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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:25AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Televox dept.

Duane D. Stanford reports at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big campany to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use “an alternative method” to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. “People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail,” says Michael Schrage. “People under 35 scarcely ever use it.” Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. “Many people in many corporations simply don’t have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day,” says Schrage, In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they’re better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who’s called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper."

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Doctor on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:04AM

    by Doctor (3677) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:04AM (#128842)

    “People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail,” says Michael Schrage.

    I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean exactly, but I am "north of 40" and I can tell you that I hate it when people leave me voice mail. Really, if I don't answer the phone either send a text which I can rapidly see or call back later. How hard is it? I tend to delay listening to voice mail for hours or sometimes days unless I think it is something important (almost never is) because voice mail is such a pain in the ass.

    --
    "Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way." - The Doctor
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aristarchus on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:15AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:15AM (#128857) Journal

      I like voice-mail, because I usually ignore phone calls, and if it is important, the person on the other end will bother to leave a message. Unfortunately, this is not enough to certify that the message is actually important.

      --
      "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Wednesday December 24 2014, @10:16AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @10:16AM (#128878) Journal
        I get the same thing without voicemail (which I've disabled). If I answer the phone, talk. If I don't answer the phone, then either call back later or send me an email. This works as a much better filter than voicemail, because it's not immediate and you can't just start blithering (with no edit feature) and expect me to listen to whatever you said, you have to fire up a mail client and write something down.
        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 1) by Pino P on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:34AM

          by Pino P (4721) on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:34AM (#129016) Journal

          If I don't answer the phone, then either call back later or send me an email.

          Email is fine for things that can wait two and a half hours for the sender to get to a desk to compose and send a message. Some things are slightly more urgent than that. How much "later" should someone call you back?

          • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:47AM

            by TheRaven (270) on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:47AM (#129054) Journal
            I check my email a lot more frequently than I ever checked voicemail. If something doesn't require me to reply in realtime, always send an email. Only call me if you actually want to talk to me, otherwise you're wasting my time and yours.
            --
            sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Wednesday December 24 2014, @10:13AM

      by Arik (4543) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @10:13AM (#128876) Journal
      I agree. Voicemail was NEVER essential, it's always been stupid and pointless. I'm old enough I remember having a phone line before vmail was invented, and I remember the phone company first tried pitching this as an extra service for a discrete monthly fee. That was great, because I could just say no thanks and ignore it. Well it wasnt long before they just added it anyway, with no way to disable it or turn it off, no way to cancel it, and acted like isnt that so great! Well, no. Go die in a fire actually.

      I have from the beginning refused to set up or check the damned thing on my personal lines period. If required for work, I will periodically delete the backlog of unlistened to messages, or record an outgoing message that says dont leave a message. And there is no line at 35, this extends to people 70+. Frankly I dont know anyone that DOES use voicemail.

      Here's what actually happens. You call, it shows on the call log. I can either call you back, or I can waste time calling vmail, logging into it, listening to your message, and THEN call you back. The latter takes a lot more time to get to the exact same place. So dont leave a message, hangup now. If there is information that you need to convey to me without waiting till I can reach you back then send an email.

      And my phone company STILL wont let me turn this crap off, btw.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by gargoyle on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:30PM

        by gargoyle (1791) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:30PM (#128889)

        Voicemail isn't pointless. The caller only gets charged with a connected call. With Voicemail every call gets answered regardless of how useful that is to the caller and hence every call makes the phone operator money (outside of private company exchanges)

        /cynacism

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Pino P on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:16AM

        by Pino P (4721) on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:16AM (#129012) Journal

        Here's what actually happens. You call, it shows on the call log.

        When voice mail was invented [wikipedia.org], there was no such thing as a call log [wikipedia.org]. And there are still plenty of carriers that charge a substantial amount more for caller ID service, especially on a land line.

        • (Score: 1) by Arik on Thursday December 25 2014, @09:03AM

          by Arik (4543) on Thursday December 25 2014, @09:03AM (#129063) Journal
          The answering machine is not the same thing as voicemail.

          Answering machines were around for years before they started centralized voicemail systems, which are obviously an extension of the same idea but on a different scale and architecture. But answering machines were optional and under customer control rather than the phone cos.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:58PM (#128970)

      I'm also "north of 40" and have never liked telephones, nevermind voicemail. The worst is on my mobile - dial this number, try to recall a pin, joggle through menus, listen to expired irrelevant yacking. Send me a TXT or and email - those I will answer. Voicemail - talk to the machine and waste your time, your money and the provider's server space.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:15AM (#128845)

    I hate telephones.

    They are a level 1 ( immediate service required ) interrupt which is rarely used for a level 1 situation.

    They seem mostly used by salesmen trying to shanghai one into a situation where they know exactly what to say before the recipient who took his call knows what's going on.

    Or anyone else trying to get an obligation out of me.

    At least the email provides written documentation of the call and what the caller wanted.

    As far am concerned, this damned phone is nothing more than a damned leash where I am socially required to answer the thing every time it makes a bunch of noise.

    Telemarketers will see to it they will continue to send enough unwanted email so that "it got lost in the spam filter" will be a socially acceptable reply to an ignored email.

    Machines can be "rude" by ignoring people, however once you have a live one on a realtime analog line, now its rude to hang up on them or fail to do what was promised by one trying to hasten the end of the call.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by GungnirSniper on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:18AM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:18AM (#128846) Journal

    We all have that colleague who needs his questions answered immediately and typically uses read receipts when he emails. If he knows you've read the email and you haven't replied within 10 minutes or so, and he will then call or drop by. It's quite annoying, as though we exist simply to answer his questions. But he sees no problem with leaving a voicemail about the topic he's already emailed about, which is even more displeasing. When he emails, it is time for a smoke break.

    Voicemail is handy for appointment reminders, but even those are starting to go via text message.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Whoever on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:30AM

      by Whoever (4524) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:30AM (#128859) Journal

      We all have that colleague who needs his questions answered immediately and typically uses read receipts when he emails. If he knows you've read the email and you haven't replied within 10 minutes or so, and he will then call or drop by.

      Why don't you just turn off the sending of read receipts?

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:41AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:41AM (#128862) Journal

        Tip: Enforce your priority queue with force.

        Ie, ignore all voice and knock-knock pleas.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by lentilla on Wednesday December 24 2014, @07:00AM

        by lentilla (1770) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @07:00AM (#128865)

        I remember with pride the day when I finally stopped Lotus Notes sending read receipts. I can't remember how my solution worked but I remember it wasn't simple, perhaps made deliberately so by policy.

        Prior to that, I'd simply avoid reading emails from those people until they helicoptered over to my desk - whereupon I'd "open" the email (to send the now-superfluous receipt) - and then start complaining how "snowed under" I was and how I'd get to their issue "as soon as possible". Passive/aggressive; I realise; but I have learnt that people hear best when you speak their language: "I'm, like, so busy!" is far more acceptable to your archetypal read-receipt-requester than "Yep, saw it, prioritised it." answer.

        Once I'd cracked Lotus' receipt sending mechanism, I then realised I could co-opt it into sending a read receipt every five minutes or so ("oh dear, I have no idea why that is happening!"). I suspect this would be more effective in getting a repeat offender to turn off the read receipt request: it seems apparent that they aren't interested in being polite but sometimes personal inconvenience (in this case a flood of receipts) can assist these people to see the world from eyes other than their own - "assisted empathy", if you will. Of course; being a generally nice guy; I only toyed with the idea, smiled at the implications and then got on with life.

        • (Score: 5, Funny) by cmn32480 on Wednesday December 24 2014, @01:17PM

          by cmn32480 (443) <cmn32480NO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday December 24 2014, @01:17PM (#128899) Journal

          I had a user who had read and delete receipts set on all her emails. And she sent A LOT of emails. One day when cleaning out my deleted items, Outlook prompted me for each message to send or not send the delete receipt. I accidentally (I swear) clicked "Yes for All". The user got nearly 1500 delete receipts just from me. The Comptroller did the same thing a few weeks later, and sent her nearly 5000.

          I nearly fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard.

          --
          "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:45AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:45AM (#128852) Journal

    Voice mail occupy your time right there and then. The processing speed is dictated by the sender even if your brain is faster. The same can be said of the telephone, but at least there one can deal with the situation dynamically. "Get to the point... bzz bzz can't hear you *plonk*".
    And most audiovisual communication is based on the idea to make use of body language cues and fast talking. Something sleazy people does best. So forcing them into the written documentation track puts them where they need to be.

    So good riddance to drop this shit design!

    • (Score: 2) by Sir Finkus on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:58AM

      by Sir Finkus (192) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:58AM (#128854) Journal

      The best part is when it requires a reply, and they leave their number at the end of the message. If you miss it, you get to listen to the whole thing all over again. Good riddance. Voicemails can not die quickly enough.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:37AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:37AM (#128861) Journal

        Easily solved. If it ain't interesting within 10 seconds *plonk* And then claim "couldn't hear the phone number so couldn't get back" .. "sorry" ;)

        The problem is when that voice mailer is the one handing over the salary check or controlling your family life ie wife. Best solution is to clean your life of all mental dinosaurs. It's a not an age thing. It's a thought process thing.

        • (Score: 2) by Sir Finkus on Wednesday December 24 2014, @07:03AM

          by Sir Finkus (192) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @07:03AM (#128866) Journal

          Trouble is, at my last job I was legally required to return all phone calls if I could

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday December 24 2014, @01:15PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @01:15PM (#128898) Journal

            Only do so when the messages are clear and short? otherwise claim they are not possible to hear what is said. And of course put them last on the priority list and just do a minimum service as to send the message to use other communication means.

      • (Score: 1) by schad on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:40PM

        by schad (2398) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:40PM (#128892)

        Meh. VM, like email and just about everything else, could've been a useful tool, had it not been ruined by all the people who had no fucking clue how to use it. I don't mean people who didn't know how to operate the system; I mean the people who, for example, didn't plan out the message they wanted to leave, and therefore had to stream-of-consciousness the thing on the spot. With predictable results, like 5-minute rambling messages that never included the caller's name or phone number.

        This is what happens when you take a tool that requires some thought to use and just give it to everybody. Back when voicemail was an answering machine, and people had to buy it special and set it up themselves, you could be pretty assured, as a caller, that somebody was going to listen to your message if you left one. Conversely, if there was no machine -- or you got this thing called a "busy signal" -- you knew to call back later. But the fact that everyone gets VM by default now means you can't tell the difference between those situations and therefore can't choose an appropriate response. Now, in order to cover all your bases, you have to leave a VM, send a text message, send an email, and call back. As a person who receives messages, not only do you have to check all those things -- who knows what method a caller will use to try to reach you? -- but you also need to check your call log for those people who call and leave no message of any kind. Remind me again how this shit is making our lives easier?

        So yeah, I'll go with the controversial -- maybe not so controversial here -- opinion that making things easy to use ruins them. And that for communication in particular makes our lives worse.

        I'm really becoming a luddite in my old age.

  • (Score: 2) by meisterister on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:55AM

    by meisterister (949) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:55AM (#128864) Journal

    ...if I could just remember/automatically have the damn password remembered! I don't mind the idea of voicemail because in my experience most people get their point across quickly enough that you can just skip to the next message anyway.

    --
    (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @08:20AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @08:20AM (#128871)

    as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS

    I see 1 extra word in that statement.
    I'm guessing there are folks who have tried that company's recent products who will spot it right away.

    -- gewg_

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @03:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @03:11AM (#129035)

      I hate to diss DOS.

      It is one of the few relics of the early computing era that I still use and trust.

      It ranks right up there in trustworthiness with an Arduino.

      I would trust a DOS based machine for critical operations. As I would an Arduino.

      I would be hard pressed to trust any modern machine that much. They may look pretty, but its like that highly paid man wearing the Armani suit and loves to shake hands... he's apt to steal from you. He doesn't do anything useful; rather he makes his living by looking good.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @04:10AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @04:10AM (#129039)

        Any device manufacturer who makes Windoze-only firmware updaters is thoroughly clueless.

        A Linux-based firmware updater isn't actually better.
        You absolutely DON'T need a MULTITASKING environment running at those times.
        That's just asking for trouble.
        N.B. This is one of the times that "brick" is the proper word.

        DOS is the ideal foundation for these functions:
        Load the OS, do the task, and GTFO.

        ...but with FreeDOS available gratis and libre, there's still no need to use (and, indeed, to pay a licensing fee for) one of Redmond's products.

        -- gewg_

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @08:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @08:36AM (#128872)

    fsck it yeah fsck it isnt that what you wanted

    I TOUCHmyself

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Common Joe on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:31PM

    by Common Joe (33) <reversethis-{moc ... 1010.eoj.nommoc}> on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:31PM (#128890) Journal

    I'm floored by how many people are happy with the death of voice mail.

    First of all, many people don't reply back to texts or emails. Ever. It's a horrible way to connect with a lot of people. And if they aren't answering their phone for a few hours, how can you flag something as "Important and Pay attention to me"? Voice mails were my big red flag that something important was going on.

    When I program or go out with my wife or read a book or watch a movie, I disconnect from the world. No texts. No email. No IMing. No IRC. No Skyping. I want to focus on what I'm doing and I don't want distraction. Phone is the only way to get a hold of me. (And it better be important.)

    When I'm at work and I'm in the zone, the only way to get a hold of me is by calling my desk. I don't want to be interrupted except for emergencies. Sure, when I'm out of the zone, I'll turn everything back on. (In a meeting? Phone off.)

    [Rant] I know I live in a world that does things differently than I do, but I feel there are too many ways to communicate with people. I prefer email. A friend of mine only checks email once a week and says to get a hold of her via Facebook. I hate Facebook. Another friend only uses Whatsapp and doesn't use email or Facebook at all. Because of financial reasons, I can't afford a smart phone so Whatsapp is out for me. (It makes getting hold of him difficult.) My parents don't respond to anything Internet related. I have friends all over the world and I've found it's impossible to keep track of who uses what when the new fad comes along every 3 years and fragments things worse.

    I always imagined that calling someone and leaving a voice mail was the one thing that held people together. I suppose I should have taken the hint when one of my brothers (younger than me) stopped listening to my voice mails and just started calling me back instead.[/Rant]

    Ok, kids. You can get off my lawn now. Man, I feel like a dinosaur.

    • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:54PM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:54PM (#128894)

      My friends and colleagues all get and respond to email. Some of them will also use Google Hangouts. I know they use the fad social media stuff too, but we all communicate that way unless it's an emergency. The simple presence of a phone call is a symbol it's important. No one leaves me a voice mail, because I'm going to call back immediately so that I know what the situation is and how it's changed since god knows when the voice mail actually happened.

      My parents use email, but prefer phone calls. I oblige them, but as a rule both sides keep it on speakerphone or earpieces so that we can keep working on whatever we were doing prior to the interruption. I love them, but I'm not about to stop soldering to hold a cinderblock with a speaker in it up to my ear to chat.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:52PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:52PM (#128969) Journal

        I'm one of the few who aren't mobile (phone-wise): i looove email. I can ignore it if i want to, respond when i want, delete without even looking at it, spam the garbage.

        I am also not a 'talk on the phone' kind of person: i hate trying to make conversation, or having to listen to boring people who just talk to hear themselves (although, sometimes its a laugh, some of the things that come out of the idiots mouths because they are talking without thinking).

        I send quick emails to say what i want/need to say and i am done.
        Love it.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:40PM (#128941)

      There are lots of other methods now, but I basically agree with your post.

      Upside is, if someone doesn't want to leave me a voicemail then it wasn't something important. It is really email that is dead, and IM/text is something that only those privileged enough to get me no matter what get.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Pino P on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:42AM

      by Pino P (4721) on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:42AM (#129018) Journal

      Another friend only uses Whatsapp and doesn't use email or Facebook at all. Because of financial reasons, I can't afford a smart phone so Whatsapp is out for me. (It makes getting hold of him difficult.)

      Have you tried these?

      • Use Bluestacks or another Android emulator [ndtv.com] to run the WhatsApp client for Android on your PC.
      • Inform all the mutual friends of this situation and recommend to them to leave the WhatsApp-only user out of any social gatherings.
      • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Saturday December 27 2014, @10:54AM

        by Common Joe (33) <reversethis-{moc ... 1010.eoj.nommoc}> on Saturday December 27 2014, @10:54AM (#129438) Journal

        I've looked into Bluestacks (which is the best of the bunch by a long shot supposedly). It is a bit invasive, though. Look at the uninstall process [bluestacks.com].

        For better and worse, my friends are multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and international. Different groups use different things and everyone is kind of stuck in their ways. I'm part of nine different social online groups to keep track of all my friends and people I know... and that does not include Whatsapp. Adding yet another thing to keep track of is an awful thought to me and I have several friends telling me I need to join yet several other groups. I'm kind of sick trying to keep track of all of it. I don't want to pick and choose my friends, but the divergence of communication may make that necessary in the next few years. I can't tell my friends what to use as they will do what they want to do. I can only change what I do. Some will remain solely on Facebook. Others will remain solely on Whatsapp. Not sure what I will do yet.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26 2014, @04:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26 2014, @04:29AM (#129232)

      Most are getting this wrong.

      What killed voice mail? Callerid.

      I see someone called and call them back. "didnt you listen to..." "not yet"

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by iamjacksusername on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:39PM

    by iamjacksusername (1479) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:39PM (#128940)

    Voicemail is a legacy of a period when the only way to real time, or near-real time, communicate with somebody was via phone. Voicemail systems became quite affordable in the 80s for small to medium size businesses. Electronic messaging did not exist outside of giant multinationals or academic settings so voicemail or fax was it; if you wanted to speak to someone, and they were not immediately available, voicemail served as a way to initiate a general discussion on a topic. Now, electronic messaging should be used for all other functions that do no require synchronous, real-time communication.

    As others have mentioned, phone calls are inherently interrupting and voicemails are significantly less information dense than an equivalent email. Personally, I give a person 15 seconds on a voicemail to get to the point before I delete the message (whether the message is done or not). If I did not get a call back number or information by then, too bad. I go by this rule of thumb - if it is important, they will send me an email or call me back. If they do not, clearly the message was not that important. It is question of control over one's time; by letting a phone or voicemail interrupt or dictate how you spend your time, you are allowing others to control your time.

    A good example of this is the anger I see in older (60+year old) people when they receive marketing cold calls at home. They get genuinely upset about them. I always tell them to let the calls go to voicemail if they do not recognize the caller ID. However, they were acculturated in a different time when phone calls were much more rare so they still feel compelled to answer the phone because "it could be important". It is just a different way of looking at things so changing it will require a major effort. Eliminating voicemail will go along way to forcing this cultural shift.

    • (Score: 1) by Pino P on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:47AM

      by Pino P (4721) on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:47AM (#129019) Journal

      A good example of this is the anger I see in older (60+year old) people when they receive marketing cold calls at home. They get genuinely upset about them. I always tell them to let the calls go to voicemail if they do not recognize the caller ID.

      Unlike cellular lines, POTS lines don't include caller ID as a standard feature. I wonder how many of these seniors are upset at having to pay another $8.33 per month for caller ID service.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:51PM

    by mechanicjay (7) <reversethis-{gro ... a} {yajcinahcem}> on Wednesday December 24 2014, @05:51PM (#128956) Homepage Journal

    My Biggest issue with VM systems is how we went from, "Leave a message:" to "The caller you have dialed is not available. At the tone, please leave a message for "Mr. McGuillicutty". After the tone, you can press 1 to save the message, 2 to unleash screaming monkeys, 3 to dial 911 or 4 to repeat this message..............."

    I just hang up at this point, because I can't be bothered to sit through the whole damn thing. At this point every a-hole on the planet knows what an answering machine sounds like, no need for 30 seconds worth of instructions every single fucking time. If there is no answer, I'm pretty sure I can tap out text and send it before I'd be done listening to the automated spiel.

    --
    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
  • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Thursday December 25 2014, @01:39AM

    by quacking duck (1395) on Thursday December 25 2014, @01:39AM (#129024)

    I know the article's about a corporate voicemail, but others mentioned texting over leaving a voicemail so cell phone are fair game here.

    A lot of people here seem to hate voicemail, but the reasons are mostly that it's clunky, it's sequential, have to remember password/PIN, etc.

    So I'm curious what people think about the Visual Voicemail system that Apple introduced to the masses with the first iPhone in 2007. With VVM you no longer had to punch in a PIN every time, or navigate byzantine touchtone menus, or listen to new messages sequentially, or remember which key to press to jump back a few seconds (if that was even an option) to better hear something you missed, or... etc. It was almost like a receive-only email inbox but with voice. Heck even the personalized greeting message became nice to manage.

    Carriers later offered "visual" voicemail to other phones, in that you'd get a text of a message run through voice recognition, but it always mangled any uncommon words (especially technical jargon and other languages). Sometimes you could get the meaning from phonetical context, other times you'd have to dial in to the voicemail service anyway to make sense of it.

    True, iPhone VVM needed the carrier to upgrade their systems to support it first, had a minor add-on cost, and maybe it merely improving and extending a technology that's now clearly destined for the trash heap, but it seemed pretty darn ingenious and elegant at the time.

  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 30 2014, @02:17PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 30 2014, @02:17PM (#130192) Journal

    Man, I hate telephones. Other than people trying to get money, the only people who call me are my office and my mother. Depending on who it is at the office I may or may not answer it (ie, I *might* answer if it's the second shift guy in my position...anyone else I figure they should ask him first). But voicemail is *great*. I use Google Voice, so it texts me a transcript as soon as they leave a message. The transcripts aren't perfect (particularly when they're trying to understand a heavy Indian accent!) but they're generally good enough for me to figure out if I actually need to call the person back.

    Voicemail is great because telephones suck. Anything that can make a phone call act more like an email is excellent as far as I'm concerned. Leave a message and I'll get back to you; don't and I'll assume it wasn't important. Or if I'm *really* bored, maybe I'll pick up your call. But everyone knows I probably won't ;)

    Sure, I'd prefer people email or text. But if they really must talk, they can talk to a machine and I'll deal with it...eventually. Preferably as text.