Late in the evening of September 23rd, I submitted a help ticket via the AT&T website:

My mother died on August 12, 2012. She was hospitalized in late November 2011.

Prior to November 2011, I had many, many, many voice mails from my mother. She would call and leave me voice messages all the time.

Is there any way to retrieve any of them? My mom’s phone number was [redacted] and she called me hundreds of times.

Please: If there is any way to retrieve even a single voice mail I would be grateful. I sadly have no recordings of my mother’s voice and it is breaking my heart.

I wanted to add something about how they could review my bill and they’d see that my mother and I talked almost every day of my whole life, or that she’d probably left me more voice mails than any other mother ever left for a son in the history of their company, or that I did not have a single recording of my mother saying my name and that I am overwhelmed with crushing sadness every time I try to remember the sound of her voice. But the form on the website only allowed a few hundred characters for some reason, so I had to be concise.

I received this response:

Dear Mr. Gagne,

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail AT&T regarding voice mail messages. My name is [name redacted], and it will be my pleasure to assist you today.

I am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but once the voice mail messages are deleted we are unable to retrieve the messages. When messages are saved, they are only saved for 14 days. After 14 days they are automatically deleted, not unless you go back into your voice mail and keep resaving them before the messages are due to expire.

I hope that the information provided has been helpful and has resolved all of your questions. Should you have additional concerns or questions about this issue please reply to this email. If you need to contact us again regarding a new issue please send us another email via the contact link through your online account. I thank you for being a valued AT&T customer. We will do our best to ensure that your wireless experience is a success, and AT&T hopes to serve you as your wireless provider for many more years to come. We truly appreciate your business. I hope you have a wonderful day!


[name redacted]
AT&T National Solution Centers