AT&T subcribers suffering lengthy voicemail outage

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Are you getting your voicemails?
Photo: AT&T

Many AT&T customers in the U.S. are experiencing voicemail issues amid a lenthy outage. Some customers say they have been unable to access messages since September.

AT&T is aware of the issue, but there’s no clear explanation of what’s causing it — or how long it will last.

If you use AT&T and you’ve been unable to access voicemail, know you are not alone. A 40+ page thread on the carrier’s support forums indicates a lot of customers are in the same boat.

And it’s not just one area that’s affected. Complaints have come from subscribers in Arizona, California, Colorada, Florida, and elsewhere across the U.S.

So, what’s going on?

AT&T acknowledges voicemail outage

It’s hard to tell what the cause of the problem is. AT&T suggested in early October, and again this week, that it’s a “vendor server problem.” But in another statement, it blames a software update.

“A recent software update to some devices may be affecting our customers’ voicemail,” AT&T explained to The Verge. “We are working with the device manufacturer to issue a patch to resolve this and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”

This cannot be a smartphone software update, since a wide range of phones from different manufacturers are affected. And not all of them recently received software updates like iPhone did.

What is AT&T talking about?

Some have suggested the “device” AT&T refers to is a server. That might explain why a single update will resolve the problem. But when pressed for clarification, AT&T declined to say more.

One subscriber, who filed a complaint with the FCC, received a response from AT&T’s office of the president. They were told there are two potential fixes, neither of which seem ideal.

The first: Wait for the problem to be fixed. There’s still no ETA for this yet. The second: Have your AT&T voicemail mailbox rebuilt. This means losing all your messages, including those you have saved.

It’s not clear if the second option will be successful.

Just wait

It seems the only sensible route forward for most customers, then, is to just wait. But again, there is currently no word from AT&T on when it expects this voicemail issue to be resolved.

Complaints are mounting on AT&T forums and across social media as the problem drags on. The carrier will surely be working hard to eliminate it as soon as possible — but that’s all we know for now.