Monday, September 29, 2008

You May Want to Check that Phone Number Before You Leave a Message...

I have a cell phone, but it's really just for emergencies. I don't even have one of your basic plans with a certain number of minutes every month because that is one of those expanses I thought we could do without for now. I rarely use my cell phone. So...my plan is a pay-as-you-go type of plan. I pay 25 cents/minute. If I get a call from a number I don't know...I don't answer because I don't want to pay 25 cents to tell somebody they've got the wrong number.

As luck would have it (insert a shaking head with a slight chuckle here)...my cell phone number is exactly the same number as a phone number for Fidelity Investments...the only difference is...theirs has a 1-800 in front of it.

You would be amazed how many people miss that whole 1-800 thing, they just dial the last 7 digits like they would a local call. And when they do...they get my voice mail (because I don't answer their call - because I don't know their phone number)...and they leave me a message...about their investments...and their accounts!!!

Let me assure you that my voicemail greeting does not say, "Hello, you've reached Fidelity Investments. We are currently assisting other people who are scared stiff by the current economical climate. Please leave us a message and we will get back to you sometime after the crisis has abated because, quite frankly we're scared stiff too!" I have thought about changing my greeting to reflect these sentiments, but have decided against it for the time being.

My greeting does not mention Fidelity Investments at all...it actually sounds like this - "Hi, this is Leslie you can leave me a message if you want to, but I usually don't have my cell phone with me and if I don't recognize your number I won't answer even if I do have it with me ... Call me at home if you really want to talk." OK...maybe it's not that long...maybe it's more like, "Hi, this is Leslie, feel free to leave a message."

So...if you called a number for a bank, investment group or (really) any kind of business and you got a voicemail with a greeting that said..."Hi, this is Leslie..."would you really leave a message about your accounts? Or would you check the number you dialed first? Or what?

Should I just change my phone number? I feel bad for these people.

What would you do? Discuss...

14 comments:

Cheryl said...

I would say:

"Hi! You've reached Leslie. And no, this is not Fidelity Investments. Trust me. Check the number. This is just Leslie and it's my cell phone. Have a nice day!"

I would. I totally would!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

What a great idea to change your message! I never thought of that. I wouldn't change the number, though, because someone less scrupulous than you may end up with it.

When I worked in an elementary school computer lab, teachers would print out their bank statements to the public printer there and just leave them all day . . . aargh!

Jeanette said...

So funny! I got home the other day and found a message on my machine from a lady trying to make a reservation at a restaurant or something. She rattled off the time she wanted and the names of all the people that would be there. Seriously people! When you get an outgoing message that says "This is Mike and Jeanette, please leave a message" do you really think it is a restaurant? Do they listen at all?
I just hope she called back to confirm her reservation before she showed up!
I like Cheryl's suggestion.

Amanda said...

I can see that someone calling the 800 number might think they've reached someone specific at the company. Of course, it would seem to me that if you're calling an 800 number, you're not really reaching someone's office, but a call center. I guess people are in such turmoil over the financial issues that they're not paying attention?

I would definitely change the message letting them know you are not a Fidelity employee and that they are welcome to call the 800 number. Can you imagine how many people are furious with Fidelity for not returning their calls? LOL!

Lucy said...

I'd do what Cheryl said. Except I'd leave out the nice ... have a nice day. Because I'm that way. Mean. And revengeful. And other adjectives. Did I say mean? :)

flip flop mama said...

I would change the message too but I'm not sure it would even matter...they don't listen anyway. That's really funny that they leave detailed messages...you gotta wonder about some people.

McEwens said...

Oh I would change it, Hi this is leslie, I am not with Fidelity, but if you want to leave your credit card and banking info, I would be happy to SPEND or SHOP or whatever your money for you! Just remember its not idendity thieft if you VOL leave me the info! Oh dont forget the 4 numbers in the back, ebay needs those!

HAPPY SHOPPING

Richelle said...

That is too funny. People just must not pay attention. At our last apartment I had some lady call me a dozen times looking for someone else (over the months). If I didn't answer she surely would have heard our name and not the name of whoever she was trying to reach. But she would always try again!

rovingrixs said...

Haaa! Haaa!! It MIGHT help if you change your message, but you're still bound to get people that don't pay attention! I like Mcewens suggestion! I would totally put up a message like that if it were me in your shoes! :) I get people like that at work all the time..."What type of information do you need? Do you need my social security number?" Umm, pretty sure when you booked your ticket you didn't provide your ssn at booking.

Mo said...

So I work 40 hours/week in a call center and often have to make outbound phone calls. Some of the answering machines that I reach just crack me up. However you'd be surprised how often people have greetings similar to this...

"Hi, you've reached Leslie's cell phone. L-E-S-L-I-E-'-S. NOT Fidelity Investments. Please leave a message if you're calling for LESLIE. Again that's L-E-S-L-I-E."

Yep. Totally sounds rude, but you would definitely not be the first.

I could probably write a whole blog about the answering machines that I hear day-in and day-out. And some of the embarassing messages I've left by mistake. Hmmm, maybe you just gave me my next post idea ;)

Summer said...

I'm always amazed when people leave messages for totally random people after hearing our, "Hi you've reached the Owens family" or "You've reached Tom and Summer". But somehow, they still keep doing it.

Debbie said...

My home number is one off from a local bank. You are so right. People will just start in with all kinds of information I don't want or need!

Mikki said...

We always get calls from this little old man trying to rech the ADult Bookstore! I even got a call from some other guy once trying to reach said bookstore. He called back a few minutes later to let me know he found the right number and it differed from ours by one number. Wasn't that sweet? LOL
(eyes rolling)
If it were me calling, I think I would definitely hang up when I didn't hear the name of the company in the message.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Are people really this stupid? Wow :) !!