SMS instead of voicemail

I’m in India and I have my Indian SIM card in my phone. The thing I don’t have is voicemail. I investigated turning it on, but I got a long and convoluted set of options from the cell phone company that I couldn’t comprehend. So I just lived without it.

I actually love it.When people want to reach you and you’re not picking up, they just send you an SMS and tell you who they are and what the deal is. It is perfect –

You get a message you can read faster than listening to the voicemail.

By default it is pithy instead of a long, rambling message.

The phone number to call back is right there and you don’t have to write it down.

Landlines would have to be enabled to send SMSes in order for this to really work (think doctor’s office or some service provider calling) but I’m a fan of eliminating voicemail as a concept entirely and replacing it with text messages. Once landlines are enabled, I don’t see the downside. Already, companies like Simulscribe transcribe voicemail and send it to you in an email because it is easier and more convenient for people to read the message, thus proving the concept. Eliminating the concept of voicemail entirely would be awesome – one less thing to check.

The one downside to my cell phone service in India is that I don’t have call waiting. And it appears that many people don’t. So if someone is on the other line, you get the busy signal and you have to keep trying or they won’t even know that you tried to reach them.

Oh wait… I guess one could just send them an SMS instead!