When it’s your turn to call back and how to restart the conversation when you get cut off

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You probably know the situation all too well: you’re in the middle of a phone call when the line suddenly goes dead. What do you do now? Do you call back? Or do you wait for the other person to dial your number again? This is tricky. You’ll want to call back. After all, you want to be polite. But how are you to know that the other person isn't just as polite, and is trying to reach you at the same time? Then both lines are busy, or, worse still, the caller gets your ring tone although you are actually dialling them – a common scenario with most modern telephones.

Secretary Today recommends you follow the same guidelines recommended by Germany’s etiquette expert Knigge. According to the latest guidelines, the person who originally dialled dials again. So if you were on the receiving end of that call, put the phone down and wait for the caller to re-dial. But if you were the one who originally dialled, then it is polite for you to re-dial the other person. This is what you can say when you get re-connected.

  • I’m sorry, the line just went dead.
  • We got cut off for some reason. Can you hear me okay now?
  • If we get cut off again, I’ll call back again.

If you call someone from a mobile phone, make it clear that you will call back, should you get disconnected.

  • I’m calling from a mobile. If the call breaks up, I’ll call you again.

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