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Thread: Problems checking voice mail on my TracFone from a landline

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    Problems checking voice mail on my TracFone from a landline

    I recently upgraded from a simply flip Tracfone to a Samsung Galaxy J7 Sky Pro Tracfone. Now I can't call into my voice mail via a land line and get my messages. I used to be able to turn my Tracfone off, call my Tracfone number from my landline then when the voice mail came on I would hit '*' and the auto attendant would ask for my security code. I would enter it and be able to listen to my messages. I like to do this so I don't use my Tracfone minutes to check my message. Now that does not work. My Tracfone just asks me to leave a message. It seems this changed as soon as I upgraded my phone. Does anybody know how I can check my voice message via a landline or any phone other than my Tracfone? I do not have an 'unlimited' plan. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by middleagedgeek View Post
    I recently upgraded from a simply flip Tracfone to a Samsung Galaxy J7 Sky Pro Tracfone. Now I can't call into my voice mail via a land line and get my messages. I used to be able to turn my Tracfone off, call my Tracfone number from my landline then when the voice mail came on I would hit '*' and the auto attendant would ask for my security code. I would enter it and be able to listen to my messages. I like to do this so I don't use my Tracfone minutes to check my message. Now that does not work. My Tracfone just asks me to leave a message. It seems this changed as soon as I upgraded my phone. Does anybody know how I can check my voice message via a landline or any phone other than my Tracfone? I do not have an 'unlimited' plan. Thanks.
    I would think that what happened is that your new phone uses Visual Voice Mail and can't be checked from a landline. Some people have been able to get Tracfone to revert their Voice Mail to Basic Voice Mail but most people who tried gave up and are just living with it.

    My suggestion would be to call Tracfone and ask them to make the change for you. It may take quite a number of attempts before you get someone who understands the issue and knows how to fix it.

    Good luck!

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    Did you try pressing # instead of *? Verizon voicemail uses #.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Rain View Post
    Did you try pressing # instead of *? Verizon voicemail uses #.
    Yep, if the OP's flip phone was on AT&T and now the Sky Pro is on Verizon, there will be some changes. First, the voicemail box will have to be set up again, from the Sky Pro. After that, when checking voicemail from another phone, use # to interrupt the greeting, and # needs to be pressed after entering the PIN/password.

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    Quote Originally Posted by middleagedgeek View Post
    I used to be able to turn my Tracfone off, call my Tracfone number from my landline then when the voice mail came on I would hit '*' and the auto attendant would ask for my security code. I would enter it and be able to listen to my messages. I like to do this so I don't use my Tracfone minutes to check my message.
    Once you set up your Verizon voicemail box as hpham suggested, you will also have the option of using Visual Voicemail on the Sky Pro. VVM downloads the messages to the phone and leaves a recording copy you can listen to anytime without having to call the voicemail system. Does use a small amount of data, and data has to be on to get the messages. No call charges though. You always have the option of using the *86 basic voicemail as usual. I am a huge fan of VVM.
    Last edited by loboheeler; 02-09-2019 at 06:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Once you set up your Verizon voicemail box as hpham suggested, you will also have the option of using Visual Voicemail on the Sky Pro. VVM downloads the messages to the phone and leaves a recording copy you can listen to anytime without having to call the voicemail system. Does use a small amount of data, and data has to be on to get the messages. No call charges though. You always have the option of using the *86 basic voicemail as usual. I am a huge fan of VVM.
    I use to hate voicemail systems because they were hard to navigate with lots of messages or trying to find a message in the middle of other messages. So I always like to keep voicemail disabled. Since VVM, I started to like voicemails any more. With VVM, it is just too easy to use voicemail systems now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by advcomp2019 View Post
    I use to hate voicemail systems because they were hard to navigate with lots of messages or trying to find a message in the middle of other messages. So I always like to keep voicemail disabled. Since VVM, I started to like voicemails any more. With VVM, it is just too easy to use voicemail systems now.
    No doubt VVM is a lot easier to use without the hassle of going through the klutzy basic voicemail menus. Many piss&moan about it, usually because of the data requirement. I keep data on for a few things that occasionally need it in the background, and don't have any excessive use. VVM itself does not use much data + you save on call minutes.

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    I prefer Basic Voicemail over VVM. A friend of mine with cognitive issues found VVM totally confusing. I like keeping data off to save it. My data never goes down unless I deliberately use it. I don't receive many voicemails so I don't see the point of keeping data on all the time, when it might be used unintentionally by myself or by some app somehow, esp. when away from wi-fi, since it is just sitting there on, potentially using my data and battery, just to get a few voicemails in the VVM app.

    The way I have my voicemail set up it's pretty easy to use and navigate. I just press the notification when received, it auto dials my password, it takes me to my voicemail, I listen, I can delete it if I wish and I'm done and the notification auto clears. Simple, no apps, no mobile data on, no fuss. I think when I compared it with VVM it required less presses to hear my message. I believe you could keep data off, then when you get voicemail activities notification, turn data on, press the notification, and let it drop into VVM app, as I recall. And then perhaps turn data off.

    If you have data off, and instead call *86, the notification won't dial it, you'll need to use the phone app. What's worse is the notification in the notification shade will not auto clear if you take an action. And if you clear it manually early it will send you another voicemail activities notification if you do anything in the voicemail account, like delete a message. So that's another notification to manually clear. That's the way it was in my TF Samsung phone anyway. I'd just rather not bother futzing about with mobile data and clearing notifications and use the basic system which I'm used to.

    I can see why people may like VVM. It may help you manage your voicemails better, especially if you get a lot of them. It also has some extra different functions. Me I just need to hear them and delete them from time to time. I don't need messages saved to my phone.

    If you do like VVM you are in luck because you are very likely going to get it. I've had to remove it 11 times with the help of tier three support because of various things that reactivated it over the past year for me and a friend. It would be nice if Tracfone would give us the option in our accounts to enable/disable it so the people that like it can use it and the people who don't, don't have to.

    It's certainly very easy for them to enable basic voicemail when I call in, taking less than a minute to enable a setting in my account.

    You can tell if you have VVM enabled on your account by calling your Verizon voicemail once it is set up (by dialing *86 or holding 1, or pressing a speed dial you created), pressing #4 for personal options when prompted, and then noting what comes up first under that menu selection. If you have "to turn message waiting indicator on or off press one", as what comes up first, you have Basic Voicemail. If you don't, and it starts with "for administrative options, press two", you have VVM. That's they way it's always worked for me and others.

    For those who would like to try to revert back to Verizon Basic Voicemail, you'll need to get a tier three support number. Try online chat. Then call on a different phone and ask them to provision or enable basic voicemail on your account. My understanding is that to enable it they toggle or refresh a basic voicemail related setting on their screen in the account. It takes seconds once the account is up. When they do, right away call voicemail and then press the #4 personal options when offered, and confirm you have the first option - "to turn message waiting indicator on or off press one" there. if that option is there, and it will be there instantly if they did it, you have Basic Voicemail. Thank the rep. Some people seem to have more difficulties getting this done than others. Not sure why. I don't know if its an issue with certain phones or not getting a true tier three rep or what have you.

    If you are able to get basic vm, be aware that VVM may come back after adding data (possibly any plan/minutes don't know for sure - I don't recall it doing this in the past) or when transferring account to a new sim/phone. I recently added some cheap data and got hit three times with VVM. The provisioning of VoLTE may be responsible for VVM appearing in the first place.

    As others have said if you want to check your Verizon voicemail from another phone, call your phone number, wait till it answers, press #, enter your password and press #.
    Last edited by lappers; 02-10-2019 at 08:24 PM.

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    Seems VVM works a bit different on some phones. Some of this has to do with whether they have a stand alone VVM app. Non-carrier branded phones don't have a separate app, as it's built into the stock Android dialer. If you have an app present it turns off the dialer's internal VVM feature. VVM in the stock Android dialer is very easy to use. I can turn mine on or off. Incoming notifications are the same for both.

    I did have a stand alone VVM app for a while, which was a version for Verizon Moto phones. It was not compatible with the Oreo upgrade, so I removed it and the dialer's internal VVM was enabled. The list of messages in the app was much the same as in the dialer. Factory installed VVM apps can't be removed, but maybe disabled?

    So the VVM experience is really YMMV. If working as intended, there is NO WAY it is not far easier to use than basic VM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
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    Seems VVM works a bit different on some phones. Some of this has to do with whether they have a stand alone VVM app. Non-carrier branded phones don't have a separate app, as it's built into the stock Android dialer. If you have an app present it turns off the dialer's internal VVM feature. VVM in the stock Android dialer is very easy to use. I can turn mine on or off. Incoming notifications are the same for both.

    I did have a stand alone VVM app for a while, which was a version for Verizon Moto phones. It was not compatible with the Oreo upgrade, so I removed it and the dialer's internal VVM was enabled. The list of messages in the app was much the same as in the dialer. Factory installed VVM apps can't be removed, but maybe disabled?

    So the VVM experience is really YMMV. If working as intended, there is NO WAY it is not far easier to use than basic VM.
    I see. I remember reading people describe things that sounded different from my sometimes frustrating experience when using the Voicemail app on the Samsung. But I guess part of my dislike of VVM is also concern about data getting used by something else due to not paying attention etc...or an app that suddenly and unexpectedly use a lot..which I've read happens.. data can be expensive. My data doesn't move keeping it off. People who keep it on from what I've read sometimes describe a steady downward loss.

    I have spoken with others who don't like VVM, as they've known it, to the point where they will spend hours trying to do something to change it back... a lot of work... I think TF should enable an option in the online account to let people choose what they want. VVM on/off. They totally have access to it from their screens in the sim accounts so its not like they are making calls to Verizon or something. I think it's weird how they just threw it on everyone without announcing anything about it. That's probably asking a lot from TF. Anyway, I'm content using Basic Voicemail. Like i said, I don't get many voicemails.. I probably spend less than 10 voice minutes a month on it, including tests. It's 3 presses to hear, delete and end the call. And my data doesn't move.

    Added: The app can't be disabled, best I can do is clear data and disable permissions and notifications, which I guess is basically disabled, which is what I do. I don't have VVM provisioned now but I don't recall seeing anything in the dialer in the past when I did (with voicemail app as disabled as possible).

    The app worked as it should with data on, with it off, there were differences in notifications and stuff like I said.
    Last edited by lappers; 02-11-2019 at 12:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lappers View Post
    I think TF should enable an option in the online account to let people choose what they want. VVM on/off. They totally have access to it from their screens in the sim accounts so its not like they are making calls to Verizon or something. I think it's weird how they just threw it on everyone without announcing anything about it.
    What I don't understand is why special VVM apps are needed at all. This has been a feature in the dialer since Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Maybe the carrier apps have some more features, but I did not notice much difference between using a Verizon app and the dialer for access. You can turn VVM on/off in the dialer settings. I was able to uninstall the Verizon app because it was downloaded from the Play Store, and not factory installed. Too bad you are locked into the factory app and can't disable it.

    Wonder where the TracFone VVM app comes from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    You can turn VVM on/off in the dialer settings. I was able to uninstall the Verizon app because it was downloaded from the Play Store, and not factory installed. Too bad you are locked into the factory app and can't disable it.

    Wonder where the TracFone VVM app comes from?
    What happens when you turn VVM off in the dialer settings? Does it disable VVM on the account? Would you then hear the #1 option under personal options in settings? Do you get the basic notifications again?

    Or do you still have VVM on your account, and you get a notification and then you can dial *86? What happens to the notification after you listen to and delete a message?

    Just trying to get an idea of what this is like.

    I always thought this Voicemail app I have is a Samsung app. But I guess its Tracfone/Verizon? I don't know. It will try to set up VVM if I press it by getting permissions. But I don't believe it can go anywhere unless VVM is provisioned on the account. Even when it is totally set up while VVM is provisioned, if I get VVM removed and basic voicemail enabled back on my account, the app dies and can't do anything. It has no functioning. As far as I recall. I shut it down anyway.

    A luna i had had no VVM app and no dialer thing as far as I know. So I would get these garbled text commands which I believe where VVM app commands.. since VVM was enabled on the account.

    I'm just remembering now it was my Luna phone that really motivated me to get rid of VVM - because it was unworkable with the garbled texts. I don't recall a Verizon VVM app being able to work on it. The solution was to get rid of VVM. With basic voicemail, its just the normal notications and everything worked well on it. And then on the Luna Pro, I didn't like it much either because if I shut it off, the notifications suck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lappers View Post
    What happens when you turn VVM off in the dialer settings? Does it disable VVM on the account? Would you then hear the #1 option under personal options in settings? Do you get the basic notifications again?

    Or do you still have VVM on your account, and you get a notification and then you can dial *86? What happens to the notification after you listen to and delete a message?


    A luna i had had no VVM app and no dialer thing as far as I know. So I would get these garbled text commands which I believe where VVM app commands.. since VVM was enabled on the account.
    In mine, turning off VVM in the dialer is only local to the phone. It does not change the VM account on the server, which is still VVM based. There is no #1 option under personal options in the basic VM settings. The notification is the same for either. If you turn VVM back on again it will send the message.

    If you had the Galaxy Luna (not the Pro), it is not VoLTE capable and would not have VVM. Those garbled messages are from a VVM provisioned account trying to notify a non-VVM phone. Was common with the newer flip phones like the ZTE Z233VL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    In mine, turning off VVM in the dialer is only local to the phone. It does not change the VM account on the server, which is still VVM based. There is no #1 option under personal options in the basic VM settings. The notification is the same for either. If you turn VVM back on again it will send the message.

    If you had the Galaxy Luna (not the Pro), it is not VoLTE capable and would not have VVM. Those garbled messages are from a VVM provisioned account trying to notify a non-VVM phone. Was common with the newer flip phones like the ZTE Z233VL.
    Yes, I recall I was sim swapping my vvm luna pro sim to it because it was a smaller phone and I liked carrying it better. I don't remember the sequence of events but I remember I had to do some merging with phones and after I had vvm on luna pro. So like I said in the luna it was garbled. So I got VVM removed from luna pro account and then luna worked ok when swapped over, as I recall. It was very confusing because I had just done some difficult transactions successfully, and then suddenly there was this new thing. Which was VVM put on my luna pro, making my luna act weird, and my luna pro wasn't getting proper notifications at first, then with vvM app set up, and then data off or shut down (but with vvm active), the what I call "dumb notifications" were annoying to deal with.

    Though I remember people complaining about this. The garbled text even with verizon phones. And the usual solutions did not work. I think some people were getting VVM activated on their accounts even though their phones could not process it.

    In any case, the notifications I get with VVM enabled with data off or vvm app "disabled", are not great to deal with. They introduce more "keystrokes" to use *86 versus basic voicemail notifications because the notification does not dial, and they don't auto clear. Any action you take within the *86 system, like deleting a message, will issue forth a new notification. "Voicemail Activities". So you might even think you have a new voicemail message. It's a clumsy process so I just put my phone to the way it should be if you want to use the *86 system - streamlined for it - basic voicemail. It works much better than this other way on my phone - my issue with "data on/use" aside.
    Last edited by lappers; 02-11-2019 at 10:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    What I don't understand is why special VVM apps are needed at all. This has been a feature in the dialer since Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
    It predates the native VVM. They keep it because it allows Verizon to control it. It requires

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