"It went straight to voice mail" "Oh? How many time did it ring?"

What does “straight to voice mail” mean to you?

I over heard part of a conversation:
A: It went straight to voice mail.
B: Oh? How many time did it ring?
A: 3 or 4
B: Huh, that’s weird.

I would only say say straight to voice mail if it didn’t ring at all. I would guess the phone was probably off or had no reception. I would say it went to voice mail if it rang a number of times, no one answered, and then it went to voice mail.

In the conversation I overheard, I am assuming that whoever A was calling saw it was him and sent the call to voice mail instead of answering it because I think phones usually ring more than 3 or 4 times before going to voice mail, but I’m not sure.

One ring would qualify.

My phone rings 4 times before it goes to voice mail. I do have the option to change how many times it rings before going to voicemail but 4 works for us.

I would only say “it went straight to voicemail” if it didn’t ring at all.

Phones at my workplace ring 4 times if you don’t have a message in VM already or don’t have your phone set to transfer to VM right away. They ring once if you already have a VM, then send it there. So at work I’d say “straight to VM” if it rang once.

It’s a matter of what you think “straight” means: “immediately” or “without interruption.” There’s a subtle difference.

Straight to voice mail = didn’t ring at all.

If my phone rings, I don’t answer it, and it goes to VM, I don’t consider it as having gone straight to VM.

If my phone is turned off, all incoming calls go to VM. THAT is what I’d consider “going straight to voicemail.”

*straight to vm *to me means no rings at all

Whenever I call any of my family and their phone is off or dead, I will get 1 ring before it goes to voice mail. If the phone is on, but they just don’t answer then I get 6 or 7 rings before it goes to voice mail.

So for me 1 ring = straight to voice mail.

I think it could mean:
“Before it usually does”
I used this yesterday when texting a friend - it usually rings four times or so - and it went to voice mail after 1.5 rings. I sometimes will use this with people close to me - as in the past I (and some of my other friends) - have actually had phones go to voice mail where we did not intend this to be the case. I assume he was on a call and silenced it, but he usually texts me saying “call you in a bit” or something. This time he didn’t - and I texted him later to let him know a few things - plus that I had tried to call him. Since I felt there was a possibility that he himself had not silenced the call, but the phone or network did in error - I mentioned it at the beginning of my text.

I have a friend who has this real cheap pre paid phone she dropped. For some reason - you usually have to call it twice - it will always go through the second time, but (I am not exaggerating) will only go through the first time 10%. I had another friend who was getting lots of friends who weren’t able to get through - and it seemed to be random - and was not a cheap phone - it was an iPhone. Oh - and yes - I had been with BOTH people - and seen the problem myself - they weren’t experiencing the problem just with me :slight_smile:

As opposed to “gay to voice mail.”

I would agree with the distinction between

  • rings as many times as it does when no one is using the phone and no one has answered, then goes to VM

  • someone is on the phone or it is engaged such that an incoming call immediately goes to VM

The latter is “straight to voice mail”. I would have said that it indicates that the person has their phone on and will answer if I keep trying back. But the post above mentions that their phone goes straight to VM when it’s off, so there goes that theory.

“Straight to voice mail”, after ringing, sounds antiquated to me.

Twenty or thirty years ago, when voice mail was in its infancy and companies had armies of admins, this was more common. Voice mail was considered cold and disrespectful, so companies would have admins answer the phones and say, “He/She’s not here right now, would you like his/her voice mail?” If the admins didn’t answer for some reason, then you would go “straight to voice mail”.

These days, admins don’t answer phones except maybe for CEO’s of the largest corporations. Any call which goes to voice mail goes “straight to voice mail” without human intervention. So, it makes more sense to reserve “straight to voice mail” for going to voice mail without ringing first.

I’d agree. Occasionally there’s a ring to a ring and a half before the device is reached. It technically didn’t ring on their side. You can always tell the difference, as the ring is a higher quality–it doesn’t sound like it came from a cell phone.

Shorter then usual or 1 ring would both qualify