Friday, January 06, 2006

Cingular's New Voice Mail System is Aggressively Idiotic

WTF was Cingular thinking when they re-designed their voice mail system late
last year?  It definitely gets my vote for the worst product of 2005 — it rubs
me the wrong way every single time I use my phone.

Why?  They force you have to listen to the entire length of a message
before you can delete it

The basic use case for VM is to listen to each message as far as you need to
and then save or delete it.  “Oh yeah, heard that already… delete.” or “Don’t
need to hear from him again…delete.” 

Imagine designing an email client that forces you to scroll through to the
bottom of each email message and then pause for 5–10 seconds before deleting
it.  Aggressively Idiotic.


Kurt Schrader said...

Hit the 3 key a few times during a message (it seems to fluctuate between 2 and 3 times, depending on the time of day, phase of the moon, and what I had for lunch that particular day) and it will jump to the end and you can delete it.

Ken Norton said...

Hit 7-7 to delete a message while it's playing.
My gripe is with the new "password-free" system. For years I've had to enter my PIN every time the voicemail answered, but now I don't have to. Why is that frustrating? My PIN starts with 7-7 (see above) and I'm programmed to start entering it as soon as the voicemail picks up. At which point I hear "message deleted"...

scottmcmullan said...

Ahh, thanks for the tips, particularly 7-7.
It's hard to change really bread and butter features for any product, particularly when there's zero apparent benefit to the user.
Habits form. Which is a good thing.

blasted771 said...

Just got off the phone with cingular tech support. They are unable to modify the "New Upgraded (down graded) voicemail" to allow hearing newest message first and fast page (dont need to listen to the message before either save or delete) COMPLETE STONEWALL TACTICS! Cingular is making tons of airtime money on checking voicemail (I now spend 3-5 mins where previously only spent 1 minute) and saving big $$ on voice message storage by forcing its customers to deal with expiring messages prior to hearing new current messages. They should be sued for false advertising... Class action lawsuit anyone??? By the way, the system is outsourced and the type of system they are using is "proprietary information" that they cannot release

Mike Manzano said...

To make it worse, after some time it makes you delete your messages. You have no choice. DUMB DUMB DUMB!

Daniel said...

Class action lawsuit, Hell Yes! Where Do I sign up. I wonder how many Traffic accidents cingular has cause by keeping there customers distracted on there cel phone 5 times loger than they need to be.

Robert Anderson said...

Verizon has a similar problem that drives me crazy: if you want to know when a message was left, you have to listen to the entire message and then navigate some menu to get extra information which includes the time.

Cheelay said...

You can also use 5 and 6 to Slow Down or Speed Up the messages while listening.

Stephen said...

It seems that Cingular's intent is to make sure you pay for every second of VM that's left on your phone. In simplest terms to eat away at your minutes. This may be legal, but will definately will cost them customers.