  That way if they have misdialled you can point out the discrepancy, or if they have dialled your number you can agree that it is the same but is not the number they need for that person.  By doing that, they won't (or shouldn't) need to call you again just-in-case.

Perhaps it was a call which they had not been looking forward to making and it threw them when you answered.  All their mental preparation foiled and that was why they sounded brusque.  Or maybe they were just a naturally grumpy person.  Either way, you won't ever need to speak to them again.  They were rude and you weren't, don't let it get to you.

Zilla:

--- Quote from: Softly Spoken on March 08, 2013, 12:45:33 AM ---Okay this literally just happened and it left me a very strange mix of  >:( and  ??? , so I had to come here and get some feedback...

My cell phone rings. The number is unavailable, which I've never had on my cell. I should have just ignored it but I almost never get calls from people I don't know. I had also given my number to someone for emergencies and I was worried it was her and she needed me. So I answer:

Me: Hello?
Unidentified Female: Hello? Who is this?
Me: (thinking - um, you called me lady what the ehell?) Uh, this is *Firstname.* Who is this?
(Still) Unidentified Female: Oh, I'm looking for *John Doe.*
Me: I have never heard of them I think you have the wrong number.
(Apparently Determined to Remain) Unidentified Female: Oh. Okay.
Me: (uncomfortable pause wherein I realize she isn't going to apologize for interrupting a stranger, so I decide to commiserate with her on her inability to contact Mr. Doe) ...Well, sorry. Bye.

I am used to getting random wrong numbers on my cell. There is even some lady who has called repeatedly under the assumption that my number belongs to a friend or relative of hers. But the exchange above really irritated me. The woman's tone was like "who are you?" Very accusatory and it got my back up. It really seemed rude to start in with questions when she was the one calling. >:(

I can understand that if you call a number and assume 1) you have the right number and 2) you have dialed correctly, then hearing a voice you do not recognize can be disconcerting. However, when it happens to me, I do not assume something crazy like that the guy I'm trying to call is cheating on me or that someone has broken into my friend's house and answered their phone. I go back to #1 and #2. Voice I don't know? Does the person sound like the wrong gender? Duh, maybe I have the wrong number! ::) So my first logical thing would be to try and confirm and say "Hi, So-and-so?" or "Hi is So-and-so there / Can I speak to So-and-so please?"

FWIW, I feel that calling someone is like being invited into their house (yes, even on a cell). You are asking to "come in" as a "guest" to their time and headspace. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect basic politeness from people who use a phone to intrude on my time. You say "please" and "thank you." You introduce yourself and state your purpose. Is is really that difficult?

What say you ehellions? Was the phone call I got rude? What are your rules for basic phone etiquette?

--- End quote ---


I would not call it rude.  The person didn't intentionally dial your number just to be rude.  It was a mistake and honestly very very very normal. Sure it would be nice to get an apology but in the end it was just a typical wrong number.  Next time I wouldn't apologize.  I would simply say, "I do not know them, goodbye" and hang up.  You are pretty lucky not to get alot of wrong number calls, I do all the time.

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