Friday, September 7, 2012

Options I'd LIKE to Hear When I Leave a Voicemail

Working at a doctor's office, I have to make those reminder calls you get the day before you are due to come in.  And I don't mind talking to people, most of our patients are very nice.  What annoys me is the Voicemail rigamarole I have to go through to leave a message when people *don't* answer their phones.

First there is 30 seconds of "hi, so and so's not here to take your message...yada yada yada."
Then there's what you can do once you record your message.  Six options for that. FINALLY, the beep, which wakes me up, because I've dozed off during that whole speech delivered in a monotone (very conducive to sleeping) computerized voice, indicates I can speak.  So I do my shhhpiel about how they have an appointment.
To the point.

More options.  I put my head on my desk at this point.  Because of course, I can listen to my message or I can press pound.  Or 1.  Or star, depending on the system. Sometimes you can hang up after your finished your leaving your message.  Or you can press another button for MORE options. Right?

Here's how I'd like it to go:
Hi. So-and-so's not here. Their name is So-and-So (it's a very popular last name).  Please leave a message. BEEEEP.

Leave your message.
Press pound.
Message sent.

Easy right?
If there have to be options, if they feel so compelled to make sure that all bases are covered or maybe they feel that's too straight forward and that the American people need options in every aspect of their lives, well they could do this instead:

Press 1 to hear the message of the last person who called.
Press 2 to change the message of the last person who called.
Press 3 to listen to Prince.
Press 4 donate to a cause.
Press 5 to hear a joke told by Ellen
Press 6 to send your message.

And each phone company can feel free to swap out the music and the comic, but really, let's all get on the same page here.  I love it when 5 phone calls in a row say "If you are done recording, press #.  To send your message with normal delivery, press 1," (I could recite this in my sleep) and then the next phone call, you rapidly hit #, 1 and you get "You have pressed an invalid number.  Please try again," which just equates to more time on the phone while I listen to the options.  My favorite ever?  I pressed # 1 and got, "You have erased your message.  To re-record, please press #..."  REALLY?!  Wouldn't you choose something other than the most commonly used buttons to process a message so someone doesn't *accidentally* erase their message?? GAH!

Sometimes, I envision all the phone companies sitting around and saying,
Ok, so we'll use 1 for sending, but you guys use # and you guys use the one-two combo of # AND 1 to send.
Right and then we'll actually use 1 to erase, you know, to minimize confusion, and 9 to save....



  1. I hate Voicemail with a passion. If I can help it, I only speak to people life.... but in this day and age, it's simply not possible...argh!

  2. It makes me crazy every time!! Try making 60 phone calls in one day--yes 60 ---and have even a QUARTER of them go to voicemail. UGH.

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