(Updated: YouMail Is Back In The Market, T-Mobile Not At Fault!) T-Mobile: We Asked YouMail To Fix Its App In November

Update: We just got word from YouMail that they are back on the market! There is a lengthy blog post that helps explain want led up to the removal and eventual return of the app. Glad to see YouMail is back!

After a T-Mobile complaint, Google pulled YouMail’s voicemail app from the Android Market on Tuesday without any warning. YouMail’s CEO, Alex Quilici took to his company’s blog and questioned why it had been removed and further questioned why T-Mobile had yet to contact him with any issues. Well, T-Mobile sees the matter differently and says they did try to reach out to Quilici in November regarding the matter:

“We reached out to YouMail in early November and asked them to address issues with their application that were negatively impacting our customers’ experience. We’re in contact with YouMail and they are working to resolve these issues. Once they do, we’ll be glad to once again support their application.”

It seems a matter of miscommunication is at hand as Quilici swears that T-Mobile has never contacted him as T-Mobile says they did attempt to reach him about their concerns.

Communication problems aside, a bigger issue is at play here…a carrier can complain to Google and have an app removed from the Android Market. Did Google do any due diligence before removing the app at the carrier request? Did Google talk to the developer first? Google, for its own actions, likely won’t want any part in this situation even so they removed the app without checking with the app developer.

We hope that T-Mobile and YouMail can resolve this issue and that YouMail makes a swift return to the Android Market. That being said, Google needs to look at how it handles these situations in the future and make sure that consumers don’t end up caught in the middle of a developer/carrier dispute.

GigaOM

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  • MarcV

    so can someone explain what exactly is the issue that Tmobile has?  Tmobile offers visual voicemail for free, youmail isnt costing them money. I’m confused

    • Tbyrne

      No confusion here. In an earlier story, T-Mobile had concerns that the app was causing adverse network disruptions.

    • The Big Daddy Bear

      Youmail impacts call forwarding, network setup, and a myriad of other things that are on the user’s phone and on the user’s network. An application that doesn’t work properly to set these things up can impact their network in adverse ways and can lead to the carrier being blamed for something that the application did. For example: Install the application and set your voicemail to forward to youmail instead…test it out and decide you don’t like it and when you uninstall it does NOT set your voicemail back to default and all your calls go to a youmail number and not to you and you dont get any more voicemails, and in some cases no actual calls. Then the carrier gets a call from the customer who hasn’t been getting any voicemails in a month and after a little research finds that their voicemail number is incorrect, and since the carrier’s don’t know by heart all of youmail’s voicemail numbers they don’t know it was a youmail number and just inform the customer that their calls are being forwarded to an unknown number, and because by FCC regulations a carrier cannot tell the customer the number, the customer then believes either someone or, more commonly, the carrier is committing fraud and begins demanding credits on their account for the issue and to speak with a manager.

      Thats just one example of things, and not a far fetched hyperbole laden one either. Its a rather common thing. 

      • http://twitter.com/mbcls ask me

        is tmobile users just dumb? haha.  just a joke, ok.
        why is only tmobile complaining?  youmail works on ALL carriers, why is other carriers not complaing?
        personally, i love youmail!

        • The Big Daddy Bear

          I couldnt say for other carriers, each carrier runs its VLR HLR Switches and multiple other network components different. For example: ATT has a little check box in their HLR that turns off or on MMS independent of other network components. TMO doesnt have this. 

          Thats not to say, either, that other carriers dont have a concern about some issues. However, it may only be Tmobile taking action on the concern. You can say tmobile is the squeaky wheel here, and you can also say that tmobile is taking action to solidify better customer experience than other carriers. 

        • The Big Daddy Bear

          btw, in response to your joke about dumb users. The sad thing as a whole, consumers are retards. I have worked in many different positions and one thing for sure is that people tend to always blame others over themselves, want something for nothing, and have the idea in their heads that everything should always be perfect in their little world…and by perfect I mean ‘up to their own standards and expectations whether or not their own standards and expectations are reasonable’. I could tell some strange stories of consumer stupidity. 

      • Dpro

        Ok I can see these as reasons for an issue. Though in the overall T Mobile and Google handled it poorly. If they really did reach out to Youmail why is it the Quilici does not have any record of it? You would think being the creator and owner of the App he would be on this kind of thing should a problem arise. Not ignore it. I cry bullshit on T Mobile for this. Perhaps they tried indirectly? One would assume T Mobile or Google would know how to contact the app’s creator directly.

        Does Google also have complicity here? Its time people started realizing Google is not your friend. They are collecting info on you to sell. Android may be open for you to mess with but at the same time its very much a tool of a company trying to gather your info and sell it to companies to market directly to you. Call it the junk mail info collector of the 21st century. LOL

        I digress a bit though, lets get back to the initial claim about it possibly damaging the ability of you to receive voice mails after uninstall. T Mobile itself has problems with sending and or you receiving voicemail’s in a timely fashion sometimes as well. Their system is not perfect by any means.

        In the end it comes down to being poorly handled. Plain and simple. Its over lets move on.

        • The Big Daddy Bear

          I think you may need to re-evaluate your rationality and logical analysis of the situation. 

          “Though in the overall T Mobile and Google handled it poorly. If they really did reach out to Youmail why is it the Quilici does not have any record of it? ” ……………….. if you take the time to read the blog in the link that was posted prior to your response you would realize that they do have a record of it and that they were also aware of the issue before tmobile even said anything but were delaying the release of the update in order to polish some of the other areas of the update more. 

          Also, in what world is quality control of an application the requirement of the owner of the app store and the carrier? Quality control should be the responsibility of the developer. I dont expect walmart to do quality control on Battlefield 3 before they intend to sell it, or to have their own research team analyze and test sit in every chair they sell, from folding chairs to recliners. 

          Companies do try and act as middle men between developer/manufacturer and consumer, but we cannot lay responsibility on them above and beyond the responsibility of the developer/manufacturer to ensure a properly built and designed product. 

        • Rwalford79

          When TMobile reaches out, they call ONCE and of you don’t answer they consider the matter closed, unless its them wanting resolution than they will call a billion times, except in this case where a competitive and better voicemail provideright present an issue to TMobile and they call once and act like they tried in good faith to rectify the situation, when in fact, like all service issues with TMobile, they don’t really attempt to fix anything and call it a day and start attacking people and apps. Very cultist religion of them, very Apple inc. like too.

      • MarcV

        Oh I see now, in that case Tmobile is correct in their actions.  If layman start using youmail and calling customer service when it does work correctly.  WE ALL PAY!, the prices go up and the quality of customer service goes down.

        I like youmail, but lets face it, many of us chose tmobile because of their awesome prices….

        • Rwalford79

          Their prices are actually comparable to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon right now. My T-Mobile bill is somehow $100+ on a $69.99 with insurance. It seems T-Mobile has like 13 tax categories and Sprint has only 6-7. Im paying roughly $40 more on T-Mobile for less than I get on a better competitor.

        • Joe

          I disagree.  Maybe you can get something comparable at sprint, but both AT&T and Verizon have much better coverage and data speeds in my rural area, and I price them out every 6 months.  AT&T is consistently about 40% more expensive, and VZ is consistently around 60% more expensive for comparable plans.

          You must really be on a crappy plan or be doing EIP or forgetting to factor in the other carrier’s insurance prices when comparing plans.

  • YouGotMail

    It appears Quilici at YouMail didn’t get the voicemail… get it? Voicemail, buahaha

  • Evilbox

    If you uninstalled youmail it wouldn’t send voicemails to the regular carrier voicemail box again. Customers couldn’t get their voicemails. I’d say that is a problem worth blocking the app so tmo doesn’t have to deal with angry customers blaming tmo.

  • Anonymous

    Not surprising that T-Mobile attempted to contact them and never heard back; very similar to what happens when you try to contact YouMail tech support — they don’t call back.  Have been a paying YouMail subscriber for years, really like the service — but if you need technical support, whether you’re a paying or free-account subscriber, forget it :(

    • Joe

      Well said.  I USED to use Youmail.  Used it for a few years.  They started having to many problems with disappearing voicemails and not being able to correctly send text messages and the support was awful.  Switched to Google voice and never looked back.

      • Anonymous

        If Google Voice had the personalized smart-greeting, the lovely voicemail lady who greets your callers with their callerID name (or your phonebook info for the number calling you), I’d switch too. As it is, that’s one of my best parts of YouMail — the SmartGreetings.

        Personally, I wish Google would gobble up YouMail and merge it’s features in with Google Voice — I’ve had an account since beta times, but dislike making my own greeting.

  • Keith fisher

    keith fisher i use you mail and it used to take over my iphone 4 voice mail  now it doesnt i whish it still did any time frame that can be fixed