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Nathan
Nathan, Technician
Category: Phone Systems
Satisfied Customers: 23116
Experience:  Residential and commercial systems.
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How can I recover deleted messages from an answering machine

This answer was rated:

How can I recover deleted messages from an answering machine on a regular cordless phone set?

p0llinate :

Hello, and welcome to justanswer/pearl, a pay site for expert technical help. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’ll be assisting you today.


 


First a brief overview of the process: This is a live chat format, so I’ll need to communicate back and forth with you. You’ve already paid a deposit or membership to post your question here. I am an independent tech, and am volunteering my time unpaid until our chat is concluded. At that time I’ll request you click the EXCELLENT smiley face to close out our chat. It is my intention to solve your problem with a quick, honest, and helpful answer. My goal is for a rating of Excellent Service. You may receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel I’ve earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.


 


Should you feel the need to provide a negative rating of Bad or Poor Service, please wait and let me know what I can do to clarify or more thoroughly answer your question, and remember you are rating me personally, not the negative rating, please withhold your rating and let me know so I may either close your question or find you another expert to work with. A negative rating will not initiate a refund. Please know that not all issues can be fixed online; in those cases of a hardware failure, I’ll troubleshoot and diagnose the problem, and provide a practical recommendation for how to proceed.


 


My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority. Let’s get started!


_________________________


p0llinate :

Hi there, could you tell me the make/model of the answering machine? There is a remote possibility, but to be honest up front, chances are very low that you'll be able to recover the messages without a great deal of time and expense. Let me know the model, and I can elaborate further.

Customer:

Panasonic KX-TG2343 2.4 GHz Digital Cordless Answering System

p0llinate :

Can you tell me when they were deleted, and how (meaning did you press a button/code to delete all messages, or were they deleted individually?) How long ago did this happen, and have new messages been recorded since?

Customer:

They were deleted about 20 minutes ago. I was trying to skip though the messages and accidently used the erase button. No new messages have been received. Should I take the phone off the hook so no other messages can be recorded?

Customer:

Or can I turn the answering machine off?

p0llinate :

This does help somewhat,

p0llinate :

in that they haven't been overwritten by new messages.

p0llinate :

But it will still be difficult to retrieve them, and not something you can do yourself.

p0llinate :

There is no mechanism for retrieving a deleted message, you cannot restore them yourself. Once they are deleted, the messages are, for all intents and purposes, gone. These machines are very basic, and don't have a "recycle bin" that can be accessed like your computer does.

p0llinate :

Since it was recent and no new messages have overwritten it, you have a better chance of recovery though. To do so, you'd need to take the machine in to a data recovery specialist. There are often local shops, with names like Data Doctors, they specialize in retrieving lost information from computer hard drives, memory cards, etc. They may be able to pull something off, if the messages haven't been overwritten, though the process is time consuming (often many weeks), and expensive (several hundred $), and would require dismantling the machine to the point it couldn't be used again. In theory, if they could extract the files, they'd copy them to a CD for you for long term storage.

p0llinate :

So overall, while this is a remote possibility, the probability is high that you'll never be able to get these back. I apologize for being the bearer of bad news here, unfortunately there is no other practical way around this, these machines simply aren't designed for long term archival and don't make any accommodations at all for un-deleting, which I've confirmed previously with pansonic engineers, as this is a common problem.

Customer:

O.K. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX couldn't help me. Am I supposed to pay even though you couldn't help?

p0llinate :

Well, that is up to your discretion. While the site does have a satisfaction guarantee, in this case the limitations of the pansonic system (and really, all answering machines) prevent me from "fixing" the problem. I do wish I could give a more optimistic answer, it just isn't practical in this instance. Typically in these cases it is customary to accept the answer, in recognition of my time and effort to provide the answer and explain the issue, even though it cannot really be fixed.

p0llinate :

If my time and efforts were of no value at all to you, I can arrange for a refund of your deposit for you.

p0llinate :

If my answers were helpful, at least in saving you some time and frustration pursuing something that cannot be done, you may click one of the positive (top 3) smiley faces to give me a favorable rating for my time.

p0llinate :

Also, while you may not be able to get these messages back, a suggestion I'd make for the future is to switch from an answering machine to a voicemail service through your phone/cable company. Especially in cases of digital phone service, you can often access and archive your messages online, which would allow you to save any important messages to your computer or a disc, to ensure their long term preservation.

p0llinate :

I see you've rated me with poor service.

p0llinate :

A negative rating will only harm me personally and does not refund your deposit. If a refund is your preference, I'll be happy to arrange that for you, but I need to know how you would like to proceed.

p0llinate :

Again I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news here today, but please do not "shoot the messenger", as I've spent my time in a good faith attempt to answer your question.

Customer:

O.K., then I misunderstood the process. I thought I had to do that to get a refund. You answered the best you could but as you said it was of no benefit to me. If you can get me a refund if I rate you good, then I'll be happy to do it.

p0llinate :

Yes I can do that, if that is what you wish.

p0llinate :

I won't be compensated at all for my personal time, but it is better than having a negative rating on my record here, so I would be open to that.

Customer:

O.K. Nathan, then I will rate you good and you'll get me a refund, right?

p0llinate :

After you complete the rating, I'll send a note over to customer service to process a refund for you. (I'm not a site employee, so I don't have access to your account to do it directly, so it won't be immediate)

p0llinate :

Yes I certainly will. In a few days, you'll likely get an email survey, and I would greatly appreciate a positive rating from you there as well. It is not an indicator of the problem being fixed, but rather of my service/efforts.

p0llinate :

You should usually see the refund on your credit card/bank in a couple of days.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX it.

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