General Question

Jude's avatar

Do you screen your calls? And, is there anyone in particular that you decide whether or not you're going to pick up their calls, depending on your mood?

Asked by Jude (32120points) June 10th, 2009

Like an Aunt that talks for hours and you just don’t have the energy to sit and listen? Or a brother who calls (often), but, is always a “Debbie Downer”?

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35 Answers

fireside's avatar

I refuse to answer the phone any time I see “Sales Dept” on the caller id.

DarkScribe's avatar

I use scripts to do that. At different times of the day calls from certain people get redirected to various other numbers.

eponymoushipster's avatar

if i’m in a bad mood, i don’t answer. or if it’s someone who only calls to ask for something, because that puts me in a bad mood.

tinyfaery's avatar

Unless I am expecting a phone call from someone I do not know, I NEVER pick up a call from a blocked number or a number I do not know. I figure if it’s important, they’ll leave a message and then I can call back. Who knows who might be at the other end of the phone.

oratio's avatar

@tinyfaery I don’t know. It could your child calling from a payphone, your wife on a colleagues phone needing help in a hurry, or the neighbor wanting to ask if your roof should be on fire. It’s not like someone can eat your heart through the microphone.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Every call gets screened. If I don’t know who’s calling, it goes to the machine. My kid has even picked up my term for most of the calls we get; “Phone spam!”

CMaz's avatar

Cell phones are a real pain in the butt. People think since you carry a phone on your hip that you should be available all the time.
As MY message says. “Leave a message and I will get back to you”
In the good old days, when you left the office or the house. You left the phone behind.
Oh bliss, to hear the birds chirping, without the jingle of peoples over bloated egos.

tinyfaery's avatar

Hopefully they will leave a message, or come knock on my door.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

People know to call me on my cell phone. I answer it depending upon where I am, and my mood. Cell phone useage is prohibited at my work, so I just usually send people to voice mail. On my home phone, I have a very humorous ‘Welcome to the Orgasmic Church of Evelyn’ outgoing message. Those who know me will leave a message, everyone else usually telemarketers hang up and don’t leave a message.

dynamicduo's avatar

I have no problems with picking up my phone even at odd times. It’s usually my family who have reasons to call. I do have call display, can’t imagine not having that, so I forward off unknown numbers to voicemail. Those with my area code I usually pick up though.

Lupin's avatar

Every time my phone rings, it’s somebody asking me for something.
I screen, but pretend I don’t.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Lupin ring, ring, hey, buddy, got a spare beer?

oratio's avatar

Hm. Is telemarketing and salesman calls very common in the states? I haven’t experienced that, but that would explain hesitation to answer strange numbers I guess.

MissAusten's avatar

I let it go to voicemail if I don’t recognize the number, but usually answer if I know who it is. Unless it’s my mom, then I tend to let it go to voicemail unless I have at least an hour to spare listening to spectacular (and mostly fictitious) drama. If I let the voicemail get it, she leaves a message hinting at some sort of impending doom. And there’s never any doom.

eponymoushipster's avatar

i’m waiting for Google Voice, so I can screen my cell phone. That’s going to be sweet.

And, as Daniel Tosh said, why do we need voicemail? We all have Caller ID.

Lupin's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Typical calls: How do I change the tail light. My xxxx doesn’t work can you help me? I need to move the dresser upstairs can you help? Can you babysit the twins today? I’m short the rent money this month…
It’s never someone saying “Hey, here’s some cash we found that belongs to you.” or “Do you need any help with the apple trees?”
Sure c’mon over. I’m pruning trees today. I’ve got Honey Brown in the ‘frizzer’.

cwilbur's avatar

I always screen my calls. If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer; if they don’t leave a message, oh well.

@oratio: they’re very common, and the most annoying ones are legally questionable in the first place and ignore the do not call registries.

@eponymoushipster: we need voicemail because all that caller ID tells us is who called. if the message is “I’m going to be late getting home tonight,” for instance, there’s no real need for a conversation there.

casheroo's avatar

I have caller id, so of course I screen calls.
I don’t answer for out of state numbers, because it’s usually the same person over and over. I rarely answer for 800 numbers (although, I kept getting one yesterday so I finally answered and it was important!)
I don’t always answer when my husband calls, because I don’t always feel like talking to him. But god forbid I don’t answer for my mother, or I’ll get a million phone calls.

Judi's avatar

@ChazMaz, I used to want to be important enough t carry a pager. Then I wanted to be important enough to carry a cell phone. Now I want to be important enough to pay someone else to carry a cell phone.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I sometimes screen my parents, because I can predict what they’re calling for. I also have a group in my phone contacts for people I don’t ever want to talk to again. The name of the group is “Don’t Answer”.

DarkScribe's avatar

@RandomMrdan The name of the group is “Don’t Answer”.

My equivalent group has a script that calls their own number back, so that they are always diverted to their own voice mailbox. It causes a bit of head scratching.

If I am in “silent” mode, no one who is not in my personal directory can get through. All others get diverted to one of two messages, one nice and polite, the other (for those with suppressed IDs) bluntly informing them that I do accept calls unless the caller ID shows.

It works.

fireside's avatar

@oratio – yes, telemarketers abound. There are no call lists that sometimes help, but not always.

When i was answering the calls, i would get some machine telling me that my home mortgage was due for refinancing at least three or four times a week despite the fact that i live in an apartment. Plus calls about my car insurance, the cruise I could win passage on and debt refinancing calls.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@DarkScribe how do you redirect the caller back to themselves? I would love to be able to do that!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Of course I do!
I have 2 children, I work full time, and am doing a serious job search – I got no time to talk to people that I don’t want to talk to and even to some that I do want to talk to

DarkScribe's avatar

It depends on a number of things, firstly whether you use a smart phone that can run java or similar. If you don’t you can have a rejected call go to a computer that will run the script for you. My server in my home office will answer all calls and run a script on them. The address book on my phone and server are synced so it can decide if it is a nuisance call or not.

Another handy thing that I used to do, is answer with a: “To reach xxxxx please ring 1831xxx xxxxxx”. Message. The 1831 ahead of the number is the code to display calling number on a suppressed ID line. Often they don’t realise that, and simply regard it as a standard 1800 number. When they call it their “hidden” number is displayed.

There are other ways to do it, (reveal a hidden number) but not legally. I have a code that I can use to display a suppressed number, but is for use in certain circumstances regarding my employment, and if used, I have explain, in writing, why I did it, and risk a prison term if I have abused the service. In more than nine years I have never used it.

oratio's avatar

@fireside Jesus… It’s that bad? Then I understand the paranoia.

Skippy's avatar

Yes – If the number is in my cell, I know who it is, and if it’s business but after hours, push to VM. If a number appears, unless I am waiting for a return call, push to VM.

If it’s important they will leave a message. I know the numbers at the school so if it’s about the boys, I would answer. I also have many of thier friends numbers in my phone, so I’d know if my son was out and his friend was calling, there could be a problem.

I do answer some people all of the time when they call. If I dont’ they know I’m busy and no need for VM, I’ll call back.

It’s the people that know you are at work, they are not, and expect since you have a cell, you should answer and talk to them when they want you.


RedPowerLady's avatar

We screen all our calls. We just let the answering machine get it about 95% of the time. And we always tell someone we do this when we give out our phone number. I, personally, have this thing about talking on the phone: I hate it. So I prefer to call back only when necessary. What a friend, huh? lol (of course I do communicate in other ways).

YARNLADY's avatar

@oratio Even after a Do Not Call list was established, the spam calls continue. Our house phone is 99% spam calls, now it’s down to one or two a day, instead of five or six. All our family and friends call only on the cell phone. The only reason we even still have a house phone is because it’s included in the package, and I can make ‘free’ outgoing calls.

oratio's avatar

Wow. Of course I get telemarketing calls at some times, but not very often. It has never been a bother. This sounds just horrible.

Funny. It’s illegal for private individuals to hound and harass people by phone, but for the free market people are free game. I remember reading something about automated calls for political support in the US as well.

Obviously it works, otherwise they would give up. No different from mail spam in this aspect.

If that would be the case I would probably toss the phone and just go with an unregistered cell.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@oratio non-profits are exempt as well.

cak's avatar

I screen. I actually don’t pick up that often. During the day, I am working. I don’t have a lot of time to sit there and chat on the phone. I can work on something and Fluther; however, I cannot talk and be productive, at the same time. In the evening, I still screen – that is family time, but I am more likely to pick up and talk to friends or family.

I just have gotten to be a phone grump – I don’t like the phone!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I used to enjoy talking to telemarketers before they went all computer on me. Having a vivid imagination and a quick wit made them sorry I ever picked up the phone. I had my three favorites. 1. Make them talk very loudly at you because you keep telling them you have a lousy connection, then hang up after saying, “I’d never buy anything from someone who screams at me.” 2. Give em gibberish, which was when they tried to sell me something, ask them if it came with a ‘flibbergoth’ or some such nonsensical word. Saying that word (or any other just as absurd) made them give up after no time at all. and 3. When answering, when they ask for the head of the household, say hang on, walk away, and then pick up the phone and pretend to be a four year old kid.

Man, I miss screwing with the telemarketers, it was always so much fun.

MissAusten's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra, my father in law used to do the same thing. One of the first times I was at their home, a telemarketer called and the rest of us were sitting there laughing hysterically!

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