I don’t do voicemail

Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 10:12pm

The situation is simple: I don’t do voicemail.

If I am away from my phone (eg it’s in another room) and it urgent that someone talks to me right now, then they can keep ringing until I hear it. If whatever it is can wait, then they can send me a text message. This serves the same purposes as a voicemail, yet it is in a much easier to use format. People (myself included) seem to take ages to get to the point in a voicemail.

At work (because I am at work, doing work stuff) it is not uncommon for me to decline an incoming call. Especially if I am working with someone else. If the caller were to leave a voicemail it takes a lot longer to listen to it than it takes to read a text message.

Before I got my iPhone I was with Vodafone for quite a few years.. With them it was really easy to change the diversion and voicemail settings through their website.

My iPhone is with Optus. So far their customer service sucks. Aside from the waste of time when I tried to call them (the amount I am getting billed is still different each month) their website is crap. The most obvious flaws (to me) are the poor navigation and the agonisingly inconsistent page load times, sluggish through to network timeouts.

Shortly after getting the iPhone I created an account on the my.optus site so I could view my bills and other things online. Through this I found a page to change my services. I unchecked voicemail and clicked submit. I can’t remember the exact terminology but this appears to trigger a job/order and a few days later I found that if I declined a call it didn’t go to voicemail. Exactly what I wanted.

But then it broke. A few months later I was told by someone who tried to call me that they got a voicemail setup message when they called my phone. Calling my own number confirmed that the voicemail divert was back and because I hadn’t setup voicemail it was giving a message that wouldn’t make sense to the caller.

I ignored it.

Until today when I was reminded that it was still happening. This prompted me to search to see if anyone else had problems turning off the Optus voicemail. There were a few results, but a recent blog post caught my eye as it gave different instructions than what I had done before.

I cancelled the diverts using ##21#, and then disabled both voicemail and the missed call SMS service through the mobile.optuszoo site. This seems to have worked and I hope it stays that way.

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2 Responses to “I don’t do voicemail”

  1. I have the same feelings about voicemail. I had it off on my previous phone, which was also with Optus. I assumed wrongly that the setting would carry over. I was wrong presumably because I was given a new account number when I got my iPhone. What prompted me to investigate the voicemail situation was I saw 5 cent voicemail diversion charges on my bill. Sure enough a quick call to myself revealed a nonsense voicemail setup message was being played to callers. I searched and found the #21 thing and it’s been smooth voicemail free sailing since.

    Wes - January 13th, 2009 at 7:32 am

  2. Last night I only checked what happened when declining a call. This morning I checked what happened when I let it ring out, and it still went to voicemail.

    After entering ##67#, ##61# and ##62# it is now doing what I want.

    Stephen - January 13th, 2009 at 10:41 am