When long distance was 30 cents a minute, it made a lot of sense for a law or consulting firm to keep track of what long distance calls were connected to what clients. And businesses would want to make sure that only certain employees were placing long distance calls. But, now long distance is much less expensive and blocks of long distance minutes are included in phone and internet service bundles. Voice networks can be set up where long distance is virtually eliminated. Employees prefer making personal long distance calls on their wireless phones. The cost related to long distance calling is diminishing and so is the need for account codes.
Email and texting seem to be the preferred way to convey a message. With the abundance of Caller ID, retrieving a voice mail message just adds a step to the process. Voice mail is included with virtually every level of phone system. Voice mail has sort of turned into something similar to an email spam folder since so many people use it to screen sales calls.
Home Phone Service:
The prevalence and call quality of wireless phones has brought the home phone to near extinction. First it was second lines that went away when people replaced dialup services with DSL and cable internet. Now, people are maintaining a home phone line more out of habit than necessity. They are important if you need to dial 911 and can’t speak. 911 operators can locate your home with Caller ID technology. With wireless, they can only determine what cell tower you’re closest too.
I’m looking at my city of Phoenix (5th highest population in the U.S.) yellow pages and it’s a third of the size it was in the 1990’s. The internet and search engines like Google and Bing have put the yellow page industry on life support.
Market Expansion Lines:
It used to be that a business was willing to pay for a number of Market Expansion Lines (MEL’s) in order to be listed in multiple phone books. If your business was located in Phoenix, for instance, you might want to purchase a MEL in Mesa and Scottsdale, to be listed in those city’s directories and to establish a local presence. Now people look up businesses online. Google Places accounts can be established free of charge and detail the areas your business services.
Additional Business Listings:
Another casualty of the internet. Phone companies, like Qwest, AT&T and Verizon used to make thousands of dollars per month selling $2 a month additional listings. Businesses don’t need to purchase multiple listings as a method to be located. Key words and search engine optimization are more important to businesses looking to be found by consumers searching for their services.
Bill Gates believed email would spell the end to faxing in the 90’s, but old habits die hard. Faxing seems to be a waste of money, paper and ink but somehow it has survived into the second decade of the 21st century.