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Please do not leave a message – Voicemail in Costa Rica

Please do not leave a message - Voicemail in Costa RicaI hate voicemail. Please don’t leave a message, call me back later.

You can also send me an email, a message on Whatsapp, or even on Messenger. But don’t leave a voicemail, please!

Oh, and I’m not complaining, I’m just saying.

Communications are supposed to get easier, but are they? I’m not even a real old guy yet and I’m already having a hard time keeping up with some of that phone technology that the phone carriers are offering. I’m only 60 and wondering how people like 83-year-old mom keep up with all that ever-changing stuff.

To pick up a voicemail from the office messaging system is easy. But from a cellphone? Definitely not! You might think I’m the only one to hate voicemail, but definitely not. Coach Dawn Richards has 3 things she hates about voicemail.

I received the offer for 2 free internet-based phone lines from a new internet company. Wow, all for free…

One day, another realtor called me on my cell phone and said: “why does your office phone sound busy all the time”? I said, “That’s because I was talking on it”. “So, said the realtor, “why don’t you get an extra line”?

“I can’t answer two phone calls simultaneously Daniel! Most people, when a phone is busy, call back later. And if you don’t, you were really in no hurry to talk to me anyway”.

Please do not leave a message - Voicemail in Costa Rica

Phone lines

How many phone lines does one person need?

“I can get myself a whole battery of phones but will still only answer one phone call at one time. If you wouldn’t have a secret phone number (100 points for our phone technology), I could see who has called. Then I’d return your call as soon as I can. Or shoot me an email; you know I answer it always quickly. Actually, I answer my emails from my phone”. Whatsapp is pretty handy too you know, you can even do a voicemail or voice message on that too!

So did I take the new company on their offer? No, the old company decided to fix my internet. The new company couldn’t get the line from the road to my house anyway. If the internet is out of order, then those free phones are no good either. We now all have cell phones, so who needs a landline anymore?

The Pager

Remember those pagers? This was called a beeper in Costa Rica. When I bought my first cell phone and I finally got rid of that nerve-racking pager.  So when I got my first cellphone, the phone company ICE decided they should give me a voicemail.

When trying to pick up my voicemail, I found that most callers would never leave a voicemail. Most had the bad habit of waiting for the beep to hang up and not to leave a message.

Others would leave a message and the system wouldn’t receive it until days later. Then, when returning the call, the caller had already left the country or already bought a property from another agent who did juggle several phones.

Please do not leave a message - Voicemail in Costa Rica

Money Saver

I also found that a lot of people, to save money, would just leave a short message: “please call me”. This would save them money on calls. I’d spend hours returning calls that were not even in my interest. They were usually people who wanted something from me. Oh, and most voicemails were left during the evenings and on the weekends.

Empty Voicemail Box

Countless minutes went by every day while I was trying to pick up all those empty messages. So I decided to stop picking them up after a while. After a couple of weeks, people started complaining that I wouldn’t return their messages or that my mailbox was full.

Canceling Voicemail

That’s when I decided to spend a couple of hours standing in line at the phone company. I always bring a book, to kill the time standing in line. When it was my turn and I got to the window, I said: “Hello, I want to cancel my voicemail on my phone, how do I do that?”

I got this really sweet smile back from the lady who said: “you can’t cancel voicemail; it comes with the phone line because it’s free”.

“Well” I said, “I don’t care for that logic, I don’t want it”. That, I shouldn’t have said, as I got a total shut-down from the lady. “Next,” she said.

Please do not leave a message - Voicemail in Costa Rica

The Solution

While driving home, I thought about it. How can I sail around the Tico logic and make it work to my advantage?

When I got home, I found the paper that shows how to change the message on the voicemail and said first in Spanish “Hola, le habla Ivo de Bienes Raices GoDutch, no me deje mensajes por favor, llamame luego. Then immediately after that “Hello, this is Ivo of GoDutch Realty. Please don’t leave me a message, try calling again later.”

I’m very thankful that those old fashioned message machines are not used much anymore. We still have voicemail in the office. When people leave a message, they talk so fast, we can’t even understand what the message is. End of the story.


I’m a pretty decent communicator and always reachable. I have recently had to put my cellphone on the do not disturb setting from 8:00 pm – 7:am. There are a lot of people who have the need to call a realtor at 11:00 pm because they want to sell their house. I’m really getting too old for that.

So when you call me and I don’t answer, I beg you to call again or send me an email, a text message, a WhatsApp, or a text on Facebook messenger. Or fill out the contact form on this website. But please don’t leave a voicemail. That’s so much easier…

Oh, and the fax machine is out of order too, so please don’t send me any faxes. Just contact me the easy way, click here.

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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, when talking about your home in Costa Rica, please remember the GoDutch Realty agents. We appreciate it.

We Love your Referrals at GoDutch Realty

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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