Saturday, November 8, 2008

If I Were President

I would do one thing, and only one thing. Illegalize those stupid messages that preface voicemail messages. Seriously, what is the deal?

1) Whatever happened to the good ol' message and a beep?
2) When did we ever get the idea that we needed more options than hang up or leave a message. Seriously folks, priority levels and post recording editing? No... not necessary.
3) While we are at it, what makes cell companies think that if we did need those options, we would want really stupid ways to make our choices. For example, have you ever heard those voicemail messages that start saying "The number you have dialed is not answering, if you would like to leave a message press 1 or just stay on the line, if you would like to hang up press 2. After recording your message press 1 and stay on the line to review your message or make changes, or just hang up the phone. "? Okay. So if I was going to hang up, I would have done it immediately. And secondly, I surely wouldn't press 2 to hang up. I think that people who have ever used that option rather than pressing the end call button on their phone, shouldn't be allowed to have children.
4) Do they realize that we aren't new to leaving this leaving-a-message thing. We've got a couple years under our belt. I think most of us are smart enough to realize that if the person doesn't answer, it means that they didn't answer. Also I think we realize that if there is a beep, it is recording. Even the message the person you are trying to call records is pretty pointless. Okay, every once in a while someone leaves a message saying they are out of the country. But 99% of the time the message will be this "Can't answer, leave a message." And we know that's coming because they didn't pick up. So why say it? All we really need is for a moment of silence to hear that the person didn't pick up and a longer beep to allow us to hang up if we don't want to leave a message.
5) Do people who record long messages realizes that despite how funny they may think they are, they are just exacerbating this problem of time loss in America? There are few things that make me more impatient than having to wait through a message of a friend of mine that is superfluous, especially since I have probably heard it a million times and could recite it myself.
6) But as bad as long messages are, I would take one of those any day over a message that starts like this, "Hello?.... Hello??..... Oh hey, how is it going?...... Actually I'm not able to pick up my phone right now, so leave me a message!" That is actually the unpardonable sin the bible talks about. If not, it is at least a very-hard-to-be-pardoned-of sin.

Anyway, just a rant against voicemail messages. Unfortunately, I don't see the system changing any time soon (even if we just made it like the old fashioned answering machines it would be better). It is one of those things that is annoying enough to be annoying, but not enough to be addressed. So, we will just continued to be nickeled and dimed to death. I've even called T-mobile to see if they could disable the extra junk on my account. No luck :-\

Well, I'll post again soon. It will be less rantish, promise!


.:Rhea:. said...

I would have to agree with you.
One of the most annoying things to me with voice mail options is, "If you would like to send a fax, press...." What!? It's a cell phone. If I wanted to send a fax, I wouldn't have called a cell phone! I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one wanting to boycott the voicemail options system.

Bruce said...

A couple of summers ago I worked on telecom systems. Some of the guys I worked with had been in the telecom industry for a long time, and I learned something interesting from them: when someone calls you, their phone company pays your phone company by the second. In other words, the longer the stupid voicemail prompt is, the more money your phone company makes.

With most systems, you can just press 1 during the hideously long prompts to leave a message immediately.

Dianey Face said...

I knew it was a conspiracy. I'm glad for Bruce's explanation. And I'm glad you brought up the issue, Gabe. It must be stopped. Seriously [so blessed], the voice of the lady unnecessarily explaining the obvious is definitely on my bottom 15.

SAN MIGUEL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SAN MIGUEL said...

You said it, Gabe.

Get-it-Done Guy addressed this issue on episode #4 of his Podcast.

He figured out that he spends about 25 hours a year just listening to a robot re-teach him how to leave a message... as if someone hasn't used a phone since 1972.

I don't know if these are right, but he listed buttons to press to skip outgoing messages depending on the service of the person you are calling.

"• For T-Mobile, press the pound button (#)
• For Sprint, press the number one (1)
• For Cingular/AT&T, press seven (7)
• For Verizon, press the star button (*)

J. L. A. said...

I absoutely agree. This is why my message says "leave a message for James Archibald.". Of course the brevity of my message hardly compensates for my habit of never retuning calls.

I hate I hate I hate the whole voicemail process.

In fact I haven't listened to a single message in more than months.

Gabe said...

Larger issues may be at work there James.