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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:25AM   Printer-friendly
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.

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  • (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.

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    • (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.
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      • (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.
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  • (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.
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    • (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.
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  • (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.