I find listening to voicemails on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp very time consuming. In particular, the Facebook Messenger interface doesn't let me skip in the message if most of it is irrelevant to me.

People leaving a voice message tend to umm and aah, and the content of the message is generally less structured and coherent than text which can be edited for clarity.

How do I politely ask people not to send me voicemails, and to resend their message as text?

The messages I'm receiving now are from friends as I'm not currently working.

I generally explain that I'm trying to value my time more highly and that I find text messages clearer. (I'm still looking for a concise (yet polite) set of words to quickly and easily enter via my phone.)

How would I approach the situation in a work context or where the sender of the voice messages is my superior?

  • 1
    what context is this in? Is the message from a particular person / small select group of people, is the message sent in a formal or informal setting ("Hey, ummm can we meet up?" vs "Hi there! Um I would like to check if the proposal for ummm this business deal is ready?").. also how often do you receive these voicemails? May 8, 2018 at 8:21
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    What have you tried so far? You seem to phrase your grievance with the voice messages here quite well (I feel the same). Have you tried the explanation with the structure/coherence already, and what was the result?
    – Jeroen
    May 8, 2018 at 8:38
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    Why do you think just asking will not work? You also need to state a specific IPS goal that you want to achieve, otherwise this question is just a phrasing request - which is considered off-topic here.
    – kscherrer
    May 8, 2018 at 8:55
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    Thanks for your edit, but I fear that I'd like a really concise (yet polite) set of words to quickly and easily enter via my phone. is exactly what a phrasing request is.
    – kscherrer
    May 8, 2018 at 9:54
  • Thanks @Raditz_35 I've updated the question.
    – Tom Hale
    May 9, 2018 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


There are many reasons why one would rather prefer written messages over voice-messages. In this situation, I would not give reasons why you don't like receiving voicemails, since it only opens up discussion and it could eventually be used against you.
Just stating that you'd prefer written messages - without a specific reason - is totally fine and can be kept polite too.

If possible, also directly answer what was said/asked in the voicemail. This shows that you aren't too difficult about it, but still you stated your preferred means of communication.

Hello [name], thank you for your message. Unfortunately, I am not really a voice-message person. Would it be possible for you to send me written messages instead in the future? Thank you so much.
Now addressing what you said: [answer their message]

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