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cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Visual Voicemail has been on the iPhone since day one... but Telstra charges you $5 per month when Vodafone offers it FOR FREE! See http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/phone.html and scroll down to the "See your voicemail" section if you've never seen the feature... it's the only thing stopping some ppl from leaving Vodafone.


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jokiin
Posts: 2,253
Registered: ‎30-06-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

no offence but you need voicemail on Vodafone as the network leaves a lot to be desired, would be nice if it was included with Telstra but reality is it's currently an extra cost

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Statistically, three out of five people are not the other two
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nelly82
Posts: 281
Registered: ‎19-08-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Yes, Visual Voicemail has been a feature with the Iphone since day one.

 But did you know that out of 188 carriers offically carrying the Iphone on their networks only 42 of them offer Visual Voicemail according to this article. http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/380564/telstra_launches_visual_voicemail_iphone_/  ( Although this number might have changed since this article was posted in March)

 

 

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cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

No offence taken, but with Vodafone's 850 network being rolled out and upcoming LTE 4G, it's a no-brainer by the time iPhone 5 comes out later this year. I know a few ppl who are reluctant to move to Telstra because they dont want to pay $5 / mth for something they get for free.

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jokiin
Posts: 2,253
Registered: ‎30-06-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


cocolero wrote:

No offence taken, but with Vodafone's 850 network being rolled out and upcoming LTE 4G, it's a no-brainer by the time iPhone 5 comes out later this year. I know a few ppl who are reluctant to move to Telstra because they dont want to pay $5 / mth for something they get for free.


So if Telstra released new plans that were $5 dearer but included free VVM they would think that's ok? Down the track something like that may happen as plans and their inclusions are revised regularly anyway, anything that is included in a plan has some sort of cost associated that is calculated into the base line cost

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Statistically, three out of five people are not the other two
New Contributor
cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

If Telstra were to hide the $5/mth VVM in their monthly plans, I guess that would give the competition a leg-up. It would be good in the sense that the complete iPhone experience would be improved for new customers. On the other side, however, some may see that they could pay an extra $5/mth for better coverage as opposed to $5/mth for VVM they could get for free elsewhere with average coverage... in non-metro areas.

Telstra Employee
JustinB
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


cocolero wrote:

Visual Voicemail has been on the iPhone since day one... but Telstra charges you $5 per month when Vodafone offers it FOR FREE! See http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/phone.html and scroll down to the "See your voicemail" section if you've never seen the feature... it's the only thing stopping some ppl from leaving Vodafone.



Along with everything else that's been touched on ealier in this thread, It's also worth noting that although Telstra charges $5 per month for Visual Voicemail, any messages saved or listened to don't go against your data usage, regardless of how many messages are saved or listened to (or their length).

Telstra Social Media Team

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New Contributor
cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Just to be clear on this

The maximum voicemail message size across the average user is approx. 50kb in size.
The maximum number of voicemail messages is 20.
This means that to download a full mailbox with maximum [average user's maximum] size messages would transfer approximately 1MB of data.
NOTE: The above example is considered high usage of voice mail.

 

Surely, you are not suggesting that paying $5/mth for 1MB is a good deal?

C'mon Telstra, show us some love!

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jn021273
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎29-08-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Can someone at telstra please explain why there is a $5 monthly fee for a feature that comes with the iphone?

Is this legal?

Telstra Thought Leader
aaron
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

I'm not speaking for Telstra here as I don't know the reason behind the $5 charge, and I'm not saying whether or not I agree with it, but I can take a few guesses as to why the fee exists.

 

The iPhone provides the visual voicemail feature on the phone, but it doesn't provide the storage or network infrastructure to access those voicemails - that's all still provided by Telstra.  The same way that the iPhone provides the feature to make phone calls - the calls are still handled by Telstra's network, so Telstra charges you for the use of the network.




Although I am Telstra staff, any views I express are my own and don't necessarily reflect those of Telstra.
Telstra Employee
KrayzeeKev
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎01-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


The iPhone provides the visual voicemail feature on the phone, but it doesn't provide the storage or network infrastructure to access those voicemails - that's all still provided by Telstra.  The same way that the iPhone provides the feature to make phone calls - the calls are still handled by Telstra's network, so Telstra charges you for the use of the network.

This is an important point that many people don't take into account. Providing network features can be very expensive. It requires significant infrastructure investment and networking and operational staff, etc. And you have to put a minimum amount in even to support a single user.

 

Another thing to bear in mind is that not everything in the world is charged strictly as input cost plus margin. Some things are charged based on value, which might mean some things are charged for more than they cost and other for less. People pay huge amounts for brand-name clothing or accessories. A T-shirt can't be worth $80 if you can get one for $10 that lasts for years. But people pay because something about that $80 t-shirt is worth $80 to them. And if not enough people did, it wouldn't be $80 or it wouldn't exist $80.

 

As with Aaron, I know nothing about any price decisions around VVM but I always presume that Telstra (and most other companies) charge amounts that make sense in a cost-benefit, supply-demand world.

--
Kevin
[ I am a Telstra Employee however my posts here are done in a personal capacity.]
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jokiin
Posts: 2,253
Registered: ‎30-06-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


jn021273 wrote:

Can someone at telstra please explain why there is a $5 monthly fee for a feature that comes with the iphone?

Is this legal?



it comes with the ability to make calls and send SMS too, standard features of the phone, you still have to pay to do that though

 

so Vodafone includes it, they also include more of everything else as well, it's still a lesser service, I'll take quality over quantity thanks all the same

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papagoose
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎29-08-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

I don't buy the argument that the service is expensive to provide. Reason being, all of the storage required is already present in the existing Messagebank service that is provided free on most services. The bandwidth required to actually supply the data to the user is significantly less than the included value for both voice calls and data on virtually all plans.

 

Arguably, this is a consequence of

 

- Few people choose Telstra because of visual voicemail, so giving it for free may not bring that many customers

- Thus few people will leave because of the visual voicemail charge

- A handful of people will pay for it

 

So I guess it kind of makes sense for Telstra to charge for it. However, it is still a money-grab that comes at the expense of goodwill that ensures customer loyalty when things aren't so good

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cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

So what are you saying here? Should we think that 1MB of voicemail data storage is "okay" at $60 per year? Do other handsets get charged this amount for their voicemail storage also? It sounds like a rort to charge this much for a floppy disks capacity (remember those?) 

Community Leader
jokiin
Posts: 2,253
Registered: ‎30-06-2011

Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


papagoose wrote:

I don't buy the argument that the service is expensive to provide. Reason being, all of the storage required is already present in the existing Messagebank service that is provided free on most services. The bandwidth required to actually supply the data to the user is significantly less than the included value for both voice calls and data on virtually all plans.

 



I don't feel the service would be too costly to provide, once it's up an running of course, there would have to be costs to implement it initially though, it was announced quite a while before it ever happened and I'm sure there must be reasons behind the delay in getting it out there such as integrating it with existing systems etc

 

if it were so simple and cheap to provide why don't all carriers have it then?

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Statistically, three out of five people are not the other two
Telstra Employee
KrayzeeKev
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎01-07-2011

Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


jokiin wrote:

I don't feel the service would be too costly to provide, once it's up an running of course



You have to amortise the deployment cost over some reasonable lifecycle of any product. And, who knows what the licensing and other costs might be - don't always assume that once you "buy" something, it's yours in the IT industry. Often you have to pay per user per month or for traffic or any other something vendors can come up with. I once saw an example of a software platform charged based on peak monthly usage. And I have no idea if Apple charge licensing fees to exploit their technology.

--
Kevin
[ I am a Telstra Employee however my posts here are done in a personal capacity.]
Community Leader
jokiin
Posts: 2,253
Registered: ‎30-06-2011

Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


KrayzeeKev wrote:

jokiin wrote:

I don't feel the service would be too costly to provide, once it's up an running of course



You have to amortise the deployment cost over some reasonable lifecycle of any product. And, who knows what the licensing and other costs might be - don't always assume that once you "buy" something, it's yours in the IT industry. Often you have to pay per user per month or for traffic or any other something vendors can come up with. I once saw an example of a software platform charged based on peak monthly usage. And I have no idea if Apple charge licensing fees to exploit their technology.


Yes as I mentioned, once it's up and running, if memory serves correctly the original announcement of VVM coming to actual release was over a year, I'm sure the cost to implement was not insignificant, the implication that the only cost is 1mb of storage or so per user is a long way from being realistic

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cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Let us then put the question to Telstra:

 

  1. How much did it cost Telstra to implement this feature? 
  2. Is there an ongoing cost associated to it's use today? 
  3. How does Vodafone manage to offer it for free? 
  4. Can Telstra pursue a similar model to Vodafone to allow their own customers to do so?
Community Leader
jokiin
Posts: 2,253
Registered: ‎30-06-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Not that many carriers actually offer VVM on the iPhone, see here http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1937 if there were no or little cost associated to provide it you would think that many more would offer it as it appears to be a good feature for those that do use voicemail

 

Vodafone have had it since the beginning haven't they, if so then they would have factored any implementation costs into their plan costs, I doubt Telstra are going to comment on how Vodafone do business as it's not information that Vodafone shares with its competitors

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cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

So what you are advocating here is that you believe that Telstra will not take it up as it is probably too expensive? And that it refuses to do so as it is too hard to find out how to give its customers a similar offering? ie No business case - sorry folks.

 

What we are outlining is a customer's wish for Telstra to improve on their offering on iPhones to match their competitors voicemail services. God I wish there was a Poll option in here.

 

Can we get this Gerard Schenkel to weigh in on this?

Telstra Employee
KrayzeeKev
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎01-07-2011

Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


cocolero wrote:

So what are you saying here? Should we think that 1MB of voicemail data storage is "okay" at $60 per year? Do other handsets get charged this amount for their voicemail storage also? It sounds like a rort to charge this much for a floppy disks capacity (remember those?) 


Usual disclaimer - I work for Telstra but have NOTHING to do with Voicemail, MessageBank and/or VVM or iPhones. These are my own presumptions and opinions because I have no knowledge of the actual costs involved or the product & marketing decisions made. Just 12 years of being around the place and absorbing knowledge.

 

You're not being charged for storage space. You're being charged for a service. A service that has value. And people pay for valuable services. Telstra charges for our MessageBank SpeechToText service and there's no extra storage in that. The costs that go into a service like VVM include, potentially (as discussed above): the amortisation of the servers that make VVM possible (and Telstra tends to deploy major amounts of redundancy in said servers), the costs (human) of operating the service, the costs of developing any applications, back-end software,etc, licensing costs for the software platform providing the service (which will be ongoing), and so on. Licensing fees can be an interesting thing. I have heard of mobile network features that are enabled by a single configuration switch, nothing more, yet they increase costs significantly because yuo have to pay the software vendor to use them.

 

That said, this is about not only cost but value as well. I thought of an example to consider by comparison - buying movie tickets. Village charge you $1 to buy a ticket online. Yet every other industry in the world is encouraging you to go online because it's cheaper (for them and you). And they charge $5 to book a Gold Class seat online. It's EXACTLY the same system, exactly the same process. But it costs 5 times as much. Why? Because people value it. It really irks me that I have to pay that $1 (or $5) to book online. But I do it. Why? Because the alternatives are going to the theatre earlier in the day to buy it in person (and movies are often in busy places where parking is difficult and/or expensive) or turn up before the movie and hope there's a decent seat available. Or any seat. You plan the $100+ night our with your partner at Gold Class and arrive to find you can't get in. $5 is worth it.

 

The amounts you get charged for things in this world don't always reflect cost. They also reflect value. Again, I have no idea which is the case for VVM. Maybe a combo. I really don't know. But, you're getting a better service, something that somebody without VVM doesn't have. There is an argument for you paying for it. And mobile plan rates and phone subsidies and all that greatly skews the charges in the mobile world to the point where I suspect that value and market forces and competitive pressures play a much bigger role than costs (although, at the base level, they always will provide an underlying driver - companies have to make money or they cease to exist).

 

And other companies might choose to do it another way. They might merge it into the plan costs for everybody. They may just take the hit. And maybe the extra $5 Telstra makes allows them to reinvest in their network and maybe competitors don't have that extra money. And I know Telstra will stand behind the quality of NextG against any other network. And how has Voda's network been in the last year? They've had major problems.

 

In the end, people pay for things because they're valuable to them. And, in the end, if $5/month is too expensive so that the VVM product fails, somebody will have to make changes. But I also know that for every person who shouts from the hilltops (and I'm often one of them) there are many others who will pay that money for a service if it's that valuable to them. That's the realities of business.

--
Kevin
[ I am a Telstra Employee however my posts here are done in a personal capacity.]
New Contributor
cocolero
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

What an essay. Ah the realities of business, well we may as well just all be happy and trust Telstra that this $5/mth on this "perceived" value will somehow improve it's 4G performance, customer service and swallow any doubts because, after all, that's what Telstra really is about.

Well what about the voices of existing customers who are expressing a desire for Free VVM? Cmon Telstra, "Show us your rainbow colours" that all those advertisements are stating, surely there must be a few bucks left in that marketing spend to convince us that the business puts the customer first? Isn't that "How we connect"?

BTW. I noticed Vodafone is offering 2 years warranty on new iPhones as well. Can Telstra match that?

What so the rest of us say? Please?
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buthidae
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎30-09-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

I think it's a shame they won't include it for free. Since Visual Voicemail is literally only an IMAP mailbox (and nothing more), I've just got my service diverting to my VoIP provider. I get that VoIP for free, leave it on DND, and they automatically email the .WAV recording to me. I just look at that mailbox instead of tapping the voicemail button.

 

VV is definitely missed though, it's just a really cool feature with a beautiful interface! Nonetheless, I'm not paying $5 for 1MB of email storage in 2011!

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NothappyJan
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎15-10-2012
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Waffle, waffle waffle....the arguments about cost of delivery of service and value to customer are typical justifications...spin. The real point is that Telstra postions themselves as market leaders, 4G yadda, yadda then has the audacity to deliver a dinosaur voicemail box. Forget the cost $5....won't impact Telstra's bottom line either way and will not win or lose them any significant volume of punters. Yet some knob in Telstra is sticking to his guns over the delivery of  a 90's voicemail experience and the $5 in perpertuity charge, when in reality they should be WOW-ing their customers with this beautiful little feature. Guys in my business persuaded me to swap from Vodafone just recently, which did not require a lot of persuasion, and despite all our due diligence on the swap, the lack of visual voicemail was missed, they have Samsungs and I assumed the VV was just standard now. That it's not just reflects rather poorly on Telstra. Clearly there's still some Telecom left in there somewhere....

It's not just about coverage and speeds. If you want to be the best and charge a premium then BE the best. Seriously it's like buying a BMW with a friggin AM-FM radio cassette player as standard.

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Mitcho1989
Posts: 183
Registered: ‎13-10-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

I don't get why people make a big deal over voicemail at all (whether standard or visual). 9 times out of 10 the message is just "call me back on this number" yet without voicemail you still get a notification about missing a call from that number anyway (unless their number's private but that's their problem). I've had a mobile phone for 7 years now, have never used voicemail in that time and never will.

Of course for business customers it might be a different story, it's more professional to have and use voice mail, but I don't see the big deal over it.
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Firesider
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎17-10-2012
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Telstra pay a per-user license cost for VVM which they pass on to the customer, however VVM is now free on any plan over the bottom level $50 plan..  

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/mobile-plans/every-day-connect-byo/#tab-plan-60

Agree its a great feature, worth every cent. Hope it comes out on Android soon.

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Ben_F
Posts: 5,608
Registered: ‎14-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone


cocolero wrote:
What an essay. Ah the realities of business, well we may as well just all be happy and trust Telstra that this $5/mth on this "perceived" value will somehow improve it's 4G performance, customer service and swallow any doubts because, after all, that's what Telstra really is about.

$5 for VVM is for VVM, not for 4G (which Telstra doesn't charge you extra for) and not for customer service.

 

IMHO, You pay $5 to not have to listen to the Messagebank IVR (and subesequenlty be charged for doing so in most cases).

 


cocolero wrote:
Well what about the voices of existing customers who are expressing a desire for Free VVM? Cmon Telstra, "Show us your rainbow colours" that all those advertisements are stating, surely there must be a few bucks left in that marketing spend to convince us that the business puts the customer first? Isn't that "How we connect"?

The business will only put customers first so as to make money, otherwise it is not a business but a charity. Please explain to us how Telstra will enjoy the potential profit (or subsidy to the cost of said product) that it currently receives by not charging you for a product? Telstra already incorporates the cost into a number of plans.

 


cocolero wrote:
BTW. I noticed Vodafone is offering 2 years warranty on new iPhones as well. Can Telstra match that?

You have your statuatory warranties which are already expected to last the life of the contract. the ACL gives you more rights then Apple's limited warranty does anyway.

 

B.

 

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Mitcho1989
Posts: 183
Registered: ‎13-10-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

[ Edited ]

Ben_F wrote:
cocolero wrote:
BTW. I noticed Vodafone is offering 2 years warranty on new iPhones as well. Can Telstra match that?

You have your statuatory warranties which are already expected to last the life of the contract. the ACL gives you more rights then Apple's limited warranty does anyway.

 

B.

 


Yep, if Apple won't play nice, you can still get it covered under warranty regardless of carrier provided your iPhone is in contract. See this Gizmodo article for more info.

Member
shauneliastam
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎24-10-2012

Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Can Telstra please advise why they are the only network charging $5 for visual voicemail?! This has really annoyed me and considering that Optus are now catching up with 4G around Sydney I'm considering changing as my contract just expired!! I would expect at the VERY least that this fee waived and previous charges credited to my account! Thank
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Ben_F
Posts: 5,608
Registered: ‎14-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

I would say your expectations are unreasonable. You are paying for a service, the contract you signed said you would pay for the service, I don't understand why you think you shouldn't have to pay.

I can't ask the corner store to give me 50% off because Coles and Woolworths are.... Same logic :smileyhappy:

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shauneliastam
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎24-10-2012
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Well basically I have been informed by a few colleagues and friends that their fee was waived when they complained. I understand what you're saying however in this case my contact has expired and I'm interested to see if Telstra would want to retain clients requesting the same service which has been provided to other Telstra customers.

Any by the way I have actually requested price matching with Coles and Woolworths and JB Hifi and Harvey Norman and they obliged and matched each others pricing!!!
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Ben_F
Posts: 5,608
Registered: ‎14-07-2011
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

If you are willing to enter into an eligible plan with Telstra Everyday Connect $80 and above or Everyday Connect BYO $60 and above) then the fee will be waived.

You cant request a refund, but you may not get it.

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MisterQ
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎26-07-2012
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

I have a slightly different complaint/concern regarding visual voicemail (two actually)

 

Am about to recontract and get 4 Iphone 5's on Business Plans -  two on $60 (S) plans, one on $80 (M)  and one on the unlimited. (XL) plan. As someone points out, VVM is "free on plans above $60". Great, I thought. But... I am signing up for the Telstra?Amway phone deal - the "Amway plans" are clearly aligned to the equivalent Business "Performance" plans, in features, costs etc.. But I called, and no VVM is not included...

 

That sucks..

 

In the same call, I Asked how much was VVM, if I had to pay for it. I was told $10 (Not the $5 as discussed and reflected on the web). Huh...

 

Inconsistent...

 

It's a relatively small amount, but it is the principle of the thing, and before anyone from Telstra says, there is infrastructure to be paid for. This is the company that only made 3.23 billion in profit last year...

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Manachi
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎17-05-2013
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

I just switched over to Android & Telstra from iPhone & Vodafone.  I honestly assumed that Voicemail would be provided for free on Australia's leading Telco network. But now I'm starting to slowly see/remember the Telstra experience (used the services long ago)

 

Now for some reason Telstra don't even provide the visual voicemail service for Android - absolutely no idea why, but I find it very disappointing.

 

I'm also shocked to hear that they charge $5/month extra for VVM on iPhone. Even Vodafone (who are lacking in other areas) are able to provide this for free. You'd think that surely Telstra could keep up.  This service should be included for free.

 

 

 

 

Honoured Contributor
Jupiter
Posts: 1,039
Registered: ‎07-09-2012

Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

As you will see on other posts on this topic, no-one in Australia provides visual voicemail on Android (Telstra -no, Optus - no, Vodafone - no).

syo
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syo
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-07-2013
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Re: Free Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Interesting, because I just moved here from the US and I never had to pay for visual voicemail. I also moved over from vodaphone to telstra w/ an unlocked phone and the sales person didn't bother to tell me that I would be losing free visual voicemail by moving over to Telstra.  My phone is still unlocked and vodaphone was cheaper and never had a problem with my reception. I can't even get my phone to ring when I'm in the house w/ Telstra. Big dissapointment. 

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MarkGaname
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-05-2014
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Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Can anyone help me set up Visual Voicemail on my phone please.. I seem to get the run around when i call up telstra  and request help.

Currently using a Iphone 5

 

>