Why can't we turn off voicemail?

So tech support says there is no way to turn voicemail off.
I get that feature requests are a minefield, but a quick poke around the support site this one seems like it should be easy. In fact it seems that the code to do it already exists -
if you have 500+ voicemail messages, voicemail stops accepting more. Seems like it would be easy to have an option where user could set that 500 to 0?
Is there some kind of revenue stream from voicemail that I don’t understand?
Is this more complicated than I think it is?

Hi @nicholasm.r8jwxf and welcome to the Community!

That is correct. Turning off voicemail is not something Republic currently supports.

You are not the first to suggest they would like the option of turning off voicemail.

It’s true that once one’s voicemail box is full, it stops accepting voicemails. I don’t believe capacity is defined by number of voicemails alone. Length of voicemails is another variable.

I don’t see what meaningful revenue stream would be produced from voicemails.

From experience, I’ve learned that which seems easy in theory is not necessarily easy to implement. Generally, is something is as easy to implement as it would seem in theory, it gets done. When something seemingly easy to do in theory doesn’t get done, it’s generally not as easy as it would seem in theory.

Thanks - this article says it is 500.

I’ve been thinking about easy ways to put 500 messages in my mailbox, but I don’t have a good solution. I can’t believe that there is not a way to just change the voicemail count to 500, or ‘full’ or whatever it is?

I see that it does but am not sure I believe it’s as simple as an arbitrary number of voicemails. To me, it’s illogical as the amount of server storage space occupied by a collection of voicemails would also be dependent on the length of those voicemails.

If such a thing existed; why would support not deploy it for you? Republic would have no interest in disappointing a customer by not doing so if it were that simple.

I don’t know - I feel like I have to take their tech support posts at face value - if they are not telling the truth about the 500 cap then I suppose we can’t trust anything they say on the issue? The post could be a mistake of course, and yes, it makes no apparent sense.

That said, not being able to turn voicemail off makes no sense either - I can’t begin to speculate about why they wouldn’t do that. Not having voicemail seems easier than having it, and if there is a cap of any kind then there is a method for preventing it from working.

I have found the google drive access to the files to download them, and I’m trying to see if there is a way to use this feature to duplicate voicemails or upload files to that space until it turns off?

Hi @nicholasm.r8jwxf,

Thanks for the feedback and suggestion.

The voicemail limit, the best I can tell from browsing some old engineering tickets, is based on a count of messages, not the space used. That limit is 500 messages, as documented in our Help Center.

It is a server-side setting and cannot be individually configured per user.

There is no revenue stream from increased voicemail volume, in fact, you’d probably be saving us some money if you could turn it off.

However, the work required to disable it is more complex than you have imagined. We’ve had a feature request for disabling voicemail for two years and you are only the third person on that request list. Our resources are limited enough that we must prioritize work according to business needs, and while we do take our member feedback into consideration (even creating the feature request ticket so we can track requests), allocating engineering resources for something requested by three people over two years is not possible.

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While you can’t disable voicemail, you can turn notification sounds off. When I don’t want to receive voicemails, I set my outbound message to, “This phone is not set up to receive voice messages,” and repeat that message several times, or add some superfluous beeps, making the caller wait. If they still want to record a message after that, fine, but I’ll not be opening it.

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Thanks - that’s interesting.
It raises a couple of questions in my mind - it looks like there is an api that google drive uses to pull messages from the server - is there anything you’re aware of in terms of an api to push files to the voicemail storage to more quickly get to 500?
It also looks like Republic has the ability to edit the voicemail files - there was mention of being able to file a support request to delete voicemails if there were more than 50 - I wonder how easy it would be to duplicate or push dummy files to reach 500?
Thanks for your patience on this!

Yeah - thanks - that’s what I do. i get the impression its what a lot of people do.

It’s more workaround than solution, however, one could use Republic’s voicemail forwarding to send calls to another number where there is no voicemail. There are VoIP providers with whom voicemail is optional albeit service is not free.

You could just forward your number (voicemail forwarding) to 9 1 4-737-9938

I wish I could turn voicemail off but I have service providers, including my medical provider, that leave voicemails that are important and cannot be diverted to text messages or emails. I wish I could force providers to notify me as I wish. I also wish that companies would send important information via email instead of postal mail, so I must maintain my postal mail box, which I would prefer not to have.

I was successful in eliminating Republic Wireless’ voicemail by moving to the $15 T-Mobile Connect (prepaid) Plan where they allow users to turn voicemail off.

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Only three requests in two years – really? RW has had hundreds of requests to turn off voicemail over the past two years, and you have personally responded to many more than three yourself. If you need additional proof of the interest in turning off RW voicemail, see: https://www.reddit.com/r/republicwireless/

You see these where? I see one other thread here in the community about it with a total of two people chiming in. I’ve also answered well over 50,000 queries for Republic over the last 5 years and have seen a total of 1 such request. What are we supposed to learn from the Republic subreddit? Searching “turn off voicemail” finds a total of 0 results.

Glad you found something that will work for you.


You, louisdi, want to now extend the claim to five years? Here’s one from June of 2017 that I initiated, and that you, southpaw, and many others were involved in: Disable Voicemail - #3 by nicholasb.fxfbne

Did you visit the subreddit to see much more recent requests made regarding RW voicemail?

I’m not sure that thread helps you. There are 3 people in it asking. Given that Republic has over 200,000 customers now, and with customers that have come and gone many many more than that, and you found one thread with 3 people (including you) I’m not sure how that helps bolster “hundreds”. But lets say the number is closer to your hundreds, than Southpaw’s 3. Let’s just use around 200 as a nice round number. How much time should a company spend on something that somewhere between 0.01% and 1% of its customers care about?

I was aware that one because I saved a screenshot of it, but I don’t have access to RW customer service records or any other records, and I really don’t have to prove more than 3 people asked RW to disable voicemail – your basic claim is ridiculous.

If you want to see how silly and untrue your claim is, go to either the REPUBLICWIRELESS subreddit or the NOCONTRACT subreddit, click “Submit a New Text Post” in either or both, and make your claim that only three people in the last five years have asked RW to disable voicemail, so we can see the responses…

If you want the largest response, make the claim in the NOCONTRACT subreddit, because it has a much larger following of current or past RW customers than the REPUBLICWIRELESS subreddit. You can go back in time on either, so you will also see how a good company like Republic Wireless surrendered its customers/market-share to other MVNOs

I’ve conceded that you’re right, that “hundreds” have asked over the years, I’m taking you at your word because I have no intention to scour Reddit or anywhere else finding these requests, so I’ll just concede, they’re there. (We can argue later about whether ranting on Reddit instead of making a request to the company is an effective way of getting things done.) That still leads me to, so what? How much time should a company spend on a request made by 1% of it’s customers. As an customer expert that helps Republic with tickets, I can tell you a list of things that have been asked for by the thousands, that Republic hasn’t been able to do yet. I can list things that Republic has to fix or do that have been asked or have come up hundreds of time in the last month, forget years.

Is it not reasonable for Republic to prioritize? Should they jump to the 1% items or work their way through the 5, 10, 20% items first?

Turning off voicemail is niche even at your “hundreds” of requests. It’s great that you found a carrier that has a system that allows it, but I’m not sure what insisting that Republic is wrong about the demand is meant to accomplish.

So if you have a medical provider that insists that voicemail is the only way they will contact you you should tell them about HIPPA. They are required to provide secure messaging systems, and voicemail is not a compliant one.
There is no reason for a person to be required to maintain a voicemail box, unlike an actual mailbox.

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