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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: 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.

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