Monday, February 2, 2015

A Love Story: Phone Company Deletes Cherished Voicemail, But Technicians Get It Back.

Stan Beaton reacts when hearing his late wife's voice again.
A voice mail recording she made before her death was
deleted, but technicians eventually recovered it.  
Stan Beaton's wife died in 2003.

It comforted him a little that he kept his wife's voice on the home voice mail.

But recently, technical work by his telecom firm, Virgin Media, deleted the voice mail, and it was thought that it was permanetly deleted.

Beaton, 68, of Mirfield, West Yorkshire, England, was devastated by the loss of that snippet of his wife's voice, the BBC reports. He was initially told the voice was "lost forever."

"I've always resisted changing companies because whenever I mentioned that my wife's voice was our voicemail message and would it be retained and each company said no, so that's why I never changed.

Sadly, it disappeared. I was absolutely devastated by it, but also extremely angry......I just could not tell people how it affected me at that time. It really did devastate me."

But technicians at Virgin Media began to poke and prod and do all that alchemy with computer systems that tech geeks do, and got the voice mail with Beaton's wife back.

Given how a lot of big telecom companies aren't exactly awesome at customer service these days, you have to appreciate Virgin Media's efforts.  After all, the chances of getting that voice mail back were slim.

Here's what Rob Evans, executive director of engineering at Virgin Media said:

"It was like searching for a needle in a haystack, however, a team of 11 engineers spent three days tracking it down."

Here's a nice video of Beaton with the newly recovered voice mail message. What his late wife says is as mundane as possible, but given the importance to Beaton, also incredibly profound.


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