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How Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Are Hurting Your Small Business

Corporation really does hurt small business every year in the United States. I remember getting my first cell phone, a “brick phone” from Motorola also called the DynaTAC.  was 1986 and I paid over a $1,000 for it.  Over the next ten years, cell phones would evolve dramatically and their penetration into the small business marketplace would be dramatic. By the mid-nineties, small businesses would be using cell phones to run their small businesses almost ubiquitously.

This did not go unnoticed by the major cellular carriers.  They were all offering a basic voicemail answering service which allowed you to record a message before a beep and call a number to retrieve your voicemails.

Almost simultaneously, they concocted a scheme to add 15 seconds of instructions every time a caller is sent to voicemail

First you hear my own voice: “Hi, it’s David Pogue. Leave a message, and I’ll get back to you”–and THEN you hear a 15-second canned carrier message.

Sprint: “

[Phone number] is not available right now. Please leave a detailed message after the tone. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press pound for more options.”

Verizon: “At the tone, please record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options. To leave a callback number, press 5. (Beep)”

A T&T:“To page this person, press five now. At the tone, please record your message. When you are finished, you may hang up, or press one for more options.”

T-Mobile: “Record your message after the tone. To send a numeric page, press five. When you are finished recording, hang up, or for delivery options, press pound.”

You hear a similar message when you call in to hear your own messages.  This is a blatant money grab by the cellular carriers, earning them close to a Billion dollars each annually.

What is worse is that Fortune is estimating 80 percent of callers that are sent to voicemail, don’t bother and just hang up.

This is disastrous for the majority of small business owners that are relying on cell phones and voicemail when they are not available, as their primary method of managing new inbound business lead.