Letter to the editor - Aug. 19


August 19, 2018

If you want a call back, make it easy to reach you

Several times recently I have placed ads in the newspaper, giving a phone number as a way for people to contact me.

Some of those who tried to contact me may be disappointed and wondering why they have had no return call. This may be because I have been unable to return their calls.

The reasons are simple — there seems to be a lack of awareness of how to communicate effectively over the phone.

Consider the following examples of messages left on the answering machine:

• people who forget their own phone number part way through — “seven three - no - two - no - six - seven eight one;”

• numbers that sound like “seventy sixty-three;”

• those who run out of breath and drop the voice to a gasp on the last inaudible number.

In addition, even when the number is given clearly and correctly, there may be problems in trying to return the call — “this voice-mail box is full,” “this voice-mail box has not been set up,” or just plain “the number you dialed cannot be reached.”

In one case, when I did manage to contact someone whose voice-mail box was full, and alerted her to that fact, the reply was “I know, but I don’t know how to empty it.”

Please, if you want to hear back from people, give your phone number correctly, clearly, slowly enough for them to write it down — and then repeat it. Say each individual number, rather than some ambiguous “seventy sixty-three” gabble.

Also make sure your answering machine or voicemail is working — and check it for replies.

Perhaps the most striking illustration of the problem was a caller who left a message that said, “Call me back - er - at this number ...” and left no number.

Shirley Rollinson



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