1

How are averagely polite phone conversations supposed to go in the UK?

What I am used to from abroad goes something like this:

  • me (picks up phone): Hullo?
  • caller: Good time of day! I am A B calling from C Inc. about D. Am I speaking to X Y?
  • me: Hi! Yes...

However in the UK the conversations, even from seemingly professional organisations, seem to go more like this:

  • me: Hi?
  • caller: Is it X Y?
  • me: ...err
  • caller: Am I speaking to X Y?
  • me: Err... apologies but could you introduce yourself, state whose behalf you are calling on and about what matter?
  • caller: ...err (At this point, they either apologise and introduce themselves, repeat the question about my name, or hang up.)

Is this standard telephone etiquette in the UK?

[I am reluctant to start by introducing myself or confirming my name as about half the calls seem to be insurance scams or just trying to "phish" for personal information.]

1
  • 3
    In a non-expatriate angle, I have the same expectation from my youth in the United States, namely that the caller will identify him- or herself first, but now, this expectation is routinely frustrated in my current place of residence, the United States. I have found that the most efficient way of dealing with someone who calls and then asks to speak to someone (whether me or someone else) or asks me to identify myself is to say "may I ask who's calling?" I do not give any information until I find out who it is. – phoog Apr 9 at 7:07
1

A caller who wants you to know who they are will identify themselves. A caller who doesn’t want you to know won’t. People who don’t want you to know who they are usually just want your best - and your best is your money.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.