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My Biggest Complaint About All Of The Options I Have To Listen To In Order To Leave A Message

(The following was inspired by the complaint about pressing 7 to leave a message.)

It used to be that when you called somebody and they did not answer, their voice came on, gave you their apologies for not being available or willing to talk to you, offered you the opportunity to leave a message and then you heard a beep at which point you left your message. Lately, when I call someone, I hear the same type of message from my friend, but instead of a simple BEEP, a ladies voice comes on an spends the next 30 seconds explaining all of my choices. Leaving a message now involves listening to instructions as to what to press in order to do so.

Why do I have to press ANY number? How many options do I need? I am either going to a) leave a message, or b) hang up. I already knew how to do that. What are all of these other options I have to listen to?

“To leave a callback number, press 5 ” Why would I leave a callback number with no message? I would think that someone with such a complicated answering service must surely have caller ID.

“To page this person, press 4″ Why on earth would I want to page them? I’m CALLING them! If they can’t answer my call, or if the call cannot get through, what is paging them supposed to do?

“When you are finished, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options.” MORE options? Are you kidding me? What other options could I possibly want? I cannot ever recall finishing leaving a message and thinking “I just don’t feel like I have gotten everything out of this experience that I could have. I wish there was something more I could do to provide some closure here.” And is it really necessary to tell me to hang up when I am done? Have there been problems with people tying up the the phone lines because they left a message yesterday and have yet to hang up?


“Please leave a message at the tone” 98% of the recorded greetings already instruct me to do this, and even if they did not, what rock must somebody have been living under for them not to know to do this?

Are people even aware that their answering service is rambling on like this?

Can’t we just go back to “Hi, this is _____. I’m not here, please leave a message………BEEP”?

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  1. Why would I ever want to press 4 to send a fax?

    The option thing has caused me to give up on voicemail altogether. I quit leaving messages and I don’t listen to mine. People who know me will text me with something important and if I miss their call, I have their number in my missed call list. That’s good enough for me. Haven’t missed anything earth shattering yet.

  2. kapusta hit this one on the head. I’m sure there is some way to override this “feature” but it probably is so complicated that nobody is likely to spend the time figuring out how to do it.

    Not everybody needs a “phone tree” on their personal voicemail - actually nobody needs a phone tree on their personal voicemail Why don’t the cell phone company’s just make the default what kapusta suggests and if the user wants a phone tree they can figure out how to install it.

  3. The Fax option. Thank you. How could I forget that? If I was sending a fax, I would a) be using a fax machine and would not hear the message, and b) dialing someone’s fax number. Does my fax machine know to press 4? If not, can it understand English well enough to follow the phone tree directions?


  4. this was very funny , thanks guys , im glad i wasnt trying to drink anything while i read this , sometimes life is comical , i agree with a simple

    “please leave a message after the tone … beep”

    let them wonder if they called the right number ? am i here and ignoring you? did i go somewhere? where did i go? …

    hahahaha , if i like you ill probably pick up or call you back soon.

  5. Standing ovation for this one. I couldn’t have said it better myself - way too much automation. Once it went on for so long and I got upset listening to all the talk I forgot what I called about. Futhermore I just hung up (without direction) imagine that.

  6. My name is Couch_Incident and I jump on couches!

  7. I think the reason they do this is to keep other cell customers on the phone longer driving up minutes. The lady talks awfully slow too, she could speed it up, but again they want more minutes.

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