Solving a Verizon issue (Nexus 5X)

I solved a problem today and figured that I’d document it for the rest of the world. Every time someone left me a voicemail on Verizon, I would get a cryptic text from Verizon at 900080006202 that looked like “//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=NM;id=1;c=1;t=v;s=1XXXXXXXXXX;dt=18/01/2016 13:40-0900;l=13;dev_t=5” or “//VZWVVM:SYNC:ev=MBU;dev_t=5”.

Here’s what happened. It turns out that Verizon has three kinds of voicemail: basic voicemail (free), basic visual voicemail (also free), and premium visual voicemail ($2.99/month). I have a Nexus 5X and I recently switched from an unlimited Verizon data plan to a different plan (long story).

As part of that shift, it looks like Verizon switched me to visual voicemail. I suspect a lot of phones that you get at a Verizon store have some sort of visual voicemail app pre-installed. That app probably intercepts those cryptic texts and uses them to show a voicemail indicator. Ever wondered how the voicemail indicator disappears so fast after you call voicemail? I suspect that’s also because of a Verizon text that is interpreted by your phone.

But a Nexus 5X doesn’t have Verizon’s voicemail app, so it just presents texts from Verizon. To fix this issue, I stopped by a Verizon store and had a rep change me from “basic visual voicemail” to “basic voicemail,” and that fixed the issue. I don’t think you can toggle that setting yourself on Verizon’s website. Added: A friend told me that he got his voicemail changed to basic voicemail by chatting with a Verizon representative online. That might be easier/faster than visiting a Verizon store in person.

Nexus 5X rocks!

By the way, I love my Nexus 5X. It fits well in my hand, the camera is superb, and the fingerprint reader is blazingly fast. Also, the speed and accuracy of voice recognition on the Nexus 5X is amazing.

A final nice feature is that you can insert a Nano SIM card from any of the major carriers in the US. I often switch my Nexus 5X over to Google Fi in various situations; for example, Fi is great if you’re traveling outside the US.

HD Voice

One last tip if you’re still on Verizon: you can get HD Voice for free, but you have to enable it. HD Voice works via Voice over LTE, or VoLTE. HD Voice should have much better audio than a regular cell phone as long as both phones support it. On Verizon’s site, go to My Verizon->My Plan & Services->My Plan->Products & Apps->Manage Products & Apps and then click Free Products. Enable HD Voice on all your compatible lines on the website.

Then you need to enable HD Voice on each of your phones. On recent Android phones, look for Settings->More->Cellular networks->Enhanced 4G LTE Mode. On iPhones, look for Settings->Cellular->Enable LTE and select Voice & Data. More info on HD Voice and Advanced Calling on Verizon is in these FAQs.

What phone are you rocking right now, and how do you like it?

42 Responses to Solving a Verizon issue (Nexus 5X) (Leave a comment)

  1. [ Smiles ] I envy you, Matt.

    Unfortunately, we do not have 4G LTE in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as yet (But, we do have a reliable 4G network).

  2. Been having the same problem. Thanks for the post! I fixed mine by switching to google voice voicemail but will have to fix my parents the way you describe.

  3. Sounds good. Looking these features for my moto e 2nd generation.

  4. My old phone a Samsung wasn’t working so I had to get a new phone. I wanted a Nexus but the Rogers phone store was out (and didn’t know when the next shipment would be in) so I settled for an LG G4. I do like it, it takes awesome photos, but next time I hope to get a Nexus.

  5. Motorola Moto X, 2nd Generation. I love the phone! That said it’s older now and just 16GB so I’m on the market. My lead choice is the Nexus 5 however I’m concerned about the battery life. I’m going to wait for the new Nexus phones to come out this October and hope that Google makes a phone with 6P specs in a 5X size.

    Requiring 2 hands to operate my phone is a no-go when I have a 2 year old screaming in one arm and trying to find Santa Pups on Netflix with the other.

  6. I’m rocking with a iphone 5s, it’s time for an update to say the least!

  7. I wanted a phone for a long time but I work from home so I could never justify the cost of the major carriers. I need one about 6 times a year when I visit my daughter in Chicago or go to my one industry convention in Louisville. Otherwise a phone is a waste of my money. I didn’t like the “burner” phones because I also wanted to use the features of the smart phone when I’m on the road. Maps, finding special places to visit or the little restaurants off the beaten path. My work is online so I really wanted a phone that could do emails, and answer reader comments in a pinch while I was away from home.

    So when Google introduced Google Fi I knew that was exactly what I needed. I signed up for the invite – and waited. Fi turned out to be perfect for me. My bill is never over $25.

    That’s how I ended up with the Nexus 6. It has turned out to be such an important appliance that I now wonder how I got along without it. I can’t even think about the money I could have saved if I would have bought it when it first came out. Why?

    About 2 years ago I got sucked into thinking I needed Apple. I was making GoPro videos for my websites and the editing software really, only works on a Mac – so I bought a 5K iMac. I loved the screen so I thought I’d compliment that with an iPad Air 2. My wife decided to finally move her cd collection to an iPod Touch. But the more I looked at the Apple Universe the more I realized that it wasn’t about the technology. It was all about Apple making as much money as possible. Besides I had locked in to the Google/Chrome Universe years before so I didn’t need all the extra’s Apple thought I needed – along with the monthly fees. The fact that I couldn’t get a cheap phone plan for an Apple product or use any part of their cloud for free finally got me to thinking that I had made a mistake.

    So I ended up with the Nexus 6. I never owned a smartphone before so it took me a few months to learn what a smart phone can really do for me. Emails when I’m away from home, YouTube Red with no advertisements. Google Chrome anywhere. I love the screen size. It is perfect for my old eyes.

    And then Google made Photo storage free. I quickly learned I could take really good photos and videos with the Nexus 6 and they were automatically uploaded to Photos. I could then access them anywhere. I didn’t need to transfer them off a camera onto a computer and try to remember where they were on the computer. They were right there all the time and it didn’t matter if I was at home working on my WordPress sites, in a store talking to a factory rep or at my parents showing off the photos of the dogs. They are always right there.

    I love my Nexus 6.

    By the way, I gave the iMac and iPad to my daughter. She can use them with her photography studio. I replaced both with the HP Spectre x360 – 13-4195dx and an Envy 34c monitor. With the Nexus 6 my electronic world is finally in sync.

    All I need to do now is figure out what to do with a $1000 worth of GoPro equipment….


  8. Is there any way to get Marshmallow’s visual voicemail functionality working on Verizon?

  9. Looking these features for my moto e 2nd generation.

  10. Well Matt I’m using Moto Turbo right now but now I seemingly found Nexus 5X very interesting.
    One more interesting thing I found in my device is “OK Google”. It’s a fun with your device. Thanks Google making our life so easy. CHEERS !!!

  11. Thanks for the information, solved my problem too!

  12. Hello Matt, No Doubt Nexus 5x is a great phone. I enjoy it a lot.

  13. On this blog I’m most likely in the minority, but I love my iPhone. However, I’m really ticked about how I now have to pay a monthly fee for Apple music, when I’ve already purchased all the songs from itunes?!

    At this point in time I feel like I’ve invested soo much money in the “Appleverse” that if I switch to a Nexus or Samsung, the cost of catching up will be a tough pill to swallow.

    But, it might be the best thing to do. Thanks for sharing this info, I will have to start the research process now.

  14. Issues of Verizon voice mail on Nexus 5 took just 10 minutes to read. But, I went to Google Fi website. I spent almost 25 Minutes!
    Coming to the point, I understood about Google Fi today. Thanks for the Share! 🙂

  15. Hey,
    My nexus 5x is working perfectly alright till now. I never came across this problem but my friend who bought it before me came across this same problem so I would guide him the same above steps. And I totally agree with you that Nexus 5x rocks. It’s an amazing phone indeed. Thanks for sharing this post with us! 🙂

  16. I went for a Doogee x5 pro. The main requirements were that it allows duals-sim and fast use of internet. So I decided this time for a budget one and so far I´m really happy. Only issue I got is that Android 5.1 obviously doesn´t have a birthday field in the contact management anymore. But that is definitley a subject of the software and not the device.

  17. To be honest, I don’t even know what kind of a phone I have. It reads Samsung on it. Something my wife got me. I bet this was part of her plan to constantly check up on me 🙂

  18. I like it, but I do not have money to buy this one.
    Thank for your post.

  19. Nexus 5x is a great phone. Thank for your post.

  20. I have an iPhone and I love it, however in Ireland we don’t have visual voicemail.

  21. Hello Matt,

    Nexus have better camera,battery Android stock,design and fast charge.I enjoy it lot

  22. I have the iPhone with Verizon and love it. My LTE settings were set to data only. I changed to Voice & Data and that made a huge difference in my call quality. Great tip, thank you!

  23. I would like to see the 5x but I can’t find it in any stores near me. I’m wondering how battery life is. Can a heavy user make it all day?

  24. What phone, you ask?

    Palm Treo 650.

    Verizon, this past last month or so, persistently kept trying to update it and failing, and every morning, when I left the PDA sleep overnight (even with the phone part OFF) I’d find the battery at one percent and a message about needing to connect to the Internet now. Found out Verizon has changed to insist every user have a data plan — even if you don’t have an Internet-capable portable phone. Verizon was trying to connect to that overnight. Lord knows what they were trying to get or put.

    Hasn’t happened for a few days — It’s quit killing its battery overnight and that Verizon thing has stopped appearing. It’s possible they have finally started accepting the checkbox options on that prompt for “No” and “Never ask me again” which they’d been ignoring.

    It’s a phone, I use it like a portable answering machine.
    If I remember, I turn it on at least once a day.

    Kind of funny though to be in a crowd of people these days.

    When I put away the Treo 650 and pull out the Clie TH55 to read something, I get funny looks.

  25. I hope that the next Nexus variant will be more affordable than its predecessors. If not, hope the prices for third world countries would be different.

  26. I just bought the Nexus 6P and it is receiving the same cryptic messages from VZW on the standard ‘Messenger’ and ‘Verizon Messages’….. I can learn to live with it though…if you click on the cryptic message it should display the phone number that left the VM.

    Thanks for the heads up on the HD Voice…this is awesome news!!!

  27. I wanted to buy Nexus 5X, but my Nexus 4 broke like a month too early and 5X price in Europe was a bit too much. So I ended up with Motorola Moto X Play, as my main problem with Nexus 4 was always battery and Moto X Play had 3630mAh battery. Other important factors were near stock Android with promise of future updates and CPU/GPU/RAM combination that looked like it was going to be fast enough. I have to say that I\’m satisfied.

  28. Ok. I am really tired of usual visual interfaces in computers and mobiles. It is not friendly at all. You know, we need to add humanity to interfaces. how we connect each other in society, in home and anywhere? Do we push and drag each other?!…well, all of these are a start for next step.
    a new interface.
    Good luck

  29. I respectfully disagree that the voice recognition on the Nexus 5x rocks. It’s far worse than my old iPhone 5, and I’ve been using it for more than 4 months now constantly correcting it via the keyboard when composing texts and emails (e.g., I’ve been instead of Ivan, working instead of lurking, etc).

  30. Matt when you are coming back to the job? Till that time didn’t get any effective algorithmic changes.

  31. Hey! Thank you for your great post and the information
    This also solved my problem!

  32. It worked. Thanks…I had called Verizon earlier and they didn’t know.

  33. I’ m encountered the same issue Matt on my HTC M10, thanks for your patience to figure out how to solve it and for sharing it. It’s now working for me 🙂

  34. I have the Nexus 6P and it’s easily my favorite phone ever…although I think we are all used to pulling our Samsung or HTC out of the box and having every functionality app known to man. For me, it was the lack of a user-facing file manager that first drove me nutty for the first few days.

    Why did you settle for the 5X over the 6P though Matt?

  35. 5x is great overall but i am not quite pleased with the build quality. It’s time they move towards full metal construction. I mean come on, even the inexpensive models from some Chinese manufacturers have that now a days.

  36. I always thought you had the latest Nexus, can’t wait the next ones, i’m glad you solved this problem 😀

  37. Looking these features for my moto e 2nd generation.

  38. It worked. I had called Verizon earlier and they didn’t know. thank you for sharing..

  39. These are the solution:

    There are some work-around, but in reality, your goal is to get a nano SIM activated on your account by any means necessary. Here are some things to try.

    Solution 1: Go to this Verizon page and test the IMEI on your phone to see if it’s “compatible” with Verizon’s network. Today (October 22), it’ll tell you that it is not, even though it technically is. Basically, this page is a tool to see if Verizon has certified the new Nexus phones or not. If you get the error below, they haven’t certified it yet. If you don’t get that error and it accepts your phone, then you are good! Feel free to walk into a store and get a nano SIM activated.

    Solution 2: Try to convince anyone at a Verizon store to activate a nano SIM in something like a floor model. They can do this, but have probably been told not to. Some store managers or rebel sales reps will do it, but the chances of you finding one are probably pretty slim. Hey, give it a shot, though. You see, by activating a nano SIM for you in a demo phone (even temporarily), you are winning because remember, your goal was to get a nano SIM activated on your account. Once you have it, you have it and can slap that little guy in your Nexus phone and be on your way.

    Solution 3: Convince a friend or family member with a phone that uses a nano SIM to let you borrow it for a few minutes. Basically, you just need their phone to take into a store or use online to get a nano SIM activated. Once you have an active nano SIM, they can have their phone back and can also put their SIM back in. Then you also now have an active SIM that can be placed inside your Nexus.

    Solution 4: If you have an active micro SIM, you can cut it down to a nano SIM. It’s not a difficult process, but it does require some specific tools that you can get at places like Amazon for a few dollars. Here are instructions for cutting a micro SIM down to a nano SIM.

    These are the solution i think that was right but I’m not sure but for my point of view this was the great solution. Good Luck!