Apologies if this question is off-topic. I've checked the FAQs for topics that are acceptable and 'word choice and usage' appears in the list.

I'm working on a website redesign and would like to display a section for each of our branches. When the branches are open, a simple note displays saying "We are open" followed by "Call us on ...".

I have also added a note when the branches are closed; "We are currently closed".

Screenshot of website design

A few people on my team believe that this could be misinterpreted to mean that the branch is closed permanently. Although I don't agree, I do agree that there is likely a better phrase available.

I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this. Is this one of those occasions when we over think things? Would you take "We are currently closed" to mean that the branch has closed down?

closed as off topic by Kristina Lopez, MetaEd, tchrist, choster, Hellion Jun 24 '13 at 20:03

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    I would understand We are currently closed to be temporary, not permanent. But if you want something else, you use Out of hours on one of the banners - can you not use something similar? Or, even better, tell them when you re-open or tell them the hours in full. It's a lot more helpful to say (effectively) You can't contact us now, but you can at ..., rather than effectively just saying We're closed - tough! - try some other time (but we won't tell you when) – TrevorD Jun 22 '13 at 23:14
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    Since "We are currently closed" could possibly be misinterpreted as closed for remodeling, etc., I would simply display the branch hours, the phone number and a link to an email service. – Kristina Lopez Jun 22 '13 at 23:33
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    What you'll often hear when you call up a closed business in the US is "Normal business hours are ...", which may or may not be preceded by "Our offices are currently closed". This is more informative for the customer so they know when to call back. – jlovegren Jun 23 '13 at 2:47

While “We are currently closed” certainly is open to the interpretation that the branch may reopen at some future time, it doesn't provide any certainty about if that will happen, or if so, when.

A simple “Closed” sign is sometimes used in the U.S. to indicate a concern is closed for the day, but that too is open to multiple interpretations. Perhaps for that reason, many “Closed” signs have an additional phrase on them, for example “We reopen at «time»” or “Please call again at «time»”, or “Our hours are ...”; or they have a little clock face with movable hands, to suggest when they will reopen. You might also consider “We are closed for the day” as an after-hours sign, and “Opening at «time»” for a before-hours sign.

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    +1. I agree. I would simply add, however, that if you use the "we re-open at [say, 10:00 AM]" phrase, just make sure someone is there at 10:00 AM. It's almost always better to under-promise and over-deliver (and not vice versa). – rhetorician Jun 22 '13 at 23:40

Perhaps changing the adjective to shut as in

We're shut, please come back at : (time)

or unavailable

We're unavailable, please come back at : (time)

Both expressions would avoid the ambiguity that "we are currently closed" might cause.

P.S The "Always available" tag could be changed to 24/7 (short and sweet!)

  • Thanks, I did consider 24/7 and felt that our client base may feel this is too American. – dannymcc Jun 23 '13 at 11:49

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