Q. To save my cellphone minutes, how can I bypass long-winded greetings and instructions when I’m leaving a message for another mobile user?
A. Pressing a single key will usually let you leave your message without listening to the recipient’s voice-mail greeting or the carrier’s instructions. Just press * when calling Verizon customers, the number 1 for Sprint users, or the # sign for AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers.
If you’re not sure of the provider, try this order: 1, then *, then #, waiting for a beep after each.
Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues.