Virgin Mobile, Sprint, And The Phantom Voicemail

Brian is haunted. No matter what he does, a phantom voicemail is always there on his Virgin Mobile phone. Notifying him of its existence every fifteen minutes, without actually existing. Making his phone vibrate and give audio alerts. Providing him with constant reminders of something that isn’t there. It’s incredibly frustrating, and all Virgin Mobile can do is bounce him back and forth between them and Sprint.

He writes:

A month ago I switched phones on Virgin Mobile from the Motorola Triumph to the HTC Evo V 4G. Ever since I’ve used my new phone, there has been a voicemail notification saying I have 1 new voicemail…the only problem is I don’t actually have a voicemail. I get audible and vibrating notifications of this phantom voicemail every 15 minutes or so.

I have been in contact with Virgin Mobile constantly, and they keep saying I will get a call back from their network engineers within 72 hours. I have yet to receive a call from them.

My new phone is basically a Sprint phone, so technical support has to come from Sprint – Virgin Mobile basically acts as the middleman relaying information between Sprint and me. Every time I call, there is a 72 hour period where Sprint responds to the problem.

I have literally spent hours on the phone with Virgin Mobile, and though I have been very patient with them, I’m tired of these same issues a month later. Why can’t Virgin Mobile get their act together and fix this issue? Is it a phone issue? Replace the phone then. Is it an account issue? Fix it then.

I just keep getting told that Virgin Mobile’s hands are tied because the support has to come from Sprint. I have and pay for service with Virgin Mobile, why can’t they fix my simple problem?

I currently have to wait another 24 hours and am required to call them back to get any update.

During another reader’s struggle with Virgin Mobile, we obtained the social media assistance address Maybe that information will be helpful to Brian, or to another Virgin customer haunted by network problems and ineffective tech support.


Edit Your Comment

  1. notserpmh says:

    This is a common occurance with VM. Here is what you do:

    Call your phone with another phone and leave yourself a new voicemail.

    Wait 5 minutes or so to make sure it is saved in the system.

    Call your voicemail from your phone.

    Delete the new voicemail and stay on the line

    Listen to the recording for about 10-20 seconds after you delete the new voicemail. This gives it enough time to send the signal back to your phone that there are no more voicemails.

    Problem solved.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i had this issue once a few years ago with virgin mobile and i can confirm that this worked for me also

    • sqlrob says:

      Yup, same problem here, and this solved it before.

      It seems that the problem occurs if you delete a voice mail without listening to enough (all?) of it.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Back only a day or so, and Consumerist commenters are already solving things!

    • Viper_Bravo says:

      Current VM user, I can confirm this solution works.

  2. erinpac says:

    Are you only using the voicemail app or are you actually calling in to check the voicemail? You might have one that is stuck from during the switch, in the voicemail but not downloading to the phone. I’ve had to manually get voicemails once or twice when making changes like that; something that came in while the voicemail wasn’t set up or similar.

  3. Kabusted says:

    I think that someone at Sprint is messing with you. I had MCI way back when, and if I missed a phone call that came in on my mobile phone, it would call someone on my phone number list instead. One day, my now ex-wife called me but I couldn’t get to the phone fast enough, so I figured that she would call back. 5 minutes later the phone rang, and as I went to answer it, my ex walks into the house and sees that I’m about to answer my phone, and says, “Don’t answer that!”

    She proceeded to tell me that when I didn’t answer the phone, her call to me was forwarded and it called the sister of an old ex girlfriend.

    ex- wife – Hello, is Martin there?
    ex-girlfriend’s sister – Martin? Who’s Martin? I used to know a Marty, but he now lives in Ohio or something..
    ex-wife – Yeah, that’s him, but why are you answering his phone?
    ex-girlfriend’s sister – His phone? I’m in California.
    ex-wife – WHAT?
    Now enter a lot of bladda blah

    Long of the short, MCI couldn’t fix it, I didn’t have call forwarding, and it was a huge mess. Worse, my ex-girlfriend’s sister thought that it was fate that everyone who called me was calling her to find me, and that I was supposed to be in her family’s life again.

    Needless to say, I had to ditch the phone AND provider. Good luck, you’re screwed.

    • Lucky225 says:

      Unfortunately, MCI lied to you, you did have call forwarding, it’s called UNANSWERED or CONDITIONAL forwarding. That’s how voicemail WORKS. When you don’t answer your phone it FORWARDS to another number, which is where your voicemail picks up and callers leave a message. In your case the unanswered forwarding was set to your ex-gf sister or whatever, they just needed to put your voicemail number back in the field or give you the code to do it yourself, unfortunately MCI reps are not the smartest of folks, I’ve dealt with them on quite a couple of occasions.

  4. lvdave says:

    Damn… Apparently you succeeded in doing something that I was told was flat impossible… About a year ago I decided I wanted a smartphone to replace the dumbphone I’d had on Virgin since 2003. I started searching eBay and found a nice Samsung Intercept for a good price. I went ahead and bought it, even though it was branded “Sprint”, knowing that VM runs on Sprint’s towers, thinking it would be no problem to get it on the, then, VM $25/mo plan. Alas, several VM support reps told me it was impossible to put a Sprint phone on VM, despite the phones being EXACTLY the same but for a Sprint-range IMEI. So I went back to eBay, and sold the Sprint phone and bought an exact duplicate of it that said “VirginMobile” on the front and had a VM-range IMEI. Love to know how you did it, or perhaps the VM reps were full of $#@#@#… thinking further I’m gonna go with the later… VM’s support is awfully clueless, but you can’t beat the $25/mo (or actually $35/mo, now) rate they charge…

    • notserpmh says:

      Not sure who you are referring to using a Sprint phone on VM (or any other CMDA phone on VM for that matter), but the reps were correct, kind of. Officially only VM phones work on VM and that’s it. Also, VM phones don’t work on any other carrier.

      That said, if you check out android forums, or the forums at android central, you can usually find some people that can help make some phones work. You have to change the ESN among other things which technically is against the law (DMCA or something, don’t remember which). Also, VM uses a weird, proprietary system for MMS so you may never get that to work or it may be really difficult to.

      All in all, doing what you did (selling off the Sprint one and just getting a VM one) is much easier and more reliable in the long run. The only advantage to doing all this swapping would be to get a phone not available on VM on a VM plan.

  5. NotEd says:

    I had the same issue with my HTC Inspire 4G last month when the phone froze up as I was trying to delete a voicemail. When I restarted the phone the voicemail indicator was there but no voicemail.
    I searched online and after a few minutes found the suggestion to go into the phones Settings > Call menu. In that Menu there was an option to “Clear Voicemail notification”.
    After I selected it the indicator on the display was gone. When I left myself a test voicemail it came back on and worked normally.