Updated: October 5, 2012 6:20AM
Technology’s ceaseless pursuit of efficiency appears to be claiming another victim: voicemail.
With the rise of texting, instant chat and transcription apps, more people are ditching the tool that once revolutionized the telephone business, displaced armies of secretaries and allowed us to eat dinner more or less in peace.
The behavioral shift is occurring in tandem with the irreversible fading of voice calls in general, prompting more wireless carriers to offer unlimited voice minutes.
In data prepared for USA Today, Vonage, an Internet phone company, says the number of voice-mail messages left on user accounts was down 8 percent in July from a year ago.
Checking voice mail seems to be an even a bigger chore than leaving a voice message. Retrieved voicemail fell 14 percent among Vonage users in the same period.
Responding to the trend, the company offers a new service that converts voice messages for delivery as email or text.
The service also emails a direct link to the voice-mail audio file, letting users bypass several steps to listen to it.
“Voice transcription isn’t perfect,” said Michael Tempora, senior vice president of product management at Vonage.
“But they understand who called and what the message is about,” he said.
The transcription tools make skimming through messages easier for on-the-go users.
Gannett News Service