Voicemail: Still broken

August 1st, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Voicemail: Still broken”

Last year I shared my thoughts around why I hate voicemail, and why I ask callers to rather SMS or email me over leaving a voicemail message.

The gist:

If you send me an SMS or email, you have to:

1. Listen to voicemail stating my request for efficiency

2. Type the SMS or email.

3. Press send.

Which leaves me to:

4. Read your SMS/email with your details and request, and take the next step.

4 steps as opposed to the 9-step wonderment that is leaving and retrieving voicemail. Read the post again if you don’t believe me.

VoicemailI find it more common these days when I call people and it goes to voicemail. Most people are requesting “for a more immediate response, please SMS me”. I’m taking it that if I’m calling you, and you’re not available at that very moment, it would be fantastic to have a response that’s, in fact, more immediate.

I’ve taken it upon myself to now also never leave messages, and rather send an SMS, whether I’m requested to or not. I understand the efficiency, and should assist everyone else I think. It’s only fair.

So why have the network providers not done anything about this? Why still stick to the absolute chore that it voicemail?

I have a few thoughts on why, but mostly I think it’s legacy. Legacy that back in the day, answering machines on landlines existing because all we had was “voice”. Cellphones were invented, and voicemail was added. Then data started becoming the next big thing. Sending a message, an immediate delivery of content that someone on the other end could read and respond to (provided they had airtime, of course). So why not integrate the two?

There are some phones which allow “reply with message”, which the receiver of the call can select if they see a call coming in when they’re busy. However, if you miss the call completely, it’s then up to the caller to execute a plan to let you know he/she has been in touch.

Voicemail is not that plan.

It’s cumbersome, and it’s just plain old.

The network provider which solves this problem first will be winning at life, and I’ll finally stop having to preach the benefits.

Help me, help you. Ta.

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