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Grieving Dad Sues T-Mobile for Deleting His Voicemails

Grieving Dad Sues T-Mobile for Deleting His Voicemails

When Faron Butler lost his 14-year-old daughter, Rhema, after her two-year struggle with desmoplastic cancer, he thought the worst was over. But when he updated his cell phone plan with mobile provider T-Mobile, the company deleted all of his voice mails without warning him—including voice mails he kept to listen to the sound of Rhema's voice after she died.

T-Mobile apologized for not giving him the opportunity to save the voice mails, but refused to retrieve them for him. So Butler is suing the company to retrieve the voice mails they deleted. T-Mobile is apparently "thinking of offering him money," but to this dad, no amount of money can make up for the lost record he had of his daughter's voice. 

Read the whole story at

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JulieSullivan3861 JulieSullivan3861 5 years
Don't cell phone voice mails only get saved for 30 days unless you keep re-saving them?
CarlaOwens22153 CarlaOwens22153 5 years
i know the feeling for this poor father.. i lost my 21 yr old nephew in a car crash and his parents kept his cell phone active for a long time so we could call and hear his voice mail and they moved out of state where the cell service was not available and when they were switching phone companys they disconnected their sons phone when they stated they would keep paying his bill seperatly. they were so upset as well as me .. i no longer can hear his voice at whim ... bless your heart .. i hope you have lots of pics and home videos of your daughter and hopefully that helps. xooxxo
KayelleElliott KayelleElliott 5 years
This happens way too much with people now-a-days with all the new technology. People don't use regular photos or video like they used to. The iPhone has it good with the icloud app. I think all phone providers should have an application like this. And add the ability to archive voicemails. So sorry to this poor father, but I'm pretty sure even the ceo doesn't have the ability do retrieve those deleted voicemails...
LisaTorresCagle LisaTorresCagle 5 years
I think it's your job to explain everything about what you're going to do to a customers phone,body, dog etc......any changes. I mean it's your profession right? I personally have lost all of my voicemails before and I lost tons of clients because I couldn't call people back in time..I was able to get a copy of numbers that I called and called me... I lost a lot of time, work and money & I wasn't warned either...If I was this man i'd sue. My situation was horrible but to loose a loved one and then to on purpose SAVE a voicemail and then not be told that it was going to be gone...that's horrible. Hopefully they learn to do their jobs and start warning people before they delete all of our shit without warning.
PollySmith29699 PollySmith29699 5 years
some, ok most, of the comments on that article on the other website are quite harsh and rude! it never said those voice mails were the only voice recordings he had of his daughter. but how cool (and comforting) would it be to be able to listen to a loved ones voice on the phone one more time? I hope he can get his voice mails back for peace of mind.
CeceliaWoodside CeceliaWoodside 5 years thats the CEO for TMOBILE email they suck I also have 4G and I emailed him directly asking too have my accounts cancel with no cancellation fees after the web connect NEVER worked & constantly dropped connection & I could NEVER make international calls after numerous calls to the support area that could NEVER resolved my issues I was STILL charged termination fees that HE himself felt was ok ............My issues cannot compared too this man and I pray that you are successful this company needs too hurry go bankrupt thier customer service SUCKS
ColleenSaxon ColleenSaxon 5 years
My Mom died in January and the day before she died my husband took a picture with his phone of my dad sitting in the chair next to her hospital bed both sleeping holding hands. A couple days after she died his phone stopped working and I took it to Best Buy for them to fix forgetting this picture was on there. I went back the next day in tears and Best Buy was able to restore the picture for me and showed me how to back it up on my computer. I was so thankful. Hope T Mobil restores the voice mails for this grieving father
SueMapes SueMapes 5 years
I lost lots on my T-moble phones but nothing like this man did :( and after i upgraded to 4 G and our bill went sky high I had no service ..After 3 mo. of being on the phone tiring to resolve the problem a tehc told me NO WAY i can get service where im located .I droped my contract and told them why and they still want the $400 for both phones contract IM NOT paying for it I hope this man can get his voice mails back i dont feel so bad about what i lost
SandyCuevas SandyCuevas 5 years
Inability to retrieve them is not the issue Tmobile has (as there is always a way to do this) it's the fact that they don't want to lose $$ by setting precedence. I agree, Tmobile has the absolute worst customer service and will do anything to cut costs (they were my provider for some time)!
HeatherDavis36096 HeatherDavis36096 5 years
My dad died in a motorcycle accident almost a year ago. Several days after his death his Blackberry was deleted with permission from his employer. We lost lots of his audio recordings along with all of his personal phone numbers. AT&T was no help.
SandyCuevas SandyCuevas 5 years
Seriously Debbie Webber!! You are totally clueless, not to mention heartless! Not everybody is tech savvy and I am sure he thought he was backing them up by resaving them! Tmobile should have made it very clear for just that reason!! Btw, have you ever even experienced a significant loss, probably not based on your ignorance! Guess your parents never taught you the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say....." Especially under these circumstances!!
MaryHellberg MaryHellberg 5 years
I keep my voicemails of my son's messages. We lost him to cancer a year ago. It's very comforting to hear his voice. I don't know what I would do if my cell provider (not T-Mobil any more) deleted my old voice mails. Their sales rep did tell me that there is a service that will make an audio CD of old voicemails; we just have to google such a service....
marymartin49850 marymartin49850 5 years
I, as a parent who lost a child to cancer, understand how he must feel. I hope and pray that tmobe will retrieve the voicemails for him!
JenniferShearouse JenniferShearouse 5 years
Dear lord! Give the man his vocemail back! It is his link to his dead daughter! WTF IS THE BIG DEAL?! Offering him money? How much is losing your daughters last messages worth t-mobile!!? We were thinking about switchimg to t-mobile, not after this! They would rather pay money than to give a grieving father his voice mail back! Really?
debbieweber65427 debbieweber65427 5 years
I understand his being upset but who wouldn't back stuff like that up?
KristyEdwards41322 KristyEdwards41322 5 years
My mom passed away 2 years ago, from complications due to lung cancer...I saved voicemails, emails, everything I could think of to save. I wasn't able to be with her when she passed, and there is still tremendous guilt for that. I have At&t, and the voicemails I saved were erased a couple of weeks after she passed. So many things were going on at that time, and after realizing they were gone, it was like losing her all over again. I didn't know they were able to retrieve them :(
SarahCulter SarahCulter 5 years
I totally understand what this father is going through.... my father died of cancer almost 2 years ago and I had a voicemail from him on there all this time until last month when i switched over to an iphone...the best buy employee neglected to tell me that i had 7 days to PAY MONEY and get it saved onto a cd before it would be deleted...I realized my mistake about 10 days after switching my phone :(
LindseyGreenlun LindseyGreenlun 5 years
This is very sad! T-mobile did this to me 2 times. When my dad died they deleted his voicemails when i switched phones (because the one i had was defective) I even asked them if they would be deleted and they told me "no, they'd be fine". and again when it happened to me with the new mytouch slide i made them verify my videos/pictures from my phone would be on the new phone and in doing so they deleted videos that i happened to catch of my son's first steps and stuff.... they need to be sued and figure it out!
HeatherCarter60265 HeatherCarter60265 5 years
This is very very sad. My grandfather didnt change the answering machine message of my Grandma's voice ever- over 11 years it stayed on there so when someone would call it would say "Hey you've reached George and Mable, please leave us a message and God Bless" - sometimes we'd just call to hear her voice on the machine. He died with that on their machine- never changing it. I feel for this grieving Dad.
KateDiFiore KateDiFiore 5 years
This happened to me when my Mom died...I had all of her text messages saved and when they updated my phone they were all lost...even after they promised me they wouldn't be. I was heart broken.
TracieMeyers TracieMeyers 5 years
Ok I just want to say I feel so bad for this Dad.... I used to work in the Cell Phone Industry, and I have dealt with this issues myself. I always tell the customer they will loose their voicemails when programming a new phone. It didnt used to be that way, and most companies will only hold your messages for so many days. The reason for this, they dont have the means or capacity to hold millions of messages.... Here is what I suggest..... Get a little memory stick... take your phone and record the messages to your computer and save them as a mp3 file, then you can transfer the messages from the phone to the computer and put it on an external hard drive. This way you save your messages. Also you can record the messages with a video device or camera and just record.. then transfer and save... no matter if it is an avi file or mpeg or a midi ... or just a recording ... you will have saved your messages for life. I hope this will help others. RIP Beautiful Angel xoxo
KellieCohen KellieCohen 5 years
I so get this, and how sad. My husband died of cancer three years ago. I had several voicemails saved over the years of him to me, some of them being silly with our young daughters -- priceless. When it was time to get a new phone, I brought up the fact that I did not want to lose these voicemails...difference in my situation was the carrier's response (not T-Mobile) was pretty much "we don't know what to do/they will be deleted/maybe you can find a company or buy something to copy them, somehow" I put on the brakes with the new phone, bought this little hand-held recorder that I could hook directly into the mike of my old phone, and recorded each of them on to digital, then burned to CD for family. What was irritating is, many people don't think about this small detail...but the carriers really should add it to their list as something to mention, something that they should all be CONSISTENT about answering because you get different responses depending on who you talk to at these companies...I'm sure this happens A LOT (well, gosh, look at the thread below, many of us have experienced this.) Anyway, what a shame, but if any good comes out of it, maybe there IS a magical backup "tape" somewhere where this father can get the messages back, and also, in the future, maybe these carriers will take note so that everyone is on the same page, they remember to mention this detail about voicemail messages...I'll tell you, what a great customer service plug it would be, next time I get a phone, to be asked, "so, do you have any voicemail messages that you didn't want to lose? Because if so, here is what we suggest you do/here's a product you can buy/here's a site you can go to, etc." WOW, that the carrier actually THOUGHT of me as a PERSON consistently (I know not all the sales people are like this)? What a novel thing that would be.......
DebIngrassia DebIngrassia 5 years
Voicemails are never completely gone. Lawyers can pull up voicemails to use during lawsuits. It's done in the corporate world all the time. Emails, text messages, all these items can be retrieved. Believe me I used to work for a drug company. We were all taught to be careful what messages we put out there.
AmandaBennett52977 AmandaBennett52977 5 years
money can't buy what he has lost.Has not suffered enough,poor man.Just hear her voice again is priceless!
BarbaraRansom BarbaraRansom 5 years
Verizon gave us a digital copy of my dad's voice from his outgoing voicemail message on his cell phone after he died.
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