The iPhone's visual voicemail can be a convenience, but for people who do a lot of international travel, it's also a source of roaming charges, because the call that comes to your phone -- the first charge -- is forwarded to your voice mail -- the second charge -- when you don't answer, and then causes a third charge when you call to retrieve it. In others countries with GSM-based phone networks, it is possible to disable your iPhone's voicemail features; this does not work with US carriers.
AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon
Call your customer support number. For AT&T this is 1-800-331-0500, for T-Mobile, this is 1-800-937-8997 and for Verizon, this is 1-800-922-0204. You can also call this number by dialing *611 from your iPhone. Calling the 800 number will save you roaming charges if you're doing it from another country.
Follow the prompts to get to a live customer service representative. On all three of these carriers, saying "speak to an operator" will eventually get you to a service agent.
Ask the customer service agent disable voicemail for the specific telephone number. Be insistent that you do not want them to change your data plan.
- In European and Asian countries with fully GSM-compliant cellular telephone networks, you can disable voicemail by dialing #004# and pressing the "Call" button. To re-enable it, dial *004* and press the "Call" button. To check the status of your voicemail -- to see whether it's disabled or not -- dial *#004* from your iPhone. As of September 2012, neither of these codes work on AT&T or Verizon. These codes also work for disabling voicemail for phones other than the iPhone.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images