Perhaps the worst indictment any user interface has ever faced
(Also available in binary and ASCII.)
Perfectly serviceable answering machines cost less than $20 in volume, are easy to replace, support indefinite archives (by pulling out the tape), don't run out of memory when you go on vacation for a month, never discard unheard messages to make room for new ones, usually fail gracefully, and are basically a wonderful electromechanical replacement for the traditional English butler.
Instead, there is a laborious menu followed by a hellish smattering of key codes for disposing of each individual message: ``Press 4 to save this message. Press 5 to erase this message. Press 9 to erase the current message and play the next message. Press 2 to replay the current message. Press 3 to go to the previous message without erasing the current message. Press 7 to erase the current message and return to the previous message. Press the pound key at any time to hear this menu again. While a message is playing, you may press 1 to ... Press 8 to undelete the last message deleted ...'' (Oops, scratch that one, undo is never ever provided.)
Voicemail systems provide no mechanism for quickly rewinding two seconds to hear a phone number again. Nor do they provide a way to save a message forever, analogous to taking the tape out of the machine and saving it for use later in court. Voicemail is, as far as I have been able to calculate, always more expensive than just buying everyone an inexpensive answering machine.
A form that may well be the worst indictment any user interface has ever faced!