Has anyone noticed how answering machines are becoming more and more stupid these days? I remember not long ago when you got an answering machine the conversation would go something like this.

Ring… Ring… Ring…
Hello you have reached Jose Gomez I am not available right now, leave a message after the beep.
Beep…..

Now a days you spend more time figuring out what the machine wants than you spend actually leaving a message. No wonder almost everyone that calls stops short of leaving a message. I think the most absurd “feature” of today’s answering machine is that it gives you the message multiple times. It goes something like this

Ring… Ring .. Ring…
Machine:Call transferred to Voicemail Please Wait….
Message: Hi you have reached  I am not available right now leave a message after the beep.
Machine: To leave a message press one
User: 1
Machine: Please leave a message after the tone when you are finished press #
Beep…
User: #
Machine: To listen to your message press 1,to mark message as urgent press 2 now, for more options press *, to end the call press 3
User: 3
Machine: Good Bye

I mean can someone explain to me what was wrong with the old style. I don’t know about you but I get so angry with this things at times; and I am not even going to mention the “voice activated ones” who told anyone that pushing a button was a problem and they should write this absolutely horrible system so that I could try to talk to it? Its a machine, it is not supposed to understand English!

The funny thing is that the annoyance happens to both the person leaving a message and the person receiving the message. The person that receives the message has to navigate trough  similar menus pushing buttons or talking to the machine until finally you hear something like this

Machine: Message 1 from phone number 123-333-3333 received at 12:00 AM to listen to the message press 1
User: 1
Machine: First message
Machine: End of message, to repeat press 1, for more options press 2
User: 2
Machine: Message options, to call back press 1, to listen to message press 2, to listen to message details press 3, to delete press 7
User: 7
Machine: To confirm delete press #
User: #
Machine: Message deleted to un-delete press * 3, for more options press # to end call please hang up or press 9 now.
User: 9
Machine: Good Bye

I am going to check and see if I still have my old cassette player answering machine laying around, I bet that would make people happy… Oh wait, it won’t make a difference because the machines now come embedded in my really expensive phone system… Does anyone have an old rotary phone laying around? I need it for my answering machine to work.

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2 Comments on Answering Machines

  1. […] Machines Posted in July 1st, 2008 by in Uncategorized Answering Machines Ring… Ring .. Ring… Machine:Call transferred to Voicemail Please Wait…. Message: Hi you have […]

  2. Ian says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a difference between answering machines and voicemail? Answering machines hold messages locally on some sort of storage device, while voicemail stores messages somewhere off the phone.