Wrong Number Phone Calls

Monday, 19 January 2009 at 3:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I have a new phone number, and so far, many of the phone calls coming to it are not for me. I seem to be getting messages for Kimberly, or something that sounds like that, and more recently "Frankie."

The amazing thing is that before these messages are left, these people have to sit through an outgoing voice mail announcement telling them they've reached [my company name], check us out on the web at [web address], and this is what this business does. They listen to all of that, and don't seem to notice that's NOT Kim's or Frankie's typical outgoing voice mail message… or voice.

Someone I know had a business phone number that had formerly been a toll free number for a major insurance company. So people would call up, and right off the bat start talking about their illnesses or personal issues. Someone else I know ended up with a local ambulance company's non-emergency number. Still people would call needing an ambulance, and it was very nerve wracking. I think he had to change his number.

I think the best example of this is something I found so funny that it still cracks me up to this day. But the message that was left for me contains words not everybody may want to hear. So if you are sensitive to correct words for body parts, please don't read on. If you are reading on, please put down your beverages. :)

In college, I had an answering machine that recorded to cassettes. Which means I still have this message somewhere in my cassette tape collection. :) I lived in a single dorm room, but my boyfriend was there so often that I put his name on the outgoing message. And my nickname back then (early 1990s) was Midge because I was quite the fan of Midge Ure and Ultravox. Go ahead and laugh.

So the outgoing message was like 20-30 seconds of, "Midge and Dave aren't here. Midge is probably out singing. Dave is out, and nobody knows where he is. Leave your message, and Midge or Dave will get back to you." Something like that with our names over and over.

One day, I came home to a message I just couldn't believe. I will never forget this message, word for word. A woman with a New York accent had left a message. Imagine someone sounding ALMOST like The Nanny saying this:

"Alison, it's your mother. I think you need to have a vaginal culture done. Mervyn won't prescribe anything for you until he knows what that is. You can have the infirmary there do it, or you could just come home." The come home bit was FULL of guilt and "yes, this is the right choice… come home!" by sounding immensely sad and needy.

Ya know, I sometimes think that's something mostly a NY Mom would do. Have NO freaking clue, be not listening AT ALL to the outgoing message, and leave something THAT personal and invasive. I mean, imagine her leaving that message at the RIGHT number! Alison comes back to her room with friends. Oh there is a message. Hits the play button, and that gets broadcasted to the room of friends.

People, please listen to voice mail outgoing messages. They are there for YOU. I think many systems will bypass them by pressing #. But at least listen long enough to know that have the right number.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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