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Voicemail System Unavailable

Frequent Visitor

Voicemail System Unavailable

 
Our household has been experiencing an intermittent problem over the last month or so with our Comcast voicemail system. The system intermittently says "System Unavailable". People calling in can hear this announcement, and be unable to leave a voicemail message; or we can hear this announcement, and be unable to retrieve messages. In all cases the line is nice and clear, and we can get dial tone. None of our other two services (TV and Internet are experiencing any problems).
 
I "captured" this problem myself today (May 17 2017) around 10am MST by calling our home number, using a cell phone. I was able to leave a test message. Then 2 minutes later, when I called the same home number, still using the cell phone, I heard a "System Unavailable" announcement. Then I immediately tried the *99 feature on our home phone to attempt to hear my test message, and received the same "System Unavailable" announcement. Then just 2 minutes later I was able to use the *99 feature on our home phone to successfully hear the test message that I had recorded 5 minutes previously!
 
Obviously this is a weird intermittent problem, that exhibits the scaling symptoms of an intermittently overloaded voicemail server.
 
We have called Comcast about this problem on several occasions over the last few weeks, and been told the problem is known and is "nationwide".
 
In fact here are two Comcast internal tickets that I was told today already exist on this problem (although I cannot see them):
 
ticket# FI020451785
ticket# FI020501351
 
Today I was also told that Tier 3 Service doesn't know when the problem will be fixed.
 
Ok. In 18 years of being a customer in Santa Fe the one thing I have never experienced with Comcast is poor technology. This is a first for me.
 
The huge problem with this one is that we have home business and medical call messages that MUST be received reliably. I could do a work-around by putting a message recorder machine on the line, but I was told our Comcast voicemail account would have to be deleted, and that would not take effect for 3 days. And to restore our Comcast voicemail would take another 3 days.
 
So, now I need better information. Will Comcast ever know that this problem has been permanently fixed? If so, how will I know?  Is there something I can monitor?
 
Strangely, for a "known long-term nationwide problem", there is no information on the Comcast website about this problem; nor are there any posts in the Comcast Support Forum, which is why I am posting this message now.
 
Official Employee

Re: Voicemail System Unavailable

Hello @gcolello, we apologize for any inconvenience you are experiencing due to the ongoing issue with voicemail. I have reviewed the internal service incident ticket numbers you have provided, and our engineering team is still engaged with troubleshooting the voicemail server and platform.

 

If you would like to to delete your Comcast voicemail so you can use your personal Answering Machine equipment in the interim, let me know because I have the tools to remove this service immediately without you having to wait 3 days. If you would like this done, please send me a private message with your full name, service address, and home phone number. 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Voicemail System Unavailable

Thanks for the offer...

 

At the moment the problem is happening with MUCH less frequency, although it does still happen.

 

I do not know if this problem gets worse at certain times of the week. I will monitor that. For the moment we wish to keep our voicemail service to avoid the work of setting up a whole new system.

 

However, if the Comcast problem gets worse again, I may contact you to delete our voicemail account.

New Poster

Re: Voicemail System Unavailable

I just added voicemail to my work phones and have had this same intermittent problem for 5 days now.  Not one of the 6 techs I spoke with told me there was a "nationwide" problem.  My tickets keep getting closed.  Will work on replacing the voice mail card I had before.  What a mess.

 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Voicemail System Unavailable

I have continued to deal with this problem. It continues to happen, but Comcast technical support says they are solving the "nation-wide" problem region by region, and so are now convinced they will eventually solve the problem 100%.

 

Ok. I am prepared to believe that, but until that 100% solution occurs, even 1 lost voicemail can be critical for the Comcast voicemail customer. In the meantime who wants to delete their Comcast voicemail account only to reestablish it later? Not me.

 

So, I offer this work-around I have used...

 

I have a V-Tech cordless (radio) phone system. The V-Tech system has its own built-in voicemail, as do most modern home or office phone systems; but I have had it turned off, and have been Comcast digital voicemail instead. Note that the Comcast voicemail system answers calls automatically after 5 rings by default. I left this "as is". I then turned on my V-Tech built-in voicemail, and set it to pick up after 4 rings. It works perfectly, and I didn't have to delete my Comcast voicemail account. Both operate at the same time, but V-Tech picks up before Comcast does.

 

There is one caveat. If I am on the phone, and a call comes in, I hear the call waiting tone. If I do not "flash over" to the in-coming call, then the Comcast system will pick it up after 5 rings, assuming the Comcast system is not experiencing the "System Unavailable" problem at that moment.

 

I have no idea when Comcast will get that 100% solution. They will not tell me what is causing the problem. When I am certain it is fixed for me, I will post here.

Frequent Visitor

Re: Voicemail System Unavailable

February 13 2018...

 

This problem resolved itself shortly after I wrote all of the above. I now believe the VOIP Xfinity voicemail system to be completely reliable after months of usage.

 

But I am moving on to eliminating my VOIP landline, and using Xfinity Mobile instead, which is a great deal if you turn off Cellular Data, unless you get an iPhone, which REQUIRES the use of Cellular Data, especially for Visual Voicemail (see my post on that subject in another forum).

 

NOTE: Android's visual voicemail works fine with Cellular Data turned off.