View Full Version : Phone calls and missing the first line

02-17-2009, 03:21 AM
Just because it kind of annoys me to see the 'don't these people listen' threads about phone calls:

I have just enough hearing loss that I almost always lose the first thing a person says on the phone.

What happens is that I have to sort of .. focus in on the person's accent, how they use their voice, and, well, stuff I can't describe but it does take concentration. It's even worse if I've been on hold - I have to bring myself out of 'waiting' mode and into 'expecting to listen to people' mode.

So the first few seconds (or on a bad day, minute or two) of a phone call is almost entirely lost to me. I can sort of replay it in my mind and try to get the crucial information in the replay, but that doesn't always work.

Yet it seems to be considered rude to ask people to repeat themselves. Regardless, I do usually try to confirm the information they've provided, just to be sure I am, in fact, talking to the right person.

Yet in this community, I SO often see people complaining about conversations like:
Phone Person: Hello, this is Phone Person at Call Centre, may I help you.
Me: Is this Call Centre?

What should I say instead?

02-17-2009, 09:07 AM
I'd go for being up front. Maybe something along the lines of, "sorry, I didn't catch that, is this the call center?" Or instead of asking if it's the call center, (after all, you did do the dialing I'd hope you have a vague idea of who you called) flat out tell the person you stepped away or that you are hard of hearing can they please repeat themselves.

I don't generally mind people asking me to repeat myself, but it's all in how they ask. Then again, my company is privately owned, so we give one name when we pick up the phone, but we sell a different company's product- so if people ask me if they have the right place, it is sort of understandable. *shrug*

02-17-2009, 09:11 AM
I am also partially deaf. I usually just say, I'm sorry, I didn't hear all of what you said, would you please repeat that. I do it in a very mellow tone of voice and I have never had a problem with it.

02-17-2009, 11:07 AM
So something like 'Sorry, I missed that. This is Call Centre, right?' would be better. That's cool, I can do that.


02-17-2009, 01:40 PM
I often miss the first thing people say when they answer the phone, too. It's not a hearing loss issue for me. I think I just take a second to get focused. I usually say something like, "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that."

Call centres can be especially bad. These CSR's take hundreds of phone calls a day, and they use the same greeting every time. It's possible for them to whip through that opening sentence in a split second without even realizing it. It's the difference between:

"Good afternoon, The Bank Call Centre, how may I help you?"

I can also understand the frustration of hearing, "Is this The Bank Call Centre?" hundreds of times a day.