Thursday, January 09, 2014

Time To Retire The Verizon Voicemail Lady

Every day, millions of people are required to wait their way through Verizon's forced appendage to all voicemail messages with instructions about how to leave a voicemail message.

Is this really necessary?  Of course not--it's 2014 and people know how to leave a message without a nice female voice telling them to "please record your message" at the tone, and then either hang up or press "1" for more options.

Some messages add even more--letting you know that if you press a particular number, you can leave a "callback message."  I asked a sampling of friends if they had ever left a callback message for anyone--none had; most (including me) admitted to not even knowing what a callback message is.

Recently, I heard one message (might not have been Verizon) explaining that you could press another number to leave a text message.  Well, if I wanted to send a text message, I would've just done that.

This Verizon addendum adds 6-10 seconds to each voicemail greeting.  That means that if there were just 1 million messages a day (we're sure that's on the low side), then over the course of a year there would be 365 million messages extended by up to 10 seconds, for 3.65 billion seconds of lost time, which is more than 42,000 days of lost productivity.

I looked on the web for ways to remove the Verizon appendage, but it looks like Verizon doesn't give you that option.  (If I'm wrong, let me know!)

At one time, when Verizon charged callers by the minute, adding this addendum may have made economic sense (only for Verizon) by extending calls into an extra minute.  But with most callers now on unlimited plans, it doesn't even make sense for Verizon.

It's time to retire the voicemail instructions from the nice Verizon lady.  At a minimum, Verizon should offer it's subscribers a way to opt out.

No comments: