Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another reason to hate your cellular provider

As longtime Pogue’s Posts readers know, my biggest cellular pet peeve is the endless recording you hear when you reach someone’s voicemail: “To page this person, press 2 now. You may leave a message at the tone. When you finish recording, you may hang up. Or press 5 for more options”—and so on.

At the conference, I asked one cellular executive if that message is deliberately recorded slowly and with as many words as possible, to eat up your airtime and make more ARPU [Average Revenue Per User] for the cell carrier. I was half kidding—but he wasn’t fooling around in his reply: “Yes.”
--David Pogue, NYT, on evil revenue-enhancing strategies

3 comments:

AbFab2theMax said...

i knew it!

jennifer said...

for vmail short-cuts (e.g. "*" takes you straight to vmail for verizon phones, bypassing the annoying message):
http://www.brand-name-coupons.com/keystroke-the-carriers/

Sophist said...

oooooh that is so sneaky. One of the reasons "visual voicemail" from Apple seems so appealing is because of those horrible time-wasting messages.

I am also guessing that people like to send text messages at 15 cents a pop for both the sender and receiver just because voicemail is so painful for both parties.