Fido Doesn’t Play Nice With Third-Party Voicemail Services

Tod is, to put it mildly, unhappy with Fido (they apparently rebranded–who knew?). He’s a user of PhoneTag, a voicemail-to-text service with which we fell in love while living in Malta and Morocco. It enabled us to defer calls (and the associated crippling international charges) and call people back using the dirt-cheap Skype..

As Tod reports, Fido has discontinued “Conditional Call Forwarding”:

This is when someone calls me and I don’t answer or I’m out of range, the call forwards to my voicemail service.

In other words, how every voicemail system on the planet works.

I use a voicemail service called which transcribes the message into text and emails it to me. As Fido does not offer this service, I’m forced to use this outside service.

But now, you’ve disabled the ability for me to use such a service. In fact, you now bar all your customers from using ANY voicemail provider other than yours.

It’s sleazy. It seems like a cheap, amateurish grab for money–forbidding your customers to use any voicemail service that’s not yours. Besides being unethical, it’s against the spirit of the Competition Act.

That’s not cool. I don’t use PhoneTag anymore, but I’d be filled with a particular flavour of anti-Fido rage if they’d turned off access while we were living abroad.

UPDATE: Good news–Fido apparently reversed their decision.


  1. I spent the better part of the last year filled with a whole tasting menu of anti-Fido rage. From overcharging me (7 months in a row) to changing my contract start date to charging me $300 extra when canceling my account, they weren’t doing themselves any image favours.

  2. I’ve regularly thought of changing my mobile provider from Telus (ever since I dumped their home Internet service years ago), but I have yet to see any evidence that another Canadian carrier is any better. And at least Telus’s coverage is good and customer service decent, for me.

  3. So….Fido is the ONLY service provider in Canada that has ever offered this (it’s a standard feature of unlocked GSM networks).

    It’s literally a switch that can get flipped.

    Rogers, of course, has this locked down and has never offered it.

    Derek: you can’t do this with Telus, either, AFAIK.

    The summary: Canadian Telco backwater!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: