Google Voicemail Issues - phantom ObiTalk Device

Started by alivoiper, December 02, 2021, 07:24:55 AM

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I noticed that I hadn't gotten any voicemails in a while so I tested my voicemail and when I called I would get a series of beeps instead of my voicemail.

I chatted with Google voice support and they thought it might be my obi devices. We removed them, re-added them and tested a bunch of combinations. It appeared to be intermitant.

I've tested it, quite extensively (3+ hours) and I think I found the cause.

Some background : I have Google Voice set up to forward calls to my Tmobile phone and also use GV for tmobile voicemail. I also have 3 obi devices.

I've had this setup for many years and never had a problem and regularly get voicemails. Does not matter if they called my GV number OR my cell. I made no changes to my setup.

What appears to be happening is that a phantom Obi device is showing up in my GV account. I have 3 obi devices so I didn't notice this before. When I remove all of them, GV works just fine. When I set my GV to do no disturb GV works fine. When I add the Obi devices back, GV works fine.

Then the problem reappears.

When the problem comes back, what appeared to be happening is when someone calls me - unless it goes right to voicemail - it rings for a while. When this happens, eventually the caller hears the beeping. I had suspected that it was ringing too long and the inbound call "gives up" and gets the beeping. I thought it was a loop where the caller tries my cell and then the cell does conditional calling to my GV number then that keeps ringing for a while and then the beeping. The same thing happens when someone calls my GV number because the phone rings on my GV (web, obi etc) and ALSO rings on my cell. If I don't pick up - I suspected - that tmobile's conditional calling kicks in and it goes into a loop.

To figure out the problem, I added another GV number and linked that ONLY to my cell. I put that GV number into do not disturb. As a result, when someone calls my cell and I don't pick up it goes to the new GV number and they get my voicemail.

I thought that solved the problem. Then it happened again, only when calling my GV number (the first one).

What I then realized was that after a little while, a "new" Obitalk device with another number appeared in my GV account. To be clear, I made no changes to my GV account and I also did not make any changes on the Obi side. However, whenever this phantom Obitalk device comes back into my GV account, the problem starts again. When I remove it, everything works fine.

I removed it last night, and it worked. This AM the problem started again and after 2 hours of testing, I realized that the phantom Obi device was on there. I removed it and all works well now.

No clue why this is happening. I suspect the phantom device will come back again, only because it came back last night.

Thank you for your help.


Update: After about 20 minutes the phantom device reappeared and the problem started again.

Since my cell is now connected to a different GV number, the problem does not happen there anymore. It only happens when someone calls my first GV number and it rings many times. Ie, the GVoicemail does not pick up. When I remove the phantom device from my GV account the problem goes away.


That smells like somebody else has access to your GV account.  Look very carefully and gather as much info about the phantom device when it appears again.  Does any setting or phone number or whatever you can glean from the phantom device give you any clues to what it is or how it is getting on to your account?

Edit: Also try "Legacy Google Voice", you get to it from the 3-bar menu icon at the top left of your google voice screen.  There might be more info to be gathered from looking at the device there too.


I figured it out. Took me many hours.

It seems like my GV is taking longer to answer calls. Its causing a second phone to answer in my house that beeps after 10 rings. Maybe I accidentally increased the number of rings on my GV before it answers a call?


Quote from: alivoiper on December 02, 2021, 11:35:37 AM
Maybe I accidentally increased the number of rings on my GV before it answers a call?
Don't think so. That is not adjustable.

Is your "beeps after 10 rings" phone one with an integrated answering machine?


Yes. I've unplugged that machine. What's strange is that I've had that same machine for many many years plugged into the obi202. This just started happening.

Very strange because the answering machine didn't change when it picks up. In fact, its off, but apparently after 10 rings it goes into "remote" mode where you can check messages remotely even when the answering machine is off. Thats why it was beeping. Not sure if Google voicemail is picking up a little later than it used to (could be a fraction of a second) and then the machine picks up. The good news is that it was an easy fix to unplug. I guess I have to get a different cordless phone system.