VoxSurf Reveals That Frustrated UK Mobile Users Are Baffled by Traditional Voicemail Systems

LONDON, U.K. - Research from VoxSurf reveals that more than one-third of UK mobile users are so confused by their voicemail systems that they can do little more than check for new messages. Two-thirds of UK users consider their traditional voicemail service to be 'difficult,' 'sometimes difficult' or 'average' in terms of navigability. Only 16 percent of mobile users indicated they were pleased with the service that their mobile operators provided.

Meanwhile, poor access to voice messages is causing mobile phone users to miss business meetings and run the risk of disagreements in their personal lives.

The research found email and SMS comfortably beat voicemail on ease-of-use and accessibility. Approximately 90 percent of respondents saw email as easier to use than voicemail, with 80 percent finding SMS a simpler option than voicemail. While only 53 percent of users check their voicemail on a daily basis, 86 percent check email everyday and 84 percent check their SMS daily.

While more navigable voicemail is needed, at the same time next-generation services like videomail are gaining in consumer interest. Of the respondents to VoxSurf's survey, 65 percent were interested in sending and receiving video messages via their mobile phones, while three-quarters wanted to prioritize messages received from various callers, enabling them to rank their spouse or their boss as the highest priority caller.

Despite this demand, the term unified messaging (the handling of voice, fax, and regular text messages as objects in a single mailbox that a user can access either with a regular email client or by telephone) is relatively unknown amongst UK users. Only 14 percent of respondents were aware of what unified messaging was, even though 44 percent of respondents are interested in the ability to check their voicemails directly on their PC, a basic tenet of unified messaging.

The Web-based research was carried out with a cross-section of consumers in the UK between January and May 2005.

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