What’s wrong with YouMail?

YouMail Visual Voicemail Plus

Late last week YouMail launched Visual Voicemail Plus, a free visual voicemail application that works on the Blackberry Pearl, Curve, Bold and Storm. I like the sound of free, and a new visual voicemail application is always worth a try, but reports are surfacing that YouMail might not yet be up to snuff. Here’s what our main man Troy had to say over at BlackBerry News:

After 24 hours it is safe to say a lot work still needs to go into the application before it is ready for prime time much like the transcription service they charge for now. Many users including myself have experienced nothing but problems with the application… Maybe with all the ad revenue from placing ads on every aspect of your messages they can now put a little more money into their projects and refine their service. Time will tell.

We’re going to give YouMail our own thorough hands-on, but we recommend that you give it a try and post a comment on your experience. If you’re not willing to take the risk, however, post a comment and let us know of your favorite visual voicemail alternative.

51 Responses to “What’s wrong with YouMail?”

  1. 1 Kevin

    I’ve been using Vymail and it works perfectly fine with Youmail. Admittedly, I don’t pay for the transcription service because I don’t really need it. The free transcriptions are hilariously bad. Outside of that, the service nice for being free. Better than VZW’s voicemail, that’s for sure.

  2. 2 Jason "VerSe" Anderson

    Mines is PhoneTag, though their SimulSays beta app seen to be on the fritz lately with too many problems. Currently trying out the YouMail app. So far no issues, but then again I don’t get a lot of voicemail often, so if I started getting a surge of them I could see for sure. UI wise it could use some work. If definitely isn’t winning any beauty contest!

  3. 3 Neng

    although some people have been complaining about youmail, i’ve had relatively good luck using the youmail blackberry client. when i first installed the application, i was having problems playing voice mail messages, but then the problem was resolved after making some changes to my account and then uninstalling and re-installing. after it was up and running, the next day, i kept getting the error message “network delays. message still downloading”. i sent an email to their support, but never received a response. instead, later in the day, i started the application and was prompted to download a newer version. after updating to 0.93.14, it’s working again. overall, there is room for improvements, but for a free application and service, it’s a pretty good deal.


    1. It has the ability to import contacts, but doesn’t import the associated contact pictures.
    2. Volume is very low, and it doesn’t seem to be adjustable
    3. When playing back messages, you can’t play over your speakerphone.
    4. the storm’s touchscreen isn’t supported yet, so the keyboard takes up half of the screen


    1. Can assign customized greetings (many free greetings to choose from online) for each contact or group.
    2. Call management features

  4. 4 Bill

    I had the same problem until I figured it out. It uses your WAP settings and I didn’t have it set up (and there is not setup that tells you that).

  5. 5 warkrismagic

    I’ve been using the YouMail service for a few weeks now and so far I think its great. In regards to the visual voicemail app I use and highly recommend an app called vymail which works great with youmail, and IMO has a nicer interface then the official app, though it doesn’t have some of the nice features like contact integration though I have read that that’s planned for future releases.

  6. 6 A-Pow

    I agree with Kevin. Been using Vymail and it works great. No transcription for me. When I heard about this app being released I just tagged it on delicious and went on with my day. I didn’t bother installing it because I saw no new functionality over what Joe Krill put together. It’s just not worth my time to try and after hearing a few reports I’m glad I didn’t.

  7. 7 jeremy

    Its a beta. Cut them some slack. If you don’t like, use your browser…

  8. 8 Carnell W

    Vymail is way better. I cant say much more. Try them both out and see for yourself

  9. 9 Carlton

    I’ve been using Youmail now for about 2 months & never really had an issuse. I use it alomg with VY Mail. Both work well. Now on the email side that gets slow from time to time, but i don’t use the email side of. Overall No problems here.

  10. 10 Kevin

    So it seems we agree that the answer to the question posed in the initial post is “nothing” since there’s nothing wrong with Youmail itself. It’s their alpha-quality app that has the problem. I realize you have to title articles to catch attention, but come on. Perhaps “What’s wrong with Youmail’s blackberry app?” would have been more apropos.

  11. 11 Derek

    I have been using youmail’s paid transcription service for 6 months and I LOVE IT!! I used to be with callwave and their transcriptions weren’t even close. You mail is word perfect verbatim! I have not downloaded or tried the new BB client but for 4-7$ a month no one can touch their transcription service. couldnt be happier.

  12. 12 Dan

    Actually the bug is that you must use a 4 digit pin. My pin was originally 6 digits and I got the same error. Go to the website, change yours to 4 digits, then it will work on your Blackberry.

  13. 13 Underwhelmed

    Service may work fine, but the blackberry client is pretty awful.

    1) You have to tell it to check voicemail (go to the app, select ‘check messages’ from menu)
    2) You then have to confirm with a click that you really want to check your messages.
    3) You then have to wait awhile for things to download.
    4) Along the way, you can’t put the call on speakerphone and you can’t control the volume.

    All told this is far more hassle than just holding down the 1 key.

  14. 14 AlexQuilici

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    We’ve listened, and pushed out a major revision to the YouMail BB application. Some of the big changes:
    - Support for the Storm. It runs in compatibility mode, but runs well.
    - Much better support for phones w/limited memory (users can use the card vs. memory, choose to download messages automatically or manually, and more). BTW, if you have text message alerts on, it will detect them and automatically download the voicemail.
    - Much smarter about appropriately playing through speaker or headset or handset, as well as providing settings to control that.
    - Most importantly, as far as we can tell, the connection/authentication issues reported here and elsewhere are now gone, with much clearer error messages that point to the source of any problem (e.g., incorrect pin).
    - The UI is improved, with better icons and better per-device customization.

    Please let us know what you think of this version.

    BTW - we continue to work to provide better support for VyMail as well, so YouMail users have a choice of BB applications.

    CEO, YouMail

  15. 15 Dan

    I appreciate the new version but it returns a java error while trying to download voicemail and quits on my 8900

  16. 16 AlexQuilici

    Hi Dan-

    Send us a note at marketing AT youmail.com with your phone number - we’ve tested this thoroughly on various simulators, without any issues, but it would be helpful if we could have a quick conversation with you about your particular phone to see if we can track down what’s happening. The only issue we’re seeing similar to what you mention occurs if someone doesn’t do a reboot after the installation of the new app - but there may well be something we’re not aware of.

    CEO, YouMail

  17. 17 Brian

    Hi, just signed up for YouMail and love it. I loaded YouMail Visual Voicemail plus and when I enter my phone number and pin to sign in I get a error message that says “CONNECTION ERROR. TRY AGAIN LATER”. I loaded VyMail and that application seems to work with YouMail fine. Any ideas?

  18. 18 AlexQuilici


    Please send us a note with your contact info (to marketing AT youmail.com) - we’ll get the developers to work with you to see what’s happening. We’ve seen most of the connection errors be timing things around the phone’s data connection, but we’re looking to see if anything else is happening. The same holds for anyone else having issues.

    CEO, YouMail

  19. 19 mashi

    i have same error CONNECTION ERROR. TRY AGAIN LATER. i have 2 blackberry. 8900 and 9000. 8900 on tmobile work. 9000 on att got that error

  20. 20 AlexQuilici

    We still occasionally see connection errors, but just about everytime now it’s because the basic network settings on the phone have somehow gotten changed from what’s standard.

    There are two things to try:

    1) change the connection settings of the App to “Auto” and “None” (and if that doesn’t work to “Auto” and “Direct Desired”), which uses a different connection mechanism in the phone.

    2) call AT&T, telling them you’re having difficulties accessing certain web sites, and ask them to reset the APN to the defaults.

    If that doesn’t fix it - please ping us at marketing AT youmail.com with your account information and we’ll work with you to see what else it is.

    CEO, YouMail

  21. 21 Denise

    when signing up for the youmail account on my blackberry bold, it asks for my 10 digit phone number but will not allow me to put anything in.
    Any suggestions?

  22. 22 AlexQuilici

    Hi Denise. Your problem most likely occurs because you denied the YM application permission to access the phone - so it can’t get the phone number, which is usually gets and fills in automatically (and doesn’t let people edit). Just delete, reinstall, and make sure to give the application permission to access the phone.

  23. 23 Slaton

    Hi. I’ve been using the YouMail BB app for a couple of months on a Curve 8330 and Verizon service. I haven’t had any issues with it. However, I installed the same BB app on my GF’s phone ( Curve 8320 and T-Mobile service ) and I’m getting the “CONNECTION ERROR. TRY AGAIN LATER” error.

    Has anyone figured this error out yet? I have tried the suggestions above to no avail. I am going to try again after uninstalling & reinstalling the app when I get home tonight.

    Thank you

  24. 24 AlexQuilici

    We see very few connection errors now. The usual fixes seem to be (1) delete/uninstall, reboot, install, reboot - guarantees a clean installation, (2) make sure the “settings” for YM show TCP, (3) calling the carrier and asking them to reset the APN settings on the phone. If those don’t work, give us a call at 800-374-0013 and we can dive deeper.

  25. 25 Slaton Smith

    Thank you AlexQuilici. Calling T-Mobile got it fixed. Apparently the APN was never set up to start with. Getting that set up fixed the problem right up. Appreciate the help and quick response.

  26. 26 james elyko

    i downloaded the visual voicemail app to my verizon Storm, and it takes like 2 hours for my phone to show voicemail. its on the website but not on phone? what should my connection settings be?

  27. 27 AlexQuilici

    Slow downloading has historically meant these three things (a) large inbox to move over, (b) slow data connection to phone, and (c)limited memory on phone. Are you able to quickly browse web sites - that would eliminate slow data connection? And do you have a media card - you can go to settings to have YouMail use that instead.
    Feel free to contact us at 800-374-0013 if you’re still having issues.

  28. 28 james elyko

    Large inbox is not my issue,i get maybe 2-3 voicemails a day.
    My data connection is very fast, i browse very quickly, so thats not it.
    I have an 8GB CARD in my phone that is basically empty, so thats not it either.
    also i have emailed Youmail tech support with no response, also i have tried calling the number you provided for 2 days and it sends me to a mailbox that is full. WHAT NOW? delete the app because it doesn’t work i guess.?

  29. 29 AlexQuilici

    Yes, if you have a fast data connection, an 8gb card that YouMail knows about in the settings (and is using instead of the default), and a small inbox, it looks like there’s an unusual, unknown issue on your particular phone and our application won’t work for you at this time. We’d need to look into conflicting applications, specific phone configuration, funny firewall issues, etc…

    We’re sorry for any inconvenience. And we’re sorry tech support didn’t respond - this is an unusual problem so they likely didn’t know how to handle it and were trying to research solutions. We’ll work with them to ensure quicker responses.

  30. 30 james elyko

    OK, so in the meantime what do i do? i cannot get ahold of tech support so does that mean i cant use the service? i have been on crackberry.com and i have seen others who do not get there voicemail in a quick fashion either. so its not just me. whats my next step?

  31. 31 AlexQuilici

    We’re aware of 3-4 other people with similar issues that weren’t fixable by changing settings.

    I hate to say this, but at this point, you’re stuck and won’t be able to use our application.

    That leaves you two choices:
    1) You can try VyMail - a third party Visual Voicemail application for YouMail available at joekrill.com
    2) You can wait for our subsequent releases to see if they fix the issue, as we’re planning a new release of the application in the very near term, including server-side improvements, and a follow up will occur soon after that.

  32. 32 JP

    Hire someone to answer your email.

    After changing my PIN on the YouMail website, my YouMail Blackberry Bold app constantly tells me that my PIN is no longer valid. There doesn’t appear to be any way to update my PIN.

    I’ve disabled auto-logon from the admin panel on the yet the YouMail app on my phone does not require me to enter my PIN and still downloads my messages.

    Make a smart voicemail message that does not advertise for YouMail. I like the “Hi, John” part. I don’t like “The YouMail user…” part. I paid your $19.99/yr to get rid of the ads, yet I still have to deal with this?

    The YouMail app doesn’t immediately alert me when a new message arrives. It’s definitely not efficient (I like my battery life) to query the website all the time but I get instant email notification to my phone when a new voicemail arrives. Why not just let the email box tell you when a new message arrives. Or, check for new messages right after a missed call. Now I have to rely on my email to tell me when I’ve got a new message, then I go to the YouMail app and manually tell it to check messages.

  33. 33 AlexQuilici

    Hi JP.

    As a premium subscriber, you’re supposed to get e-mail/phone support quickly, and we’re staffed to handle it. We’ll take a look at what’s happening there.

    To your comments, they’re all reasonable. The next version of the application, in beta, and submitted to AppWorld for distribution, handles pin changes correctly, and lets you control whether and when YouMail pings the site. If you want to try the beta out, let us know (marketing AT youmail.com), and we’ll see if it solves your problems.

    On the smart greetings, if you’ve entered your name, it should say your name vs. saying the YouMail user, as long as the name is one we’re aware of and have recorded in our system.


  34. 34 JJ Loy

    Hello, I’ve got the brand-newest YouMail app, dowloaded via AppWorld for the BB Storm. I love the YouMail Service but I’ve always thought the app/client is terribly designed. Only vertical view, scrolling is unintuitive.

    I was complaining about it to my sister (who has the same model of BB storm that I do). She had no idea what I was talking about! She pulls up her youmail app and it works just like a regular Storm app. I think I’ve gotten a version for a non-Storm BlackBerry. I’ve tried to reinstall, with no luck. Is this a problem with AppWorld not recognizing my model, or a settings issue with youmail? Please help.

  35. 35 AlexQuilici


    Try going to the BB application settings for YouMail
    (Options->Advanced->Applications->YouMail) and change the compatibility mode setting (turn it off).

    For some reason, you’re in compatability mode - getting out of it makes the YouMail app (and many others run much better)


  36. 36 JJ Loy

    @AlexQuilici Thank you a million times! It was weird, compatibility mode was already off, but i toggled it twice, with a restart between each iteration. Now compatibility mode is disabled AND the youmail client is wonderful.

  37. 37 jasoncarpenter

    Why is it that new messages do not show up on the actual youmail app. I recieve the email confirmation and they post quickly online but I have yet to recieve a single one on my BB Storm as of yet.

  38. 38 james elyko

    Hey Jason Carpenter, I have had the same issues as you are having . If you scroll up you can see my issues are the same as yours.the response was from Alex that they can’t help us. What BS.

  39. 39 AlexQuilici

    Sorry for the delay in responding. We’ve been trying to track down the problem and have found an issue that explains what you’re seeing.

    The quick fix is uninstall the app, and do one of two things:
    1) Reinstall, and avoid using “greetings” (which can cause the problem in certain edge cases).
    2) Use VyMail, found at joekrill.com

    We’ll have a new version that fixes the problem shortly (ideally Wednesday)

  40. 40 Mike

    @AlexQuilici - My wife’s BB storm is having similar problems to this thread. I have a few quick questions

    1) you mentioned new version (ideally Wednesday) - When I go Options -> Advanced -> Applications and select YouMail, the version shows as; is this the new version and if not what version should I be looking for ?

    2) The application is not running in compatibility mode, *appears to* connect to youmail properly if I select Settings -> Alerts so I *think* the connection is good. I can’t get it to successfully Check Messages on the server, even after trying everything in this thread. Any thoughts? new version?


  41. 41 Jon

    Hey there,

    I downloaded YouMail & VYMail… For some reason my smart greeting isn’t working, by that I mean it is not saying the callers name. How do I fix this? Does this pull the callers name from my contact list or from Caller ID?

    Can you please tell me how to fix this??



  42. 42 AlexQuilici

    Hi Jon…Ping marketing AT youmail.com with your accuont info and we’ll look into it.

    YouMail smart greeting pulls from address book first, caller id second. However, 99% of the time, a report that Smart Greetings isn’t working has been tracked to us not having the name of a caller in our database of recorded names.

  43. 43 AlexQuilici

    Mike, James, Jason-

    We did an update on Monday at the AppWorld - it’s still labeled at the .96.0 release, but it should fix the issues you guys are mentioning. Please let me know if an uninstall, install cycle doesn’t fix it.


  44. 44 Steve

    Hey Alex,

    I was having the same issues as James (minus the bitterness) and was hoping that the new update would fix it, but alas, no luck. YouMail will only download my voicemails only if I am connected to a WiFi network. Thats better than nothing, but if I can only get it working 24/7, I would run out into the streets to praise YouMail to all my blackberry friends! Anyways, I’m a Tmobile subscriber (EDGE network) and am using the Blackberry Curve 8320 w/software version Let me know what the deal is, Thanks!

    (ps: its pretty impressive that the CEO of this company is “personally” addressing everyones issues on this forum…keep up the good work!)

  45. 45 AlexQuilici


    The past week or two we’ve been seeing a set of T-mobile people who for whatever reason need to have their APN reset (the symptom is (a) not a corporate user, and (b) getting connection hung at the 10% mark). The fact that you can pick them up over WiFi also points to the problem being the APN.

    It’s probably worth a 611 to T-mobile asking for that - it only takes a couple of minutes and has fixed most of these.


  46. 46 JP

    Please update your website with the latest version of YouMail. If you hadn’t noticed, a lot of people (including me) are having problems with Blackberry App World getting stuck mid-download and preventing you from ever being able to complete or redownload that program. I think to allow me to start a new download for it, you’d have to update the version on the Appworld. Making changes and reuploading it under the same version number doesn’t help. To avoid BB Appworld’s crappiness, just have the latest version available on your website for ota download.

  47. 47 AlexQuilici

    Hi JP-

    We understand that AppWorld has its challenges.

    We’re working on finding a way to have alternatives to AppWorld that don’t kill us with customer support issues - one big problem is the huge number of people who try to download OTA on phones, carriers, and O/Ss that we don’t support and then slam support with issues, requiring that we track down what happened, which forces us to spend a lot of time on people who can’t use YouMail vs. helping the ones that are using it.

    AppWorld only lets people see it when it’ll work on their phone, which eliminates this entire issue for us (which is really, really material at the scale we’re now hitting).


    PS: in the meantime, the solution in your case is likely to delete the app, redownload/install (which may be the .9), then upgrade. We’re also close to the next full App release, which will have a new version number, which should make things more straightforward.

  48. 48 greenasp

    how do I setup vm on the new 9630 blackberry tour? *004*….. does not work.

  49. 49 AlexQuilici

    Hi GreenASP…which carrier are you on? And are you on any kind of prepaid plan - the carriers don’t allow call forwarding on those. You can e-mail us your info at marketing AT youmail.com and we’ll help you out.

  50. 50 greenasp

    I am on verizon.

  51. 51 AlexQuilici

    Greenasp - please send your contact info to marketing AT youmail.com so the team can help you. It’s really hard to locate/fix unusual issues by trading comments - and with what we’ve heard so far (VZ, 9630 Tour), there’s isn’t a known explanation why conditional call forwarding isn’t working. We have lots of VZ users already on the Tour w/YouMail.


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