Telstra has finally launched Visual Voicemail today for iPhone customers, more than 2 years after competitor Vodafone. Naturally Telstra has to throw their own unique spin on it, calling the optional service ‘Message Bank Plus’.
Telstra explains how it works..
By linking up with the iPhone’s voicemail interface, MessageBank plus serves up all of your voice messages (in date order) as a list on your phone. To play back a message, you can simply browse through your list of voicemail and tap on the item you’d like to hear.
There’s nothing new about this feature, just the fact that Telstra is now making it available to their iPhone customers. While iOS4.3 gave us Mobile Hotspot for free, Telstra’s implementation of Visual Voicemail Message Bank Plus will set you back $5 per month. Not sure how many voice mails that you receive, but for the few I get, I doubt I could justify the cost.
Strangely this ‘new feature’ on Telstra iPhones will require at least iOS4.3, strange because Vodafone has had this feature for years, running of many earlier firmware versions. This makes you wonder what is unique about Telstra’s implementation ?
MessageBank Plus requires an Apple iPhone running iOS4.3 or later, connected to a Telstra Post-Paid mobile voice service.
Take a minute to read through the comments on the post, almost 100% of which condemn the $5pm fee. Many commenters highlight the fact that they are on $100+ plans, yet would still be required to pay. It seems this may be $5 to much for Telstra customers. It will be interesting to see Telstra’s response to this backlash, they are after all re-inventing themselves as the company that really listens to their customers.
While Telstra takes the heat today, it should also be highlighted that Optus still doesn’t offer Visual Voicemail at all, paid or not.
More information @ Telstra Exchange