[UPDATED] SpinVox: We're going to HQ to see for ourselves

by Ben Smith on 31st July 2009

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spinvox_logo1You can’t fail to have seen the coverage Spinvox has been getting recently. Following articles from PaidContent and the BBC covering allegations of financial difficulties and that the transcription is entirely performed by call-centres there’s been much debate over whether the claimed technology works, the business is sustainable and the security of customers’ data.  Further hostile claims in anonymous blog comments have added detail to the original claims and dismissed the firm’s rebuttals as ‘mis-leading’.

Today Ben and Dan are amongst a number of bloggers to receive an invitation to visit the firm’s HQ next Tuesday.  The invite offers the opportunity to see the SpinVox Voice Message Conversion System  in action and to get hands-on by acting as quality-control agents in a demonstration of the service.  We’ll also be able to ask questions and that’s where we need your help…

We’ll be meeting with CEO and Co-Founder Christina Domecq as well as CTO Philip Marnick [Updated Mon 3rd with info from SpinVox's PR firm] CIO Rob Wheatley and Hugh Woolford, Director Infrastructure and Global Service Delivery. What should we ask them?  Do the allegations that have been made concern you? Which aspects of a demo do you want to know most about?

Add you questions to the comments below and we’ll take them with us on the day.

Disclosure(s):

  1. James Whatley, co-founder of The Really Mobile Project, is a SpinVox employee and speaks for them in his role as head of social media – we’re also good friends.  James won’t be participating in our coverage of the event, reviewing or censoring the output from Ben and Dan (who are attending).  He has directly asked us not to limit or constrain our coverage in any way.
  2. Dan Lane is a SpinVox user and has a free account provided by the company for review. Dan has no current or past financial interests in the firm.
  3. Ben Smith is a SpinVox user with a standard account which he pays for. Ben has no current or past financial interests in the firm.
  4. We have agreed not to film or photograph the demonstration of the VCMS at Spinvox’s request (as have all attendees). However we are not limited in our description of discussion of it and will film interviews with staff.
  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    ‘blindingly obvious’?

    You could at least give us a chance to make the visit before you cry foul Mark. What is it about the last 2 years of content Dan and I have produced here and elsewhere that makes you think we can be so cheaply bought?

    …and why would we invite readers’ questions if we *did* want to participate in some kind of whitewash?

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    Jon can answer for his own coverage – with so many people attending (and the guys from Techcrunch aren’t renown for giving anyone an easy time) you’ll have lots of opinions to choose from.

    We want to put the questions we and our readers have to the company and I’ll be perfectly happy to say I’m not satisfied if they dodge or evade them.

  • http://mobile-review.com markwebster

    I live in hope then Ben, my assumption was based on the content of your Twitter output re the Spinvox saga, which i think even you might struggle to say was less than neutral :p

  • http://mobile-review.com markwebster

    Rather disappointed not to be going, blindingly obvious where Dan and Ben stand on this, i guess their looking for an easy time :p

  • http://mobile-review.com markwebster

    Rather disappointed not to be going, blindingly obvious where Dan and Ben stand on this, i guess their looking for an easy time :p

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    I didn’t intend my tweets to be neutral. They’re my opinion – which has varied over time based on the various allegations / responses and the lack of clarity from both sides. I remain undecided.

    However, in the main, I’ve actually just been challenging those making poorly-informed comment on commercial practice, IT security, data protection or outsourcing issues – things I routinely provide consulting to clients on.

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    'blindingly obvious'?You could at least give us a chance to make the visit before you cry foul Mark. What is it about the last 2 years of content Dan and I have produced here and elsewhere that makes you think we can be so cheaply bought?…and why would we invite readers' questions if we *did* want to participate in some kind of whitewash?

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    'blindingly obvious'?

    You could at least give us a chance to make the visit before you cry foul Mark. What is it about the last 2 years of content Dan and I have produced here and elsewhere that makes you think we can be so cheaply bought?

    …and why would we invite readers' questions if we *did* want to participate in some kind of whitewash?

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    Jon can answer for his own coverage – with so many people attending (and the guys from Techcrunch aren't renown for giving anyone an easy time) you'll have lots of opinions to choose from.We want to put the questions we and our readers have to the company and I'll be perfectly happy to say I'm not satisfied if they dodge or evade them.

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    Jon can answer for his own coverage – with so many people attending (and the guys from Techcrunch aren't renown for giving anyone an easy time) you'll have lots of opinions to choose from.

    We want to put the questions we and our readers have to the company and I'll be perfectly happy to say I'm not satisfied if they dodge or evade them.

  • http://mobile-review.com markwebster

    I live in hope then Ben, my assumption was based on the content of your Twitter output re the Spinvox saga, which i think even you might struggle to say was less than neutral :p

  • http://mobile-review.com markwebster

    I live in hope then Ben, my assumption was based on the content of your Twitter output re the Spinvox saga, which i think even you might struggle to say was less than neutral :p

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    I didn't intend my tweets to be neutral. They're my opinion – which has varied over time based on the various allegations / responses and the lack of clarity from both sides. I remain undecided.However, in the main, I've actually just been challenging those making poorly-informed comment on commercial practice, IT security, data protection or outsourcing issues – things I routinely provide consulting to clients on.

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    I didn't intend my tweets to be neutral. They're my opinion – which has varied over time based on the various allegations / responses and the lack of clarity from both sides. I remain undecided.

    However, in the main, I've actually just been challenging those making poorly-informed comment on commercial practice, IT security, data protection or outsourcing issues – things I routinely provide consulting to clients on.

  • anonymous
  • anonymous

    Ben, see allegations of “slave labour” here http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2009/07/all

  • anonymous

    Ben, see allegations of “slave labour” here

    http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2009/07/all

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    Noted – thankyou.

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  • Anonymous

    Why don’t you leave a Voicemail in Spanish or Portuguese – seeing that the immediate prospects are with Telefonica??

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    Noted – thankyou.

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    Noted – thankyou.

  • keithjamesmc

    Why don't you leave a Voicemail in Spanish or Portuguese – seeing that the immediate prospects are with Telefonica??

  • keithjamesmc

    Why don't you leave a Voicemail in Spanish or Portuguese – seeing that the immediate prospects are with Telefonica??

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