One voice mailbox for all


This week’s post on SMS Text News.

The more I think about it, the more frustrated I get by my inability to tie all my voice messages together in one place. I have several fixed lines, including home and home office, a couple of VoIP services and several mobiles. Whilst I don’t dish out all the numbers to callers, I still receive inbound calls on a variety of lines, each with its own mailbox. To minimise the places where messages get left, I withhold the caller ID on several numbers to stop callers using those numbers, however that’s very unsatisfactory because withheld numbers are an irritation for many of us.

I’ve thought of using a standard operator mailbox on one number and then diverting calls on no answer to that number but it’s messy to manage and really doesn’t do what I’m looking for. It also suffers from lack of options in message alerts and delivery.

My favourite voice mail provider is Spinvox. I use this on my primary mobile and it replaces the mobile operator’s generic voice mail service. Spinvox converts my messages to text and delivers them to my handset – I’ll be coming back to Spinvox in a future report. However the major problem I have with every voice mail provider I use is that they only support a single number and deliver messages or alerts to that number. What I need is one voice mail provider that will support all my fixed, mobile and VoIP numbers with a single mailbox that will deliver messages and alerts by SMS, speech to text or email, wherever I choose. I want to be able to add numbers to the mailbox so the system recognises them and then set up a simple divert on each number for when I’m unavailable. Fixed and mobile numbers would support this but VoIP adds a further complication. None of the VoIP services I’ve been using support call diversion using the standard codes – 21, 61, 62 etc – so that adds another complication. VoIP seems to be stuck in its own world as far as voice messaging goes.

I don’t want a service that means having a new number and I don’t want a service that generates a new outbound call to whatever destination number I choose. I’m not looking for an enterprise solution – my solution needs to be consumer oriented, inexpensive and simple to use. I’m convinced there would be demand for such a product as so many of us use multiple lines, numbers and devices. Does such a product already exist? And, it has to support UK numbers!

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