Thursday, January 07, 2010

Another Question for My Vast Readership

Lately, I've been getting a lot of calls, text messages, etc. for a fellow by the name of TJ on my cell phone. Now, I have had this number for nearly four years, so the problem must be that TJ couldn't remember his own digits properly.

When I answer a call for TJ, I always let the person know that they have the wrong number. But what should I do about the messages I get for him? Just ignore them, or call/text the person back to let them know they have the wrong number?

Another thing is, TJ must have a number pretty similar to mine, and it would be nice to know what his number is so I can direct the next caller to the correct number. I wish I knew what his number was. Would it be rude to ask the person calling the wrong number to tell TJ to get in touch with me?

TJ appears to be a teenager and the calls and messages have been basically inconsequential. But one time we got a pretty urgent message on our phone, and called the person back to let them know they'd called the wrong number. Instead of gratitude, Jeff got an earful impugning his parents' matrimonial state at the time of his birth, and more. So, what's a person to do?


FrauTech said...

I hate the serial mis-dialers. I had a guy two states away leaving me messages thinking I was his wife's phone. Not sure how you don't know your wife's phone number. Anyways he got pretty irritated that she wasn't calling him back or picking up the phone so I finally picked it up and told me he had a wrong number. Didn't stop him. He called two more times before he finally stopped.

Madeleine said...

My husband's cell phone used to get a lot of calls for "Bob." We'd tell them they had the wrong number. Finally after a while, I asked the person "Who is Bob, anyway?" It turns out he was a kid's hockey coach and had written the wrong number on a roster. Oy. It dried up after a while.

Long, long ago we got a few bizarre messages on our answering machine, about deals and pickups and I think blood products were mentioned but it seemed likely to be a euphemism for drugs. We just ignored those, and luckily they didn't last long.

In your situation, I would definitely ask *every* person who calls to let TJ know he is consistently giving out the wrong number. Eesh, how annoying. I don't think you are obligated to respond to the texts, especially if it would cost money. If you have free texts and want to send a quick note, that would be kind but not required, I think.

I'm surprised the person you called back about the urgent message flipped out at Jeff, but I would guess the urgency and the crisis made them a bit . . . overreactive. Or else the person they were trying to reach knew there was a rule about never calling the house because parents or a partner didn't know about some relationship!

Chris Dooley said...

My brother had his apartment phone number listed in the yellow pages under "Sandy's Sewing Center." He tried everything. Screening calls with an answering machine message that started out with "This is NOT Sandy's" didn't even work. He still got messages. He also got the occasional irate caller. Since the phone book is only updated every so often, he had to wait it out. He chased off as many customers as possible in the mean time, letting his friends all pretend to be Sandy.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Whenever I get something like that, I return the call if it was clearly from a "professional" like, a doctor's office or a nursing home (both of which have happened). So if the caller says, "Hi, I'm so and so from So and So Professional Place and I'm calling for XYZ, please call me back at 123", I call back to tell them, and it has generally been well received.

If the message is, "yo call me back." I just ignore it.