VM question; my first iPhone, coming from clamshell, on Verizon

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MSM Hobbes, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #1
    My previous phone was a beloved LG VX8300… trusty reliable [well besides that one time falling out of my pants pocket in my car at the airport parking lot, and then not having it for the week I was traveling]. And then now, goofy me, when getting the new iPhone 4S last week, didn't think to ask,,, and the Verizon reps didn't mention this either, but when I had a message to retrieve in my new phone, it asked me to set up my voice mail account. :confused: Instead of setting it up, I called to the Verizon store, and inquired: "why is this asking me for new password, etc., as all should be the same,,, no?" I was then told that since the iPhone uses a different 'system', it is not compatible, and that all my previous VM's were now into the ether.

    This is extremely very upsetting… as that means that I've lost ~dozen very important to me VM's from the past ~8 years,,, voices of my mom, my (now deceased dad), my wife, my kids, couple friends over the years saying this and that. I still haven't set up new VM via the iPhone, mainly for fear that I will for sure lose everything. I tried calling Verizon, but was on hold couple times, and never got to right person yet. So,,, does anyone here know? Are my previous VM's really gone? Anything that can be done [sans being peeved still]? Thanks...
     
  2. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #2
    First, I'm very sorry about the loss of those voicemails. I can totally relate to the sentimentality and significance of having (and losing) recorded voices, videos, photos of people who are no longer with you.

    This unfortunately makes what I'm about to tell you a bit harder, and so I must apologize, but...

    Regrettably, given the way most voicemail systems work, it is almost certain that the voicemails you had were lost for good the moment the Verizon rep activated the iPhone and the system switched you to the visual voicemail system that goes with it.

    The rep is correct that the voicemail system the iPhone (and many other smartphones) use is different from "regular" cell phones. Since the iPhone has its own built-in storage, digital recordings of your voicemail messages are sent to it to store directly on the phone itself, instead of just on a hard drive at the central office.

    The advantage to this is, it's faster and easier to retrieve and play back your messages. And ironically, this type of voicemail system means that you have a little more direct control of the recordings, since copies of the messages are being saved directly on your iPhone.

    But the bad news, as you've found out, is that because it's a different system from regular VM, it uses a different set of computers and software to operate. For the sake of expediency, the carriers (not just Verizon) handle this switchover by simply closing out your old VM account and removing all the messages contained within, and open a fresh, new account for you on the new system.

    Should they have warned you about this? Definitely.

    Is there a way to transfer existing voicemail messages from "regular" VM to visual VM? I imagine that theoretically it's possible, since these voicemails are basically just digital sound recordings. But it probably involves making two incompatible VM systems talk to each other, which means lots of programming work. And money. Which Verizon and other carriers probably felt wasn't worth investing.

    Again, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but my guess is that for all intents and purposes the messages are gone. Given the amount of customers Verizon has, it probably didn't take long for the voicemails to be overwritten with new messages destined for other people shortly after the system deleted your messages.

    Even if by some miracle the free space was untouched and an "undelete" was possible, it would probably be near impossible to persuade Verizon to take the voicemail system out of service, extract the hard drives in question and have the deleted files reconstructed.

    One thing I would suggest though: your new iPhone has a voice recorder, and a very good camera that can take excellent still photos and great high definition video. Although the old memories are probably gone, and regrettably some of the people in those VMs aren't with you anymore, the phone in your hand will be great at making new memories... ones that aren't at the mercy of the phone company for keeping them around.
     
  3. b24pgg macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    Use Google Voice for your voicemail. I don't know if there's any way to retrieve your old voicemails, but using Google Voice will ensure that it never happens again. Your voicemails can be retrieved anywhere with internet access at www.google.com/voice
     
  4. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #4
    Sorry to share bad news but your previous voice mailbox was deleted when you were moved to the new visual voicemail system for the iPhone.

    I know that you don't want to hear it but this issue has hit new iPhone adopters since the original iPhone.

    Dave
     
  5. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #5
    scaredpoet, SGMD1, and dave006,,, thanks, very much, for your replies. Much appreciate your thoughtful / kind words. Funny,,, me being the damn rebel [a foolish, stubborn, frustrated, mad rebel] I am, still haven't set up my VM on the iPhone… even w/ 12 messages now waiting therein for me.

    But, I will - someday...

    For now, just a note to say 'thanks'.

    :cool:
     
  6. Ivabign macrumors 6502

    Ivabign

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    SoCal
    #6
    Did you upgrade and activate at a Verizon store? If so, there is no excuse for them activating your phone without telling you aboutnyourold VM messages.
    If you received he phone by mail and activated yourself, there was a bright red pamphlet that stated all voicemails from old system would be deleted. On the Verizon website they even listed a company that would make you an mp3 of our saved messages for a pretty hefty fee. I ended up using the headphone jack into my computer and recorded them that way. I had some messages from my kids before their voices changed. I am sorry for your loss. It sucks.
     
  7. Ivabign macrumors 6502

    Ivabign

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    SoCal
    #7
    Did you upgrade and activate at a Verizon store? If so, there is no excuse for them activating your phone without telling you about your old VM messages.
    If you received the phone by mail and activated yourself, there was a bright red pamphlet that stated all voicemails from old system would be deleted. On the Verizon website they even listed a company that would make you an mp3 of our saved messages for a pretty hefty fee. I ended up using the headphone jack into my computer and recorded them that way. I had some messages from my kids before their voices changed. I am sorry for your loss. It sucks.
     
  8. Ivabign macrumors 6502

    Ivabign

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    SoCal
    #8
    Did you upgrade and activate at a Verizon store? If so, there is no excuse for them activating your phone without telling you about your old VM messages.
    If you received the phone by mail and activated yourself, there was a bright red pamphlet that stated all voicemails from old system would be deleted. On the Verizon website they even listed a company that would make you an mp3 of our saved messages for a pretty hefty fee. I ended up using the headphone jack into my computer and recorded them that way. I had some messages from my kids before their voices changed. I am sorry for your loss. It sucks.
     
  9. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #9
    Thanks… yes, at a Verizon store. Funny, I hadn't really planned on buying one that day. My lady batted her eyes at me that morning, asked if I wanted to go out on a date,,, I asked "sure, who with",,, and after my vision returned, I was driving her to lunch. Afterwards, happened to turn left, and seeing the Verizon store, walked in.. and about an hour later, was grinning ear to ear, proud of my new amazing shiny computer in my hand - one that just a week earlier I'd told a couple of my engineers that I'd no interest in buying,,, as I was enjoying the life of a Luddite, not wanting all of this technology 24/7, that I was happy w/ my clam shell. So long story short - yes, at a Verizon store, with three different sales reps vulturing me… but in nice way. Thankfully I've some videos taken with our camcorder over the years too,,, but having these voices, well they were always with me. Besides the ones I have in my head too… :cool:
     
  10. sdsvtdriver macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #10
    Unfortunate.

    http://support.verizonwireless.com/how_to_use/iphone_vvm.html
     

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