For a while now, I have been a big fan of SpinVox, who offer a voicemail to text conversion service and then SMS you the message. This functionality allows me to not take calls when in meetings / busy, but still see very quickly the details of the message (and without the time and hassle factor of dialling into the voicemail). In fact, with little things like not having to write down numbers (which are transcribed into the SMS and accessible directly from the phone), it’s very useful, and a service that once you’ve tried is often worth the small monthly outlay.
However, SpinVox is slowly cancelling all personal subscriptions, so for many people SpinVox is no longer an option open to them. Well, in the UK, Pibbix have stepped into this market, and are now offering their service along similar lines.
Pibbix have 3 charging rates, which are:
- £7.50 for 20 messages converted to text
- £16 for 50 messages converted to text
- £30 for 100 messages converted to text
These are good rates, and depending on how many voicemail messages you get a month will determine which tariff will suit you best; for many the lowest tariff will suffice.
There are nice little touches with Pibbix which is why I’m even keener to promote them; if the message goes beyond 1 SMS message, you aren’t charged more; the cost is per message converted, not per SMS sent to you. You can choose whether to be notified by SMS and/or email, and the email can also have an mp3 attachment of the original message. If you need to change your mobile number where the messages are sent, that’s easily changed too (something that required a chat with SpinVox Customer Services). Even better, as part of the web management interface they offer, you can elect to not have messages from withheld / blocked caller ID numbers transcribed; this means although you’ll still get an email with the attachment, but you won’t be disturbed with an SMS (and because the message is not converted, it does not come out of your conversion allowance either).
The number you are allocated to divert your mobile to works can be used on multiple phones (and even landlines) to being all of your voicemails into one single location.
You can also configure a custom greeting, and you can control what greeting is used via the web interface too.
Payment is via PayPal, and you can cancel at any time.
I’ve been using the service for over a month now, and have had no problems with the service; I’ve had one voicemail where the transcription was not good, but given the amount of background noise, I struggled to understand parts of the message, and I knew what the caller was talking about! SpinVox suffers from similar problems, so this is not unique, but on other messages the message has been spot on, and at times more accurate than I would have expected from SpinVox.
If you go to the Pibbix website, you can request an invite; the service is still in beta at the moment, so you may have to wait a small while to get into the service, although generally people aren’t having to wait too long.