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Voicemail settings


Active Member
Nov 8, 2014
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No. California
I know this is dumb but I've looked all through 'settings' on my iPhone 4 and can't seem to find where to change the number of rings before the caller gets dumped into voicemail. Right now it's set at three rings which is too short.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.... :)
That's controlled by your carrier. You'll have to call there to adjust the settings. At least that's how it works in my case. I call my voicemail, and there I'm able to change the settings.
For the benefit of anyone else who uses AT&T for a carrier and who may some day wish to make some changes to your account settings, let me just say that it's been a disaster.

The person helping me said she could make the necessary changes with no problem and started walking me through the necessary steps. At one point, she instructed me to go to 'Settings' and press a reset button. I told her I had been cautioned never to press that button because I'd lose passwords, notes, photos, etc. Anything of that nature that I had entered was at risk. She assured me that the only thing I'd lose were the photos I was using for my lock and home screens but that the ones in my album and my notes and contacts list wouldn't be lost.

She was partly right. I did lose my lock and home screens. I didn't lose my notes or contact list but I did lose my password from every website that I check into every day. I also lost the password for my wi-fi router and, omigosh, the password required for me to log into My AT&T. Can you believe this crap??

By the time I discovered all that I had lost, of course, we had long since ended our phone conversation so I could t tell her what I thought of her help.

The loss of my password for my router wouldn't have been so bad had I not misplaced the slip I had it written on. And, of course, with no router I also had no printer. And the router is the problem of U-verse, not ATT&T wireless. So I called U-verse support.

The support guy there assured me he could help me recover the router password and he'd guide me through it with me on my laptop. So he takes me to a webpage with instructions on it about how to recover or change my password. There are six or seven instructions, some with a few paragraphs, so without my printer I start writing down all these instructions because there are too many to remember. Fast forward to, say, instruction number four where it says if I scroll to here and click a button there my password should appear. Except that when I get to the page they're talking about, it's been changed and doesn't say anything about my lost password.

Gee, this is fun. I asked the support guy if there was any chance of him getting my hands placed around the throat of the person who told me to press that reset button. I didnt think so..... :-(
I'm really sorry you had such an experience. This seems to be way more complicated in your country than in mine.

I simply have to dial my voicemail number, and instead of listening to voicemails, use the keypad to navigate through my settings there.
It would help tremendously if the folks who hold themselves out to be experts in their field actually knew what the h--l they were doing. How can a support person be so clueless? They could be utilized in a lower-paying position somewhere and let someone who actually understood the system be the support person.... Bah!!

I've spent all evening looking up passwords and replacing them where necessary and I'm not finished yet. Also, I'll be without my wi-fi for a few days while they ship me a new router since they couldn't recover the password for the one I have. It's absolutely maddening..... !!
I'm wondering: were you able to test whether or not the number of rings before voicemail starts has changed in the meantime?
That's yet another problem. They did manage to increase the number of rings before being transferred to voicemail from three to five - a minimal increase at best. She had told me it could be increased even more but then after trying a couple times she finally said that five rings was all it could be. I'm confident that what she meant was that she couldn't figure out how to cause it to do more.
Does your carrier have a website? Maybe you could login there with your telephone number or username and change the voicemail settings from there.
Yes, they do. That's where this whole problem began.

And, to make matters worse, I tried this morning to log back into the website of an organization of which I'm a member. I requested and received my password, used it to log in, and was told that my life membership had expired!! (ironic chuckle). I sure hope they're wrong..... :)
They can't be right.

I do hope the rest of this year will be way better for you. :)

Btw: Which reset button did she ask you to press in Settings? Just curious.
Note to J.A.: I've received an email notification that you had asked which reset button I was asked to push. However, when I log in here at the thread itself, that question doesn't appear. Is it somehow connected to my loss-of-passwords problem, do you suppose? I can't see how, but there's a lot of stuff happening that I don't understand.

Anyway, the answer to your question is: settings<general<reset. Pushing that button causes major problems.... :-(
That was a post I had deleted afterwards. That's the reason why it wasn't visible. It's here again.

In Settings - General - Reset, there are quite a few possibilities what to reset.
Reset all settings would remove all the alterations you made and set the settings back to default. You'd have to go through the app again afterwards and set up everything like you'd want to have it.

Erase all content and settings will set back the iPhone to default, without Apple ID, apps, ...

Reset network settings will do just that, nothing else.

The other three that are there as well wouldn't do what you described.

I suppose she asked you to reset all settings. That would have the effect you described. It shouldn't be necessary to perform a reset, just to let the changes in voicemail take effect. I'm no expert, though. It works different in my country, with my carrier.
Yes. She asked me to reset all settings. And after I had explained to her that I'd been cautioned not to do that, one would have gone on under the assumption that, as a support person, she knew whereof she spoke. I now know she obviously didn't.
Here's another idea to change your voicemail settings:
I've just found out that my provider has an app where I'd be able to change them.

Perhaps your carrier provides the same service. Just look for AT&T in App Store - Featured, or maybe they provide a link to the app on their website.
AT&T also has an app which I have on my iPhone and which I used in order to begin this whole terrible fiasco. The only instruction it provides is to call their customer service number to change the number of rings. They provide an 800 number or tell you to dial 611 to get customer service.

The rest is just dismal history..... :)