The phone message, left by by an obviously irritated male caller, was brief and to the point: “The only way to get through to you is to send a (bleeping) message because you’re never around to answer the (bleeping) phone. Well forget it–I’m going to take my business somewhere else.” The tone of voice was borderline hostile with hints of insulting.
I had heard the call when it came in, on a Saturday about lunchtime, but had chosen not to answer because the special ring identified it as anonymous. It was an easy call (no pun intended). At Computer Medic we generally don’t answer unknown or anonymous calls for all the usual reasons. It’s policy. We are hardly alone in this. It is, in fact, a very common (and common-sense) policy.
Apparently, this fellow had called previously, although he had never bothered to leave a message or a callback number. This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened to us. Over the years this scenario has been repeated often enough for us to recognize it as a syndrome. The callers are almost always male, young to early middle age. The messages usually include a profanity or two, and never, ever include a callback number. Most of the time, the caller clearly intends to be insulting. Based on what they say and how they say it, I can only surmise that these people are expecting special treatment, and are annoyed at not getting it. Unfortunately, we’ve learned the hard way that people who expect special treatment tend to be difficult customers.
Then of course there is always the odd case. Once, an anonymous caller left a message saying, “I realize you’re probably not answering because of the blocked number. I’m sorry, but I just got this phone and somehow turned on that feature by accident and can’t figure out how to turn it off. I’ll call you back in five minutes.” I answered the second call, we had a good conversation, and he turned out to be a pretty good customer. And we figured out how to turn off the number block.
So if you call from an anonymous number and we don’t answer, please don’t take it personally. It’s just policy. Just leave us a callback number and we’ll get back to y0u.