8/15/09

"Take Back the Beep" Campaign


Photo: Kristin Murphy/Associated Press


H/T to PL for sending along this article by David Pogue in The New York Times:
Suppose you call my cell to leave me a message. First you hear my own voice: “Hi, it’s David Pogue. Leave a message, and I’ll get back to you”–and THEN you hear a 15-second canned carrier message.

* Sprint: “[Phone number] is not available right now. Please leave a detailed message after the tone. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press pound for more options.”

* Verizon: “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. (Beep)”

* AT&T: “To page this person, press five now. At the tone, please record your message. When you are finished, you may hang up, or press one for more options.”

* T-Mobile: “Record your message after the tone. To send a numeric page, press five. When you are finished recording, hang up, or for delivery options, press pound.”

(You hear a similar message when you call in to hear your own messages. “You. Have. 15. Messages. To listen to your messages, press 1.” WHY ELSE WOULD I BE CALLING?)

These messages are outrageous for two reasons. First, they waste your time. Good heavens: it’s 2009. WE KNOW WHAT TO DO AT THE BEEP. Do we really need to be told to hang up when we’re finished!? Would anyone, ever, want to “send a numeric page?” Who still carries a pager, for heaven’s sake? Or what about “leave a callback number?” We can SEE the callback number right on our phones!

Second, 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.
(Info on contacting your cell phone server about this issue and the text of the complete article can be found here.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love it! Have always thought the same thing!

Concord Carpenter said...

Right on, always think of that as I'm tapping my fingers waiting for the BEEP!

Anonymous said...

You can turn off these extra things if you go to the "Administrative Options" menu when you call in for your messages. It will say "to hear your messages press 1. For administrative options press 2." I turned mine off a couple of years ago and all of my friends are grateful!