“Hi, this is Don. Please don’t leave a message, I never check my voicemail. Rather SMS me or send me an email at don AT 21tanks DOT com. Thanks very much! Ciao.”

That’s my voicemail message.

I get mixed reviews. Most people love it and think it’s an efficient way of people getting hold of you. Others hate it, as now the burden lies on them to either SMS or email me with their message.

Why do I do it? It’s simple really.


OPTION 1: If you leave a voicemail message, I have to:

1. Read an SMS that tells me I have a voicemail message

2. Dial in to my voicemail

3. Listen to that boring chick’s voice

4. Press 2

5. Listen to the message

6. Scramble to find a pen and paper (or someone’s forehead) to take down your details if needed

7. Listen to boring chick again

8. Press 7 to delete

9. Hang up.


OPTION 2: If you send me an SMS or email, you have to:

1. Listen to voicemail stating my request for efficiency (including a splendid Italian touch with a subtle “Ciao!” at the end for good measure, leaving a smile on your face)

2. Type the SMS or email.

3. Press send.

Which leaves me to:

4. Read your SMS/email with your details and request, and take the next step.


Hmm… On a scale of zero to inconvenienced, which option would you rather choose?

The concept of voicemail is broken. It served a purpose years ago, but we’ve transcended that and realised there are much more efficient ways of leaving messages and getting in touch.

Firstly, you started the conversation, so why make it my problem (because OPTION 1 is definitely a problem) to find out what it is you want? Secondly, SMS and email is trackable. We don’t delete SMSs anymore because our phones can now, conveniently, store more than 12 at a time (shout out to my first cellphone, Nokia 6110 – word dawg), so I can conveniently find your SMS/email at an appropriate time to find out what it is you needed and call back if necessary. I also now have your details, because they were sent from either your phone or email address.

This is not only about me though. Every time I try to call someone, I send them a message if they don’t answer so as not to inconvenience them either. It’s a system we should all be subscribing to. Or just delete voicemail altogether, which will then force you to get hold of someone alternatively. I just like to give you the options.


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