What If You Don’t Want to Talk and Just Say You Called?

Southwestern Bell payphone with new AT&T signage

When will pay phones become obsolete? Image via Wikipedia

I called my house and my voicemail was full. AT&T was nice enough to let me know that my mailbox was full and added a feature to my landline that I was not aware of.


  • Service: Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring.
  • Service: The mailbox you are trying to reach is full.
  • Service: If you would like to leave a message for another subscriber please enter their number now.

At this point, I am not sure why I would need to reach another subscriber’s landline. I am already calling the person I want to call. Nonetheless, I will play your little game AT&T. Therefore, I entered my neighbors number and it went straight to their voicemail. This seemed totally illogical. If I am trying to call to talk to A, they allow me to leave a message for B. They don’t allow me to talk to B, they just let me leave a message with B. Hooray, for AT&T setting up a de facto secretary service. Maybe I should keep a full mailbox, and let my neighbor take down and pass on all my messages.

However, there is also another use for this service; this service allows for you to avoid talking to people you don’t really want to talk to. Now, I can go straight to Scary Bob’s voicemail.

  • Me: “Hey Scary Bob! Sorry I missed you, but unfortunately I can’t make it on Monday.”
  • Scary Bob on Tuesday: “Sorry, for some reason I missed your call. Let’s do something Friday?”
  • Me: “Sure, I’ll call you as soon as I get off work.”
  • Me on Friday leaving a voicemail: “Hey Scary Bob, I guess I missed you again. If you are not available, I guess I will try to make other plans”

I could keep this up forever and it probably works for the other insipid people too. So, the following steps are on AT&T’s website to keep the badgers away.

Can I send a message to another AT&T VoiceMail Service subscriber without ringing that subscriber’s phone?

Note: This will only work with other AT&T VoiceMail Service customers.

  1. Enter your voicemail box and from the main menu, press 2.
  2. Enter the 10-digit phone number you want to send your message to.
  3. Record your message and press the # sign. (To replay your message before you send it, press 1).
  4. If you want to select a special delivery option, press 1. Special delivery options are:
    • 2 for Urgent.
    • 3 for Private.
  5. Press the # sign to send your message.

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