Why Does It Take So Long To Get To The Voicemail Message?

Ever notice how freaking long it takes to get to your messages? You’re told three times in a row that a message is about to play. “You have one unheard message. The following message has not been heard. First unheard message.”

Do people really need to be warned that much that they’re about to hear a message? Will people otherwise forget they’re listening to their messages, and think that someone is talking to them and try to reply ,and then get mad at the cellphone company when the other person can’t hear them, and chew up precious customer service time demanding refunds?

Or is it that checking voicemail uses up your minutes…

(in-network free calling be damned (unless it’s T-mobile)). So, if the cellphone company can increase the time you’re listening to your voicemail by four seconds every time, that has the potential to add up to mucho dollars of revenue when you multiply that across their entire subscriber base. Sneaky.

Red Tape Chronicles offers these no-duh suggestions for staunching the attrition:

  • “If you retrieve voicemail during the day, access it “remotely” from your office phone as often as possible. That will save you cell phone minutes.”

  • “Get to know shortcuts that allow you to bypass voicemail menu trees as quickly as possible. Saving one minute per call could really add up by the end of the month.”

Voicemail calls, and no calls, can be costly [Red Tape Chronicles]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. PhilWeinstein says:

    Wow.. Must be a slow news day at the consumerist desk. Thanks for the conspiracy theory, Ben.

  2. Jeff says:

    I don’t really mind when checking my messages. I’m more annoyed when trying to leave a message for somebody and you get something like:

    “Hey, this is ******, I can’t answer the phone right now, leave a message.” followed by 30 seconds of “to page this person now, press 5. To leave a callback number, press 1. Now wait an extra 5 seconds before we play the tone for you to actually leave a message”

  3. DeeJayQueue says:

    “When you are finished recording you may hang up, or press 1 for more options. To choose a short message to be displayed on the cellular phone of the person you are calling, press 6 now.”

  4. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    This has driven me crazy for years. My voicemail lady used to literally say “one new message. first voice message. message marked urgent. this is a new message.”

  5. freshyill says:

    Checking voicemail is the worst. Unless somebody has something really important and pressing to say, I prefer just to have the missed call. I’ll see that someone called, and probably call them back right away.

  6. gibsonic says:

    we would have an equally gripey (is gripey even a word) article if the VM systems were too basic with not enough features.

    For every different person that uses a voicemail system there is a different way in which that person would “design” the system to fit them exactly.

  7. overbysara says:

    seriously. it is the worst.

  8. Crumbles says:

    @Jeff — Press #. It skips that message and goes straight to the beep.

  9. B says:

    Sounds like the Dethphone plan. Brutal.

  10. myrall says:

    Or with Verizon users, you can press 1 to bypass the message.

  11. JustAGuy2 says:

    I don’t think this is an evil cellphone thing, my office voicemail is just as annoying.

  12. Ben Popken says:

    @PhilWeinstein: “Slow news day” = default critical commentary for people with nothing actual to say.


    @gibsonic: Being warned three times about an upcoming message is a feature that most people, with the exception of those with no short-term memory, would gladly do without.

  13. Murph1908 says:

    Jeff and Deejay beat me to it.

    I too am more annoyed with trying to leave a message. I have gone into the options for voicemail to turn off the ‘expanded’ menus for when I am checking it.

    I never go over my minutes either, so it’s more just an annoyance thing than a money thing.

  14. wilson250 says:

    iPhone skips it all. You tap the screen where it says voicemail, and you can see a list of each voicemail you have. If you have three messages, one from mom, one from joe, and one from sally, you click directly on the one you want to hear and the message immediately plays. It’s the most convenient voicemail system I’ve ever used and I can only wonder when everyone else will catch up.

  15. jrlcopy says:

    Ah, visual voicemail, one more reason to love my iphone.

    However visual voicemail doesn’t fix when you call people, but with cingular you can press 1 or # to go straigt to their voicemail account to record.

  16. braindesign says:

    isn’t the topic of this thread a bad Seinfeld joke?

  17. morganlh85 says:

    What annoys me is that sometimes I hear a message, then hang up and decide I want to listen to it again, but newest messages play LAST on Cingular voicement, so you have to skip through ALL your other messages to hear it. UGH.

  18. mopar_man says:

    I have Alltel and don’t have this problem. I dial my voicemail, interrupt the lady by punching in my security code and then interrupt her again by pushing “1″ immediately afterward to hear my messages. Time spent getting to my new message? Probably 15 seconds.

  19. scoobydoo says:

    This ranks up there with the 10 minute tutorial I get from T-mobile when using voicemail for the first time. Explain how it works, speak my name, verify my name, speak my message, verify my message, pick my pin, verify my pin… ugh…

  20. agent2600 says:

    first off, the slow news comment is pretty acurate…this is acient news, back to the old 900 help desk number days were there would be constant warnings to add up minutes.

    now…

    first of I have att, all in-network calling, including checking voice mail, is free, as it is with most of the networks these days.

    second off, most cell phone planes have free nights and weekends, so if you check your voice mail at night you can get around this

    third, I don’t know about you, but I am on the AT&T w/rollover plan…I currently have like 9999 minutes racked up (the max alloted) so even if they charged me minutes, for me at least…who the heck cares.

    Lastly…who the hell still leaves voice mail? If someone doesn’t pick up Drop them a text. Maybe your consipracy should be

    “CELL PHONE COMPAINES MAKE ANNOYING VOICE MAIL SYSTEMS TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF TEXT MESSAGES SENT”

    that would make a hell of a lot more sense.

    :)

  21. MameDennis says:

    Oh, sweet Jeebus, I hate being told, paraphrased in three ways, that I have a message. Slooowly. Especially since my personal messages are usually very brief, of the “hey, I’m back, call me when you get in” variety.

  22. aparsons says:

    My voicemail for verizon: “Hi this is allan. To leave a message, press star.”

    Pressing * on a verizon voicemail bypasses that stupid announcement and immediately plays the beep to the caller.

  23. bravo369 says:

    This post made me review my voicemail options. Suprisingly, i had an option for rapid prompt. Now, instead of hearing “To listen to your voicemail, press 1…to send a message, press2 etc/”, it has now changed to “listen – press1, send – press2″. Much simpler.

    Also, I never understood why my phone does this. I delete voicemails but next time I check voicemails, i get a prompt saying I “have 3 messages marked for deletion” and then plays them again. Wasn’t that the point of pressing delete? If i wanted to hear them again, i would have saved them.

  24. Wormfather says:

    @Jeff: That is the absolute worst right there.

  25. textilesdiva says:

    People still use voicemail?

  26. shaunirving says:

    I’ve had Sprint for many years. I remember when I first got them, the voicemail system used to be streamlined… you could hit the play button as soon as you connected and it would play. They’ve since blocked that ability and added a longer greeting, which (a) pisses me off and (b) is solely for the purpose of burning through more minutes.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

  27. mattbrown says:

    maybe you all can compile a quick guide… for instance, hitting 1 when you dial into VZW’s system will play the first message.

  28. smallestmills says:

    My time calling voicemail does not count into my phone minutes, as it is a service provided by my provider.

  29. ry81984 says:

    I was just thinking about that yesterday when I had 10 VM in a few hours.

    It took forever for the voice recording to introduce each message. I got very annoyed and wondered why their system has not really improved/changed in over 4 years I had a cell phone.

  30. ry81984 says:

    @textilesdiva:
    Yes everyone uses VM.

    Textilesdiva, do you have a better alternative???

  31. Sprint has a “simplified” option that you can turn on to cut down on the “helpful” instructions, and an option to turn off the stupid “received… Monday… at… seven… forty… two… pm….” It got a lot less aggravating to check my vm once I figured that out.

  32. LiC says:

    I use Sprint too. Just press 1 when you dial your voicemail, or if you’re calling someone who uses Sprint, press 1 as soon as you hear the pre-recorded message, your friend’s or the automated voice. That will take you straight to the beep so you can leave your message.

  33. mac-phisto says:

    @B: FTW!

  34. textilesdiva says:

    @ry81984:

    Alternative? Yes.

    Alternative that will work for very many people? Probably not so much.

    Everyone who calls me – friends, coworkers, bosses – knows that I’ll call them back, and if it’s REALLY important, they text or email it, in case I don’t call back.

    Really simple.

    This may be another one of those mostly generational things. I’m in college, and know precisely one person who checks their voicemail: one of the last people on earth to get a cell phone.

  35. Kenton Davis says:

    If you haven’t figured this out on your own by now, you’re not a sufficiently-paranoid consumer. Overages are a major profit center for carriers

  36. Mr. Gunn says:

    Last I checked, Cingular/ATT doesn’t charge you minutes for checking voicemail. They do try to annoy the piss out of you until you turn off expanded menus or if you don’t know the # trick.

  37. markwm says:

    At least with AT&T, if you get the long prompt when trying to leave a voicemail, it means the person you are calling didn’t take the time to set up their voicemail box. They left it at the default box, which gives all the prompts available.
    If you get the long prompt when calling your voicemail, you can either use key shortcuts to bypass, or customize your mailbox to remove them.
    Part of the thought behind the extended prompts is to give someone time to get pen and paper to write down phone numbers or other contact information, and to make sure the person is ready for the message. If, when you called your voicemail, it immediately started playing the first new messages, there’s a good chance you’d miss a part of the first message and have to replay it, doubling the time it takes to check that message.
    Another reason for this feature is that you may be calling to listen to an old message to get information. The prompt that you have new messages, along with the “first new message” gives you a chance to hit the keypad shortcut to skip to your saved messages.

  38. first off, the slow news comment is pretty acurate…
    @agent2600: It’s still annoying. The only non-comments more annoying than the “gee, must be slow” ones are the “why is this funny post here” non-comments.

    I also only wait until night to check my voice-mail. I don’t have a lot of people leaving me messages anyway. I don’t use text messages though. I’ll probably just try to get people to stop leaving the “hey, just wanted to talk” messages all together when it becomes a problem. I can see missed calls on my phone so I don’t really need a voicemail to tell me that person wanted to talk to me.

  39. Alternative that will work for very many people? Probably not so much.

    @textilesdiva: Then why’d you ask if people still use voicemail?

  40. gibsonic says:

    Education is key. Learn the prompts for you system. The menus can be interrupted if you know what you want to do. Most systems use ’1′ to listen to messages, for instance.

    A quick google search came up with these links –

    Cingular/AT&T Voicemail Quick Guide – Printable PDF
    (direct link) [www.wireless.att.com]

    Verizon Voicemail Quick Guide – Printable PDF
    (direct link)
    [www.infotech.siu.edu]

    T-Mobile Voicemail Quick Guide – Printable PDF
    (direct link) [support.t-mobile.com]

    Sprint Voicemail Quick Guide – Printable PDF
    (direct link) [www1.sprintpcs.com]

  41. horned_frog says:

    What I do is call my own cellphone number to check my voicemail so it count’s as “in network calling” and it doesn’t charge me minutes…

  42. aparsons says:

    I also noticed that in NYC market, Verizon no longer kicks the caller straight to voicemail when yoru phone is not in service…. it just rings. Presumably because everyone uses cell phones in NYC and they are trying to squeeze a few more seconds out of consumers.

  43. The Walking Eye says:

    @textilesdiva: People still use email?

    I just beam my thoughts to whoever I need to talk to and they call me right up. It’s really easy, I’m surprised not everyone does it.

  44. lestat730 says:

    I always thought it didnt use airtime to access your voicemail with verizon?

  45. troublz says:

    Peeps…use Callwave (www.callwave.com) — it takes the place of my Verizon voicemail. It does the following: 1) sends me an SMS with the text translation of the voicemail 2) sends me an e-mail with the same translation and a link to listen to the audio 3) It also kind of gives you the “Visual Voicemail” that iPhone junkies love by seeing all of your messages and choosing which to hear first. The best part is no STUPID voicemail menu’s.

    Note: the voice-to-text feature is not that accurate but sometimes gives you the gist of the message

  46. Bryan Price says:

    @gibsonic: Thanks for the links!

    And I keep hearing out of Cingular that getting your messages on your own phone doesn’t use minutes. Not that my family would know, we still lose a bunch of minutes off our rollover every month because we just don’t use that many minutes. And it gets problematic when the phone does go straight to voicemail for my wife and children, when instead of leaving a voicemail for them, I get stuck with my voicemail instead. I can’t remember that happening lately though, so they may have that issue fixed (it was one of those maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t kind of things)

    I put everybody on the family text plan now, so we can just text if we want/have to.

  47. Buran says:

    @PhilWeinstein: Uhm, this is a tip for how to save money and act in your own best interest.

    It’s funny how the response on the internet is to attack other people if you don’t like them or what they have to say.

    You could have just kept scrolling by.

  48. Buran says:

    @Mr. Gunn: How do you turn off the expanded menus? I thought I had but I don’t think it took.

    I don’t have an iphone — waiting for the 3G version with full IM in addition to SMS.

  49. Matthew says:

    I hate this stuff. Even if it isn’t a ploy to burn minutes (which it probably is), it’s infuriatingly bad design. The outgoing instructions are just as bad. We’ve all been leaving messages for years; we don’t need refresher instructions every time.

    The MTA’s Metrocard machines are similarly frustrating. The first thing you have to do upon approaching one is tap START on the touchscreen. Why in the world is that a necessary step? No one wants to do anything other than START.

  50. bendsley says:

    A lot of the voicemail message boxes have advanced management features where you can tell it to skip all of that detail to go right to the message. I know Sprint does, or used to, and I’m sure everyone else does as well.

  51. Trai_Dep says:

    There should be an autoban for dweebs that post two or three “slow news day” or other non-informative comments. No warning, announcement, anything. Just quiet, gratifying death.

  52. Nick says:

    T-Mobile and Sprint both have “Expert Mode”. This is an option you turn on that reduces the prompts, usually to one word instead of one sentence. For example, it will say “Listen 1, Send 2, Options 3″ instead of “To listen to your messages, press 1. To send a message to another user on the same network, press 2…”.

    As for the caller hearing messages, they can also be turned off from the options. On Sprint, I turned all three prompts off so it just says my recording and beeps instantly instead of saying “Record the message, press # or hang up” and “To send a numeric page” and “Please wait for the beep” and all that. You just have to look for it. Whoever wrote this article apparently didn’t even bother to read the brochure/pamphlet about voicemail, let alone listen to the options menu. It’s all pretty much self-explanatory if you just listen…

  53. liquisoft says:

    I’ve felt the same thing is true. Fortunately I now have an iPhone, and if there’s one benefit of the device it’s the “visual voicemail” feature that lets me listen to a message immediately without having to dial in and wait.

    Verizon was a bitch with that stuff. If you dig through your VM options, you’ll find there is an option to abbreviate the entire process. Ironically all this does is make the voice cut out a couple words. So instead of saying “You have 1 new message,” she’ll say “1 new message.” Nice.

  54. Kat says:

    Last time I checked, on Cingular-AT&T, even checking voicemail from a non-cellphone uses your minutes.

  55. PhilWeinstein says:

    @Buran: Yes.. I could just keep scrolling by but I believe that constructive criticism keeps Ben on his toes so that the quality of this site stays high like it normally is. If I didn’t like Ben’s site so much I would probably be more productive in my day. I like Consumerist for the useful tips and real stories, not for his Andy Rooney impression.

    “Have you ever noticed that..”

  56. Echodork says:

    Verizon Wireless disabled the press-1-bypass, at least for everybody I call. Now you’re forced to listen to the whole spiel. And wouldn’t you know it, sitting through the entire greeting process and leaving a five-second message now takes… one minute and two seconds. So they get to double the number of minutes spent by everyone leaving voicemails across their entire network.

  57. marsneedsrabbits says:

    T-Mobile says something like… “You have X new messages. To check messages, press 1″.
    So you press 1 (at any time during the message – it can be truncated) and the messages play. If you immediately press 1, you get the next message, if you press 7 it deletes the message and if you press 2 (I think – I never actually save messages) it saves the message.
    Pretty straight & to the point.

  58. benwellington says:

    You already ran this story on this: [consumerist.com]
    You should at least link to it!

  59. lihtox says:

    @trai_dep: Not all of us live on the cutting edge: old news is new news to someone who hasn’t heard it already. And if the main body of the message isn’t particularly informative, it has spawned an interesting conversation about voicemail (I hadn’t thought of including instructions in my own voicemail greeting, for example.)

    So drop the chip off your shoulder and eat some prunes already.

  60. VA_White says:

    My stupid voicemail will not let me delete an “unheard” message. When my mother calls and leaves a long message and I know all I have to do is call her back, the stupid voicemail won’t just let me hit delete when I hear, “Hi, it’s your mom.”

    It tells me, “Unable to delete unheard message.”

    What about some jerk who won’t stop calling you? I should be able to decide whether or not I want to listen to a message.

    Dirty fuckers.

  61. killavanilla says:

    “You have three new messages. First message, sent Tuesday, August 21st at 9:03 AM. 30 seconds long. To listen to this message, press one.”
    blech.

  62. yeabirfday says:

    as bravo369, kilgore trout, nick2588, and liquisoft mentioned, there’s usually an “expert mode” that uses very abbreviated phrases. nick2588 mentioned T-mobile and Sprint. I’ve used it on Sprint and now Verizon. It’s worth wading through the menus the first time you set up your voicemail for the seconds and patience it saves you later.

    as for us non-iPhoners, there’s GotVoice and the currently-invite-only GrandCentral for “visual voicemail”, both of which have implemented mobile web versions you can access if you have a data plan.

  63. drjayphd says:

    @Bryan Price: Oh, Cingu-erm, The New AT&T lies like a rug. I have the Cing-uh, The New AT&T minutes extension on Firefox, and I’ve seen those minutes go down when I check my voice mail. Not like I use them, but then again, I don’t think I have rollover anyway…

  64. waylonrobert says:

    Umm, last time I checked it doesn’t use minutes to check your voicemail with ANY provider. It used to in the past, but I haven’t seen a charge for voicemail in over 10 years.

    I really wish Consumerist would stop posting stories that are just that – stories. Do a little research! I’m slowly getting annoyed and may stop reading altogether.

  65. JustIcedCoffee says:

    When leaving messages, it varies by provider…
    Sometimes 1 (verizon) will get you straight to recording, I think sprint is (1) as well.
    Not sure with at&t or Tmobile.

    Prompt level is what you want to change for faster shorter, less verbose voicemail

  66. morsteen says:

    @textilesdiva

    yeah it’s probably just because you are in college and are trying to think you are cooler than everyone else by using text more than voicemail. I personally think texting is actually a step backwards for technology, it takes f*cking forever on a non keyboard phone to send a text, speaking to leave a voicemail is much faster, and you don’t have to deal with stupid smiley’s and sh*t to convey emotion. You could leave a voicemail describing in detail everything you did all day long to your friend before you could even say “hey check out what i did tod–” with a text.
    “kids” if you will, just like doing things different even if they don’t realize it’s actually slower and less efficient, just to be “cool”.

  67. acambras says:

    @VA_White:

    Yes, I run into the same problem when I get a 10-minute voicemail from the inside of my sister’s purse or my brother-in-law’s pocket because they don’t know how to use their damn keylock.

  68. Mr.Purple says:

    I use YouMail, which for callers offers the classic BEEEEEEEEEP. No prompts. When checking your mail it just plays a 1.5 second login tone and you hear your messages, newest to oldest. After each message you hear a 2 second prompt to press 7 to delete 88 to block and something else (I think 87 or something) to make a custom greeting for the caller. Quick and simple… Only for ATT and T-Mobile tho I think…
    And you get an email with it attached as a mp3…which means on my lovely sidekick (that is broken) I can get visual voicemail. YAY!

  69. acambras says:

    @waylonrobert:

    Actually AT&T does count calls to voicemail against one’s minutes, at least in my plan. I for one was pretty happy to see this, because lately I get sick of going through all the “options” when I’d like to skip straight to the beep and leave someone a message. Thanks to a link provided by one of the other commenters, I saw that all I have to do is press #. It works, too! :-)

    Of course if you’ve made good on your threat, you might not even be reading Consumerist anymore by now…

  70. swalve says:

    How about trying to learn how the voicemail system works? How about not being such a stress queen that the 4 seconds doesn’t matter?

  71. sethkinast says:

    I use YouMail [youmail.com] and skip using AT&T’s voicemail altogether. You can check your voicemail online and save your minutes. It’s free, and the only ads that are shown are in your browser when you use the site. No ads in the voicemail itself.

  72. eelmonger says:

    Something that saves me alot of effort with voicemail is to change the preprogrammed number so it includes the security code and other options. For example when I speeddail voicemail it calls *86 Pause Pause Code 1. This calls the voicemail, waits until it’s ok to enter the code, enters it and then skips the intro stuff by pushing 1. So voicemail is literally a single button away for me. Sure, if someone steals my phone they can listen to my voicemail, but that’s not a huge concern for me.

  73. rakers says:

    What’s worse is leaving voicemail on carriers that don’t let you skip to the beep. That just kills me. Why can’t they all let you press a key to skip the message? What the hell does it mean when AT&T asks if I’d like to “page” the person? What? This really is a conspiracy.

  74. Benny Gesserit says:

    “You have one unheard message. The following message has not been heard. First unheard message.”

    You pressed “1″ and stopped, silly bear. “11″ skips all that nonsense and gets to those swwet sweet messages.

    @VA_White: If they’re using the same s/w as mine, hit “33″ when you hear Mom, it’ll skip to the end of her msg and you can delete. But call her back, cuz, she loves you, eh?

    @bravo369: Great, huh. It’s worth the time to investigate the system.

  75. waxer says:

    Try http://www.youmail.com its easy to use, free and cool. No worries with all the B.S. you go strait to your messages quickly. You can listen to your messages online & even save them as Mp3s. No, I’m not selling this either. Its sweet, check it.

  76. Helvetian says:

    Alternatively, I always call from my mobile phone but I dial my own number and since I have Unlimitd M2M, there is no minute usage. Try that to help save minutes.

  77. acambras says:

    @rakers:

    If you know the person you’re calling is on AT&T, press pound as soon as you hear the computer voice. You should be able to skip right to the beep.

  78. martyz says:

    This is to backup Bravo369′s comment — I just did it myself — If you have AT&T you can change the type of voicemail “prompt” you use. If you go to your voicemail’s “administrative” options (it’s a sub-menu of “personal options”) You can change the prompt level from ‘Standard’ to ‘Rapid’ — the VoiceMail lady will be much more brief with you. Pretty sweet! Thanks Bravo369!

  79. Havok154 says:

    I always tell people not to leave me a voicemail because I will not listen to it. I’ve gone months with new VM’s that I didn’t feel like checking.

  80. synergy says:

    I always check my voice-mail from my work landline. Although now I don’t remember if Sprint counts calls to voice-mail as minutes off my total.

  81. rakers says:

    @martyz: @acambras:

    THANKS DUDES!!! I had no idea.

  82. Hexum2600 says:

    @morsteen: You are a complete moron. Leave it to some smug over bearing ass to talk down to people just because he doesn’t see the benefit in something that he doesn’t use. Nope, never been stuck in a huge seminar and had to send a quick text to someone to get something done that I had forgotten to let them know about ahead of time. Nope, definitly wasn’t a big help in me being able to help my siblings prepare funeral arraingments while I was sitting through the week before finals in class (which i then flew in for the funeral, back out for finals, then back in to spend a couple weeks with my family.)

    And of course, the ability to leave someone a msg that it takes them less time to check then it would for them to hold in the one button to call their voicemail?

    Or how about, finally, being able to email all phones? Like, if you use verizon your phones address is xxxxxxxxxx@vtext.com ? So you can email shit to your phone and vice versa without any extra charge? Or did you not realize that the way cell phone companies send txt msgs cross carrier is through bulk email? (NO FLAMES: Notice i said cross carrier, not intra carrier. Nobody needs to explain again the difference between data and txting on different networks)

    Oh well, I guess I could always hope that I could turn into someone like you. Or maybe someone who deserved life instead. Seems like a tossup.

  83. zyphbear says:

    While I do consider it an annoyance, esp when checking your OWN messages, you may want to double check and make sure you are charged for checking your messages. More of my friends on every network are saying that they are NOT being charged for checking their voicemail from their own cell phone, nor being charged minutes if they check it from a landlane. With my T-Mobile account, I am NOT charged for checking my VM from my phone, just lose battery power.

    In fact, T-Mobile doesn’t burn your minutes for any method you may contact them, the Toll free number or 611. (One time I was on a call with them that lasted a couple hours. It was to help figure out why whenever I went in a certain area any calls I may have been on sounded like a modem noise on my end instead of the other person’s voice until that area was left again. I helped do a few tests and since I was the first person to report it and completed all the tests the tech WOULD have had to taken alot longer to do, all the fixes were completed within a day and everything was back to normal.)

  84. badgeman46 says:

    I’ve noticed that with Verizon, lately unless you delete a message, it will still alert you there is a new one. Obviously a ruse to get you to burn more minutes.

  85. Nick says:

    @waylonrobert: This is incorrect. T-Mobile counts the call as a mobile-to-mobile — meaning it is only free if you have that feature as part of your plan. On Sprint, it always uses minutes (even if you have the mobile-to-mobile option). I’m sure Verizon, AT&T, and Alltel are similar.

    @zyphbear: This is because you must have the mobile-to-mobile option as part of your plan. If, for example, you were to forgo mobile-to-mobile and nights and weekends for an additional 900 anytime minutes like I did, accessing your voicemail will take away minutes.

  86. Tricon says:

    @aparsons: does that mean your name is Allan Parsons? you wouldnt happen to have any experiments going on, would you?