David Pogue, who is trying to start a crusade to do away with these long messages which are only designed to rack up illegitimate profits, says the trick is:
STEP ONE. Press 1. If it’s Sprint, you get the beep, and you’re done. If you hear an error recording, go on:
STEP TWO. Press *. If it’s Verizon, you get the beep. If not:
STEP THREE: Push #. You get the beep for T-Mobile or Cingular.
You have to pause after each one, and you have to keep listening. But it’s one small way to fight back. Remember: One Star Pound.
These long messages are no accident. Cellphone companies have entire conferences devoted to getting you to spend more time on the cellphone, and these really long messages are one of their favorite tricks. Another way to fight back is to send in piles of complaints to these locations:
The Mandatory 15-Second Voicemail Instructions [NYT]
How to Bypass Stupid Voicemail Instructions[NYT]
The Cellphone Industry Strikes Back [NYT]
Verizon Wireless CEO responds to David Pogue’s article on the American mobile industry [IntoMobile]
The Irksome Cellphone Industry [NYT]