Review: CallWave - “Visual Voicemail”

By J.B. Malik, Editor-In-Chief CallWave

Maybe you’re not ready for a small business phone system. Here’s something else for you, if you:

  • Have a mobile phone; and
  • Receive personal AND business calls directly to your mobile phone number.

It’s from CallWave and it’s called “VTXT”, or “Visual Voicemail”. Forget the fancy acronyms, I call it “awesome.” (It has a few quirks, but they don’t outweigh the usefulness of the service). Here’s how it works:

Your caller dials your mobile number. As usual, their Caller ID (if it’s not blocked number) will appear on your mobile phone. You can some amazing things with the incoming call:

  1. You can answer the call; AND/OR
  2. You can transfer it to virtually any other phone. WOW. That’s great if, say, you’ve got a spotty connection and need to talk on a land line; OR
  3. Let it go into voicemail. After your voicemail greeting, the caller starts to leave his/her message. As he leaves his message, your phone will ring again. If you answer it, you will hear your caller leaving his message LIVE. You can either a.) Press “1″ on your phone Interrupt the message and connect immediately to the caller (gee, kind of like those answering machines of yore; b.) Do nothing, and the caller concludes his message for you to retrieve later.

You can, optionally, receive a .txt message with the transcription of the caller’s message (this is still kind of quirky - speech recognition is still very much in its infancy) and/or get the voicemail delivered to you via email, so you can check it on your computer.

PROs:

  • Free to Try
  • Reliable (I have used CallWave for a year now with virtually no trouble.)
  • Uses your existing mobile phone number, so no new number to hand out
  • Lets you log-in to a secure web site so you can manage your calls (e.g., see who has called; listen to voicemails, change your voicemail settings, etc.)
  • You can check your voicemail just as you normally do

CONs:

  • Speech to text still quite buggy (I got some great laughs at the mistranslation of some of my incoming voicemails).
  • Some callers may be a trite put off by the “speak clearly so we can convert your message to text” message, which they’ll hear after your recorded voicemail greeting
  • Some light programming of your phone is required - you have to punch a series of digits on your phone so CallWave handles your voicemail message (it ‘preempts’ your mobile phone service provider’s voicemail service). Some non-techies might get intimidated
  • The icon on your phone screen that indicates whether you have voicemail is now substituted by Callwave’s incoming text message and/or your phone’s “Call Attempt”alert

Despite it’s cons, I’m a fan of Callwave. It’s going to be interesting to see how companies like CallWave will compete for more customers - it seems everyone is clamoring for a piece of the “voicemail pie”.

Questions? I’ll be glad to answer them. Email me.

To sign up for CallWave’s FREE TRIAL of Visual Voicemail, click here.

One Response to “Review: CallWave - “Visual Voicemail””

  1. Thanks for all the Vtxt Feedback « Says:

    […] Thanks for all the Vtxt Feedback Published July 12th, 2007 Vtxt , CallWave It’s been great for us to hear feedback about our Vtxt voicemail-to-text service from so many of our customers. One user, Jordan Malik, gave his opinion about Vtxt in his own blog. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: http://small-business-phone.com/?p=6#more-6 […]

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