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12 May 2011 / Julie

the fallout from changing devices

last night i upgraded myself to an iphone. i’m still madly in love with my 5 year old palm treo (as pictured with me here) but my work email started restarting the phone, twitter mobile lost it’s stylesheet and i wanted to be able to use evernote more effectively wherever i was. plus, i’ve been eligible for my “2 and new” discount for three years now.

enter upgrade.

i made my list of things i wanted in a device and started looking at how iphone or android would accommodate what i wanted. i couldn’t get everything (recycled case, SMALL size) but in the end, i went with the iphone.

while sad for the loss of my treo, i was excited about my new toy. i haven’t had a new toy in a while. i added my apps, synced my contacts easily (which luckily had been on my mac from gmail and my work server) , and logged in to all my apps (after remembering my passwords). it all went very smoothly. too smoothly.

now, i don’t know about you, but every time i’ve gotten a new device in the past, it’s meant manual input of contacts, realizing that one obscure piece of software that you use rarely but do need isn’t compatible, having saved text messages not move to your new phone and other such toils. (first world problems, i know, i know.)

well my upgrade to the iphone came with a particularly nasty version of this toil: i lost my voicemail.

now, it might not seem too bad to you, but as much as i like change, i’m a little nostalgic and very upset about what i lost in my voicemail:

my outgoing message. okay, so i record a new one… but i’ve had the same outgoing message since i was 17. posterity. it’s gone.

my saved messages. yeah i know, i should have recorded them somewhere else- and i’ve been meaning to- but i had 11 or so saved voicemails from the last few years including my niece’s voice when she was 4ish  (shes 8 now) saying “aunt julie’s not there!”; my soon-to-be 90 year old great aunt saying hello; lovey messages from the boy from the beginning of our relationship half a millennia ago; my parents singing good morning to me (it was always so-cute-it’s-painful, but now i miss it); and various friends and family singing me happy birthday over the years (sometimes i don’t answer on my bday so i have these msgs to listen to later).

all gone.

i remember now hearing somewhere along the line that the iphone runs on a different vm system than other devices. but it wasn’t something i thought of when purchasing my phone… nor was it something the sales rep remembered (or knew) to tell me.

to make matters worse, i call up customer service to see if i can fix things (i assume it was a glitch since i didn’t actually *touch the voicemail yet and i assumed (wrongly) that the sales guy who’s always been good to me hadn’t said this would happen) and the guy i speak who apologizes and says “we can fix this. our tech staff can send you the files on cd or whatnot so you have them. let me transfer you to them.” except, when i speak to the tech dept, the woman informs me that it’s “all gone. I don’t know why no one told you you’d lose them. and there’s no way to recover them.”

thanks a lot.

so here are my lessons for companies:

  1. make sure your staff across departments are all on the same page so your information is consistent
  2. don’t assume your customers know what’s going to happen next. explain the process. in detail.
  3. have an EASY way (easy = click, click, done) to backup their messages
  4. be able to recover things.

my own lessons learned:

  1. don’t put your backups off until later. i’ve been saying to myself “i need to get these off” for probably Y.E.A.R.S… procrastination will always bite me in the ass.
  2. try to figure out and ask the questions you don’t think you need to ask, assuming you won’t be informed by the other person (probably not feasible)

So while i try to work some magic to make my audio history reappear (lmk if you know how!), i’ll also be writing a letter to the company letting them know that this is one of those unacceptable errors.

/end rant. thanks for listening.

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