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Caller ID

lemons Apr 4, 2013 02:48 PM

Called a small low-to-mid-price restaurant to see if I needed a reservation for that evening. No answer, no answering machine. Okay, no problem, I'd just call back later.

Phone rings a little while later. It's the restaurant. Did I call them? What did I want? No, they say, res not necessary. Then they ask about the specific person in whose name the phone is listed. I give brief explanation, probably sounding a little curt, and the call is ended.

Yes, dinner was tasty. But the call-back was somehow a little disconcerting, nothing to get wound up about but...maybe a little creepy? Opinions?

  1. h
    HillJ Apr 4, 2013 03:02 PM

    I've experienced Call ID with pizzerias, Thai food deliveries and catering/delis but not a restaurant.

    If I've called a restaurant when they are closed I might get a call back if I leave a detailed message but most times I don't.

    So, did you call during a time period they aren't opened or do you feel they were screening calls or is using Caller ID in lieu of a answering machine?

    If this hasn't happened before I can understand being thrown by the call back but I would probably have been a tad impressed that they did.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HillJ
      sunshine842 Apr 4, 2013 10:14 PM

      I agree -- it shows that they care enough (and are quick enough on the draw) to say "okay - this person phoned my company...the chances are they want to talk to me about my restaurant, so I'll phone them and ask them how I can help them, because I want their business."

      I'd have been surprised, but pleased (and a little impressed) that they took the initiative.

    2. m
      Mother of four Apr 4, 2013 03:04 PM

      Strange. Why would they need that information? If they don't take reservations why do they need anything from you? Glad that the dinner was good!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mother of four
        HillJ Apr 4, 2013 03:47 PM

        If there is only one phone number they use it to hold the names and numbers of all the calls they receive including deliveries, staff calls, etc.

        Even if they don't take reservations from customers, they need a phone.

        Sounds like the OP received a courtesy call back. Many a males names was on the ID and a woman answered the call back leaving the restaurant person equally confused.

      2. KaimukiMan Apr 4, 2013 04:09 PM

        Too many possible permutations to worry about. maybe they were waiting for a call from someone with a similar name. maybe the phone number is only a digit or two away from a number they know. maybe they thought they knew who they were calling back and were surprised that it was someone else.

        Whoever called, there was no reason to give them any information at all, but its hard to see how it would be an issue unless they were asking for information that wasn't easily available.

        1. j
          jlhinwa Apr 4, 2013 09:02 PM

          Never had that happen with a restaurant but I did get a call back from a local day spa after they didn't answer my call. It was within a few minutes of my calling and not getting an answer. It was a tad odd to me at first, but I appreciated that they cared enough about my business to follow up. (And I scheduled and had a lovely massage. )

          1. c
            cheesemonger Apr 4, 2013 09:12 PM

            Cripes! How terrible! Restaurant misses a call, uses caller ID to return the call and try and encourage the business. Maybe they thought they recognized the name as a regular customer and called back?

            I guess I don't see where the creepiness or disconcert lies...

            The larger question is: why do people manufacture affront when none is likely intended?

            1 Reply
            1. re: cheesemonger
              lemons Apr 5, 2013 05:37 AM

              Not affronted, and generally not the sort of person to take offense. I'm sorry if I didn't make that sufficiently clear - I was concerned that folks would think that. But the fact that I, as someone who generally don't, felt "odd" about it made me bring it up. And the tone of voice wasn't encouraging, just rather abrupt.

              Not the end of the world, and I'm happy to go back there. But please understand I'm not in a snit over this!

            2. westsidegal Apr 4, 2013 09:37 PM

              that's why i have my home number blocked.
              if i specifically WANT the party i'm calling to know my number i just dial *82 before dialing the number and for that one call my number will be identified.

              easy solution

              4 Replies
              1. re: westsidegal
                smaki Apr 7, 2013 10:17 AM

                Oppositely, if your number is not blocked all the time with your phone company simply enter *83 before dial out and for that one call your number will not be identified.

                Be aware many who have caller ID will not answer 'anonymous' blocked-number incoming calls.

                1. re: smaki
                  westsidegal Apr 20, 2013 10:02 PM

                  in my area, and i presume everybody else's area, this is how it works:


                  (*82is described about 3/4 down the page)

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    iL Divo Apr 21, 2013 04:53 AM

                    I'd probably be ok with a call back, although it may take me a bit aback that they had my phone # with my name attached. but then I did call them earlier and with modern technology...

                    wow, as fascinating as that was to "try" to figure out (which was unsuccessful by the way, maybe it's waaaay early here in Boston) dumb question by me, does it only pertain to a land line or does it also pertain to a cell phones ie. AT&T iPhone? sorry OT...

                2. re: westsidegal
                  foodieX2 Apr 20, 2013 09:53 AM

                  The local pizza places around here do not accept blocked calls. I have the same setting on my home phone. I guess there had been a number of cases of teens (?) calling in fake orders.

                3. eLizard Apr 5, 2013 01:05 PM

                  i always love it when i call my takeout places and they know my usual order from my phone number. i don't know why it gives me such pleasure.....

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: eLizard
                    sunshine842 Apr 5, 2013 01:20 PM

                    years ago, LL Bean was at the cutting edge of technology, and they started using caller ID so they could greet existing customers with "Good evening, Mrs. Lizard -- what can I help you with this evening?" (the phone number was in the customer database, so it was easy to just bring up the name on the customer service agent's screen when that person phoned in)

                    It freaked so many people out that they quit using it.

                    I have no idea if they use it now -- but this was the mid-80s, so well before most people had Caller ID.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      eLizard Apr 5, 2013 01:33 PM

                      that's not ok. but what IS ok, is, yes, i'll have the dumplings and noodles to your house in 20 minutes, elizabeth. that's AOK in my book!

                    2. re: eLizard
                      iL Divo Apr 21, 2013 04:56 AM

                      I can see that...
                      but for us, we never have a usual order maybe because we're not big on take out...

                    3. z
                      zin1953 Apr 5, 2013 08:21 PM

                      Well, if you don't want people to have that information, block your number.

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