Friday, November 27, 2020

Voicemail is Dead. Long Live Voicemail.

October 14, 2007 by · 20 Comments 


I don’t like voicemail. My friends know that, and my family knows that. My voicemail greeting states that if you’d like to reach me faster, you better email me or text me. ‘Old Skool’ voicemail is just a drag at this point. It is an old technology that survives because it is needed, just like the Fax machine.

Unless you own a fancy new iPhone with visual voicemail, you’re stuck listening to various voicemails until you get to the one that is important; it’s like the 8-track player before the CD came out. Once you get to the message you want to hear, you have to listen to its prompts, introductions, excuses, and quickly spoken numbers or addresses. Usually you have to repeat this process various times until you get all the information you needed, but by then you’ve wasted at least 3 minutes of your precious time. To add salt to your time-wound, some carriers charge you extra or out-of-your-bundle minutes to access your voicemail.

I say.. enough!

Aside from the iPhone’s visual voicemail, there are several interesting solutions out there. One is Spinvox, which allows you to have voicemail converted to text and then sent to you. It isn’t cheap though. Another service is Callwave, which for now seems free. I have no idea how any of these perform since I haven’t tried them out myself.

However, the ones that I have tried are Symbian software based… Mobisophy makes two products which allow you to customize your voicemail message and trigger an event. One of them, the IVR product, lets you transfer calls to other numbers if people press pre-specified keys, as well as providing customized greetings depending on what selection they make or what white list they belong to. [ Clarification: All your messages are stored locally on your device. This means you don’t need to call your carrier’s voicemail, they are listed like visual voicemail and they are stored on your memory card for access even if there is no reception]. Mobisophy’s more simple product, phonepilot also allows you to provide customized greetings, just that you don’t have all of the IVR functionality. Very cool and powerful software indeed, but unfortunately, you network needs to support call join (conference call), and in the UK, I was unable to get this to work on Vodafone and T-Mobile. In the USA I know it works with T-Mobile though.

So until voicemail becomes a thing of the past, you can at least enjoy yourself by setting up your IVR and making it into an endless loop like most customer service help lines thus discouraging people from leaving you a voicemail.

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