Missed Call

The joy of the junk phone call. Recorded messages. Amazing offers. An annoying and intrusive fact of daily life. Since I’m out at work I miss most of this joy, apart from the occasional recorded message on the answer machine – just hit “delete”.

But what about that occasional message on the answer machine that’s a legitimate call, but to the wrong number? I’m wondering on the etiquette of this.

A couple of days ago, I had such a call. A pleasant-sounding woman was informing me that they had come round to help me with “the problem with my back door – where was I?”. I don’t have a back door. I don’t even have a “back” in which to place a “back door” (I live in a flat so I suppose the back is technically where the only door is and the front is a window). I don’t really miss having a back door. I guess I would if there was a massive fire next to the “only” door, but fingers crossed on that one.

A few years ago I received a text message. Some chap told me he was waiting outside his house for me to pick him up. Where was I? It was cold and I should hurry up.

For all I know he’s still there, waiting for me. My mind conjures up pictures of his skeletal remains, propped up against a wall, long dead from exposure or starvation, the remains of a cigarette still clenched between the remains of his fingers.

Or possibly he gave up waiting and called a taxi.

What is the etiquette in these situations? Should I call/text back and tell them they got the wrong number? That seems the polite thing to do. Nine times out of ten it won’t cost me anything. Or should I just hit “delete” and let them work it out for themselves?

  1. Gilraen
    May 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

    In the past I have called back telling them they had the wrong number. In one case it was a school reunion trying to locate SO’s ex partner. Did not fancy a repeat of that one. Also just letting them know they have a wrong number may help them and at least I feel good about it. Also worth something


    • May 19, 2013 at 8:21 am

      I guess that is the right thing to do, though I hate using the phone even to call people I know. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about an important message not getting through to the intended recipient.
      Thanks letting me know your thoughts on it!


  2. May 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I have in the past texted back saying they have the wrong number, but only when it seemed very important. My latest little bugbear is when I get added into conversations on whatsapp. I find that quite annoying. Had a little chuckle about your back door and waiting skeleton 🙂


    • May 20, 2013 at 6:19 am

      I guess someone asking for a lift is quite important! I think I will text back next time, thanks!


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