iPhone owners across US impacted by weeks-long AT&T voicemail outage

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2019
Pockets of AT&T customers across the U.S. are experiencing voicemail issues that have persisted since the beginning of October. And while the company has supposedly identified the problem, it has not specified when a fix will arrive.




Scattered reports of voicemail troubles first circulated on AT&T's support forum and various social media platforms in early October, though some users claim the issue dates back to September.

The problem appears to be platform agnostic, as both Android and iOS devices are unable to access certain voicemail assets. Android users are seeing error messages, for example, while owners of Apple's iPhone are experiencing difficulties with Visual Voicemail, which allows users to view, manage and delete messages from a graphical list.

As noted by The Verge, which parsed through the 40-page forum thread and compiled related complaints from Twitter, customers living in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Nevada and North Carolina have suffered effects of the outage. One forum member, who reportedly filed an FCC complaint over the matter, claimed AT&T reached out to explain the issue impacted customers in Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee as of Oct. 16.

AT&T in a vaguely worded statement on Wednesday blames the outage on a software update pushed out to "some devices" on an unknown date.

"A recent software update to some devices may be affecting our customers' voicemail," the company told The Verge. "We are working with the device manufacturer to issue a patch to resolve this and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."

The nation's second largest mobile carrier by subscribers does not identify the nature of the update, nor does it specify whether the devices mentioned are consumer products or cellular service-related assets like voicemail servers. Customer who spoke with service representatives claim the company traced the voicemail errors back to a "vendor server problem."

AT&T forum handlers also referenced vendor server troubles when they marked the issue as "solved" on Oct. 9, saying the company is "in contact with the vendor as they work to fix it." In the meantime, AT&T said affected customers requiring immediate access to voicemail capabilities can create a new mailbox by calling customer service, but doing so will delete all saved and unheard messages.

For now it appears impacted users have one of two choices: wait for AT&T's fix to arrive at some unidentified future date or forfeit their voicemail history to get the function working again.

AT&T pushed a carrier update out to certain iPhone owners this past week. Whether the release was related to ongoing voicemail woes remains unknown.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 338member
    I love AT&T the best phone company! 
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Pete2000Pete2000 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I had the issue on my iPhone 8 this week. Reboots didn’t help but using the ATT automated support via their app worked. Go through the prompts and say visual voicemail is down. It resets something on your device and asks you to reboot. After the reboot and a couple minutes, voice mail starts working. 
    peterhart
  • Reply 3 of 10
    big kcbig kc Posts: 136member
    Left AT&T after 20+ years 3 years ago for T-Mo, and couldn't be happier. Instantly saved a ton of money, non taxes or fees, and INFINITELY better customer service.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    This is why Google Voice is so much better.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,628member
    big kc said:
    Left AT&T after 20+ years 3 years ago for T-Mo, and couldn't be happier. Instantly saved a ton of money, non taxes or fees, and INFINITELY better customer service.
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, AT&T is the most incompetent, evil, overpriced carrier on the planet. You know people say that about T-Mobile too, right, and Sprint and Verizon and whoever, right? Everybody has their own personal horror story about why they left their previous carrier for greener pastures elsewhere. Well, guess what? AT&T continues to add subscribers. I wonder why. Like the Apple haters who long for the company to fold because of some feature they wanted but Apple wouldn’t supply, everybody has their own boogeyman to throw rocks at. For me it’s Firestone tires. So what?
  • Reply 6 of 10
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Pete2000 said:
    I had the issue on my iPhone 8 this week. Reboots didn’t help but using the ATT automated support via their app worked. Go through the prompts and say visual voicemail is down. It resets something on your device and asks you to reboot. After the reboot and a couple minutes, voice mail starts working. 
    Did you lose any voicemails doing this?

    big kc said:
    Left AT&T after 20+ years 3 years ago for T-Mo, and couldn't be happier. Instantly saved a ton of money, non taxes or fees, and INFINITELY better customer service.
    LOL, you still have taxes and fees, they’re just hidden in your bill now.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    And whom would that server vendor be? I'd also like to opine on the fact most people have not worked in the technology environments that support the services (like from wireless providers) we use daily. I have and you know what? They're full of people just like everybody else. As such, they're prone to the same frailties we all have. In order to make technology simple so we mere mortals will use it, and, pay for it, some real smart folks have to shoulder complex issues every day. As they say, you just can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. The only way to help insure any product that services the masses performs flawlessly is to stop the development of new services and their attendant features. That wouldn't make most folks happy but at least they might have less to complain about. In addition, I got a problem with this article's depiction of an AT&T (or Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) technician's service van to represent the offending company. Please use the company's "corporate" logo, the technician in that van has nothing to do with what caused the problem of this magnitude. (BTW, during my 30 years in the industry I was never a technician.) And finally, I also got a real problem with Firestone (and their parent company, Bridgestone, too). My issues go back at least 47 years with their tires for cars, motorcycles and boat trailers.
    edited October 2019
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I had an important voicemail come in a day late. An associate said they called me and I thought they were lying but sure enough yesterday the VM popped in from 2 days ago. I’m fed up w ATT. who knows if the others are better. 
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Hey guys, while you’re in there fixing it, could you get rid of those long, annoying mandatory outgoing messages that slowly explain to the caller how to leave a voicemail? I think even those of us who have been alive long enough to remember a world without voicemail have figured out the beep thing by now. 
  • Reply 10 of 10
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,009member
    Kudos to the person who filed the FCC compliant.  More of us need to do this.
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