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How to Call Directly to Someone’s Voicemail

Posted by Robert Hayes on April 30, 2019

We’ve all been there. You want to take a sick day (AKA “I’m going to the beach/movies/mall day”) or you want to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that you can’t make that date (that you secretely never wanted to go on anyway). But you don’t want to talk to the boss or to bae; you’re hoping and praying that they won’t pick up and you can leave a voicemail message. If it goes to voicemail, you can leave that fake-cough-laden “I’m just too sick to move” or that fake-heartfelt “I gotta get this work project done, baby” message without the possibility of pointed questions (“weren’t you sick last Friday and the Friday before that?”). You want to leave the message, hang up, turn off your phone and scamper away into the night, free from the social obligation of having to actually talk to the person you’re bailing on.

Alas, most of the time our hopes are dashed as the person picks up and we have to make our claim about having a cold in mid-June while our coldly skeptical employer listens in grim silence. But rejoice, TechJunkie reader! There are ways to call directly to voicemail without any risk of the person answering their phone. In this article, I will present a tutorial on how to avoid that painful conversation and get straight to leaving your pitiful excuses on someone’s voicemail. Then, your alibi is complete, and with proof that you tried to get in touch.

Carrier options to call voicemail

Some carriers give their subscribers the option to send voicemail directly without ringing the other party’s line. This generally is only available if both parties are on the same carrier.

AT&T

To send a voicemail directly to another AT&T subscriber:

  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.

Verizon

To send a voicemail directly to another Verizon subscriber:

  1. Call your voicemail access number.
  2. Press “2” to send a message.
  3. Follow the instructions as promoted. You’ll either record the message and then enter the phone number, or the other way around.
  4. Set your delivery options – 1 for private, 2 for urgent, 3 to request confirmation, 4 for future delivery.
  5. Press “#” to send the message.

T-Mobile

To send a voicemail directly to another T-Mobile subscriber:

  1. Call 1-805-637-7243.
  2. Log into your voicemail account.
  3. Select the option to send a message and follow the prompts.

Sprint

To send a voicemail directly to another Sprint subscriber:

  1. Call your own voicemail number and sign in.
  2. Select the option to send a message and follow the prompts.

Apps to call directly to voicemail

If you aren’t on the same network as the person you want to call, the next-best option is to use an app. There are two popular apps to perform this service, Slydial and WhatCall. While Slydial used to be the market leader, it’s since been flooded with poor reviews due to the service only working sometimes. WhatCall, however, still consistently performs well – and the reviews reflect that.

Slydial

Slydial is an app (available for iOS and Android) that you download and install onto your phone. Free accounts are available but they require you to listen to an ad before making your call. There are also two tiers of paid accounts, giving you ad-free access, the ability to “Slydial” multiple people simultaneously, and other premium features. For most people, the free version is perfectly adequate to ditch out on work, avoid the semi-girlfriend or keep from going to a party you really don’t want to go to.

Here’s how to use the service:

  1. Download and install Slydial onto your phone.
  2. Sign up for an account and log into the app.
  3. Dial 267-SLYDIAL from your the phone app on your cell phone to connect to the service.
  4. When prompted, enter the cell number you are trying to reach.
  5. Leave your message as instructed.

Slydial only works if you’re calling a mobile phone. Even if the landline you are trying to call has digital voicemail, the app will not work. Otherwise, the process automatically bypasses the live line and goes straight to voicemail.

WhatCall

WhatCall is also available for Android (sideload only) and iOS and it works almost exactly the same – only it seems to work considerably better than SlyDial according to user reviews. Even if you’re just trying to make sure you don’t wake someone up but still want to leave them a voicemail, WhatCall will make sure their phone doesn’t ring. WhatCall imports all of your contacts, so all you have to do is open the app and tap a contact, and you will be directly connected with their voicemail. Again, though, it is a cell-only app.

How to send a call directly to voicemail

What about if you’re on the other side of things? Your phone rings, you see who’s calling, roll your eyes, and wish that you could send them straight to voicemail. It’s easy to do this for all callers – just set your phone to airplane mode or turn on do not disturb. It’s also easy to do this when the phone rings – just reject the call, and it will go to voicemail. But if you want to single out one person for the voicemail treatment and not have the phone ring when they call you, you’ll have to use a different method

Using an Android (Note: This only works on some Android builds.):

  1. Navigate to your call list and add the number you want to avoid as a contact.
  2. Navigate to “Contacts” and tap the three dot menu icon.
  3. Inside the individual contact, tap the three dots menu icon.
  4. Select “Route to voicemail.”

Unfortunately, you cannot currently send individual calls to voicemail on an iPhone without using a non-native app.

If you want to avoid marketing calls, you can just block them instead. This won’t stop that first call, but it will stop subsequent calls.

  1. Open the phone app and navigate to “Recents”
  2. Find the telemarketer call.
  3. Select the information icon on the right, then scroll down and tap “Block this caller.”
  4. Calls from that number will be blocked in the future.

Calls will still technically be delivered to your phone, but your phone will not alert you to the call. This is a handset block and not a network block. You can put a network block on persistent telemarketers, but you need to contact your network provider for that. To view voicemails from blocked calls, go to Voicemail, then scroll all the way to the bottom and tap “Blocked Messages.”

The advantage of calling directly to voicemail are many. You can pass on bad news, give a message with full inflection and meaning in your voice and give the recipient time to reflect before they have to respond. In some fraught situations, that period of reflection can completely change how that person responds and can turn a difficult situation into something much calmer and more measured. You can also skip out on work without having to answer any questions.

Do you know of any other ways to send a call directly to voicemail? Do you know how to selectively send a call to voicemail on an iPhone? Tell us about it below if you do!

Voicemail is a big part of communicating today. We’ve got a lot of good tutorials to help you get the most out of your voicemail.

Having trouble deleting old voicemails on your iPhone? Check our tutorial on how to clean out old voicemail and how to delete all your voicemail on the iPhone.

If you’re starting with a new iPhone, here’s how to get your voicemail set up on the iPhone.

If you have an Apple Watch, we’ve got a tutorial on how to listen to your voicemails with your Apple Watch.

No matter where you work, there may be times you want to forward business calls to your cellphone.

 

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