Avoiding painful phone conversations

February 16, 2009 7:37:20 PM PST
Have you ever called someone hoping they wouldn't actually pick up the phone? Sometimes people find it easier just to leave a message. There's a service that lets you skip right to voicemail.

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It's called slydial. And that's an appropriate name because it lets you sneak past the person you need to reach, and just get right to their voicemail. Some people say it can come in really handy.

There can be times a phone conversation is awkward -- like when you call in sick, or break off a romance. Going straight to voicemail could be so much easier.

"If knew how to do that, I'd do that to a lot of people," said one phone user.

"If I called in sick and didn't want to talk to my boss, that would be great," said another user.

Well now there's way to avoid those painful conversations.

A free service called slydial that puts you straight into the voicemail of the person you're trying to dodge.

7 On Your Side tested it. First we call the slydial number, and we have to listen to a 10-second ad.

Then we dial Jacklyn's number, the person we are avoiding. It takes a few tries -- then goes through. Jacklyn has no idea we've called. Her phone never rings and our message quietly sneaks in to her voicemail-box.

Some folks we talked to said this could come in real handy.

"Bill collectors put them right to voicemail," said one tourist

"You don't have to waste your time with small talk and pleasantries," said another man.

"If you're breaking up with her and you don't want to talk to her just leave her the message I guess," said another phone user.

Slydial suggests a few other uses.

Like you lost $5,000 in vegas and don't want to tell your spouse, or you forgot to thank Aunt Polly for a gift but don't want to get stuck on the phone with her.

But etiquette expert Syndi Seid says avoiding people is all wrong.

"If you are a mature adult person, I would like to think that there is no situation you can't handle by having human contact with someone," said Seid.

She says be up front and don't hide behind technology.

"People are creating tools and software and things where we're not able to communicate with people directly and we're losing the ability to build relationships," said Seid.

Slydial says people have made over a million calls with slydial since it started last august.

A woman realized her boyfriend may be one of them.

"He gets a message straight through to my voicemail and I'm like how did you do that," she said.

We tested it a few times and once the person's phone did ring for a fraction of a second. So watch out you may wind up with a live conversation. Other limits -- it only works if you call a mobile phone and the slydial number you call is in Pennsylvania so it could be a toll call.

Related Link:

  • www.slydial.com

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