The Most Annoying Voicemails & Voicemail Etiquette

Let me tell you something happened to me, do keep it as a secret, alright? This happened in 2004, when I had returned from the US after a long time, and wanted to settle down in Thiruvananthapuram. Since I had been used to voicemail and answering machines in the US, I enabled the voicemail in my cell phone. I used the default built-in female voice as the voicemail greeting. When some of my friends since elementary school called me, the call went to voicemail.

It seems they got shocked listening to an American English female voice! They were telling me later that an American lady attended the phone and said something unclear in English! They were after me to find out the truth! After all, I had recently returned from the USA and was staying alone in an apartment! They wanted to search every nuke and corner of my apartment and find out the American lady! 🙂 Then I realized that, I am now living in my India and should adjust myself with it. I just disabled the voicemail feature in the cellphone, and living peacefully after that! big grin

OK, now back to the news. SpinVox, a voice-to-text services company, came up with the list of top ten most annoying voicemails. Such voicemails use up the valuable time that people increasingly don’t have to spare in their busy lives. [We wrote about SpinVox a few months ago.]

According to SpinVox, the following are the worst voicemails that people should avoid.

Top Ten Annoying Voicemails

  1. The Marathon Message: The extremely long voicemail that never ends.
  2. The Death March: Leaving a phone number at the end of a long voicemail. If you missed it, you now have to listen through the entire message just to get the phone number.
  3. The Screaming Eagle: The voicemail left in a noisy bar or as a fire truck is passing by.
  4. The Drunken Dispatch: The drunk dial voicemail.
  5. Voicemail Interrupted: As the person is leaving the voicemail, they stop in the middle to have a conversation with someone else or answer another call before they return to finish the message.
  6. The Misguided Message: A person or telemarketer leaves a message for you that was actually intended for someone else.
  7. Voicemail Incognito: The anonymous voicemail.
  8. The Dehydrated Dispatch: Any voicemail left by someone with a bad hangover.
  9. One Way Wonder: When the person thinks they are speaking to you when they are actually talking to your voicemail.
  10. The Pocket Dialer: The person that accidentally calls you because the phone is in their pocket or bag and isn’t locked, leading to an endless soundtrack of them walking down the street, driving or having a conversation with someone else.

The last two are very common in India. Even now, I receive the Pocket Dialer calls from friends and relatives. I had to listen to their discussions when seated in the bus, restaurant etc.! Hey, I do not listen to such calls for long. When I recognize that its a pocket dialed call, I always cut the phone to save the callers money and privacy, and save my time!

What is good to do?

  • Keep your messages short, about 30 seconds is perfect. Use text message (SMS) or email for other info.
  • Leave your recognizable name and just one contact number when you start the voice message.
  • Repeat your call back number slowly at the end.
  • If you are in a noisy place, consider test messaging (if its a cell phone) rather than voicemail.
  • Always use keyguard or phone lock in your cell phone to avoid accidental calls from the phones in your pocket.

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