I hate voice mail. My voice mail at work tells the caller not to leave me a voice mail because I don't check voice mail. If it's important, send me an email. I'll check that, likely within the hour, but I'll leave that red light on my phone glowing for weeks and weeks.
I just read a Slate article that agrees with me.
The bill of particulars is damning. Unlike your e-mail inbox, voice mail is impossible to skim: If your phone tells you that you've got five new messages, you've got no choice but to listen to at least a bit of each one before you can decide what to do with it. In a user-interface decision that I suspect might violate some subclause of the Geneva Conventions, your voice-mail system insists on making you listen to the same instructional prompts between each message. But wait, is it 9 to archive and 7 to skip, or is that the way the work phone does it? I couldn't tell you, because every voice-mail system seems to have settled on different numbers to activate its main functions. It's an absurdly backward mode of human-computer interaction.
My biggest complaint about voice mail is that it forces me to leave my natural process. I have to leave the PC and focus on recorded speech, which I find to be very inefficient and not at all user-friendly. I'll take an Email or IM, thank you very much.
Voice mail is dead.