Mobile etiquette: Caller ID

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photo by uncle buck

Do you remember the days before mobile phones? When being on the road meant that you could not be reached? When curly phone cords entangled in a sort of DNA structure? When you had to type the number without screen feedback and when you missed one digit, you had to start over? And when you received a call, you had no idea who it was? Nowadays we’re all used to Caller ID (or CLI), some of us even have pictures of callers popping up. I don’t know about you, but I like Caller ID, and I don’t like it when people turn it off (for some reason a lot of ‘sales’ people seem to do that). If I didn’t have this one customer who blocks their numbers, I would never answer the phone on a ‘Private number’.

Five reasons why you should NOT switch caller-ID off:

  1. the called person can screen your call. That is not necessarily negative, there is such a thing as ‘a bad time to call’.
  2. the called person can easily call you back. No need to spell out your phone number twice on the voice mail.
  3. if you called 5 times without getting through, both of you know that. Without Caller ID, those 5 missed calls could be from anyone, and so you have no reason to complain if it is not treated as an urgent call.
  4. disabling your Caller ID makes you look like a telemarketing agent or stalker. No one likes getting calls from those.
  5. a lot of people don’t like getting anonymous phone calls (that includes me). You’re starting the conversation with one participant already annoyed.

I don’t think I’m the only one: on the Nokia forums, most discussions on Caller ID are about how to enable it, not how to get rid of it. This is how you switch it ON:
Activate Incoming (CLIP): *30# [SEND]<br /> Activate Outgoing (CLIR): *31# [SEND]

How about you? Do you also think switched off caller-ID is impolite?

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