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To wonder when we stopped reciting our number when answering the phone

(151 Posts)
bearbehind Tue 05-Apr-16 12:53:48

Not sure why this popped into my head but it occurred to me that when I was growing up in the 80's everyone used to pick up the phone and say their number.

I can still remember some friend numbers 30 years later as I can hear their Mum's answering the phone but I couldn't tell you my husbands mobile number now.

When did everyone stop doing this? Were we all subliminally conditioned to stop on the same day?

PaulAnkaTheDog Tue 05-Apr-16 12:59:10

I still stay the last four digits of mine blush and I was only alive for two years of the 80s. I didn't realise how uncommon it was to do it until I started working in a call centre.

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Tue 05-Apr-16 12:59:43

I remember people always answering the phone with their number as a child! Both my Grandmothers still do it now, not the full number but the area & the last 3 digits so 'Solihull 123'.

I'm not really sure when it stopped being a thing. Prehaps it's when mobiles became more commonplace so it was more likely that someone would have those final 3 numbers?

HopIt Tue 05-Apr-16 13:00:43

When the call centres started and BT was privatised

PresidentCJCregg Tue 05-Apr-16 13:01:27

The only place I ever saw that happen was on TV!

Why did people do it?

Junosmum Tue 05-Apr-16 13:01:48

One of my grand still does it, but yes it is strange how everyone stopped. I suspect it was a mix of tv characters not doing it and the influx of mobile phones.

icklekid Tue 05-Apr-16 13:03:24

I used to do this think it changed when phones got displays so you know who is calling (landlines as well as mobiles) not thought about that for years!

bearbehind Tue 05-Apr-16 13:04:42

I think you're right juno, no one ever did it when answering a mobile so I guess they just stopped doing it on the house phone too.

Twixthecat Tue 05-Apr-16 13:04:45

And realising that most people knew what number they'd called as they'd just dialled it....

HopIt Tue 05-Apr-16 13:05:15

I think people did it as you'd often get crossed lines/ wrong numbers.

LauraChant Tue 05-Apr-16 13:05:30

I used to say "ThreeRivers1235Lauraspeakingwho'sspeakingplease?" in a breathless and incomprehensible tone (name and number obv changed).

Now I say "Hello, Laura speaking" using my posh phone upspeak on my landline, and "hello X" (caller ID permitting) on my mobile.

ArmfulOfRoses Tue 05-Apr-16 13:05:45

My aunt still does it, but only the last 4 numbers.
I can remember when they added 2 numbers to the front, and then the 1 in the area code.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Apr-16 13:06:08

I suspect it coincided with the decrease in 'wrong numbers'. Nowadays, if someone phones, it's much more likely that they meant to get you.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Apr-16 13:06:53

X post. smile

bearbehind Tue 05-Apr-16 13:07:56

It really was an odd thing to do when you think about it!

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 05-Apr-16 13:07:57

<wonders what bit of Solihull Bernard is in>

We (as a family) stopped when a psycho ex kept doing those silent phone calls at 2am.

wanderings Tue 05-Apr-16 13:08:32

I suppose it was to give the caller feedback that they dialled the right number. But as nowadays it's rarer to actually dial the number: you often use a speed dial, or many modern phones display the number as you dial.

I remember hearing the advice in the 90's that saying the number is a bad idea in case pranksters dial randomly; if you say the number it's easier for them to keep calling back.

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Tue 05-Apr-16 13:14:31

Milk wink

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 05-Apr-16 13:16:07

<checks nervously over shoulder>

Germgirl Tue 05-Apr-16 13:17:51

My dad still does it. Just the last 3 numbers. DH cracks up every time he hears my dads pseudo-posh 'double four two?'

Ragwort Tue 05-Apr-16 13:20:20

I still do this, didn't realise it was the wrong thing to do blush.

Woodhill Tue 05-Apr-16 13:23:48

Yes dh discoraged me from giving out our number to discourage cold callers and we were always ex directory.

CMOTDibbler Tue 05-Apr-16 13:25:20

MIL does it. They have caller display, and the other day we were there, phone rang and she said 'oh, that'll be BIL2' and then still recited the number

BillSykesDog Tue 05-Apr-16 13:28:20

It was when number display started. If people had simply misdialled they wouldn't have anything to tell them visually but would know when you recited the number. These days you'd see it on the display and abort without dialling so no need for it. So about mid to late 80s when number display became common.

Flossiesmummy Tue 05-Apr-16 13:29:11

My father worked for one of the major banks his entire working life and despite the fact that he's been retired a good five years I still have to say the name of the bank after someone says his full name. That's how he used to answer his phone.

Eg. Thomas Smithson, Lloyds TSB

*name and place of work changed

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