I called a friend in Australia today and to my surprise a woman answered the phone. Now, my friend is a guy and I was calling on our shitty VoIP phone (Vonage) so I didn’t really understand what she was saying. (Needless to say the Aussies have an accent that is new to me — but it sounds cute on a girl!)

After much confusion she explained to me that I would speak my message to her and she would send an SMS to my friend.  I repeated this back to her just to be sure she was going to dictate my message.

When I emailed my friend later he told me that:

It’s one of the two standard ways phone messages are handled in AU. Either you have a message service that takes a message and then forwards this over SMS (Short Message Service) to your phone, or you have a voice mail account.  Message services are the most common system.

Message services are the most common?  So, instead of leaving a VM you get to talk to someone in person!