What's the deal with people whose voice mail box is always full?

I have a friend whose voice mail box is always full. When I call him, if he doesn’t answer (which is most of the time,) I almost always hear “Hi, you’ve reached David. Leave a message and I’ll call you back,” followed immediately by the Verizon voice saying “The mailbox is full and cannot accept messages at this time. Goodbye.” If there’s something I really wanted to tell him right away, or I want to explicitly ask him to call me back, I then have to send him a text. Once in a while I used to text him, “delete your voicemails!” but he never seemed to do this.

I was about to ask why someone would never delete their voicemails, but in the course of thinking about this, I realized the problem might be that he never even listens to them. Because on the rare occasion when I was able to leave a message, he’d call me back and say “what’s up?” I’d go “uh…” thinking he was about to say something pertaining to whatever I’d said in the message, and he’d say “I saw you called, but I didn’t listen to my voicemail.” So it seems that if he sees a missed call, he just calls the person back without checking his voicemail. I have to assume that on those rare occasions I’ve been able to leave a message, it’s only been because some old message had just expired.

So I guess the question is, why do some people never check their voicemail? Lack of patience? Does it seem easier to them to just call the person back and ask what’s up? It would drive me crazy to have my little voicemail indicator perpetually on, never knowing what was in all the many messages that must be in there, nor who had left them. Do you know anyone who does this?

(I’ve asked my friend why he never deletes his voicemails. He basically just hemmed and hawed and didn’t answer the question.)

I’d guess laziness, don’t give a fuckness, or some sort of avoidant disorder- mostly laziness. There are also people that you can’t leave a message for because they haven’t set up their voicemailbox yet. I think it’s related.

At least he didn’t say “Did you call me?”. :smack:

I don’t check voice mail. …why bother?

  1. Checking uses my outgoing minutes
  2. I get a text notification of missed calls…so just call back
  3. If its important they’ll call back…If it’s not important…why bother?

It’s partially a control-freak thing.
I had (emphasis on had) a friend who used to do this. Basically, she used this as a way to waste other people’s time instead of her own. I finally told her that i was going to call her exactly once, and if I didn’t get her, and couldn’t leave a message, too bad for her - no matter how important it was.

Voicemail is kind of stupid. For me at least I have to call the number, put in a code, hear “you have x new new voicemails and y old
Voicemails. New voicemail number one, December 24 nine twelve a m.” Then comes the message. Then I gotta remember which number deleted and which saves and which replays, or listen to the menu that tells me. Then hear more text to get to the next message.

Ain’t nobody got time for that! Easier just to see who called and call them back.

Send a text. It’s 2014.

Yeah, voicemails are annoying. I’d rather receive texts than voicemails.

Almost everyone I know refuses to use voicemail. The standard protocol is, if it’s something important, text the information. If it’s not, wait for the person to call or text you back. A text lets you scan it in 1 second as it comes in and you can immediately triage it. A voicemail is like, 6 button clicks and a good half minute of time.

Hell, most people I know barely use voice anymore. It’s 90% messaging of some kind.

My big thing (and I got this from my dad) is just call me, I’ll see you’re missed call and I’ll call you back…promise.
If you have a message (and don’t need a return call) go ahead and leave it but don’t, for the love of god, make me call my VM just to hear you say “Hey, this is John, call me”. No shit it’s John, I saw the missed call.

Even worse was back when people had pagers. Just page me, I’ll call you, but don’t leave a VM on the paging system to say ‘call me’. The pager would beep with my VM number, I had to put a quarter into the payphone, call my voicemail to hear ‘this is John, my number is xxx-xxxx, call me’ then memorize your number (unless I already knew it), put another quarter in the phone and call you. Hey asshole, there was an easier way to do that. When it said “To page this person type in your number, to leave a voicemail press star…don’t press star, just type in your number, why would you do that?”

I don’t use voicemail on my personal cell. I had to call the carrier to disable it. Otherwise, I’d be just like Dave. If I see I missed your call, you’ll get a call back. If it’s something urgent, text me to call asap.

Both my friend and I have unlimited voice, so the outgoing minutes thing is not an issue.

I agree, all that’s a pain. For a mundane “hey, call me when you get a chance,” I guess I prefer texts too, and I don’t leave those pointless “hey, call me back” voicemails. But, for the aforementioned reasons, in the event that I receive a voicemail, I feel compelled to listen to it. And it’s usually something I can delete; hence, my voice mail box is never full.

For aimless banter and idle chit-chat, or some sort of one-off factual announcement, I do often use texts, including with this friend. However, we’re pretty good friends, and live a long distance apart, so we sometimes have long phone conversations about deep issues and what’s going on in our lives.

Also, being good friends, we have a number of running jokes. Therefore (and I realize this might seem petty or trivial,) it’s kind of frustrating that he always gets to leave me humorous voicemails, but I never get to leave him one. (Some of our running jokes involve doing accents, so a text isn’t the same.)

Only partially related, but maybe compounding the frustration, is the fact that this friend just has some weird phone habits in general. He talks on the phone a lot, actually, especially to family. I swear, he talks to his parents or brother on the phone just about every day. When we lived in the same city, some evening when we’d make plans to out, he’d swing by my place, and I’d see him pull up outside, park his car, and sit in it talking on the phone for 10 minutes. Then he’d come in and say “sorry, I was on the phone with my brother.” Or when I’m on the phone with him, if he gets a call, he’ll say “hang on, my mom is calling me. Can I call you back in 5 minutes?” Invariably he doesn’t call me back until a week later.

Voicemail is a relic. At least in current form.

I don’t listen to many of my voice mails. Most people now realise that your call IS equivalent to a VM because I see the contact and call details on the screen and assume you want me to call you back. Which I will do as soon as I can. I am prompt about returning phone calls; most people who know me realise this. Also most people I know (who have smart phones) will text instead. Texting is less obtrusive and much more convenient. Leaving a voicemail saying “what’s up, call me back” is utterly pointless. I am going to call you back when I see that I’ve missed your call; listening to the message is a waste of time. I have two friends who are particularly bad about leaving me those pointless voicemails, but I give them a break because neither has a smartphone.

The exception - I’m a contractor so I do get business-related calls from people I don’t know. Wanting estimates, questions answered, and so on. If I miss a call from a number I don’t recognise I will listen to the message before returning the call.

My phone has a handy dandy feature: I can visually look at my VM list and delete them without listening. Also I can clear the annoying notifications with a single tap. Also I get a notification when my inbox is almost full, so I never inadvertently am in a situation where someone can’t leave me a message.

What about people who can’t get texts? Like on landlines? Yes, they still exist. Granted, it’s my mother’s line and she does listen to her messages and she purges the old ones. But if you don’t talk to her machine, you won’t hear back from her.

I wish I had a feature to delete VMs without listening, but if I do, I haven’t found it yet.

Voicemail is the worst of all worlds, and makes zero sense on a mobile phone.

Business purposes are the rebuttal to this “voicemail is dead, get over it” chorus. I’m a psychiatry resident, and I sometimes have to call patients. For privacy reasons, I have to do it from a hospital phone (and, in the event that there are extenuating circumstances and I have to use my cell phone, I block my number, because there’s no way I’m giving my personal cell phone number to psych patients.) The extension I call from will almost never be the best one to call me back on, and depending on which it is, may not even show up correctly on their caller ID. And I can’t send a text from a hospital phone. If someone doesn’t answer their phone and for whatever reason I can’t leave them a voicemail, there’s zero way for me to get in touch with them.

Also, I recently ordered a piece of furniture, and over the weekend I began getting daily automated phone calls from the store telling me it was ready for pickup. When I didn’t answer, their automated system left me a voicemail. If it hadn’t been able to, I would have had no idea this was happening.

Well in the OP the question was about two people who know each other and have smartphones so I think people were responding to that. (and people with landlines aren’t immune to the OP’s complaint of having voice mail tapes/machines/whatever they use get full.

Probably speaking for most, I don’t assume everyone who calls me is calling from a phone that has texting capability. I know lots of people still use landlines, or “dumb” mobile phones. But if I know the person who I’m communicating with is using a smartphone, I’ll assume they know how to use it. When it’s a business-related communication I always ask if it’s OK to text. Most people prefer that, at least in my experience.

Amen. I probably send over 100 texts for every one call I make.

Similar to this, I receive calls from medical professionals and they need to leave messages sometimes. The number they call from is never the number I call back. I need VM for these types of calls.

But personal calls? Yeah, just text.

At work, I suspect it’s a way to avoid having to listen to some breathlessly frantic half-coherent voice mail about whatever the problem du jour is, and then having to call the person back and have an even longer conversation about the same thing.

Better to just punt by ignoring the voice mails, and have them either find them face-to-face, or send a more coherent email or text.

(disclaimer- I work in corporate IT, and this is not uncommon among my co-workers.)

In my personal life, I don’t really have an issue with voice mails- most people who leave them for me only do so when the amount of info they want to convey is too much for easily sending via mobile phone text message or email, but within 20-30 seconds of speech. Of course, my parents and other old-timers still think of it as an answering machine, so I get the usual “Hey- call me back.” voice mails, and then when I do, get asked something like “What was the name of that show you said I might enjoy?”. So yeah, texts would be perfect in that situation, but everyone over the age of about 60 seems oddly resistant to the concept.