read your voicemail

With the launch of Google Voice there has been a lot of talk about visual voicemail, voicemail transcription, voice to text, voicemail to email, etc. There are so many different terms it can be confusing!

Here at Grasshopper we offer a feature to our customers called 'Read Your Voicemail'. When a customer subscribes to this feature, they are emailed a transcription (and an MP3) of their voicemail immediately after receiving it (we offer human transcription at no extra charge for better accuracy). They can then read the voicemail on their computer or Smartphone.

However, one of the questions we often get is, 'Do you offer visual voicemail?' The answer to that is, it depends.

Here is how others describe 'visual voicemail':

Verizon

'Visual Voice Mail allows customers to see a list of all of their voice mail messages with important information, such as date and time of receipt, as well as message duration, in order to prioritize and efficiently manage their voice mail messages directly from their phones.' 

Apple/iPhone

'When you decline or don’t answer a call, the caller hears a recorded greeting and can leave a voicemail message. On iPhone, visual voicemail lets you see a list of your messages and choose which ones to listen to or delete, without having to listen to prior messages or voice instructions.' 

AT&T

'AT&T Visual Voicemail provides an easier way to check voicemail. No more dialing into complicated voicemail menus. Visual Voicemail delivers messages directly to your handset, so you can review your voicemail messages anytime, anywhere, and in any order you choose.' 

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

'Visual Voicemail is the process of adding a visual aspect to phone voicemail such as allowing users to view a list of audio voicemail entries or even read transcripts of these voicemail as text. These voicemails are converted to text by use of advanced speech recognition software...' 

What we have here at Grasshopper is voicemail transcription AND visual voicemail. Through the online account manager, you can see a list of your voicemails, phone numbers, times, dates, notes and more. And with the Read Your Voicemail feature, you get your voicemail transcribed and sent to you.

Do you define visual voicemail and voicemail transcription as the same thing?