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Why won’t people answer their phones

(108 Posts)
Kartush Tue 07-Mar-23 08:52:40

Drives me crazy really it does. Not only do they not answer their phones but they never call back when I leave a message. I have been trying to contact my daughter in law for two weeks to update her on a family situation, I have rung 3 or 4 times and left nice messages and nothing. Mind you when she needs me she can always get me.
I know what is going to happen, when the situation reaches its conclusion she is going to get in a tizz and say I never tell her anything.
Tell me again why phones are a blessing

Hetty58 Tue 07-Mar-23 09:00:25

Kartush, to be blunt, maybe take the hint and give up? If she blames you, you have a record of trying to contact her.

One DIL of mine will get in touch when it suits her - and only when it suits her. Obviously, I'm not welcomed to keep in touch - so anything important is emailed to my son (although he's very busy and she isn't).

karmalady Tue 07-Mar-23 09:06:28

I don`t answer when it is someone I don`t want to speak to and I never answer an unknown number. I google that number and more often than not it is a phishing call.

Kartush, send her a letter if the situation is important

Norah Tue 07-Mar-23 09:06:59

Our personal phone for our convenience, not for convenience of others, may not get answered. My husband's business phone always gets answered.

Perhaps her phone is just for her use? Email or call your son.

GagaJo Tue 07-Mar-23 09:12:30

I'm with Norah. My phone is for me, not for others. It's frequently on silent, because I'm working or sleeping or unavailable. If I see a missed call from a family member, grandson's school etc, I will usually call them back.

MawtheMerrier Tue 07-Mar-23 09:18:31

Brought up in the days of landlines and obviously before caller display, my instinct is always to pick up. The daughters laugh when I preface a call to them with “is this a good time?” And reply that if it wasn’t, they simply wouldn’t answer.
I have mixed feelings on this.
It might be important, if a crisis, what is the point of leaving a voicemail? I also secretly find it discourteous to think that somebody, seeing my number/name on the display has chosen not to pick up!
But autres temps, autres moeurs

eazybee Tue 07-Mar-23 09:31:49

I answer my landline, my mobile phone rarely because the reception in my home is dreadful and speaking and being heard is erratic.
I have one acquaintance who only communicates via whatsapp and refuses to use any other form of communication because it suits her best. So be it.

Siope Tue 07-Mar-23 09:36:32

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t leave the update as a voicemail, or send it as a message or email. Or indeed, tell your son, who can update his wife.

Newquay Tue 07-Mar-23 09:42:01

Mmm I sympathise. I always say I’d have more luck trying to contact the President, the Pope or the Queen than our daughters!! So I don’t and they contact us when they’re able. It did backfire once when DH was taken I’ll-ambulance suggested I call someone local! Far chance! Just left messages-up to them!

Riverwalk Tue 07-Mar-23 09:44:13

I rarely, if ever, phone anyone these days, particularly my sons in case they're driving - even with hands free I don't want them distracted by phone conversations. I send a WhatsApp saying " give me a call, nothing urgent".

But it is a recognised phenomenon that there are some people who just don't respond to emails/calls . There was something on the radio about this - mainly younger people in the main who for whatever reason don't feel the need to reply within a reasonable time, if ever. Maybe they get too much 'stuff' !

GagaJo Tue 07-Mar-23 09:56:28

I got news of my granny's death via email, in the middle of a lesson (which was why phone was on silent!).

It is what it is. Read it. Deep breath. Stood up and carried on teaching.

Hetty58 Tue 07-Mar-23 09:57:05

I was told off - for not answering my door - by a very indignant neighbour. At the time, I was at the far end of the back garden - in the shed. I did have my mobile with me.

Apparently, they were worried about me, knowing that I hadn't gone out. What about if I was in the bath, asleep etc? Surely, it's up to me whether to answer the door or phone?

GagaJo Tue 07-Mar-23 11:10:52

Exactly Hetty! I work from home. My door is knocked on 6 or 7 times a day. All deliveries for neighbours. IF I'm free I occasionally answer, but I'm not the street's doorman.

NotSpaghetti Tue 07-Mar-23 11:15:05

I would send a WhatsApp saying " give me a call please when you have a moment -no rush" or "please call - urgent" if it was.
Then they know it's not just a friendly chat.

ExperiencedNotOld Tue 07-Mar-23 11:27:57

Is there anything she can do about the family situation? Maybe she’s not responding as she doesn’t have anything to add.

Baggs Tue 07-Mar-23 11:33:27

Perhaps write an email, a letter, or a whatsapp message if you can't get through by phone, Kartush. No-one is obliged to answer their phone. If it is, as you say, to give an update, then a letter (something written) will work perfectly well.

ExDancer Tue 07-Mar-23 11:35:57

What would you do if (like me) you don't have a mobile phone with an Internet connection?

Yammy Tue 07-Mar-23 11:36:01

Simple but not polite answer because they don't want to.
My Sil according to DD gets so many e-mails in a day that if he answered them all he would be up all night.[He works mainly from home]
Landlines especially they see as an intrusion and have not had one installed most of the time her mobile is on mute.
Don't even try, it just aggravates you but not them.

Shelflife Tue 07-Mar-23 11:39:36

I am inclined to agree with Kartush, we have a family member that never answers her phone, I leave a message on her answer machine and she gets back to me in about 3 days time ! I rarely ring so I am not being a pest! She does respond to what's app- occasionally! However I respect her choice about not answering messages by phone , email or what's app. It does concern me though that if we had important family news that she needed informing about it may be a problem.

Elegran Tue 07-Mar-23 11:41:43

How about sending a text? That will be delivered to her mobile, where she can read it at her leisure and not have to stop doing something to have what she may feel will be a long chat that she can't be bothered with.

Or write a letter - even if she doesn't answer it, a letter will lie around to remind her that she should have replied.

The other possibility is that she has changed her mobile and has another number, or has got rid of her landline, or is away somewhere for an extended trip.

V3ra Tue 07-Mar-23 11:50:15

I like WhatsApp and use it all the time.
I can compose a message at a time to suit me, I can include a photo or link if appropriate.
I can see when my message has been delivered and when it has been read.
People can read it at a time to suit them and reply or not as they see fit.
I can send a message to an individual or set up a group chat.
Perfect 👍

Would that work better for you and your daughter-in-law Kartush?

fancythat Tue 07-Mar-23 11:57:35

I had no idea the etiquette had changed in people not answering phones.

ExperiencedNotOld Tue 07-Mar-23 12:07:06

I only get the lady telling me I’ve received two suspicious transactions and callers from somewhere in India trying to sell me something. Rarely do we get a meaningful landline call.

ParlorGames Tue 07-Mar-23 12:11:15

I always think that WhatsApp is the way to go. You know when the message has been read and have a permanant record for later on if anyone claims 'I didn't know'.
I would try calling, maybe twice, then I would resort to messaging as I never know when my offspring are working, in meetings, etc.

HappyZebra Tue 07-Mar-23 12:16:21

To be honest most people nowadays rarely use voicemail or have landlines. I find it a hassle to go in and listen, the reality is I'll call back when I remember or I'm free, and whoever left the message usually reiterates what they said in the voicemail anyway! I know something is "urgent" if i have more than 2 missed calls from someone within an hour. Unless something is super urgent all my family use whatsapp or Signal to update things. We are all in group family chats too so we can group video call at Christmas etc. I understand that your preference may be to call and talk to someone but their preference may be to receive a text style message. In this case I'd contact your child and update them. Presumably it's their family anyway not your dils?