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AIBU to think someone answering the phone for a business should say more than just "Hello"

(72 Posts)
JeewizzJen Fri 01-Feb-13 22:18:14

Is it just me who gets annoyed when a call isn't answered with some indication that you've called the place you think you have? When someone just says "hello" I then panic thinking I've misdialled and called some residential number! And then I have to ask them if I've called the right place and they sound all "well, duh, yeah!"

A minor annoyance perhaps, but it just bugs me! Anyone else?

desertgirl Sat 02-Feb-13 08:59:13

LOL, hindsight, I bet that person was mortified. A long long time ago I worked for a magic circle firm, in the days where direct dial was less ubiquitous (actually I do know the odd firm where you still have to either specifically ask for a direct number or put up with going through switchboard). One chap hadn't given his direct number to anyone but his wife, until a (female) client specifically asked. The phone used to show that it was a direct dial call - he automatically picked up with 'Hello Darling'. He spent the rest of the afternoon blushing.

Whoknows, my parents used to do that, when it was 'village 789'. When phone numbers got standardised, it became [nearby small town] 456 789; they just used the number - think they have finally pretty much given up and accepted that 'hello' is more usual.

What drives me crazy is people who ring up and don't tell you who they are until you ask (when you have no clue who they are - cold calls, work related people you have never spoken to before etc). I think this is a middle eastern thing, only usually hear people complaining about it here - or has it penetrated the UK yet?

Dparents say the town name (two syllables) then the whole 6 digit number, slowly and clearly, aarghh.

TheSmallPrint Sat 02-Feb-13 09:03:50

Chinup I didn't know that, thank you I will certainly be looking into that. smile

desertgirl Sat 02-Feb-13 09:07:40

Answering the phone in the 1940s and 50s:

<<To receive a call - or 'answer the phone' as it was called - one just lifted the handset from its cradle. The correct procedure was to let callers know that they had the right number. So our family would simply say into the handset "Stonegrove 9804" and wait for the caller to respond. At that time it was considered bad manners just to say, "Hello", and it would never have occurred to anyone to say their name instead.>>

www.1900s.org.uk/1940s50s-domestic-phones.htm

MrsMushroom Sat 02-Feb-13 09:08:07

Yanbu and whilst we're on tthe subject.....does anyone else find that more and more telephone operators are asking how to spell simple surnames? I DON'T mean non-English speakers either....I have a surname which is a well known bird...not complex at all....nobody ever used to ask how to spell it and now they invariably do!

They usually say "Is that with a blah de blah?" (insert ridiculous suggestion for the first letter of name.

And I say NO. It's just like the BIRD!

MrsMushroom Sat 02-Feb-13 09:10:22

desert that drives me MAD too! "Hello is Albert there?" WHO IS SPEAKING PLEASE??

Or "Hello can I speak to Mrs Mushroom please?"

WHO IS IT????

desertgirl Sat 02-Feb-13 09:15:11

oh here it's [answer phone]

'hello maam'.

[Hello who is speaking please?]

'hello is that maam desert'

[yes, who is speaking please?]

at that point you might find out.....

jamdonut Sat 02-Feb-13 09:23:53

My home telephone number is almost the same as a local Lettings agency.( The last two numbers are transposed). I am forever getting their calls. I just give them the proper number now. Thinking of asking for a fee for re-directing their calls!
Evidently, the girl in that office has the same name as me.
I answer "Hello?"
"Is that jamdonut?"
"Yes"
"Hello, it's ****,ringing to ask about the two bedroom flat in Nowhere Road"
"I'm sorry,I think you have the wrong number..."
"But...that IS jamdonut?"
"Yes, but I think you want ABC Lettings! This is their number...."
"Oh (confused voice)...OK then....sorry" [hmmm]

jamdonut Sat 02-Feb-13 09:25:13

That should be hmm

FruOla Sat 02-Feb-13 09:26:18

We have a friend who is totally weird when he phones you up. Something like this.

Me (answering phone) : Hello Mark
Him : <surprised> Oh, hello, it's Mark here
Me : Yes, hello Mark.
Him : ............................................... <long silence>
Me : Mark, you've just phoned me. What can I do for you?
Him : <surprised> erm, well, yes <and then he finally gets into his stride>

It's a standing joke with all of our friends grin

I always thought it was normal (as a caller) to say straight away who you are when it's someone you know, eg friend or family member, but not if it's a stranger, unless they answer with their name or company name, so you know you've got the right person.

So, if they answer with their name/business name I would say, hello, my name is WhoKnows, I'm calling to enquire about xyz.

If they just say Hello, I would usually say "Could I speak to Mr X please" rather than plough in with my name is x and I'm calling about Y, which often results in the person interrupting me with, hold on you need to speak to my dad and being handed over to start again. If the person asks who I am or what I'm calling about I obviously tell them.

A lot of the people I ring are private individuals on their home numbers who are the organisers of children's activities (football, scouts, guides, swimming club etc) so get this quite a lot.

wherearemysocka Sat 02-Feb-13 09:31:36

I think i might start doing a Hyacinth bucket - the socka residence- lady of the house speaking...

wherearemysocka Sat 02-Feb-13 09:32:20

I think i might start doing a Hyacinth bucket - the socka residence- lady of the house speaking...

Another thing - if you have caller ID or are on a mobile, when you answer do you say "Hello Name" or just say hello and wait for the caller to speak? I still tend to do the latter, but DH phones me from his work or mobile most days and it feels silly saying "Hello?" as if I don't know it's him, but it's just a habit.

Ragwort Sat 02-Feb-13 09:37:19

YANBU

I worked in a customer facing role 12 years ago and I still find myself answering my home phone on occasions with 'good morning, Ragwort Surname, how may I help you' grin

Want2bSupermum Sat 02-Feb-13 09:42:07

While that isn't how I answer my phone I will say this. I work in restructuring and often the company lines are transferred when the staff are laid off. It is my policy that the lines are always transferred when winding up the business as it enables us to continue collecting information about the liabilities such as employees not being paid in full and other creditor information.

It sounds like you got through to someone who is 'green'. They are probably billing 60+ hours a week in what is a very stressful job. They also probably don't want to give their name away because of the threatening behaviour that can come their way from people affected by a business going under. It isn't right but having worked in the field I can understand why you would answer the phone with a 'Hello'.

ModernToss Sat 02-Feb-13 10:09:09

That seems an odd assumption.

I think it is absolutely fine not to give your name when answering a business call for privacy/security reasons, but you should at least give the company name. I can see that might be complicated where a business has been taken over or in administration or similar though.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 10:27:24

I agree that it's good to answer professionally but I think we've all had days where we were swallowing a sandwich/finishing a chat to a colleague and been distracted into a simple HELLO.

DH says his full name to me sometimes when I call his mobile during work hours - he's just in the "work zone".

My parents still say their number when they answer the phone.

Jayne266 Sat 02-Feb-13 21:27:50

Ugh hate it when that happens to be honest I have put the phone down before now.

StuntGirl Sat 02-Feb-13 21:39:05

I answer my mobile by saying "Hey dude" grin

Want2bSupermum Sun 03-Feb-13 11:57:18

As I said, it isn't how I answer my phone. The difficulty comes in when I am working on 4 different engagements and all four are going through a wind up. I can't answer and say 'xxx on behalf of Jessops' because they might be calling with regards to another company.

I spend as much time trainging associates on client management as I do on developing their techinical skills. FWIW - I answer the phone with 'Good morning/afternoon, 'Name of Accounting firm' administration team.' I have added the 'team' as too many people assumed I was the secretary when I am running a team of up to 150 people.

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