July 7, 2012

Tech Companies Leave Phone Calls Behind

QUORA IS a Web site that crowd sources answers to just about any question imaginable, including "What is the meaning of life?" and "Is it possible to stick someone to the wall with Velcro?" But anyone searching for a phone number for the company is out of luck. Not only is the number unlisted, but the very question "What is the phone number for Quora?" has gone unanswered for months.

Quora is not the only social technology company that presents an antisocial attitude to callers. Twitter's phone system hangs up after providing Web or e-mail addresses three times. At the end of a long phone tree, Facebook's system explains it is, in fact, "an Internet-based company." Try e-mail it suggests.

Voice calls have been falling out of fashion with teenagers and people in their 20s for some time. But what is a matter of preference for the young is becoming a matter of policy for technology companies; phones cost money, phones do not scale. Besides, why call when you can use Google or sent a Twitter message?

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