How to Turn Off Telstra MessageBank

Telstra Message Bank

What is Telstra MessageBank and what is it used for?

You can’t answer every call, and even if you could, there’s a good chance you might now want to. These days, people simply prefer text messages to phone calls, especially teenagers and young adults.

So what happens if you do get a phone call? Well, many people might ignore that phone call and wait for a text instead. In other cases, you could miss that call if you’re busy, if your network is out of range, or if your phone battery is flat. Any of these scenarios will result in a missed call, which just might have been an important call. So how do you know what the call was about?

Telstra’s MessageBank is a voicemail system that allows callers to leave a voice message whenever they can’t reach you. Instead of an ended call after several rings, callers are diverted to a default or personalised greeting, after which they leave a message. This comes in handy because it can give tell you exactly what the call was about, and you can decide to call back (or text back, if you’re a millenial).

MessageBank comes with some key features: 

  • A generous storage which holds up to sixty 5-minute voice messages.
  • Unpaid messages remain saved for 14 days, while messages that have been played are saved for up to 7 days.
  • You can extend your ring time to give yourself more time to get to the phone before MessageBank takes over. 
  • Call forwarding to another number. 
  • MessageBank doesn’t incur any monthly access fees, and call forwarding is also included at no charge.

However, while your Telstra MessageBank Standard feature doesn’t incur any monthly access fees, retrieving voicemails might come at a cost. Customers on Telstra postpaid SIM plans are charged 30 cents per 30 seconds of retrieved voicemails, while prepaid customers face varying retrieval fees depending on their plan. For this reason, and perhaps others, users might want to know how to turn off Telstra MessageBank. 

In this post, we’ll show you how to setup your Telstra MessageBank, as well as how to deactivate it. Read on to find out.

Setting up Telstra MessageBank

Telstra has made setting up MessageBank Standard a straightforward process. Unlike other telcos which require several steps to get your voicemail box set up and running, Telstra has simplified the setup process significantly.

To setup your Telstra MessageBank Standard:

  • Dial and call 101 from your Telstra phone. You can also hold the 1 key down on your keypad if you’re on a mobile phone.
  • Follow the prompts to setup customised greeting which callers will hear whenever they can’t reach you, and also create your PIN to access MessageBank.

How to deactivate Telstra MessageBank

If you’re no longer interested in Telstra MessageBank, you can deactivate the feature. You can also change the service or reset your PIN following the same process, and you have to be the authorised account holder in order to take any of these actions.

To deactivate Telstra MessageBank Standard, you’ll have to fill out an online form here. You’ll be asked to indicate that you’re the account holder before you get started. The form will require your contact information and the MessageBank changes you wish to effect.

Keep in mind, however, that deactivating MessageBank requires different steps for NBN and Digital Office Technology (DOT) services. For NBN plans, just dial #99# to deactivate the service. DOT customers, on the other hand, dial 101 and follow the prompts to deactivate Telstra MessageBank.

What is MessageBank Plus?

While MessageBank Standard is widely available to Android users, customers who own an iPhone can also access MessageBank Plus. You’ll need iOS 4.3 or higher to gain access to this service.

MessageBank Plus is also a voicemail system, but it is more visual than audio. This feature sorts your voicemails and presents them to you in a visual list on your iPhone, which includes the phone numbers of callers, dates of the calls/messages, and how long each message is. And if your callers name is stored on your iPhone, you’ll see their name as well.

Because MessageBank Plus is visual, listening to voicemails on your iPhone can be done directly from your mobile without having to dial 101, unlike MessageBank Standard. The visual and list nature of this feature also means you can choose whichever message you want to listen to first, regardless of the order it was left, without having to wade through a bunch of voicemails.

But while MessageBank Standard doesn’t incur any monthly fees, MessageBank Plus costs $5 per month. The setup process is also less straightforward – you will have to contact Telstra in order to activate MessageBank Plus. 

Final words

We live in generation text. More and more people are turning off the voicemail message bank they have on their phone. In the old days, leaving a voice message was sometimes the only way to get hold of someone. Now, a lot has changed. 

Culturally, most people seem to prefer the simplicity and speed of sending a text message over leaving a voicemail. We’ve also become far more used to ‘talking’ over apps like WhatsApp and Messenger. It will probably be around for a long time but how frequently a voicemail message bank is used seems to be declining precipitously.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.