If you think robocalls were nothing more than annoyances, the fact that a Google Voice feature is being killed because of them might change some people’s minds. These unsolicited calls that could also be used to phish important personal data has been a scourge of consumers, regulators, and especially carriers for years and efforts to block and penalize them have ramped up in recent months. Unfortunately, Google sees no workaround for one feature and will instead be shutting down Google Voice’s voicemail transcript forwarding because of it.
Voicemail is a convenient way to screen calls at your own leisure. Unfortunately, you still have to go through those audio recordings which can be quite a chore. Google Voice has a rather convenient feature that transcribes those voicemails into text form that can be sent either through SMS or email.
Unfortunately, one of those is going away indefinitely. In an email sent to Google Voice users, the tech giant announced that Google Voice’s SMS voicemail transcription forwarding will be shutting down. It was pretty clear for the reason for the rather abrupt change: spam robocalls.
Carriers have apparently been blocking SMS coming from the “Get voicemail via message” feature because they often contained the text of those potentially dangerous calls. Whether through actual voice calls or SMS, the risk, inconvenience, and cost of such calls remain true. And since Google can no longer assure that those transcripts will be delivered, it is shutting them down.
Google does offer the alternative of getting voicemail transcripts via email instead. Then it will be up to email services to filter that spam. If it ever reaches that point where service providers are blocking all those, Google might do the same thing for all transcripts again.