The NYTimes' David Pogue suggests that its time for the telcos to give up their lucrative and time wasting instructions:
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.
Since the advent of answering machines 30 years ago, is there anyone in America who doesn't know how to leave a message after the beep? Maybe your cousin Tarzan, just in from the Congo, but he'll get it after a couple of tries.
Have you ever left a call back number? Me neither. With Caller ID you either don't need to or you put it in the message.
How about a numeric page? Who uses pagers anymore?
Delivery options? "Yeah, can you send a pizza with that? Pepperoni, extra cheese."
Thank goodness they tell us to hang up after we've finished. In other countries, where telcos are government run, they don't - and people wander around all day, cellphones on their ears, wondering what to do next.
It's the money, stupid. YOUR money.
As David points out:
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. . . .
That probably covers their annual lobbying budget at the Ebay on the Potomac and all the little state Ebays from Albany to Austin to Sacramento. You think crushing net neutrality comes cheap?
David has helpfully provided a list of links where you can complain.
Verizon: Post a complaint here.
* AT&T: Send e-mail to: email@example.com.
* Sprint: Post a complaint here
* T-Mobile: Post a complaint here.
Keep it clean and on point: this needs to stop, NOW!
The Storage Bits take
If there is anyone left in America who believes that free markets always respond to customers and not their corporate overlords, please think about this the next time you're listening to the "beep" message:
The telcos have done this deliberately to drive up their sales, never mind the inconvenience and cost to consumers. Corporations act on their own interests, not yours. If those interests happen to be congruent, oh joy. If not, you lose.
Courteous comments welcome, of course.