Google Voice Voicemail Message Problems
August 4, 2014 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I've been using a Google Voice number as my primary phone number for years now, and over the past few months, a problem has come up with its behavior on incoming calls which is making it seriously difficult to use.

The number sometimes randomly sends callers to an old voicemail message (but not actually to voicemail—it plays the message, then ends the call). The voicemail message is one that I recorded for a specific situation four years ago, and I deleted it from the voicemail message list in my settings shortly after that time, which means that it doesn't show up anywhere in the settings panel now.

This is happening enough that all the people who call me regularly are reporting that it has happened to them.

So, is there any way I can get this message truly deleted? Can the rerouting problem be fixed? What are my best options, since Google's customer service for anything beyond the simplest problems is a wall of silence?
posted by ocherdraco to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would try to record a new message using the same name identifier for it. Then, in a few days, after I know it has propagated Google's servers, I would delete that.

Also, if there was a contact group set up for that specific message four years ago, I would also see if it is feasible to delete that group.

I note that I am an amateur long time (Grand Central) Google Voice user. I have no particular expertise other than dealing with the occasional GV screw up myself.
posted by 724A at 9:35 AM on August 4, 2014

Response by poster: I would try to record a new message using the same name identifier for it.

The problem is that I have no idea what that identifier was. As far as I can tell, from the settings page, there is no evidence that this message even exists.

The contact group idea is a good one; I'll see if I can find one.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:43 AM on August 4, 2014

Response by poster: Apparently I didn't set up any sort of special group, so unfortunately that idea is out.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:46 AM on August 4, 2014

Have you looked at the individual contact that got the old message recording? Using GV in my web browser (Chrome) I just clicked on the name of a person who had left a message in my inbox. In the resulting page, it says "Use setting from" with a drop down and also after that IT has a "When this contact goes to voicemail".. It gives me the option of using whatever greeting I want that is in the system. Maybe the name of the message is in there? If so, try my first suggestion above. If not, curse and kick the waste pail.

Maybe there is a conflicting setting on your phone with the web interface? Maybe an old phone with old settings somehow got powered up that has caused some foul-up?

Finally, if nothing else, I would rerecord a message with a new name and have everyone go to that even if the actual message is the same as a previous one.
posted by 724A at 9:53 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Log into Google Voice. Go to settings. Click on "Voicemail and Text" from the black menu at the top. The first menu item is "Voicemail Greeting". There is a dropdown box to the right that contains all the greetings you have recorded. Select the greetings that are no longer useful, and click delete.
posted by elf27 at 10:04 AM on August 4, 2014

Response by poster: elf27, as I said in my post, this voicemail greeting was deleted in that fashion years ago, and no longer appears on the list.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:18 AM on August 4, 2014

Response by poster: I think the best solution might be to port my GV number to my mobile carrier. That way the number still works, so I don't have to deal with telling the whole world a new number.

Of course, then I won't have GV anymore, but I can probably live without that.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:44 AM on August 4, 2014

Oddly enough, if you do port the # to your carrier, you can still use GV voice mail.

I think before you do port out there has to be someone at Google or on a forum that can either help or explain.
posted by 724A at 12:21 PM on August 4, 2014

Response by poster: Well, I won't be porting anytime soon because, as a result of this problem, I've been giving my actual from-my-mobile-carrier cell phone number for important things like school applications, so right now I need both numbers.

Thanks for your answers, folks, and I'll keep looking for a solution.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:35 PM on August 4, 2014

Sorry my prior response was a bit off... there are other services that do what Google Voice does. You can port your number to one of them if you're willing to pay about $10 a month. One of them is called Line2. There are several others.
posted by elf27 at 3:36 PM on August 4, 2014

Would you also have set up that special message on your cell phone number, too, just in case someone called that number? But didn't need to bother changing it, since you use your GV number? Perhaps that's the VM message people are being routed to, not one on GV's servers.

Have you seen this page? According to the marked answer, the person had to make changes via their phone/VM setup. Even if you don't have T-mobile, perhaps checking your phone/carrier's VM setup would help, especially if there's been a recent update. Or, of it's not too much of a hassle, perhaps try a factory reset of your phone.
posted by neda at 4:40 PM on August 4, 2014

« Older I stupidly paid someone to convert my CV to...   |   Is my idea for a blog going to be a copyright... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.