She lists only a mailing address (a “ghost” address) and an e-mail address on her site. From time to time, she receives a request via e-mail for a phone number so that the sender can speak with John personally. If you were in this position, how would you respond to such a request?
In Susie’s case, she e-mails back that she [“John”] does business only by snail mail and e-mail. That reply normally suffices. However if the request involves what appears to be an emergency, she e-mails the man for his telephone number and then calls him from a cell phone with ID blocking.
“John is not here today,” she says, “but I can solve your problem,” and of course she can, because she owns the business. Remember, she has not revealed her own telephone number so there will be no possibility of the man ever calling her back.
But what if a caller insists upon a phone number so he can call John another day? Should that ever happen, Susie—who is determined to maintain her privacy—is prepared with an answer:
“Unfortunately, sir, John is completely deaf, which is why he uses only e-mail or snail mail. But he sure knows a lot about old outboard motors, doesn’t he!”