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If You Agree With This Letter, Press 1

April 19, 2002

"The Message in Voicemail" (editorial, April 14) clearly describes the love-hate relationship most of us have with voicemail systems. It is unfortunate that the extraordinary technology Gordon Matthews created has become the subject of public ridicule. It's not the technology itself that causes people to consistently describe voicemail with the same negative adjectives you so appropriately used. The problem inevitably is with its implementation, which seldom is undertaken with the callers' needs in mind.

Navigating a voicemail system doesn't have to be frustrating. Unfortunately, the folks who program the systems and develop the messages we hear tend to be obsessed with how the technology functions rather than how effectively it communicates with customers. Finding ways to bring humanity, caring and joy to the voicemail experience would be a wonderful tribute to Matthews and his invaluable contribution to business communication.

Jack Armstrong

Pasadena

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