David Pogue’s continuing crusade against useless voicemail instructions knocked loose an excellent suggestion for anyone willing to re-record their voicemail greeting. Too often the standard voicemail greeting is: “Hi, you’ve reached so-and-so. Leave a message, and I’ll get back to you.” Why not make it more useful, something like: “Hi, you’ve reached so-and-so. Please press star (or whichever command applies to your carrier) to leave a message.”
Is this a substitute for carriers removing the extraneous instructions? No, of course not, but it’s a worthwhile stopgap until the carriers act on their own.
If you’re a Sprint customer, you can cut out the annoying greeting altogether with these instructions:
Access your voice mail box. Press 3, for personal options.
Press 2, for greetings.
Press 1, to change your personal greeting.
Press 3, to add or remove the caller instructions. Follow the prompts to turn instructions on or off.
If you haven’t already, tell your carrier how you feel about wasteful voicemail instructions:
- AT&T: Send e-mail to Mark Siegel, executive director of media relations: MS8460@att.com.
And while you’re in a letter writing mood, ask your elected officials to take action against obnoxious voicemail instructions. The carriers are most likely to act out of the goodness of their hearts if Congress stands poised to force a pitchfork through their backs.