T-Mobile (USA) Update Causes Mayhem With Voicemail Indicators

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by mkrishnan, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    An update T-Mobile apparently implemented in the past 2 days seems to be causing major problems for voicemail on unlocked iPhones. AFAIK, this issue only affects iPhones on T-Mobile in the United States (where they have presumably been unlocked for this purpose).

    The issue causes voicemail alerts to not function properly -- instead of causing the voicemail red ball indicator to appear on the Phone icon in the springboard, instead, they generate spurious, blank SMS entries (typically no sender or contents, I think some of them have a lone "@" in them). When one checks voicemail, the fake SMS entries also get created when it tries to clear out the new voicemail indicator.

    I found this out, sadly, because I rebooted my iPhone this morning -- it didn't happen until then (but I also didn't receive a voicemail I think yesterday or today).

    Here are some references:
    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?p=12518412#post12518412
    http://www.hackint0sh.org/forum/f127/71287.htm#post406903

    I'm still poring through them, but there doesn't seem to be a good fix right now. :(

    EDIT: Two things are suggested as fixes or workarounds:
    - Some users report that getting a new SIM from T-Mobile solved the problem, but others reported that they did the same and it did not solve the problem

    - Some users are using Youmail as an alternative. I'm going to give this a try, since people say Youmail actually does some fun stuff. Here's some info. This seems to be at least a temporary solution, although if one has the problem that the voicemail indicator red ball is shown on boot, there doesn't seem to be a way to get rid of it, as calling their voicemail service doesn't seem to get rid of it.
     
  2. guyverzero macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    #2
    Is it known whether this is a charged text? Or is it free since its from T-Mobile?
     
  3. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    People in HowardForums claimed it was charged, although I'm not really sure. Good question!

    By way of update, Youmail seems imperfect but it has some great features. So far, receiving SMS's from it doesn't seem to work. :rolleyes: Other people seem to have reported that sometimes, Youmail has a substantial delay in sending out SMSes. Sending an e-mail with an MP3 copy of the voicemail seems to work quite well, however. I just set my receive account for the e-mails to be one (my AOL one) that I never use.
     
  4. iTouch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #4
    So that's the problem. I called T-Mobile not knowing this and they gave me 60 free messages to balance out the problem. But I need a real fix for this.
     
  5. email68 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    #5
    I got a hold of a tech level 2 at T-Mobile concerning this problem. We went through many steps and nothing resolved it.

    Their system sees an error sending the Voicemail Call Waiting Indicator setting and sends the text message as a way to let you know you have VM. It is their way of supporting older outdated phones or non-T-Mobile phones.

    You can ask them to turn off the Voicemail Call Waiting Indicator and the text messages will stop. I did that for a night, but turned them back on.

    I checked, these are not charged against your account. I dialed #674# to check my text bank and then forced the vm message and it did not change.

    I also checked it on my wife's pay as you go phone and found the same thing.

    My phone with a plan has the VM red dot indicator off all the time, while my wife's pay as you go phone has it on.

    Hope this helps, and I hope T-Mobile fixes it!
     
  6. dorqiekat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    #6
    Springboard crashing

    Hi everyone, I hope I'm posting in the right place. All of a sudden for the first time I am having issues with my iPhone. When I get a missed call win a voicemail, instead of a missed call/ new voicemail notification I get a text message from no one, I'm guessing the phone itself of "@" just the @ sign. And then I get a "sad iPhone" picture as my wallpaper and a warning that my springboard crashed asking to restart. I've restarte but still the issue persists.

    I'm using the first gen unlocked iPhone with 2.2.1 on t-mobile. I have cydia but I don't use it.

    Please help. It also has the new voicemail icon but I don't have a voicemail.
     
  7. k2dragon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    #7
  8. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Yes, that's exactly right. The only workarounds right now seem to be:

    1) Have T-Mobile de-activate the VM indicator -- your VM works normally, but you won't get an alert that you have voicemail. Depending on [I have no idea what], some people will have the voicemail indicator bulb on all the time and some will never have it on.

    2) Activate an alternative service such as Youmail or Google Voice (if you have an invitation). The advantage is that you can get an alert via either detailed SMS (e.g. with name / number of caller, duration of message, etc) or e-mail (which includes the aforementioned plus even an MP3 sample of the message) and you can get a browser-based visual voicemail functionality too. The big disadvantage is that these alerts typically don't seem to be that instantaneous -- the SMS doesn't always appear instantly, and the e-mail is limited by the e-mail system. Probably the latter can be made a little faster if you can dedicate a push e-mail account to the messages. Also, while you can still use the voicemail button in the Phone app, the indicator will always be on or off, as above.

    It would seem nicer if they can just fix the signals being sent to our phones. It's odd that only this phone is affected -- so far, it doesn't seem like the change makes anomalous behavior on any other official or unofficial / unlocked phone besides the iPhone. Hopefully the number of people who've called T-Mobile will make them consider implementing an iPhone fix? :eek:
     
  9. CC424 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #9
    We need help! This is very uncool. It started Friday for me and my wife!
     
  10. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    EDIT: Modified with better information.

    If you want T-Mobile to do something about it (and they may or may not be able to do so), contact them!

    It turns out that T-Mobile no longer has a published e-mail address to which one can write customer service inquiries (they did until mid-March). I tried using their online system but got funneled to a typically unhelpful chat session. So, instead, a little digging revealed an e-mail address for their (very customer focused) US CEO, which I elected to try out:

    If you wish to send an e-mail to him, that e-mail address is rdotson@t-mobile.com .... Every little bit helps, I guess.
     
  11. SMkdesigns macrumors regular

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    Oct 2, 2007
  12. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #12
    Same here too..

    What about people from Europe who travel to the US with actual T-Mobile iPhones - are they experiencing the same problem? Are they on Visual Voicemail instead?
     
  13. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    Hmmm, this issue does not seem to be causing that problem for anyone else (just tested mine also). This started on a previously working-on-T-Mobile iPhone at the end of last week?

    Same as the above (incoming calls), or same as the rest of us (blank SMS's instead of VM alerts)?

    EDIT: Well!

    I received a call today from someone at T-Mobile corporate in response to my e-mail. Of course it came in while I was seeing a patient, and so I'll have to call them back tomorrow, but that was very nice of them. :)
     
  14. dorqiekat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    #14
    Pictures

    Hi everyone, I am posting pictures to better illustrate my problem. My last resort would be to do a full restore as I have calendar information that I don't have on my computer... it would be a huge pain to lose all that.

    Anyway, as mentioned above, it starts with a new voicemail. Once I receive a new voicemail, I get a text message from my phone of just the @ sign. Then my phone replaces the wallpaper with the sad iphone and the springboard crashes.

    Take a look at the "@" text's dates... pretty weird, dating them from 1969 to 2012. :confused:

    Anyway, I would appreciate any help on this please! I now have a permanent new voicemail icon, even though I don't have any voicemail.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. dorqiekat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    #15
    Not the only one!

    I have to say, I'm both happy and sad to hear that I am not the only one experiencing this. :eek:

    I was ready to do something drastic (to me it is, full restore) on my phone, good thing I browsed the hack forums.

    I will try to call T-Mobile customer service as well to see where they're taking this. They are usually very good with working with customers to appease the situation.

    EDIT: I called T-Mobile and they said that the engineers have been working on something with the network. The only option they presented was to turn the voicemail indicator off, but I declined because I could deal with the text messages since I have unlimited. They said that this is high on their priority to fix since customers without text messaging bundles are being charged to receive these phantom texts from the past and future. They knew all about the issue, and already had a speech to ramble off. They predict the most 7 days to fix.

    I thought that they were going to say something about using the iphone, how it is not one of their phones, but they didn't. They were just trying to (or trying to appear to) fix the problem that was affecting their customers.

    I will be calling back in the next day or two until it is fixed. I generally don't accept service interruption from something I pay for, and will most likely demand something for the inconvenience especially if they take 7 days to fix.
     
  16. qvidal macrumors newbie

    qvidal

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Where the Stars are High and the Moon is Bright
    #16
    same here

    Dallas, TX same issue here called Tmobile and the tech claimed some setting he did stopped the text messages however I cant remove the VM icon and I had my wife leave me a VM and then press ** to get out and end the call reset iphone removed sim card and nothing works so very fustrated here as well hopefully issue will be fixed soon
     
  17. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    The best solution still seems to be Youmail. One doesn't have to have T-Mobile change anything, can activate and de-activate it oneself, etc. But one still can't get rid of the VM indicator red ball. And I still don't seem to get SMS alerts from Youmail. Also the visual voicemail is actually pretty nice. :)

    I'll be curious to see what this contact at T-Mo corporate has to say. I would be kind of surprised, if they can do anything about this, because presumably they did this for some reason, but still, it's nice to see they care. They seem to be living up to T-Mobile's customer service reputation.
     
  18. qvidal macrumors newbie

    qvidal

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
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    #18
    Is youmail on cydia or app store I cant find it . .
     
  19. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #19
    It's not an iPhone app... Basically, it takes a few steps:

    1) Go to http://youmail.com and create an account. Follow the directions to activate it on your phone.

    2) Forward calls to Youmail instead of your voicemail by the instructions they provide you.

    3) Set the voicemail button in the iPhone to call Youmail instead of T-Mo by this code:

    *5005*86*7142043114#

    4) Set up Youmail (your greeting, what kind of alert you want when you get a message, etc) and make an icon for it if you want (via MobileSafari -- the page is http://m.youmail.com/mobile/home.do ).

    Then, your calls go to your Youmail voicemail instead of T-Mo. You get an alert, and you can either use voicemail on the phone the way you usually do to listen to it, or you can use the Youmail webapp or you can listen to the MP3 attachment to the e-mail you receive, if you wish. Since it doesn't use voicemail alerts, you stop getting the SMSes. But, as stated, if your phone has the red indicator for voicemail on at boot, then it'll be stuck on.

    All of this is reversible, FWIW, with similar control codes.

    EDIT: This, then is what my home screen looks like with the Youmail icon:

    [​IMG]

    And this is what the visual voicemail looks like in MobileSafari:

    [​IMG]

    And this is what it looks like as an e-mail (there's a play link which launches it in MobileSafari, plus there's an MP3 attached at the end to which one can listen right in the message).

    [​IMG]
     
  20. dorqiekat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    #20
    I do agree that they made this update for a reason, however, probably not knowing what it has caused. At this point, they seem very aware that customers are negatively being affected... I have been with T-Mobile for a long time and have never gotten "deal with it" as an answer. I think they will have to concede somehow, worse case, they go back on their upgrade.

    I understand at the moment that this is an iphone issue... they can come back and say, get a T-Mobile phone but they would probably lose a lot of customers. I mean, I know more people with T-Mobile using iphones than I do AT&T!
     
  21. qvidal macrumors newbie

    qvidal

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Where the Stars are High and the Moon is Bright
    #21
    @ mkrishnan thanks for that . . I might check out it . . seem what TMO does in the next couple of days or so . .
     
  22. qvidal macrumors newbie

    qvidal

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Where the Stars are High and the Moon is Bright
    #22
    VM icon (tmobile)

    HEY HEY HEY . . I called tmobile earlier and he did some setting switch and I stopped getting the text msgs . . then I just messing around took out my sim card with the phone on then turned it off . . left it off for about a min or two (time to go to the rest room and open a cold one) turned it on (without the sim card in) waited for it to boot up . . entered my unlock code then waited for the screen to go off . .entered the sim card . .waited 30 seconds (one commerial) and then no VM icon . . placed call . . recieved call sent text message and received text message . . told someone to leave vm didnt get icon . . called vm cleared it and ended call by ** and no icon still

    (THESE ARE EXACT STEPS) not a gurentee fix but hey it worked for me hope it works for you
     
  23. dorqiekat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    #23
    So, with these steps, you don't get a voicemail icon either way? Voicemail or no voicemail?

    I'm glad you found something that works for you, but I would still like to have a notification icon if I have voicemail...
     
  24. qvidal macrumors newbie

    qvidal

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Where the Stars are High and the Moon is Bright
    #24
    true . . just bothered me to have the icon showing all the time
     
  25. dorqiekat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    #25
    Yeah, I understand. I guess until T-Mobile figures out this mess we're looking at icon or no icon.

    I will hold high hopes that they fix it soon. :eek:
     

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