T-Mobile is still charging punters using alternative voicemail systems, despite the fact that every other UK operator now includes such forwarding in bundled minutes.
Anyone is at liberty to change their voicemail service, through a simple code on the handset, but operators then deduct the forwarded minutes from the customer's bundle - except T-Mobile, which charges 17 pence a minute for forwarding calls to HulloMail or SpinVox, or 12 pence a minute to collect messages from their own service.
Alternative services generally offer a value-added service, such as transcription or email notification, where the calls are forwarded to a normal national number. T-Mobile told HulloMail that it would zero-rate calls forwarded to the company's service, but admitted that it would be very complicated and not really a priority.
When we asked T-Mobile about this we were told of no such plans - only reminded that collecting voicemail from T-Mobile's service has just been bundled into the Flext tariffs.
Until that change, calls to T-Mobile's own voicemail service were excluded from the any bundles offered by the company, meaning that failing to answer a call would cost the T-Mobile customer money regardless of how the call was handled. HulloMail are particularly miffed at the charges, given that its business model is dependent on creating a voicemail client for Android which remains exclusive to T-Mobile right now.
Meanwhile customers are writing letters of complaint, and setting up petitions to try and get T-Mobile to change its ways - but the company has little incentive to smooth the path to competing services, even if every other operator in the UK is doing so. ®