Asking for help reporting bug...voicemail indicator not working without cellular data

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dvader123, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. dvader123 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2010
    Hi. I made a post about an issue I had a few days ago. Basically, the problem is that I do not get a voicemail indication (red dot) on the phone app whenever someone leaves a voicemail.

    I have ios 8.1 and suspect that this is the problem. My phone is set up in such a way that I have cellular off, and use wifi most of the time. (Please don't ask me that I should just leave it on. I have my reasons as do many others.)

    Anyway, this voicemail indicator problem is very real and easy to reproduce. You just have to do the following:

    1. Go to your settings and turn off cellular data.
    2. Call your iphone from another phone.
    3. Don't answer your iphone.
    4. Leave a message from that other phone to your iphone.
    5. Wait for voicemail indicator "red dot" appears on your phone app.

    You should still see that a red dot is over the missed call tab, but it will never show you whether a message has been left by the caller. After you waited enough time, do the following to have the red dot appear:

    1. Go to your settings and turn on cellular data.
    2. Wait for the red dot to appear on your phone app to indicate that you received a VM.

    I was not having any such problem before. Sure, I wouldn't get to enjoy visual voicemail, but I was content without it. I was still able to know whether a voicemail came in, and now I don't know. I went the entire weekend not knowing an important message has been left for me at work.

    When I last reported this here, I wanted to know if this is just my phone or if others were having this issue. It became clear that other users (ip5s and ip6s) who were with different carriers were all experiencing this issue. It didn't bother most people because they constantly keep their cellular data on, but for others like me, we need to keep it off.

    I am writing here because I am wondering if you can also report the bug to apple through the following website.

    I already submitted my report, but I heard that apple won't even look at it unless many more report it themselves and thereby increasing the priority.

    Can you try to see if you can replicate this problem and then report it on the website? Thank you!
  2. dvader123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2010
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    For as long as I've had iPhones (since the original), a cellular data connection has always been required to access visual voicemail, as it uses the cellular data connection to download the messages to your phone. It won't normally work over WiFi.

    The only exception *MIGHT* be if WiFi calling is offered by your carrier, and is turned on in your phone.

    And here's Apple's support document regarding that:

  4. dvader123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2010
    Please let me know if I'm misunderstanding here. I do understand that you need cellular on for visual voicemail. I never denied that.

    I am talking about getting getting a notification (via the red dot on the phone app and on the voicemail tab inside the phone app) that tells me that I have a voicemail message from a missed call.

    In other words, it doesn't have to be a visual voicemail. Just a notice that a voicemail is waiting for me to retrieve. Now, I don't think I should have cellular on to get this basic feature. I shouldn't have to use my data or risk using it in order to know if I have a message for me.

    Before iOS 8.1, I was having no problems with this. Someone called. I didn't pick up. Person left a message. I found out later from the red dot in the phone app on the voicemail tab that I had a message. Now, I may not end up finding that out until I just happen to check my voicemail which could come days or weeks later.

    It's a serious bug on iOS 8.1 so I'm hoping others can try to replicate this problem by following the steps I provided. If it holds true, then to please report the bug to apple using the link I provided.

  5. 1981d macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    I don't think its a bug. I think the notification is data based, just like visual voicemail is, so it won't come through if you have data turned off or otherwise unavailable.
  6. dvader123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2010
    So you're telling me that I can never know if I have a voicemail waiting for me unless I turn on data?

    I know most people turn on data, but there are still a lot of people who don't. That's why carriers will offer low data plans just for those people.

    Anyway, I can't believe it because knowing whether you have a voicemail message (not visual voicemail which I know is a premium feature) is a basic feature that even a dumb phone can give you. I don't understand why an iphone would make this feature so difficult to obtain for users.

    I also can't believe it because just before the iOS 8.1 update, I was able to get these notifications (i.e. red dot). Something happened, and I just wish apple would fix this. It has to be a bug. Just wished more people would try to reproduce this effect. At least do it to prove me wrong so that I can conclude that it's just my phone. If not, then please let apple know about this through the bug report.
  7. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Basically, yes. VVM requires cellular data. This is one of the reasons a cellular data plan is required on most carriers when there's an iPhone or other VVM-capable smartphone activated on the line.

    [EDIT: Apparently there are exceptions. See below.]

    Well, actually, the low data plans are offered for people who are going to be on WiFi most of the time. If they were catering to people who just turn cellular data off entirely, you'd have a "no cellular data" option.

    For the vast majority of users, it's not difficult at all. They turn cellular data on, and then don't have any issue.

    You might be able to contact your carrier and have the remove visual voicemail from your plan, and ut standard voicemail back on. That should revert you to the older style voicemail that uses SMS notifications to indicate when you have a VM message, which shouldn't require cellular data. No guarantees on that though.

    It's probably more related to your carrier than it is Apple.

    Well, here's something interesting: it turns out on T-Mobile, cellular data is apparently NOT required to receive voicemails. I turned off cellular data, and turned off WiFi calling. Then called myself from another line and left a voicemail. The call went through, rolled to voicemail, and then I received the message anyway, apparently over Wifi data. This is on an iPhone 6+ running iOS 8.1.

    This is definitely a break from what most carriers require. I know AT&T requires cellular data, and always has. AFAIK Verizon requires it as well.

    So, definitely a carrier issue in your case, I would say.

    Attached Files:

  8. Elingle macrumors newbie


    Nov 16, 2015
  9. Elingle macrumors newbie


    Nov 16, 2015
    I have been having the same issue and I'm not sure if an apple issue or a carrier issue. Any thoughts?
  10. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Please read the thread. The carrier has to make a decision to support WiFi calling, and then configure their network to support sending voicemail over WiFi. If they don't support these two features, then you won't get voicemail without cellular data, and there is nothing Apple or your iPhone can do about it.

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9 October 30, 2014