A Conversation for 21st Century Phone Etiquette

About answering machine messages

Post 1

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Most people seem to have outgrown cute/funny/ironic "leave a message" messages. But more and more are hiding behind the unctious anonymity of "Hello. No-one is available to take your call. Please leave a message after the beep."

And, after I've left my message, and there's no immediate response, I find myself wondering whether I connected to a wrong number.

I wish the anoni-message would at least confirm that I reached the right person by announcing the phone number.

Just a thought. Good guide entry!


About answering machine messages

Post 2

A T Hun

Your right about that, at least the "Auto-greeting" could tell you the phone number. I can't see any security breach in that; since I'm not 100% sure who I'm leaving a message for anyways.
smiley - erm
Very good guide entry, need more time to read it though.smiley - ok


About answering machine messages

Post 3

Bagpuss

I wonder how I change the message on my phone...


About answering machine messages

Post 4

ngenerally

Do you spend a lot of time calling random phone numbers? Or have a serious short term memory deficit? Those are the only 2 excuses you have for not knowing who you've called by the end of the voicemail message. There are other reasons i.e. tequila but not excuses. I worked in sales and hence the first one applied 9 times out of 10. You used to hope they had the chirpy 'Hi this is..'


About answering machine messages

Post 5

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Well, that's a bit rebarbative of you. Note that I said I worry only when I haven't heard back from the person I called.

I don't use the phone that much actually; I live in a deep narrow valley where cell phones don't work and, since I'm disabled and don't get out, there's no point in owning one. I use the land line when I have to call. And I much prefer email. And I don't call random numbers, but I allow for the possibility, however remote, that I may have made a mistake. Sheesh.


About answering machine messages

Post 6

Mr. Dreadful - But really I'm not actually your friend, but I am...

Ooh look, Hootoo has a new troll. *Waves at ngenerally* smiley - biggrin


About answering machine messages

Post 7

Emmily ~ Roses are red, Peas are green, My face is a laugh, But yours is a scream

My message is short and simple (like me smiley - winkeye)

"It's an answer machine, you know what to do"

Emmily
smiley - bluebutterfly


About answering machine messages

Post 8

Array

<<Ooh look, Hootoo has a new troll.<<

new?
I´d say his style sounds pretty familiar and close.

just an intuition.


About answering machine messages

Post 9

A T Hun

While we're on the subject, can anyone give me a good reason for not putting anything on your greeting, other than not knowing how to do it. Even dead air or a "Burp" would be better than the Default. Been teaching people howto use their VMS's for a "long time" and I don't understand or I won't say what the real issue is. Try not having a greeting at work, your Boss should tell you to fix it, once he realizes.smiley - sleepy


About answering machine messages

Post 10

Mr. Dreadful - But really I'm not actually your friend, but I am...

<>

Procrastination.


About answering machine messages

Post 11

Titania (gone for lunch)

*high-fives Mr D*


About answering machine messages

Post 12

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

In-office messages and home phone messages are different animals, would you agree? I know of persons who were disciplined for what the boss thought were excessively flippant messages, bad for the company image. But at home you can say pretty much anything you want within legal bounds. Or say nothing.

To explain further about dialling wrong numbers in my part of the world: every landline owner in the Hondo and Bonito Valleys, nearly a third of the county, has identical phone numbers except for the last three digits. One of my neighbors has the number nnn-n699. Another has the number nnn-n696. A mistake is possible! And this telco practice may obtain in other rural areas...


About answering machine messages

Post 13

A T Hun

I said, Good reason... smiley - snowman


About answering machine messages

Post 14

Larp

My message has always followed the posted article, and my telephone etiquette every other aspect of the article.

My phone message is this;

"You have reached Larp at 555-5555, I am not available to answer the phone right please leave a message."

Thus they can confirm they have reached the right number.

I worked for a major Canadian telecommunications firm in my youth and had the very first cell phone ever made. I began to depise the interuption it imposed on my life, having to be on call 24/7. When I changed professions the only reason I carried a cellphone, was for emergencies or when travelling abroad.
Inadvertantly I passed reasonable and rational phone etiquette onto my offspring. Here is a typical phone conversation with my son. "Hello Larp jr. this is your dad, do you have a minute?" "Not right now dad, I am driving, I will ring you back when I get home."

Great article,

Larp


About answering machine messages

Post 15

ngenerally

Apologies, not having a good day that day. smiley - cheerup


About answering machine messages

Post 16

You can call me TC

Our answering machine at home has to be in two languages, which makes it longer in the first place. It is, however, as short as possible under those circumstances.

One message I once recorded included the words "but don't just hang up, please at least leave a message" - shortened to "Don't hang up, leave a message" ... one caller started to leave a message and then went on, <"er.. what can I say now ... you said "Don't hang up..." ..... and then waffled on for a bit, eventually hanging up in frustration. smiley - doh

Despite having a recorded reply blurb in two languages, we still have quite detailed messages on the ansafone from people calling places which would have no reason to have a message in English. They must mistakenly dial our number and not listen to the recording. Goodness knows who they think they are ringing. Apart from orders placed by the local supermarket with their drinks dealer, and plumbers announcing that they were coming on such-and-such a date, one private caller left so many messages saying "Hello, this is Lisa ..blah blah.." that I thought of changing the answer text to "And if you're Lisa, you've got the wrong number"


About answering machine messages

Post 17

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

ngenerally, all's well, let's shake hands.

>>"And if you're Lisa, you've got the wrong number"
smiley - laugh


About answering machine messages

Post 18

Titania (gone for lunch)

TC, it's amazing how rarely some people actually listen to the reply they get, whether it's a recorded one or a live one. I used to work in a hotel where the phone number differed from the one to the Postal Giro help desk with only one digit. Our operators would always answer any call with the hotel name, and people *still* wanted to be connected to the 'accounts department' expecting me to check out their account details. Bah.

Not to mention the late night caller who calls me at home (yet again, just one digit different, dammit) thinking I own a transport company offering a 24/7 service. These calls (3 so far) have woken me up somewhere between 2 and 3 am. Usually my answering machine replies to the first call, because I'm not fast enough to get out of bed and get the phone before it turns on. My message clearly states my first name, so why this person immediately hangs up and redials the same number a split second later - I don't know, I just don't.


About answering machine messages

Post 19

You can call me TC

Oh yes, Titania, tell me about it! At work once, I took a call (it was one of our reps) asking if his department manager was in. I said "Sorry, no" - his answer? - "well, could you put me through to him please!"

He not only didn't listen to what I was saying, I don't think he even listened to what he was saying himself!


About answering machine messages

Post 20

A T Hun

A little off topic but that's the way it's going. I go out of my way to communicate to people to save them time and effort, and for what?
smiley - wah
Twice in the last two weeks I'm canceling a service call and the Field service person calls me planning to come in. I said, "You're lucky you called ahead." Actually that was just today.smiley - snowman
A couple weeks ago, same thing, except we weren't open the next day, said, "Don't come, we won't be here." End of that day, 5:00pm, I'm heading out the door, phone rings. Guess who? The service guy that was going to come out the next day when we weren't there.


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