Skip Voicemail Messages

Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 1:40 PM | Filed under ,

Last night, I tried to call my aunt Karen, and I got her voicemail. I didn't want to listen to her recorded voicemail greeting, so I pressed star to skip it. Instead of hearing the beep, however, I was instructed to enter a password. I had pressed the button used for Karen to log in to her voicemail account.

It turns out that the keys you press to skip the greeting depend on who the recipient's cell phone carrier is. Mine is Verizon, so when you call me, press star to skip the message and get right to the beep. It turns out that Karen's carrier is Cingular; I was supposed to press pound to immediately leave a message. T-Mobile also uses pound; for Sprint, press 1.

The annoying thing is that even if you could remember what button to press for each carrier, you probably won't know what carrier the recipient has. If you were to call me, reach my voicemail recording, and press pound instead of star, you would instead be prompted to enter a password. This is why one of the first things I say in my voicemail recording is, "You can press star to leave a message now." Not only does it assist people in knowing which button to press, but also teaches people that don't know already that it's possible to skip the message.

My advice is that you should include a line like mine near the beginning of your voicemail recording. You could save your callers from having to listen to some thirty seconds of redundant recordings.

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