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AT&T network delaying iPhone voicemail alerts?

updated 05:05 pm EDT, Wed July 1, 2009

ATT delaying voicemail?

Several reports suggest AT&T may be experiencing problems with delayed alerts for voicemail messages sent to iPhones. Tech support representatives provided more insight to Glenn Tenney, a computer security expert who recently noticed that many messages took days before being listed in the iPhone's visual voicemail.

"I just spent 1.5 hours on the phone with AT&T level 1, a supervisor, then level 2 support only to find out: Level 2 support tells me that this is a known issue, has been known since before the 3GS came out and potentially applies to all iPhones -- 1st generation iPhones with V2.x OS as well as 3G and 3GS phones and v3.x OS," says Tenney.

Despite the potentially large scope of the problem, the Level 2 representative claimed the only workaround requires dialing into the regular voicemail system to manually check for new messages.

Although similar problems can be expected to occur occasionally on most networks, it is unusual for the issues to last for an extended period of time. Aside from individual reports and experiences similar to Tenney's, the delays have not yet been confirmed or acknowledged by the carrier or Apple. [via PCWorld]

by MacNN Staff




  1. JeffsJeep04

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Keep it up

    Keep it up ATT, the faster you dig this hole, the sooner someone else can get their hands on the iPhone (verizoncough)

  1. Arty50

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not just VVM

    I've been with Cingular/AT&T for 7-8 years now and at least once a year (sometimes much worse) I get voicemail at least a day late. Without fail, it's something reasonably important too.

    This is all normal voicemail on several different "regular" cell phones.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AT&T voicemail

    It's new!
    It's improved!
    It's like asking a stranger if you have voicemail!

  1. SMacSteve

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've had this issue a few times and I thought it was a isolated incident. I guess I was wrong.

  1. FootnotesFaulkner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Me too

    It's been happening to me and my wife for the past week. We rely on voicemail and are becoming angrier every time it happens.

  1. mike784

    Joined: Dec 1969


    VoiceMail problem

    This has absolutely been happening to my wife and I for the past 2 weeks! There was one instance where she didn't get VM alerts for 5 days!! The ATT person said that it was my wife's fault for not manually checking her VM everyday!! I said that that made no sense! Why would you manually check your VM each day without an alert! After escalating my problem, they ended up giving us a $25.00 credit. This is so not acceptable that VM's would not go through for 5 days!!!

  1. erik9999

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Since I got a new 3G notS

    I had my 3G replaced under AppleCare and since then I have some major issues like others here. My iPhone seems to hibernate from AT&T after a period of time of inactivity. Upgraded to 3.0 no diff. I get missed call notifications while my phone is on and in net coverage. Voicemail notifications don't come unless I restart my phone and then they come rolling in. So my phone seems to not ring, missed notifications of vmail and time stamp on missed calls way later than actual time, vmail stamp when it finally comes, is actual call time and always earlier than missed call time. Returning it to Apple tomorrow.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Didn't Apple say they needed to go with a single carrier to get 'upgrades' they needed (read: We need upgrades to handle visual voice mail). And those who unlock their iPhones and use a different carrier won't have these features.

    So, all that's happening is that AT&T has finally leveled the playing field!

    But you would think Apple could be all over this, since it is their voicemail system that is affected.

  1. UCarchitect

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Possible solution

    Pretty sure I can guess what the problem is with this AT&T wireless issue. Some carrier class voicemail solutions allow you to create as many voicemail subscribers as you want but have licensing limits on the number that can be active at any given time. When a mailbox has not been accessed in some time, it can become inactive. In that state, messages can still be recorded. The act of calling in to voicemail to retrieve messages reactivates the mailbox. In this way, a carrier can save a huge amount of money by only having licenses for the number of mailboxes that are in actual use. My best guess is that because visual voicemail downloads the messages, over time the mailbox becomes inactive because the end user is not phoning in for messages. Thats why calling in to voicemail causes the mailbox to start working again. I've had this problem myself since iPhone 1.0 but never knew other people also had it. Now that I know I'm not alone it got me thinking about the cause. If I'm right then all AT&T needs to do is buy more licenses.

  1. gmsquires

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Voice messages delay

    Delay of voice messages is nothing new for any carrier. This is a common problem. Had this problem with Sprint, Verizon and even now with ATT. For some reason the system doesn't connect with your phone to notify of the message and is delayed, or maybe the system is delayed in sending out the message to begin with. Not sure if it is a bandwidth issue or system overload or what. It is annoying.

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