Surprises

by Mike Masnick




New Zealand Stops Stoppage Of Telegrams, STOP

from the next-up:-telegram-spam dept

Earlier this year, Western Union finally decided to stop offering a telegram service, and almost no one noticed because, really, who sends telegrams any more? Apparently people in New Zealand would like to, though. Even though the New Zealand Post Office killed off its own telegram service in 1999 due to a lack of demand, they're now bringing it back to life, as some businesses have been clamoring for it. Apparently, they're useful for urgent notifications in areas where email and SMS messaging fail, such as the notice from your power company that they're about to shut off your power. One nod to modern culture, though: they no longer need to end with "STOP." Of course, now that they're back to life, the New Zealand Post Office is wondering if they can be used for spam: "She says they are primarily being used as a means of debt collection, but could be also be used for marketing." Just what we all need. Telegram spam.

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  • identicon
    I, for one, 13 Jul 2006 @ 4:56pm

    Telegrams

    Just for our younger readers it might be useful to point out that a telegram is a message sent electronically, which is then printed out onto paper and delivered the last mile by hand like a letter.
    Obviously this overlaps with the fax, which is far from being a dead format.

    One major advantage, when printed out on the old post office watermarked paper you have a legally binding (can be used as evidence) document in your possession. It is an effective way of serving written notice in accordance with many old legal requirements, which is probably why debt collection agents prefer this method.

    What I want to know is do you still get a guy in a blue peaked cap come running up shouting "Important telegram mister! It's from your office Sir!" Because that is so much cooler than just having your crappy mobile phone ringing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Albert M. Menduni, 13 Jul 2006 @ 5:08pm

    Telegrams

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Albert M. Menduni, 13 Jul 2006 @ 5:11pm

    Telegrams

    They were also great for geeting messages to patients, who had no phone or electronic prowess. When I was a practicing physician, I can think off two times a telegram helped save a patient's life.

    Without them I called the police to deliver urgent messages, and they did. THANK GOD.

    Those were the good old days.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    randolei 4.678, 13 Jul 2006 @ 6:09pm

    you know it was nicer to have a personally delivered message.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    qyiet, 13 Jul 2006 @ 6:50pm

    Really? Wow...

    I live in New Zealand, and have *never* seen a telegram, ever. Personally I think fax is a dead tech too, let alone telegram. ((shudder))

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      I, for one, 13 Jul 2006 @ 7:00pm

      Re: Really? Wow...

      Yeah I thought that too, for a long while between about 1995 and last year, but in London where I do a lot of my work the fax has enjoyed a big revival. It seems many people still use fax as the core communication of their business, not email.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 13 Jul 2006 @ 7:38pm

    The title reminds me of a bit from Steve Martin:

    Period shortage mustn't continue stop

    Stop-stoppage must come to a full stop stop

    We must resolve it and stop the stoppage stop

    Yours truly,

    Tom Stoppard

    The full piece is here:
    http://www.compleatsteve.com/essays/periods.htm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JL, 13 Jul 2006 @ 7:58pm

    The Fax Machine is far from being dead as it is still widely used today for business to business communications.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Josh, 13 Jul 2006 @ 8:05pm

    Telegram for Mongo!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Myself, 13 Jul 2006 @ 9:15pm

    Telegram spam?

    Me I funk, but I don't care. I ain't no square with my corkscrew hair!

    (I sincerely hope this is what Mike was going for..)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joe, 13 Jul 2006 @ 10:10pm

    Still one great use for fax (and maybe telegrams)?

    Cancelling your AOL account without the hassle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Kitchen, 13 Jul 2006 @ 11:09pm

    Telegram for Mongo I mean

    Read previous post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2006 @ 11:22pm

    Steve Martin's line sounds like something from "RK

    Sound line the telegram Orson Welles send to his alcoholic-prone co-writer, John Houseman in "RKO 281"...

    Schaefer loves the idea. Stop.
    Start writing. Stop.
    Stop drinking. Stop.
    Did you work in the jigsaw puzzles. Question mark.
    Don't stop. Stop.
    Love you madly, Orson.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 14 Jul 2006 @ 7:58am

    Telegram spam?

    That would so suck. Cuz then you wouldn't know if it was legit or spam. At least with email and caller id for the phone you can see some info about a call/email before opening. it. With telegram spam you literally don't know what it is til you get it in your hand. And to make matters worse as the delivery guy/girl imagine going all the way out to deliver something just to find out you are carrying spam.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anony mouse, 14 Jul 2006 @ 10:06am

    if i got telegram spam, i would send my response, "No, Stop" collect...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    HubCity, 14 Jul 2006 @ 10:30am

    Telegram Spam...

    ...you're my main man.

    (Oh, come on, I can't be the *first* person to think of that...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Myself, 14 Jul 2006 @ 3:06pm

    HubCity, read comment #10. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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