Phone calls are okay for chatting and exchanging pleasantries but useless if you need a certifiable record of whatever took place between parties. Our courts (and most others in Western countries) don't allow tape recordings of phone conversations to be used as verification of situations or events, because they're too easy to fake. So taping a phone conversation, while easy enough to do, is a waste of time.

The NZ legal system considers the last-known physical address of a party to be the 'responsible' address of that party, i.e., if you send physical mail to the party at that last-known address, you have fulfilled your obligations to contact that party, especially if you repeat the process within 5 days. Following up the snail-mail with electronic mail is recommended but NOT mandatory. It used to be that you could post a message into the appropriate column of a newspaper, to the tune of, "If Harry Potter doesn't do Y, by (date) then I will do X". That system is now out of date.

So to answer Geektastic - Yes, some people would rather exchange acrimonious emails about an event or situation. But if your need or intention is document your actions, and those of the recipient, a phone call is the last resort.