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YouMail, a visual voicemail management app has suddely disappeared from the Android Market, nowhere to be found. The app continues to be available for iPhone users but, according to a GigaOM report was removed from the Android Market at the request of T-mobile. Kevin Tofel for GigaOM spoke with YouMail CEO Alex Quilici who was only informed the app had been pulled by users of the app itself who complained they could no longer find the software. Later on a message was discovered by Quilici from Google “explaining” why the app was removed:
“It has come to our attention that this application could be used in a way that is harmful to devices, networks or users. Specifically, we have received a complaint from T-Mobile that this application is causing adverse network disruption. We encourage you to contact T-Mobile to negotiate a revision and/or agreement to republish this application and update your existing users.”
Quilici denied that T-Mobile had attempted to contact YouMail to discuss the matter and has not heard of any similar complaints from other wireless carriers who allow and use YouMail. Quilici says YouMail has handled over a billion calls and has well over a million users and has taken to the YouMail blog to vent his frustration:
“We hate to think this is simply anti-competitive behavior on T-Mobile’s part- simply because we’ve produced an innovative and dramatically better voicemail product than they offer, and that’s free on top of it. Especially given they are trying to finish their acquisition by AT&T .But we’re hard-pressed to understand their behavior. Wouldn’t we all be much better off if T-Mobile instead took an approach like the other carriers and tried to see how they could benefit from the success we’ve been having with YouMail?”
And the “guilty until proven innocent” doesn’t speak well for the Android Marketplace either. At a minimum, if one carrier complains, why not simply turn off the app for that carrier – it’s only one checkbox – versus suspending it from anyone?
T-Mobile has yet to comment on the matter and we hope there is a perfectly good explanation for this. Otherwise, T-Mobile is bound to look like the bad guy and YouMail like the innocent victim whose app suffered at the hands of the big bad carrier.