Voicemail WTF



  • I've always wondered why most voicemails continue to have instructions on them.  We should all pretty much know what to do after the beep.

    Unless, of course, you're presented with the instructions I was just given.

    ring, ring, "to keep this time, press 1.  [his name in his voice]  pager notification press 3. Instructions will not be played"  BEEEEEP. 



  • Bored today huh?



  • The only thing that doesn't make sense is "to keep this time". But, I don't think it's that big of a deal, especially since there isn't any context here (type of business, role of person being called, does said person normally get outside calls, etc, etc).



  • I used to work for a voicemail company and dealt with weird crap like that all the time.  Sounds like recording people were looking one-line off from where they should be at the spreadsheet that associates filename with what to say, and nobody tested it before the release.

    If your WTF is from the same company, I laught at my friends who still work there due to the impending layoffs that will probably result from an unhappy customer.

    To answer your question about why it still needs to give you instructions.  Your "voicemail" is probably actually "unified communications", which is fancy talk for "voicemail with extra crap nobody uses".  If it was all enabled, you might need more direction to figure out how to send somebody an SMS instead of a voice message....

     Also, different vendors have different UI layouts.  Maybe on Comverse, 3 deletes a message, whereas on uOne 3 saves it.  Aren't you glad you had instructions on that one?  If they could agree on a standard, it wouldn't be such a problem.



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    The only thing that doesn't make sense is "to keep this time". But, I don't think it's that big of a deal, especially since there isn't any context here (type of business, role of person being called, does said person normally get outside calls, etc, etc).

    I'm assuming he had just called the guy and it was supposed to say "This is an automated voice messaging system.  [name] is not available right now.  To leave a voice message, press 1.  To send a fax, press 2..."



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    I'm assuming he had just called the guy and it was supposed to say "This is an automated voice messaging system.  [name] is not available right now.  To leave a voice message, press 1.  To send a fax, press 2..."

    I would assume the same, but your previous explanation would make sense of the "to keep this time" part. Assuming it is a manual setup issue, then somehow they mixed an admin message (setting the phone system time) with the public message. That would be really crazy, though, as everyone should end up with the same format. Our voicemail system uses the same structure for all people, but our personal recording is inserted at the appropriate spot. But, I guess there are systems out there that have to be set up for every single person. It's all speculation until the real cause is revealed. Still not much of a WTF, though.



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    I would assume the same, but your previous explanation would make sense of the "to keep this time" part. Assuming it is a manual setup issue, then somehow they mixed an admin message (setting the phone system time) with the public message.
     

    This sort of thing happened all the time on the system I worked on.  The UI was a giant mess of what can only be described as polymorphic XML spaghetti code. There was a base UI which was "extended" (generally by removing features) for customers by just redefining individual menus.  As a result, if you somehow managed to get to a menu you weren't supposed to be in, anything could happen.  Usually bugs like that came up from:

    1) Somebody doesn't install all the RPMs for the custom UI, so one of the dialogs doesn't get loaded properly, or
    2) Somebody assumes a standard configuration for the customer (feature X is always turned off), but the customer turns it on.  UI was never developed for that feature, so you end up in random page.

    As for the "to keep this time" prompt, I'm betting it came from a future delivery menu.  Record a message now, but don't actually send it until next Tuesday.  The others are from a user setting up his mailbox preferences though, so maybe this was letting him pick his timezone or something.  I'd be a little surprised if there was a phone interface to change the system clock.  Way too much potential to screw stuff up doing that.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    As for the "to keep this time" prompt, I'm betting it came from a future delivery menu.  Record a message now, but don't actually send it until next Tuesday.

    Ah ha! I forgot about that rarely-used feature. That does make more sense.

    @vt_mruhlin said:

    I'd be a little surprised if there was a phone interface to change the system clock.  Way too much potential to screw stuff up doing that.

    Who knows. I'd rather set the main time through the phone than use the asinine UI that most come with. We use an InterTel system, and that thing is a huge WTF. It even has a special connection (instead of just using the existing network), so only one computer can be used to access the phone server. Also, I've seen the UI, and it's a complete mess.

    Case in point: The time on my phone is 7 minutes behind the network time (synced to an internet time server, of course). It has been off for about 2 years (since they terminated our acting net admin).



  • I really hate how some (if not all) local providers here feel the need to tell you how to leave a voicemail message after the person's recorded message. So it's like:

    "Hi, this is xxx, I can't come to the phone right now, so leave me a message!" (slow monotone voice) "Please leave your message after the tone; when you are finished recording, please hang up or press the pound key for more options"

    I get so sick of those last 10 seconds every single time I get to somebody's mobile voicemail. I wish there was a way to skip it, but I haven't found one yet! Argh!



  • @rbowes said:

    I get so sick of those last 10 seconds every single time I get to somebody's mobile voicemail. I wish there was a way to skip it, but I haven't found one yet! Argh!

    You're not the only one that feels that way.



  • @rbowes said:

    I wish there was a way to skip it, but I haven't found one yet! Argh!

    Covers the 3 major US cell phone carriers.  If it's some other network, or you don't know, try #.  Worst case scenario, you'll get an "invalid key" message (and half the time it'll jump into message recording instead of replaying the instructions.  a great way to confuse an already confused user, but actually good for you).  Or more likely it'll go to the post-recording menu and let you re-record, at which point you may or may not hear the instructions again.



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    Case in point: The time on my phone is 7 minutes behind the network time (synced to an internet time server, of course). It has been off for about 2 years (since they terminated our acting net admin).

    Aye, I was thinking of the stuff I used to work on, which was used by large operators.  Ran on big expensive Solaris boxes and the only way to change the date would be to login as root and use the date command.  Had a tester try to change the date while it was running one time.  not a good idea.

    Great part about it was that there were several components that all ran on different boxes which were usually out of sync.  Made tracking through log files great.  No idea why the damned things didn't sync up to an NTP server somewhere.  I think maybe customer racks did, but the testbeds certainly didn't.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    Ran on big expensive Solaris boxes and the only way to change the date would be to login as root and use the date command.

    Our main application "server" runs on a crusty old white box PC. I don't know what the OS is, but it's Windows of some sort. There are also large cards mounted on a board on the wall. It's all in a closet.

    @vt_mruhlin said:

    No idea why the damned things didn't sync up to an NTP server somewhere.  I think maybe customer racks did, but the testbeds certainly didn't.

    Ours isn't part of the main network even though it provides IP functionality. We have a couple of people hundreds of miles away that have InterTel phones that link into our system so that they have an extension. I'm surprised those big cards can't pick up the time signal from an incoming call and keep it adjusted. Our cheap caller ID unit and cordless phones at home do that.



  • @rbowes said:

    I really hate how some (if not all) local providers here feel the need to tell you how to leave a voicemail message after the person's recorded message. So it's like:

    "Hi, this is xxx, I can't come to the phone right now, so leave me a message!" (slow monotone voice) "Please leave your message after the tone; when you are finished recording, please hang up or press the pound key for more options"

    I get so sick of those last 10 seconds every single time I get to somebody's mobile voicemail. I wish there was a way to skip it, but I haven't found one yet! Argh!

    Verizon.  Fuck Verizon.  I don't know if other providers do this (I never leave voicemails for myself, so I don't know about T-Mobile), but fuck Verizon. 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Verizon.  Fuck Verizon.  I don't know if other providers do this (I never leave voicemails for myself, so I don't know about T-Mobile), but fuck Verizon.

    That bad, eh?



  • Heh. I have two phones with two different providers (or in this country, summarise to "both companies") - one's mine and one belongs to my employer. Anyway, they both have completely different menus. On one, the menu is



    "To listen to the message again, press 1. To save, press 2. To delete, press 3. To call back the caller, press 0."



    On the other, it's



    "To replay the message, press 1. To send a message, press 2. To forward, press 3. To save, press 4. To delete, press 5. Next message, press 6. To pause, press 7. For help, press 8. To return the call, press 0."



    Obviously that's for retrieving messages, not saving them. There are NO options for when leaving messages here, it's "(personal message or default message) beep (record message) (hang up)".



  • Funny, but all voicemail systems have exactly the same interface as far as I'm concerned.

    "This is blah blah blah blah...." Yeah, I'll email (work)/text (home) you instead, then. 



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Bored today huh?
     

     

    Is this your first "contribution" for the day, MasterAsshat?  Tell us again how you "contribute" to the forums and the trolls don't? 

    Dumbass.


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