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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: 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!

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  • (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.