IN- Ameritech Glitch Disrupts Customers' Voice Mail Accounts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Title: Ameritech Glitch Disrupts Indiana Customers' Voice Mail Accounts

Story Filed: Monday, April 17, 2000 6:14 PM EST

Apr. 14 (The Indianapolis Star/KRTBN)--A hardware problem that took two days to correct made Ameritech Corp.'s voice mail service clunky and cumbersome for residential and business customers.

An Ameritech spokesman said about 44,000 customers in the 317 area code were affected. Company technicians finally got the system working properly again Wednesday afternoon.

Spokesman Mike Marker said that while voice mail worked during the two-day period, Ameritech customers and people trying to reach them had to enter their complete area code and seven-digit telephone number to retrieve and leave messages.

One Ameritech voice mail customer told The Indianapolis Star the failure was annoying and worrisome.

She said callers were probably confused when, instead of hearing her greeting, they heard a long message asking whether they had voice mail on the system or wanted to leave a message.

Some callers might simply have hung up, thinking they dialed the wrong telephone number.

"I can't expect the people who call to wait to figure this out," she said.

The trouble began late Monday when a data link failed, Marker said. That's a device that tells the voice mail system where a call should go.

Ameritech voice mail customers whose service was interrupted may receive a two-day credit for their inconvenience by calling Ameritech at (800) 742-8771. Marker said customer bills would not automatically be adjusted because "we have no way of knowing which customers were affected."

This wasn't the first service problem for Ameritech's Indianapolis voice mail customers. An error by an Ameritech technician in September left some customers unable to retrieve messages. That problem lasted several days.

By Stuart A. Hirsch

To see more of The Indianapolis Star, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

(c) 2000, The Indianapolis Star. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.


-- (, April 17, 2000


You sure stay on top of this communications stuff, Dee. It's much appreciated. You know, it's this kind of stuff that can add up to some serious y2k damage yet.

-- Uncle Fred (, April 17, 2000.

Thank you Uncle Fred. I appreciate your kind comments.

-- (, April 17, 2000.

For some reason telecommunications was my single biggest fear of y2k. So far, it hasn't gotten too bad, but every now and then the incidences flare up in small bunches. Then I always think it still has the potential to develop into a threatening trend.

-- Wellesley (, April 18, 2000.

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