Pulling the Plug on Voicemail

JPMorgan Chase is shutting off voicemail for some employees in its consumer and community banking unit.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJune 2, 2015
Pulling the Plug on Voicemail

JPMorgan Chase is eliminating landline voicemail for some of its employees to cut expenses and boost the bottom line, according to Wall Street Journal article.

Gordon Smith, chief executive of J.P. Morgan’s consumer and community banking unit, reportedly said at a financial conference that the $10-per-month service per person has become obsolete for many within his unit.

“We realized that hardly anyone uses voicemail anymore … we’re all carrying something in our pockets that’s going to get texts or e-mail or a phone call,” Smith said.

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The measure is part of the bank’s overall plan to cut the consumer and community unit’s expenses by $2 billion by 2017, the details of which Smith laid out at an investor conference in February.

At Tuesday’s conference, Smith said his unit is still on track to meet the overall expense reductions.

“We’ve laid out pretty good plans around branch automation, what we’re doing with digital and mobile … the mortgage servicing space,” he reportedly said. “The vast majority of [the expense savings] are just where we want them to be.”

In December 2014, Coca-Cola gave workers at its Atlanta headquarters the option to shut off voicemail on their office phones. Only 6% elected to keep voicemail.

Services such as Vonage have seen a big drop in voicemail retrieval the past three years.

A JPMorgan spokeswoman told the WSJ that the processing of cutting voicemail within the roughly 135,900-person consumer and community banking unit continues each month based on which businesses need access.

Personalized voicemails are being replaced by a generic message that says the person isn’t available and for the caller to please try back at another time.