The parents of a teen girl who died last summer had been hoping to hold on to the last voicemail she recorded before losing her battle with cancer. Unfortunately, when T-Mobile pitched its voicemail-to-text service to them, no one mentioned that it would delete their late daughter’s message.
“When I had bad days I would listen to her,” the dad tells KOMO 4 News in Seattle. “She said ‘Daddy I love you and I miss you.’ And I don’t have that no more.”
T-Mobile has apologized to the family and issued the following statement:
T-Mobile deeply regrets the sorrow the Butler family is experiencing. When saving voice mail messages long-term, customers receive an alert and are prompted to re-save messages that they’d like to keep. Unfortunately, when the voicemail-to-text feature was added, which has a shorter window for saving messages, the voicemail messages were deleted. We sincerely apologize the Butlers were not adequately made aware of this possibility and are working internally to assure this information is clearly communicated to customers in the future.
The dad says he’s hired a lawyer to help him determine if T-Mobile still has a copy of the voicemail somewhere in an archive.
“Just like with your computer, it’s really difficult to truly erase a whole lot of digital anything,” the lawyer tells KOMO.
Regardless, let this family’s unfortunate story be a reminder to anyone hoping to store a voicemail indefinitely that many services will automatically delete the message after a certain amount of time. And before you make any changes to your messaging plans, you should probably ask how it affects your currently archived messages.
Thanks to Howard for the tip!