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Voicemail that doesn’t suck

Ever wonder why voicemail systems seem to universally use the 7 key to skip to the next message?   I'll give you a clue… the 7 key also includes the letters PWRS underneath it.  Yes, "S" is for "skip".  That was pointed out to me in 1985 when yours truly was a student programmer working on the Meridian Voicemail system for Nortel.  It was a quick mnemonic hack that enabled the geeky programmers (like me) to remember which keys did what on the voice mail system. Fast forward 20 years, and we're still using 7 for skip. It's still geeky and it still sucks. 

Voicemail systems are the cockroaches of telecom — primitive, stupid and they just won't go away.image

Thankfully a crop of new telecom startups have appeared trying to address this. The latest I've seen is Pinger Voicemail, which, if it were available in Canada, I'd probably switch to immediately.  With Pinger Voicemail users can:

  • Record unique, personalized greetings for each of their friends, family members or co-workers.
  • Receive visual voicemail showing envelope information about the sender, message duration, date and time for each voicemail.
  • Manage their voicemail accounts and access and reply to their messages from the web.
  • Reply to and forward messages directly from their voicemail without making separate calls.
  • Store voicemail messages forever.

The best part, though, is that you don't have to change your phone number to get it.  Simply dial 408-916-5008 to switch your voice mail from your carrier provided voice mail to Pinger.  It's free, and if you don't agree that it doesn't suck, they'll help you switch back to your old voicemail system when you're done trying it.

Pinger Voicemail was announced yesterday and is available to customers on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Alltel.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • matt lambert February 7, 2008, 3:51 pm

    That's hilarious Alec

    I'd imagine that voicemail is now a part of every telephone system and mobile device sold in the last 7 or 8 years. Some of them aren't even as stupid as they used to be.

    Innovation has to be admired though – so more power to them, Iotum and ilk


  • Jeanette February 8, 2008, 12:07 am

    This is why I follow you on Twitter. Thank you for the info.

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