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i can't see my voicemail messages listed in the iPhone app voice mail tab


i can't see my voicemail messages listed in the iPhone app voice mail tab

Ever since i've had ATT with iPhone, for many years, if i want to see my voice mail messages, i go to the phone app and tap on Voicemail in the lower right hand corner. the Voicemail part of the app opens and i can see any new messages that have come in and any previous messages i have not deleted. if i want to play a message i hit the play button and speaker and i can easily hear the message. i can choose when i want to do this and what i want to do with each message--until yesterday 

i started having a problem with voice mail yesterday. i went to find a new voice mail from my friend in the iPhone app list and on the screen it said "Visual Voicemail is currently unavailable."  i have never heard of visual voice mail, i on't know what the means.  under that there was a little box with the words 'call voice mail' in it.  i tapped on it and it started playing messages from a school district in Iowa about 2000 miles away, obviously not intended for me, it was an automated messages telling parents about how the weather was affecting the school schedule. Then, new messages kept coming in from the same school district, there were about 3 weeks of messages every day, except on Saturday and Sunday.  These did not show up in my list of messages which was there before all this happened.  Something was wrong, some wires got crossed or something.  

i called ATT. The representative told me that i had not yet set up visual voicemail and he said it was something that caused  voice messages to show up as text. i did recently start getting this, i did not know why, i didn't ask for it,  text transcription of the message. i thought this was interesting and possibly good to have at first but soon found it annoying, taking up a lot of useless space, i had no use for it, but that wasn't what i was calling ATT about. it was these school district messages not in my recent calls list, not showing up anywhere, it made no sense.  

I did not get a good feeling about the representative having any idea what i was trying to describe but he said i had to set up visual voice mail and i said i didn't want or need visual voice mail (the text transcription) and he said the only way to get rid of those unwanted messages was to reset my phone.  He said he was going to reset my phone. i was not comfortable with this, especially when it told me to reset my passcode and choose a greeting, i said "why doesn't it transfer over my pre-existing settings?"  he just said do what it said, don't worry about it, it wasn't going to change anything.  

When he was done, my list of voice mail messages wasn't showing up. i had old important messages there that i needed access to. He said they would come back.  A few of them did come back, going back less than a month . He said wait a couple of hours, the rest would come in.  They didn't.  i called back and got tech support, but he couldn't help me.


doing my own research, i saw that ATT now has some kind of beta testing Voice mail which only allows you to keep keep 30 or 40 messages on your phone and new messages will make old messages fall off, and this is because instead of keeping your messages wherever they used to be stored, it's now stored some place that has limited space. Before, it had unlimited space.  i do not want this. i want my voice mail like it was before i called ATT for help yesterday and the rep reset my phone telling me that would fix the problem i called about.  it didn't fix that problem at all, the school district left me another message today, Monday, school is back in session and i get a message from them every day, but i didn't get a call from them, it didn't show up in my recent calls, my phone didn't ring. something is very wrong with ATT voice mail.  something to do with whatever ATT is doing with its beta testing of its new voicemail. i want the same voice mail i've always had.  i never opted in to this new inferior system.

Now, when i tap on the voicemail tab in the phone app, it just takes me to a blank screen with no messages and a little thing to tap on that says Call  Voicemail, and if i tap it, i have to log in and listen to messages whether i want to listen to them or not, whether i'm in a meeting or not, whatever i'm doing, i can't just conveniently go to voice mail tab on my phone and see what messages i have without calling in to voicemail entering a passcode and not able to hear it without putting it on speaker phone but if i might not want the whole world to hear my messages, what are they doing???

how can i get this fixed so it works again?  i have no use for a voicemail i have to call into, it's too much work and inconvenient and awkward, i am already logged into my phone with face recognition and i want to be able to SEE my  voice mails like i always could before, for years.  The new "visual voice mail" is not visual . it took all the information that was visual and made it invisible requiring you to call and get the information auditorially, with your ears, not your eyes, you can't see it, it's NOT visual voicemail .  

how do i get the voice mail message list i can see at the tip of my finger, only need to tap and i can see all the voice mails i have, including old ones?  

with the new messed up ATT voice mail, if i want to keep the information in the message, i have to write it down, what if i dont' have pen?, what is going on here???   Until yesterday, all the info i needed from the message was right there where i could see it and use it whenever i wanted, now i have to call my voice mail, log in to it, enter a password, and then have to listen to voice messages instead of first seeing them and then IF I WANT TO LISTEN TO IT, i just push the play button. New ATT voice mail makes me listen to every voice mail with no way to save in text form the information.  what a mess.

i need to fix this but i spent two hours on the phone with a rep last night who kept saying she was sure what she was doing would fix it and get it back, but it just destroyed more of what i had left, she had to delete the few messages i had going back about 3 weeks, in order, she said, to get it so all my couple hundred older voice mails would come back.  

Before she deleted those few voice messages that were left after the first rep reset my phone, i counted them.  There were exactly 30, so apparently that rep yesterday gave me the new 30 message limit voice mail, replacing my no message limit voice mail.  

With the several reps i talked to yesterday, not one understood what was going on here, or did not admit to understanding it, and each one did more damage.  It has been a very painful experience, i have cried and it hurts and i can't find anyone to help me.  Why would ATT destroy my voice mail like that?  Either they don't train their staff in what they are rolling out and beta testing, or they do train them but they tell them not to give information to customers, so they can trick customers into letting them reset their voicemail to put them on the new  broken inferior system.

i want what i signed up for and all i have is a mess with pleasant reps who ineffectively taking up a lot of my time and just making it worse.  What is the matter with ATT???  they used to be good, i've had them for many years and spoke highly of them, after switching from Verizon. i never had a reason to leave ATT but it is looking like they intended to do this terrible destructive thing to me in the most unprofessional dishonest way, and it's not a good company anymore. 

If i'm wrong, where is someone at ATT who will repair this damage?

Message 1 of 6
ACE - Sage

Re: i can't see my voicemail messages listed in the iPhone app voice mail tab

I’m not reading all that.  

Short answer:  what you first describe is visual voicemail.  The ability to see the list and play the voicemail you select.  

Transcription is not visual voicemail, it’s transcription, therefore the term.  

   iPhone had an update recently which has cause VVM to disable on its phones.  Contact Apple to trouble shoot.  It may take another update to restore the service.


(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 6

Re: i can't see my voicemail messages listed in the iPhone app voice mail tab

Same here.  I have voicemail from my mother the night before she passed away that I do not want to listen to right now.  I cannot listen to other voicemails prior to hers.  Not sure who is to blame, Apple or AT&T.  I spent an hour last night on hold in order to speak to someone from AT&T.  Finally hung.  Need solution.

Message 3 of 6

Re: i can't see my voicemail messages listed in the iPhone app voice mail tab

I have the same issue.  I have a voicemail from my mother the night before she passed away that I do not want to listen to right now.  Now I cannot identify which voicemail it is when I listen to other voicemails.

Message 4 of 6

Re: i can't see my voicemail messages listed in the iPhone app voice mail tab


thanks for providing info related to my problem.  You provided a much clearer explanation than i got from any of the three ATT reps i talked to day before yesterday, Sunday.  

i was told by the first rep that visual voicemail meant what i later learned from my own research is text transcription, he said 'when your voice messages show as text.'  

The other two reps didn't not clarify that.  i am amazed at how unclear the communication was. The reps were smart enough and could communicate fine about some things but they did not communicate clearly about the ATT product or problem with it.  the impression was that they were confused, that is giving the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't anything unethical. 

I followed up on the info you provided, i contacted Apple (as i had also done the day before). i read your message to the rep.  He checked on my software, it was up to date.  He didn't know of any problems with visual voicemail, he has ATT visual voice mail on his iPhone with no problems.  i didn't have any problems either until day before yesterday. i had not updated my iOS in a long time, i had it set for automatic update but that apparently wasn't working because i was two updates behind, the guy told me yesterday.  There was no apparent explanation in my iOS for why my visual voicemail suddenly developed a problem.  

The problem appears to be something ATT doesn't have a way of solving. It's not possible to determine whether it is caused by ATT or something else.  No one knows anything. 

But the known ATT methods to fix it have destroyed it.  

After spending 2 hours on the phone with "advanced tech support" night before last, visual voicemail, which i have always had, is now removed from my phone and can't be put back on, i was told today by a manager.  i have never had anything but visual voicemail. i didn't know it had a name.  Now i know, but now it's gone.  

The manager told me that because i have an old plan that ATT doesn't sell anymore, visual voicemail was grandfathered for my plan, which is $39.99 month plus taxes and fees which bring it up to about $80.  i also have an employee discount. I do not use voice and text much, i mainly use internet. So, i have 200 free text messages a month which i easily stay under the limit, and i have a 450 minute plan with roll over.  i never use anything  near 450 minutes and i have plenty of rolled over minutes.  i have unlimited data. All of this is what i've always had. i have always had the voice mail where you can see your voice messages in a list , tap on the ones you want to hear and play them.  This is now gone.  

This is gone because i got the 'visual voicemail is currently unavailable' message when i went to check my voice mail, though the messages were still visible but not the new one i knew i had. there was a 'call voice mail' hyperlink which i clicked, it connected me to the old fashioned call in kind of voice mail, and it reeled off a bunch of messages over about 3 weeks from a school district telling parents about whether classes were on regular schedule related to the weather. The voice mail for me from my friend was not there.  it showed up in my visual list later.  The school district list did not show up anywhere on my phone.  Something was wrong with my voicemail so i called ATT.  

The first rep said my problem would be fixed if he reset my phone.  After he reset my phone, all my undeleted messages going back months and probably years were gone. What remained was, when i counted them, 30 messages. i counted them because later research of my own said that ATT now has a voicemail that limits you to 30 messages and older messages over 30 are deleted.  i don't want this, i didn't opt into this, i want what i've always had.  That's what i pay for each month.  The rep assured me that all my messages would come back.  Of course, they didn't.  i could not get new voice mails in the visual list. my voice mail was not working so unfortunately for me, i had to call them back again.  

The third call was at 10:30pm, my rep answered ‘advanced tech support.’  her name was Jamie.  She said she would fix my problem, she would get my voice mail working and would return my older messages to me. She said that can be done, she is experienced with it.  She tried one trouble shooting thing after another.  Finally she said she would change my voice mail from the one i had that was apparently corrupt to the basic voice mail.  It wasn’t explained to me what this meant.  I was only told that this would  bring back my older voice mails, all of them, no reason why i couldn’t have them, other people have theirs, they are still out there but just not being  accessed.  i imagine she planned to reinstall visual voice mail which apparently is not basic voice mail, just guessing, it wasn’t explained. 

It was almost 1:30 in the morning, i have a sick dog i have to deal with, i could not stay up all night, so while she was still in the middle of this problem solving process, after 2 hours, i had to  go to bed.  i said "i don't guess you could call me back tomorrow night?" and she said "sure i can,"and she said she would call me at the beginning of her shift at 10pm.   She never called. 

Today, after ruling out that Apple was the cause of the problems , i called ATT and asked to speak to a supervisor.  After telling the whole complicated long  story, i was then connected with a manager, where i had to tell the story again, a story i myself don't understand, so it's hart to put into words.  

The manager worked on it for almost two hours, researching it and looking for solutions but she said it looked like because the other reps removed my visual  voicemail and "replenished" my previous plan where i didn't lose any messages, so that i was changed to a voice mail limited to 30 messages  and because i have an old plan where my visual voicemail was grandfathered in, it could not be reactivated she said i now have "lost that feature."  not to mention all my messages.  

She said the only way i could get visual voicemail again would be to  get one of the new  plans, she did not push for this, probably seeing that it would cost twice what i'm paying while giving me features i don't need or use, in other words, although presumably no one intended for this to happen, they are basically ripping me off.  I have been paying for a smart phone service on ATT and enjoying, feeling fine about.  Two reps took actions because i reported a sudden unexplained illogical malfunction in the voice mail, which changed my phone service from smart phone to dumb phone, now i have the old fashioned largely useless call in voice mail. i haven't called in for voice mail since 2012 using the office phone system.  If ATT is going to remove valuable services from my plan arbitrarily, i need them to adjust what i'm paying accordingly.  I underhand that visual voicemail is free. i'm not talking about that.  i want what i was paying for, that's all, what  i signed up for when i chose to continue with ATT  when i got my new iPhone last November.  The assurance was that nothing would change. Now without giving reason or explanation or asking if i wanted opt into their mew 30 message limit system the rendered my phone limited for voice mail use.  

It should not be hard to imagine now this feels.  The manager today said that she had some more things she wanted to try, "off line," and asked if she could take my number and call me back. i was only too relieved get off that waste of time phone call and she said she would call back in a few minutes.  She said "i promise you i will call you right back," but never called back.  

i am depressed because i will have to call back tomorrow and continue dealing with it, I'm losing a lot of valuable tjme.  but no one at ATT is taking responsibility for repairing this damage that was done to my services by their reps, so it's left to me to keep calling and repeating the whole thing in order to get past the gate keepers

i'm tired of having my days poisoned.  i need a solution so i can go on with my life.  it fees really bad to have these people know what is happening and just drop it like a hot potato instead of looking at it like this is their job and their responsibility.  So far , it looks like the attitude of ATT is irresponsible. 

if you or anyone has any ideas for solutions i would welcome hearing.   i wish the problem had  been with  the Apple iOS updates, that was a plausible explanation and easy solution.  so far no luck. 

Message 5 of 6

Re: i can't see my voicemail messages listed in the iPhone app voice mail tab

Have you check to see if you can access mobile data outside of wifi(ex. Safari, Facebook, etc).  If not then all your messages won't return because vvm has to have a data connection in order to receive.  What seem to have happen was, a data issue with your cell when the service was Unavailable with Visual Voice mail.  Once it was switched from basic back to Visual Voice Mail, it more then likely erased any saved voice mails you had in you voice mail box on the server(not saved on your cell phone).  All the voice mails that where on your cell phone, if not saved, will go bye bye once you reset your settings, because they go back to default(original lay out).  You might get lucky and slowly might restore (from your cell phone storage) but there is nothing anyone can do to bring them back.  If nothing was saved, then once it was reset it was deleted for good.  Always hits save on your phone.  Apple has had a lot of issues recently and will not admit to software issues.  Even though its clearly a software issue if you saved your voice mails.  Given if you didn't know about visual voice mail, you where using it in order to be able to read your messages.  Sorry to hear you lost important messages but always make sure to save them but have to remember what you have is an electronic device.  With that said even if it cost 25 to 1000 dollars, it can have a hiccup and cause issues like yourself.  Others maybe watching a video and phone goes black for no reason, or speaker button goes gray.  Just like a car, cell phones can have some kind of mechanical issue.  And unfortunately some times things don't go the way we want.  Some times waiting for an update will fix the issues and some times not.  Good luck and remember to never trust technology.

Message 6 of 6
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