Americans Spend More Than 1 Billion Hours Annually on Voicemail…And Hate It

Yap today released the results of its recent study on user behavior and attitudes toward voicemail. The study, fielded by market research firm MarketTools, found that Americans spend more than 1 billion hours annually recording, managing, and listening to voice messages. The study also revealed that ‘listening to long and rambling messages’ is the number one reason why users dislike voicemail.

Americans receive more than 70 billion voicemail messages annually, yet anti-voicemail sentiments run high. Thirty-eight percent of Americans indicate that listening to long and rambling messages is the primary reason for their dissatisfaction with voicemail, followed by navigating touch-tone menus at 15 percent.

The top five reasons are provided below.

  • 38 percent - Listening to long and rambling messages.
  • 15 percent - Navigating touch-tone menus to access and delete messages.
  • 13 percent - Need to grab paper and pencil to take notes.
  • 12 percent - Feel like I need to call the person back.
  • 10 percent - Can't listen to messages during meetings or while in noisy places.

Respondents identified a number of other reasons for their dissatisfaction with voicemail including: can’t remember PIN for voicemail, difficult to search and find important messages, and having to listen to long greetings before being able to record a message.

“Voicemail as we know it is coming to an end,” says Eddie Hold, vice president of Connected Intelligence at The NPD Group. “Having to dial in and listen to messages is a relatively slow process, especially in an era where instant gratification is demanded.”

Given that traditional voicemail has been around for nearly 40 years, it’s no wonder consumers are ready for a change. Newer forms of communication, such as text messaging, are faster and more convenient and users expect the same from voicemail.

“Voicemail has long been an enormous time sink and a source of frustration,” says Igor Jablokov, CEO at Yap. “By converting voice messages into text, Yap’s voicemail-to-text service allows users to conveniently access and read their voice messages at a fraction of the time it takes to listen to them.”

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