I’ve been reading, with a certain wry amusement, a number of sites praising the development of No More Voicemail, an app that sends phone calls to an endless ring tone.
The app is pretty basic. Install the app on your phone and after certain number of rings the caller is forwarded to a number that doesn’t pick up. That’s right, no messages. It will ring until you decide to pick up or the person on the other end hangs up. I’ve been reading articles that claim it will force people to give up and send a text message instead. I have no problem with someone who doesn’t want to use voice mail and turns it off, but this notion that everyone has a cell phone, can text or wants to, is obnoxious.
What’s my beef? Well let’s start with the entire passive aggressive FU tone of this app.
If you don’t want messages, setup your service to warn people. It's fine not to want voice mail, as I said, but don't leave people hanging, tell them how to contact you. No More Voicemail pretty much plays silly buggers with friends and customers by sending them to no pick up hell. Talking to people isn’t archaic, nor is using voice mail.
Second big irritant? Not everyone can text. Guess what? There are people with visual impairments who struggle with seeing the screen on a phone. There are people with mobility issues and find texting difficult. There are people who simply don’t text because it’s not easy for them. I can count, off the top of my head, at least 10 of my customers who would be stranded if people stopped using voice mail. Yes they can send email, but it’s not always convenient.
Their slogan is “Because texting is faster”. No, it isn’t. It takes no time to leave a phone message. It takes very little of my time to check my messages. It takes just as much time to compose a text message. For some of us, it takes more time. I use texting, but loath the tiny keyboard that causes so many embarrassing typos, so I usually wait until I can fire up Viber on my tablet.
Third issue? This is directly from their site:
“No More Voicemail helps you stop your voicemail box from becoming full, and from needing to check or return messages at all, by sending your unanswered phone calls to endless ringing.”
Love that bit about no need to return messages at all. Um, there is a need. It’s called being an adult and using good etiquette. Yea, voice mail can be annoying - I’m notorious for my phone aversion and complete loathing of voice mail, but it serves a purpose. An important purpose. I have texting, voicemail and email available for my customers and friends. They choose which method is easiest for them to use. I have 2 friends who simply can’t text – it’s not possible for them. So, this brings me back to my previous passive aggressive comment. Installing an app like this would be tantamount to thumbing my nose at them, telling them I don’t give a rat’s ass about their inability to use texting. It’s one thing for a person to do this on their private phone. It’s up to their friends to straighten them out. But if you are a business, then shame on you. If you find it sooo difficult to pick up your phone, or heaven’s above, configure your service to send voice messages to text, then you need a boot up the back side and a priority check.
The entire attitude behind the app and it’s slogan is arrogant, faux cutting edge. Pick up your damn messages, the person who left it may not be able to text.