18 February, 2016
Visual Voicemail SMS
Are you receiving a series of three text messages with long and cryptic URIs every time you deal with a voicemail? Do those SMS messages look something like this (an AT&T network example, but vvm appears in the URI for most carriers) as you deal with a voicemail?
The Scenario
You receive a call that you can't answer because you are working at 17:17. A few minutes later, as your phone announces a new voicemail (guess they really wanted to say something), you receive an SMS message that looks like this.
Today 17:20
vvm.mobile.att.net:5400? f=0&v=911&m=2125550376&P=&S=I&s=5433&i=143/993&t=4:2125550376:A: CMSGROUP0241238:ms:07: client:49235
Alright, if they really wanted to talk, you'll stop working to listen to the voicemail. A great deal of button pushing occurs. Immediately after you hang up from voicemail you receive two text messages that look identical to the first.
Today 17:23
vvm.mobile.att.net:5400? f=0&v=911&m=2125550376&P=&S=I&s=5433&i=143/993&t=4:2125550376:A: CMSGROUP0241238:ms:07: client:49235
Today 17:24
vvm.mobile.att.net:5400? f=0&v=911&m=2125550376&P=&S=I&s=5433&i=143/993&t=4:2125550376:A: CMSGROUP0241238:ms:07: client:49235
If you face this scenario every time you receive a voicemail, congratulations, you've been switched to visual voicemail.
The Solution
Now this isn't much of a problem if you are using a carrier provided mobile as they have installed an application to interpret these messages into the displayed voicemail elements. It is a rather nice benefit that you've been given visual voicemail—less button pushing. However, in world where select smartphones will work on any network and dependence on the carrier for hardware is waning, there isn't always a carrier provided application to deal with these messages, and they are delivered as raw SMS messages.
The carriers, ever interested in providing the best service to their customers, have begun switching accounts to visual voicemail anytime they notice a new IMEI. That is certainly a benefit for device changes from the carrier, but for those who are buying unlocked mobiles, standard or smartphone, it is a bit more of a burden.
However, it isn't a burden you must bear. Visit, call or chat with your network provider and ask your representative to switch your account from visual voicemail to basic voicemail. Your voicemail experience will still be the same navigation-by-numbers experience, but there will not be three SMS messages from the visual voicemail service every time you can't answer the phone.
A win on almost every front (ok, you'll still have voicemail).
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