Issues with Visual Voicemail

So on my iPhone 6 (latest iOS 11 updates installed) I have recently noticed that my Visual Voicemail tends to act up. It won’t display new voicemail for days. Then, it will all of a sudden add all new entries to the list at once.

So right now I can call myself to get onto my voicemail and I hear there are two new messages, but VV is not showing any. Restarting the phone doesn’t help.

Is this a VV issue or something on T-Mobile’s end? Has anybody else experienced anything similar? Is there some way to reset the VV system on the iPhone itself?

What’s your reception like? I’m on Verizon and have no service at my house, so I depend on Wi-Fi calling. But I tend to not receive voicemails until I enter an actual service area.

Thanks, Josh. That’s interesting. Indeed I’m on wifi calling a lot since T-mobile reception is spotty where I work. It’s not at all a remote area, but it is on a hill next to a canyon. I do however go on and off wifi calling many times during the day, especially once I leave work and head home through the downtown area so I don’t think I’m not getting updates because I’m always on wifi.

I called a service rep yesterday and of course they say everything looks ok. They gave me a generic troubleshooting list with lots of baloney like restart phone or download a fresh copy of the VV app (obviously intended for Android). None of that made any difference. I did speak one message onto my voicemail later in the day and that did show up on my iPhone (plus it pushed two other messages that had not made it to my phone yet), so I’m wondering if maybe the rep was able to reset something on their end and just didn’t tell me.

It’s kind of a frustrating situation. Once again, I find myself trying to troubleshoot something “in the cloud” and I end up being stuck and realize that what I’d really need is a “reset” command to get things going again. But I have no such tool. No idea if it’s because of Apple’s that-shouldn’t-be-necessary attitude or because of T-Mobile. I don’t even know if they have something like that on their end. The rep although friendly didn’t seem particularly tech-savvy.

I’m on Verizon on my iPhone 8+, and Visual Voicemail has been OK here, though sometimes it’s a little slower in transcribing than others. It’s been that way since I got this phone.

My lovely spouse sees this problem often with an occasional several day delay in receiving voice mails. However, I do not see it. We both have IOS updated 6S phones. I’m tired of trying to debug phone issues that should never be a problem to begin with. Voice mail has been around for decades and always worked fine in the past. This is a very important communication feature. I do not answer calls from a numbers not in my contacts, expecting a voicemail if important. This helps filter robocalls. We are AT&T customers with good home coverage thanks to a microcell. We do not ordinarily use wifi calling. Oh and yes we’ve tried rebooting the phone, etc.

Thanks for your input, Cory. Good to hear it’s not necessarily a T-Mobile issue. Otherwise, I’ve been very happy with their servce and their business philosophy. I’d prefer not to have to switch.

And this ˘˘˘ I couldn’t agree more with.

I’ve never really had a problem with Visual Voicemail so I can’t contribute much. However, when we were switching SIMs in London, it looked as though that would eliminate access to previous Visual Voicemail messages. (We never took any calls there, or got voicemail, so I don’t know what would have happened then.) From that I surmise that the connection to the carrier is quite important and anything that interrupts it could result in weird situations.

So now with iOS 12.1.1 out, could anybody shed light on this part of the release notes:

• A resolution for an issue that could prevent visual voicemail from downloading

Does anybody know exactly what Apple means by that? I’m wondering if maybe that trouble I was having was related to some kind of iOS VV bug that has now been fixed. After all that trouble I was having, I had my carrier shut off voicemail entirely. If I had reason to believe it now works reliably, I would ask them to tun it back on.

I have T-Mobile GSM service via MMO (Ting), and I absolutely never receive VV until I get a reasonable cell tower signal (at least 1 bar trying to flash to 2 bars); I have WiFi calling enabled, which works fine, but VV seems to require an actual LTE or 4G connection (IOW, even if I have 4 bars, if it doesn’t also show a data connection [4G/LTE] VV will not arrive (nor can I get email, internet services, etc.).

I might go days without a decent enough signal at my house, or I might leave it in Airplane Mode (WiFi ON), and do not get any VV until I wander into a signal; then I may suddenly see messages that are days and days old.

Thankfully, nearly every message in the TM VM mailbox is junk; I don’t actually use that phone number or its VM; I use Google Voice, so (nearly) all my VM (that I care about) arrives via GV App/Web/Email/SMS notifications.

(Occasionally there is a slight burp when I have call forwarding enabled that the T-Mobile VM hijacks what should be recorded by GV, but it’s rare; and generally those important messages are detected within minutes, at most, because I’m out and about getting actual cell service, so I see the badge/notification and hear the message tone.)

I doubt this is something Apple will fix via iOS; I believe this is simply the price of VV (at least on TM): it requires a cell tower data connection, and doesn’t work over WiFi.