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Old 12-21-2009, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default TMO, VVM, 9700, and BlackBerry Unlimited w/Enterprise Email w/o voice minutes

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In November, I got a 9700 on T-Mobile's BlackBerry Unlimited w/Enterprise Email plan that has no voice minutes included. This plan does have enhanced voicemail, but when 2 different tier 1 reps tried to add Visual Voicemail, it failed to provision.

The second time I was told by the rep that it was because I had a "data-only" plan. But the plan isn't data-only, it just costs $0.45 per minute for voice minutes.

For clarity, I have the "BlackBerry Unlimited w/Enterprise Email with 0 anytime, 0 night, and 0 weekend voice minutes with overage of $0.45/voice minute with 300 SMS messages per month included for $39.98" (as it is known in my.t-mobile.com) or "PC BBerry Unl BISBES" plus "BB BIS&BES Access" (as it is shown in the billing). It is an "Even More" plan that allows purchase of the 9700 for a 2 year contract with the upfront $150-$200.

The refusal of the provisioning system doesn't seem to make sense since the phone does allow voice calls.

Why do I want VMM on this 9700? This is for a spouse who wants data on the Blackberry, and voice on another phone. It is far easier to send SMS messages from the Blackberry, and unfortunately people do respond to some SMS messages by calling back the SMS sender's number -- and that results in big voice minute costs.

Solutions:
1. Find a work-around to get Visual Voicemail with this or a similar plan. Then these callers responding to an SMS go to VMM, and my spouse can listen to the VVM, then return the call from the other phone.
2. Send the SMS's from Google Voice using the Blackberry Google Voice app. Then, if people return the SMS by calling, they get a Google Voice number that has even better than VVM (with transcriptions that sometimes enlighten and nearly always amuse).

Maybe Option 2 is best for any of the tech-adept, but this will likely fail for my tech-impatient spouse.

Suggestions on moving TMO on this issue?
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Log into My Tmobile. Choose the Option "Your Plan" You will see everything listed, items included on your plan, free and otherwise. VVM is not a default selected item. It is free but needs to be checked. It is an available option only if the phone in your profile can handle it. Check it and save your selection and agree to the terms. Wait a few minutes and give it a test. Any additions or changes I have made to my plan this way happen within 5 minutes.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry, but in spite of having a Blackberry 9700 correctly listed as the phone in My T-Mobile, Visual Voice Mail is not an option in the My T-Mobile Services menu.

Oddly, even though the Blackberry Enterprise Email is listed as the "Plan", the services menu complains that I have a Blackberry, but don't have Blackberry services and lists Blackberry BIS as a service option (but not BES).
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Exact same issue for me. I called T-Mobile to add VVM, and they said it's not compatible with my plan (I have the same one as yours).

They could not explain why specifically, just repeated "not compatible."

It doesn't make sense to me, since the plan is fully capable of receiving voicemails.

So, I don't have a solution for you, but thought maybe it would help others to see more confirmations of this issue.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We need to pester TMO on this. Or just Google Voice as the front end....
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default hmmm....

I have visual voice mail and it was easy to activate. It's highly unusual NOT to have a voice plan on a PHONE.

I believe the voicemail (visual or not) are linked with voice calling. ALLOWING calls is not an actual voice plan.

I would just switch data to whichever phone company you get phone calls through and get DATA and VOICE on the same phone.

Again, I do have a BB 9700 with functional visual voice mail. I just called them and they activated it.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm actually a bit concerned that T-Mobile may be planning to do away with the "data only" plans. I think that Verizon already discontinued their data-only plans earlier this year.

So this is what I've seen in 2009:

1.) T-Mobile, who is always known for their low prices, increased voice minutes on the data only plan from 20 cents to 45 cents. A 125% price increase??? From T-Mobile? Pretty odd..

2.) And now, for no clear reason, they won't let us use their new VVM feature.

Does it seem to you like TMO is going out of their way to discourage using this plan? Like I said, has me somewhat worried for the future of data-only...
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Google voice is free and in my opinion is FAR superior to BB Visual Voicemail...maybe you should try it...
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