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Cingular's Voicemail Has Turned to POO


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Cingular's Voicemail Has Turned to POO
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2007-05-12, 11:14

A few months ago Cingular's voicemail forced me to dump some of the messages that I'd been storing for posterity. Fortunately, I was able to record them off using a recorder, but that incident seemed like a harbinger of bad things to come. In the last couple of months my voicemail has informed me that it will store my messages for 14 days.... no options of long term storage offered.

So today I go to investigate and find that Cingular offers (as of May 12, 2007) two voicemail plans, which are equally sucky in comparison to the way the system worked previously, insofar as how long you can store messages. Your basic plan allows for you to store messages for 14 days, the "enhanced" voice mail ($1.99/month) allows you to store the messages for 21 days.

Last year I stored messages for 6 MONTHS (or longer).

What's especially curious is that I'm *already* paying $5.99/month for "enhanced voicemail", yet my messages will only store for 14 days.... is there some sort of "layering" of plans going on here? WTF?? Is it enhanced Enhanced Voicemail????

I know that Cingular's been working with Apple to re-jigger their network, and that this may be some sort of temporary condition, but as a customer I feel very, very confused...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-05-12, 11:34

I've noticed lots of little tweaks like that at well (I've been a Cingular customer for right at three years now). I figure that's part of the "neverending tweaking" companies like that tend to do to better help their numbers, but then, recently, I started wondering if they're re-working some stuff due to the upcoming iPhone.

Oh, and my most recent bill now has the blue AT&T logo and not the little orange Cingular guy (which I'm gonna miss).

In general I'm very happy with them and my service, but about every 3-5 months I'll look at my bill or online statement and have a genuine "WTF?" moment. But I barely talk on the phone anyway (and have no interest in saving voicemails), so those issues haven't really popped up.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2007-05-12, 12:30

I don't store messages for long either so I haven't noticed an issue either. I've had Cingular for a little over a year now without complaint other than patchy signal near my mom's house.

I don't pay for enhanced voicemail either.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2007-05-12 at 15:28.
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-05-12, 12:36

I'm on the Orange network in the UK, whom I've been with for about three years after trying all the networks. Part of the reason I chose Orange was because I was sick of hidden charges everywhere, and Orange don't do that kind of crap. But Orange delete answer phone messages after just 7 days! (Not that that's ever been a problem for me.) So two weeks sounds pretty generous to me, even though the downgrade must be annoying.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
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jdcfsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2007-05-12, 15:22

I've had Cingular for roughly seven years now and I can say that I've never been able to store voicemail messages for more then 7-14 days. I'd call about the $5.99 you're currently paying though because it sounds like there is something wrong there.

But seriously, what kind of message do you need to keep for over six months?

90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
Website | Twitter
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2007-05-12, 15:47

Yeah, downgrades suck.
You'd think that they'd figure out how to allow you to manage your own freaking VMs any way you'd like, regardless of term... it's all digital anyway.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2007-05-12, 23:34

That type of change should give you an out to get out your contract and go month-to-month if nothing else.
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2007-05-13, 00:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
But seriously, what kind of message do you need to keep for over six months?
REALLY good ones!

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile View Post
That type of change should give you an out to get out your contract and go month-to-month if nothing else.
Oh I've been month-to-month for several YEARS now.

Anyway, I'm surprised that there are a lot of people who wouldn't like to manage their voice messages via their carrier's service, keeping messages for as long as they'd like.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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Stone Of Love
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Detroit City is the place to be...maddog town gonna set you free
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2007-05-13, 23:31

I think the real problem is storage of what must be millions of voice messages left everyday on their network. If every customer kept two or three messages for ever, I'm guessing that pretty soon the system would become a problem so big that a profit would no longer become possible. By dumping voice mails, and charging more, they maintain the profit margin they are looking for.

For the record, I think it sucks too that I only get two weeks to store a message!! Couple of times a year I would like to keep a message around for a bit longer and don't have that choice.

Most messages get deleted as soon as I listen to them tho....

Different Strokes, for Different Folks.
And So On and So On, and Skoobie Doobie Doobie.
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joveblue
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Melbourne
 
2007-05-14, 08:31

Storage is pretty cheap these days. With some people paying over a hundred dollars a month I doubt they're going to have any problem whatsoever affording the storage.

But I guess they can scrape in a few cents here and there and it all adds up to a significant saving... But that strategy falls in a heap when their customers start walking away when they get fed up...
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2007-05-14, 16:23

I've got messages from when I signed up six months ago sitting in my voicemail on T-Mobile, FWIW.
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apple007
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2006
 
2007-05-19, 04:41

Are you sure they are automatically deleted after 14 or 21 days, or do you simply have to re-save them on Day 14 or Day 21?

I'm with Verizon, and they allow messages to be saved for 21 days at a time. Then, on Day 21, I get a warning that message(s) are about to expire. If I simple re-save them, the 21-day period starts over.

In any event, this sounds like it could be an iPhone-inspired tweak. If I understand iPhone visual voicemail correctly, voice messages will be stored locally on iPhone and not on AT&T's servers at all. (Right?)
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