Warning to anyone saving Visual Voicemails

dcom

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Aug 7, 2007
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Suwanee, GA
#1
I don't know if most of you realize this but there is a little known "feature" of Visual Voicemail that anyone who wants to save their voicemails needs to know about.

On May 12, my mother-in-law called my wife and left a message. Later that night, my wife's mother passed away from a heart attack so the last thing she said to my wife was in that message. She wanted to keep the message for obvious sentimental reasons but this morning, she noticed that it is no longer on her phone!

After doing some research, we discovered that there is some fine print regarding visual voicemails...they are only kept for 30 days and then permanently deleted without any chance of recovery. I called AT&T and was told that there is no way they can restore the message even though it is actually stored at AT&T and not locally on the phone. Excuse me? Does AT&T not archive data like this or have backups from which they can restore messages? Apparently not. Needless to say, my wife is highly upset about the situation. This has added one more reason why we will be abandoning AT&T as soon as the iPhone is available on another carrier.

So, this is a warning to anyone who is wanting to save voicemails. Do whatever you can to pull them off your phone like manually recording them on to a digital recorder before the 30 days is up. If you're jailbroken, you can pull them out of a directory (maybe /private/var/mobile/Library/Voicemail/) using an SFTP program.
 

JWiPhone

Genius
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Sep 18, 2007
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Los Angeles, CA
#2
Excuse me? Does AT&T not archive data like this or have backups from which they can restore messages? Apparently not.
You can bet if you were the CIA, NSA requesting the archived voice mail AT&T would have no problem giving it to you.
 

Watcher

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Mar 29, 2009
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#4
Sorry about your mother-in-law, dcom.

I wonder if other carriers archive voicemail, too. Since we have visual voicemail, you'd think they'd give us a manual way to archive it by syncing it to our computers in some way.
 

dcom

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Aug 7, 2007
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Suwanee, GA
#5
You can bet if you were the CIA, NSA requesting the archived voice mail AT&T would have no problem giving it to you.
Yep, I'm sure they could but there isn't diddly squat a peon like me can do about it
 

ZR_Yancy

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Jul 11, 2008
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#6
Dcomm, sorry to read about you mother-in-law & lost voicemail. You can extend the save time by calling your voicemail on your phone. Just access the voicemail by calling your own cell number. Listen to it & resave(option 9). Do this at least once a month to keep in there as long as you want.
 

psylichon

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Oct 31, 2007
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Philly
#7
^^^ That's good stuff to know, thanks!

Drew, I understand your frustration given the dramatics of your particular situation, but I don't think this is an example of AT&T ill will. I'm sure almost every carrier has a similar policy.
 

dcom

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Aug 7, 2007
1,421
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Suwanee, GA
#8
^^^ That's good stuff to know, thanks!

Drew, I understand your frustration given the dramatics of your particular situation, but I don't think this is an example of AT&T ill will. I'm sure almost every carrier has a similar policy.
It's not that I think it's their ill will, and I understand why they do it, but I think it's something they could handle better. Why not do something like send out a TXT or email warning that the message will be deleted in X days. We've gotten TXTs from them before about stuff, why not this too?

And ZR, thanks for the tip, I wasn't aware you could save them indefinitely by doing that.

Another reason I'm interested in switching carriers is their lack of coverage in our area compared to VZW. When we were with them Bi (Before iPhone), we had much better coverage in the parts of town where we spend most of our time.
 

styfle

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Gold
Mar 31, 2008
3,381
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#9
Lol bi. I think I know the problem. AT&T probably always had a delete after x days. The iPhones visual voice mail let's you play and delete but not save like on a normal phone, so I can see how this is not really anyone fault. It does suck to loose that message but now we know.
 

vrsc

Member
Bronze
Jun 22, 2007
204
0
16
Orlando, Fl
#11
I don't know if most of you realize this but there is a little known "feature" of Visual Voicemail that anyone who wants to save their voicemails needs to know about.

On May 12, my mother-in-law called my wife and left a message. Later that night, my wife's mother passed away from a heart attack so the last thing she said to my wife was in that message. She wanted to keep the message for obvious sentimental reasons but this morning, she noticed that it is no longer on her phone!

After doing some research, we discovered that there is some fine print regarding visual voicemails...they are only kept for 30 days and then permanently deleted without any chance of recovery. I called AT&T and was told that there is no way they can restore the message even though it is actually stored at AT&T and not locally on the phone. Excuse me? Does AT&T not archive data like this or have backups from which they can restore messages? Apparently not. Needless to say, my wife is highly upset about the situation. This has added one more reason why we will be abandoning AT&T as soon as the iPhone is available on another carrier.

So, this is a warning to anyone who is wanting to save voicemails. Do whatever you can to pull them off your phone like manually recording them on to a digital recorder before the 30 days is up. If you're jailbroken, you can pull them out of a directory (maybe /private/var/mobile/Library/Voicemail/) using an SFTP program.
Yep, My mom passed away and I was listening to her last voice message she left (I saved in my visual voicemail) and one day it was gone. AT&T were useless when I asked for help