Look South

By Dave South

The voices in my head speak English

I have two pet peeves about voicemail systems. Scratch that. I have about a hundred pet peeves but I just want to point out two. The first is why am I asked to press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish?

The voicemail system is speaking English. I think it’s safe to assume that most people calling will speak English. Why not just ask, in Spanish, if the person speaks Spanish press 1. That’s it. If nothing happens, proceed in English.

How hard can that be?

Of course, after running through several nightmare voicemail systems, I can only assume that someone just gets perverse pleasure making the user experience as bad as possible.

So what about my second pet peeve?

When I get someone’s voicemail on the Verizon mobile network, I hear the person give their greeting and then I’m told:

“Press one to leave a voice message or wait for the beep. If you wish to leave a numerical page, press two. [wait a second or two]. To leave a voice message wait for the beep. [another second or two] [beep].”

What is that all about? It’s hard enough to get people to leave voicemail messages. Now we have to give a minute of instructions to use a system everyone knows how to use.

Numerical page?

Will someone please send Verizon a memo telling them it isn’t 1993, beepers are history. While you are at it, tell them it isn’t the 1970s either — people know how to use voicemail.

Just give the personal greeting and beep!