You know that monotonous introductory message that plays every time you want to leave a voicemail?
"At the tone, please record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options. To leave a callback number, press 5."
Ever want to just skip over it...and, you know, leave a voicemail?
The New York Times' David Pogue does. In fact, he's fed up with the idea that the message -- which is 15 seconds long, he counted -- may really be an underhanded ploy by carriers to run up your plan's minutes.
Using some rough math, Pogue estimates that 15 seconds really adds up:
We’re PAYING for these messages. These little 15-second waits add up–bigtime. If Verizon’s 70 million customers leave or check messages twice a weekday, Verizon rakes in about $620 million a year. That’s your money. And your time: three hours of your time a year, just sitting there listening to the same message over and over again every year.
So Pogue's starting a campaign. A "Take Back the Beep" campaign, in fact. And he says the only way to be heard is to tell carriers yourself, using the methods below:
- Verizon: Post a complaint here: http://bit.ly/FJncH.
- AT&T: Send e-mail to Mark Siegel, executive director of media relations: MS8460@att.com.
- Sprint: Post a complaint here: http://bit.ly/9CmrZ
- T-Mobile: Post a complaint here: http://bit.ly/2rKy0u.
In the meantime, Pogue's got a little-known trick to skip the message:
STEP ONE. Press 1. If it's Sprint, you get the beep, and you're done. If you hear an error recording, go on:
STEP TWO. Press *. If it's Verizon, you get the beep. If not:
STEP THREE: Push #. You get the beep for T-Mobile or Cingular.
You have to pause after each one, and you have to keep listening. But it's one small way to fight back. Remember: One Star Pound.
What do you think of the message? Much ado about nothing, or worth calling someone about? Say your piece in TalkBack.