Two weeks into the campaign, David Pogue has an update about Take Back the Beep
. So far we'd say the winner by far is Sprint
, who lets you remove the pre-voicemail instructions with a relatively small amount of hassle (we're upgrading to green because Pogue has taken the carrier off his hit list). The other carriers have yet to get on board, however. T-Mobile says that "these comments are being taken into consideration in our planning," but hasn't promised any specific action -- sort of promising, but hardly a win. Meanwhile, Verizon was quoted by ABC News as saying that you could already turn off the message, but apparently what the rep meant to say is that if you don't like the message you can turn off voicemail altogether. Great. So far no hints of real action have come from big red, but the company is responding to complaints with a canned, "The voice mail instructions are there to assist the many callers who may be unfamiliar with the correct prompts." so at least we know they're getting the emails. AT&T is perhaps the most promising of the remaining carriers, saying that while Visual Voicemail
(which doesn't suffer in this way) is the true hotness, and it hopes to get that to other devices soon, "In the meantime, we are actively exploring how to shorten the voicemail message on our other handsets." That sounds promising. In the mean time, we literally have no idea
why these carriers haven't gotten together over coffee and at least figured out a unified button for skipping over the messages. It's true madness.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.