The call answering professionals: Over 23 years of virtual receptionist experience

Verbatim’s favourite famous telephone calls

By Nick East

June 9, 2021

With call answering as our speciality, we love a bit of telephone trivia here at Verbatim. And when it comes to some of the world’s most famous telephone calls, here are a few of our favourites: 

The first phone call ever made

The very first telephone call was made in March 1876 by the inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Bell was working on perfecting telegraph messaging when he saw the potential to use electricity to transmit the human voice. Despite some controversy as to whether he actually invented the telephone (Elisha Gray, another inventor, was working on a similar device and Bell has been accused of stealing his idea!) – he patented his telephone in 1876.   

The first words he transmitted were to his assistant: “Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you.”

The Watergate scandal

It was June 1972 and security guard Frank Wills noticed some suspicious activity at the Watergate Office Building in Washington DC – the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Assuming there was a burglary going on, he called the police. Indeed there was a break in, by former FBI and CIA agents which Nixon and his administration subsequently tried to cover up with ‘hush money’!    

So Wills’ phone call would ultimately lead to the resignation of President Nixon and the conviction of dozens of others in one of the biggest political scandals in the history of the United States. 

The longest phone call 

We spend a lot of time on the telephone here at Verbatim, but chatting for 40 hours straight? That’s got to be a world record! Indeed it was, when Tony Wright from Cornwall decided to get on the blower to speak to a few friends and acquaintances. His record bid began with a chat with TV weather forecaster Sian Lloyd. Hundreds of people took hourly shifts in order to keep the talk flowing for two days! Despite this very lengthy call, Wright only managed to beat the previous record by one minute – that’s a close call. 

(If one of your customers gets carried away on the phone, you’ll be glad to know that Verbatim can flex your call plan to prevent any surprise bills!)  

A most cosmic call

Before his fall from grace, Richard Nixon actually made a very famous phone call himself.

No sooner did Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin step foot on the moon, President Nixon phoned up to congratulate them on their great achievement, claiming the call was the ‘most historic telephone call ever made’ from the White House. It was certainly out of this world! 

A royally brave phone prank

As telephone pranks go, it was a royally brave move by two Russian comedians to play a trick on Prince Harry. Even more so when he answered the call and truly believed he was actually speaking to teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and her father for over an hour! Whoops! 

Harry apparently was keen to chat and get a few things off his chest. Now that’s one call we expect he wish he had got Verbatim to answer for him! 

Trump’s desperate phone call  

It was back in January 2021 when it looked like Biden could claim victory in the US Presidential Election. Most of the votes were in and it was looking like Trump had lost…

But did he concede defeat? Of course not! He jumped straight on the phone to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, demanding he “find him 11,000 votes”.  And the rest is history. 

World’s largest conference call

We’ve all been on Zoom a lot lately for meetings, to get the team together. But what about a conference call hosting a whopping 16,972 participants? 

That’s what happened in December 2012, at an event organised by Broadnet Teleservices in Colorado, USA. All the participants had to be on the call concurrently for at least 10 seconds – now that must have been one crazy meeting!  

Here at Verbatim, we are used to taking every type of telephone call from the weird and wacky to the most conventional of conversations.

With over 20 years of experience, Verbatim’s experienced UK-based team have been highly trained to answer each and every call with the utmost professionalism – we’re sure some of the above people would have liked to have our services to hand!

Why not get in touch with us today to see how we can support your business.  


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