Telus iPhone Visual Voicemail Is Not Visual Voicemail


Oh Telus customers, you will not like this.

If you picked up the iPhone on Telus and purchased Visual Voicemail as part of your Telus iPhone plan, you have probably already realized that you do not have true Apple Visual Voicemail. If you have not realized this, try accessing your Voicemail service from your iPhone. Tada!…FAIL!

Telus + iPhone + Visual Voicemail = FAIL!

While Telus is offering “Visual Voicemail” for $7.50/month, the service is not the true Visual Voicemail as per Apple’s description or as one would see on Rogers or Fido. Instead, the Telus Visual Voicemail is a voicemail-to-text service. In other words, Telus has deceived us all.

As anyone who has used voicemail-to-text based voicemail services knows, the service is rarely accurate. But that is beside the point. What we have here is Telus advertising “Visual Voicemail” for $7.50/month and not offering the real Apple Visual Voicemail service.

You could argue that technically the voicemail is visual because it is text based but that is false. Apple has a specific definition for Visual Voicemail and what Telus labels as “Visual Voicemail” could not be further from the truth. For comparison, Rogers labels their voicemail-to-text service as “Voicemail to Text” and not as Visual Voicemail. Very clear. Very honest.

But there is some good news.

Telus has said that the real Visual Voicemail service as per Apple standards will be available in early 2010, but that sounds more like an excuse than a resolution.

Considering you just signed a 3-year Telus contract with no maximum cancellation fee and are not getting the service you should be getting, I’d like to hear what our Telus iPhone customers have to say about this.

Here’s a video of what REAL Visual Voicemail is supposed be (this is how it looks on Rogers/Fido):


  • chimpoko

    I just purchased (re-extended her current contract) an iPhone for my wife yesterday. I myself have an iPhone on the rogers network. I did not know this. I'm not all that pissed because I got visual voicemail for free. I would be pissed of I did pay for it. Aswell, you state there is no maximum cancellation fee, I'm pretty sure it said “$20 per month of the remaining contract or $100” the $100 is for ppl with less than 5 months left. I'll need to look at the contact again, but I'm pretty sure that there is a maximum cancellation.

  • This strikes me as an obviously deceptive trade practice, especially if Telus has stated that the true “visual voicemail” service as defined by Apple won't be available until 2010. Massive fail. Too bad Canadians aren't litigious enough to spank Telus and teach them a lesson.

  • rorypiper

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Telus getting the iPhone should not be considered competition for Rogers. Telus' customer service is far worse, from my experience.

    I think it's great that more providers in Canada have the iPhone now, but I don't think we can really say one is better than the others. They all have their little tricks and deceptions.

  • Dusty


  • Ouch. Not having “true” visual voicemail is not an accurate iPhone experience. This is unbelievable that Telus is doing this, I'd be pretty frustrated!!

  • Anonymous

    umm ok wow this article is so misleading… i never comment but i just have to now…
    im in no way a telus supporter or anything im biased…
    but i keep track of all the carriers and their plans so just to clear things up:
    #1 telus had the visual voicemail (voice to text) wayyyy before they released the iPhone
    #2 no where did they advertise that their iPhone DOES come with Apple's visual voicemail
    #3 the iPhone plans DONT even MENTION visual voicemail, they simply mention voicemail 3 (basic voicemail)

    so I dont understand why this article is bashing a service that TELUS never sold with the plans, advertised or promised to be available at the release of the iPhone…

  • They offer it for $7.50 and they advertise it as “visual voicemail”
    when it is not.

  • The max is $20 x 36 months, which is a 3 year contract.

    The $100 is the minimum cancellation fee

  • jeffhuggins

    Can someone link me to the page where telus says “visual voicemail” I looked on the telus website and couldn't find it anywhere in the plans they just say that all plans get Voice mail 3. I'm P.O'd too and I don't understand why they wouldn't just include it. It seems pretty ridiculous.

  • jeffhuggins

    Wow. Telus has lost my respect. Not that there wasn't much left to lose.

  • I added links to the post showing Apples definition of VVM and the
    telus definition. Considering Apple makes the iPhone, the standard for
    VVM is what Apple says it is and what Rogers/Fido currently offer.

    Telus should not ve advertising their voicemail to text as “visual

    Even Rogers advertises their voicemail to text service as “Voicemail
    to text”.

  • Ti

    When I check Telus plans in Quebec it shows Voicemail 3 not Visual Voicemail.

  • That's correct. And you can purchase Visual Voicemail separately.

  • pyn

    in telus' defence they called it visual voice mail before apple came out with theres.. soo it seems misleading but should telus change the name of the service??? i deno but i just got a iphone from them and this news of not having this feature is a bummer but they never tried to sell me on their version of visual voicemail. when i went to bell they did and when i asked if it was like i have seen on the apple website they stuttered and just agreed with me..

  • shnukms

    anonymous is right visual voicemail feature for telus has been a feature since before the iPhone was released. the technology is being provided by a 3rd party for telus. i do have to admit that this
    article doesn't give much of a side for telus. the reason why it's taking that long is bcz of their agreement to use the 3rd party ****boxx (not sure of the company name). they cannot rebrand either ****boxx's vvm or apple's vvm bcz they essentially don't own it. about the price, it's always been like that for a few years now. need more fact checking … nothing personal, love the site.

  • Telus was offering “Visual Voicemail” as a voice to text service long before they got the iPhone. They just didn't change the name of what they were offering is all.

    Now throwing it in with plans may be confusing and somewhat deceptive but really it's a feature they've offered for a while under that name.

  • Peter

    Glad I didn't buy the VVM. However, I am stuck with only 3 messages in voicemail before it fills up unless I pay more. (I never thought anyone would do a voicemail service that only held 3 messages!) Is there any kind of app to automatically download the messages to the iPhone so I can free up those slots?

  • bryguy76

    I just purchased an iPhone with Visual Voice mail from Telus. At first I was upset over the fact that it wasn't Apple's; but then I realized that I get an email with the voice file attatched, as well as a text copy… I'm very satisfied with the solution.

    Having said this, I know they had their version of “Visual Voicemail” before they had the iPhone… Now that they have the iPhone, they should rename the product so there is no confusion.

  • Half-pint

    How about a comparison of Apple's version, so people can see what all the fuss is about?

  • The post has been updated with a video showing what REAL Visual Voicemail should be like for Telus users.

  • tobyl

    Wow… This is a pretty ignorant article. Everyone who has been on Telus knows that they have had Visual Voicemail even before the iphone ever came out. The purpose of the Telus visual voice mail is not to listen to your voicemails over the speaker phone….”this is actually very stupid” and any 99cent app can do this. The Telus Visual voicemail's mail purpose is to display your voicemails so you can at least read them when it's not appropriate to make a phone call, let alone play it on the speaker phone. There is also a wave file which gets sent to your email, if you want to listen to it either on your computer or directly off the iphone or even forward.
    Please do your research before you slam a service you know nothing about

  • Hey, wake up. That is not the debate here.

    The point is that Telus should not be advertising “Visual Voicemail”
    along side the iPhone. Since their VM is VM to Text, they should be
    renaming the service to “VM TO TEXT” just like Rogers does. Make it
    clear and simple.

    Leaving it at “Visual Voicemail” deceives iPhone customers into
    thinking the service is Apple visual voicemail since Apple has
    practically set the standard for VVM and what is to be expected of it.

    So, please do your research before touching a keyboard and typing
    useless comments.


  • Half-pint

    Okay, yeah, that's what I want! First non-Rogers carrier to offer that gets my money.

  • applegirl

    Visual Voicemail is a key feature of the iphone, advertised on the Apple site, creators of the iphone. When purchasing such product, I expected the key features of this phone be upheld by my service provider. My husband has his through Rogers and got the real visual voicemail for free, already set up. I just spent the better part of my day on the phone with 5 different Telus reps getting my “visual voicemail” set up (which took hours AND a good friend who works for Telus). Now that I've paid my $7.50 and wasted my day, all I can think about is switching to Rogers.

    You're right, Telus doesn't MENTION visual voicemail, and I'm already sorry I searched everywhere for it!

  • That must be frustrating. This is the exact situation we are trying to
    spread the news about!

  • applegirl

    I am a wife in exactly that situation and I AM pissed. Key feature advertised by Apple for the iphone. If Rogers and AT&T can figure it out, what's the problem, Telus?

  • jt

    Deceptive advertising. Apple's iPhone Visual Voice Mail is a promoted and well known features of over 2 years and iPhone users expect it. When I purchased my phone from TELUS, they did not say Visual Voice Mail would not work and do not indicate it won't in any of the advertising or materials. Moreover, every iPhone from every other supporting carrier has no issue providing Visual Voice Mail as per expectations and without incident.

  • oron9

    I planned to switch to Rogers once my Telus contract ended in April, 2010, because they had the iPhone and Telus did not. Once Telus announced that they had the iPhone, I decided there was no reason to switch, since I liked the service and the price was good. I was VERY excited about the Apple Visual Voicemail, as I had seen my friend use it many times. I just got the iPhone last week with Telus, renewing a 3-Year Contract. FUCK!

    When selling a phone as advanced as the iPhone, shouldn't one warn you that they do NOT include one of the main features? If I had known that Telus did not offer the TRUE visual voicemail, I would have waited to end my contract in April, and gladly signed up with Rogers 🙂

    Just called Telus, they will be “getting the visual voicemail in the summer”. NOT good enough. Sooooo pissed. I wish I read this webpage 2 weeks ago..

  • get the facts

    you are an idiot ….. first of all telus had visual voicemail before they carried the iphone and when the iphone was released they changed the name of it so get ur facts straight you hater..

    and as of april 12 2010 telus did release iphone visual voicemail .

  • The voicemail that Telus had before the iPhone was not “iPhone visual voicemail”. It was voicemail to text and should have been labeled as such, but never was until the iPhone.

  • you guys must be on crack, maybe this is an old post or something but telus now has visual voicemail and its just like the video steve jobs has on youtube.

    You get to see all of the voicemails and just click on them to listen to them.

    Best thing about it is telus customer retention sent me an email to notify me i got it for free 🙂


  • Actually I just noticed I got it for free too! Telus is awesome.

  • Actually I just noticed I got it for free too! Telus is awesome.

  • me:)

    Don’t know why everyone is so upset about that. My facetime doesn’t work unless both people are in a WiFi area, becuase the 3G network doesn’t support it… Having said that. I just switch all of our phones to telus. Had one with telus and two with Rogers. I had a great corporate plan with Rogers in comparison to the rip off plans they have for others. Telus not only matched it but beat it and gave me the phones for 160 instead of the 450 rogers wanted from me.
    Telus has better service than rogers, my phone hits less dead zones while I travel or am in buildings. As for the VVM, the website mostly boasts voicemail to text…which they threw in to our plan for free as well as long distance minutes.
    All i can say is I can’t complain. 200 a month for three phones versus 200 a month for two phones with less features makes me happy:)
    Now, Rogers magically found another few hundred to ding me for as well as the 200 they were dinging me for having a few months left on one phones plan….ROGERS SUCKS!!!!!!!!

  • Telus Sucks

    Telus Visual Voicemail is not working, Telus has stated that it is a know issue and therefore refuses to take care of their customers on a case by case basis. What a horrible company. Stay away from Telus.

  • Telus called theirs visual voicemail before iphone came out with it so your whole point is moot. Apple copied the name like they do with everything and claimed it as theirs. Another person who believes whatever crApple tells them lol.

  • Sean

    We’re in 2014 and I still don’t have this…