I’m all for technology, but if there’s one thing that irritates the hell out of me, it’s voicemail.

I’m all for technology, but if there’s one thing that irritates the

hell out of me, it’s voicemail.

I am told it was devised with the aim of ironing out message-taking

problems, but how could anyone possibly believe that leaving a message

with a computer chip would enhance their company’s image?

Last week, I was trying to gather info on car advertising and so rang

one agency. ’Morning,’ I said to the receptionist, ’can I speak to

someone on (let’s say Mercedes)?’. With a quick ’putting you through’,

followed by a beep, I was through to voicemail hell. ’Hi, it’s Bob. I’m

not able to take your call, please leave a message.’ Right. Deep


Lay out what you’re going to say, I mentally note, and make it


So I open my mouth and suddenly my body is taken over by some bumbling,

half-witted lunatic and I begin umming for Britain.

Afterwards, I remember that I’ve forgotten to leave my phone number, so

I have go through the whole process again.

Four hours later, and no returned phone call, I start cursing and call

once again. Bob’s robotic message hasn’t changed. Despairing, I go back

to reception and request the assistance of someone else on the


Alas, no. I am passed through, yet again, to a voicemail. I go back

through to reception - again - and explain my predicament. ’Let me have

a look. Oh, yeah. Bob’s on holiday till next Tuesday and Betty (the

other ’helpful’ person) is on a course today.’

It would take these people two minutes to change the message and save

callers much frustration.

Next time I have an account to hand out, I’ll give it to the agency that

has a real live person answering the phone.

Send your rants to Diary Editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London

W6 7JP.

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