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Why do only 2 in 5 of us answer every phone call?

Posted 16 May 2013

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Many people appear to be wary about answering calls on their mobile and landline - especially if it's a number that they don't recognise.

New research from Debt Advisory Centre has found that only 2 in 5 of us in the UK answer every phone call we receive.

The figures are slightly different when it comes to landlines and mobiles. Half of us tend to pick up our landline when it rings, but less than half (42%) do the same on our mobiles.

Who the caller is - or who it could be - seems to play a major part in whether we answer the call or not. For example, 13.6 million of us won't answer the mobile unless we recognise the number. And 7.6 million won't answer the mobile if it's a certain number that they do recognise.

So why do we sometimes choose not to answer our phones? Here are a few common reasons we've come up with that might help explain the findings of our research.

We don't feel like talking

Having a mobile phone means that, in theory, anybody can get hold of you to talk anytime, wherever you are. Sometimes, though, you might just not be in the mood for a chat - regardless of who's calling. It can be tiring to be 'on call' all the time, and some people like to put their phones aside for a bit of 'me time'.

It's an inconvenient time

You might be driving, at work, washing up or asleep - sometimes it's just the wrong time to answer a phone call. Maybe you're with another person you'd like to devote your full attention to.

You don't want to talk to a specific person or company

There are a number of reasons why you might not want to speak to a specific person in your life - for example, if you've had a falling-out.

There are also a number of companies that people intentionally avoid phone calls from: for example, companies that try to sell you things over the phone.

Here at Debt Advisory Centre, many of the people who come to us for help find answering their phone very stressful, in case it's somebody they owe money to. People with several debts may receive a very high number of calls every week - or even every day. This can cause people to avoid certain numbers, or to stop answering the phone altogether.

If you feel weighed down by phone calls and other correspondence from your lenders, it's important to seek help as soon as you can. Debt solution providers like Debt Advisory Centre could help you to reduce your 'problem' monthly repayments to a level you can afford - and deal with all correspondence with your lenders for you.

Find out which debt solution could be right for you by filling in the form below:

by Shelley Bowers

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.