So I worked in tech support for cell phones for a couple years and none of my calls actually made me feel actual sadness for the customers situation… expect for this one. Anything in parentheses are my thoughts.
Me: generic inbound call greeting
C: Hi, I was having some issues with my phone earlier and I was working with another tech and we ended up erasing my entire phone and I wanted to see if there was a way to get some stuff back?
Me: (why the hell didn’t the last rep back up anything to a cloud service?!) Yeah we can do our best to try and get some information back so long as it was backed up in some sort of way. Did that last rep have you plug your phone into your computer or anything before erasing it? ( probably not)
C: No. He just ran me through a couple steps to fix my First issue then had me erase it
Me: (fucking figures) Alright, well what kind of info do you want to try and recover? Pictures are usually easy since they can get backed up to Google photos usually automatically.
C: Text messages.
Me: (text messages? Great, those never get backed up by anything) Alrught, we’ll definitely try. I can’t guarantee that one though, texts aren’t always backed up though.
C: All I ask is we try. The texts I want are from my wife that just passed away. I like to read them when I start to miss her.
Me: (…no. how am I going to tell him that we’re not going to get them back? ) Oh… alright then we’re definitely going to do everything we can.
C: okay thank you
We try various cloud services and other apps… nothing.
Me: Alright, I have one last option. The service provider has a system that automatically backs up texts. It’s an older feature that newer accounts dont have, but you’ve been with us for a while so it might still be there. Let me check the account.
Ya’ll, I checked the account 5 times, the feature was gone. So I thought “I’ll check past queries, see if it was removed within 30 days because the system should still have them…” found the query… 32 days ago the feature was removed from the account. My initial hope was that if it had been less than 30 days then were could have reinstated the feature and get them back. But after 30 days afer the feature being removed, any archived messages are wiped.
Me: …. I’m sorry. The feature I was just talking about was removed 32 days ago…. I can’t recover anything…
C:….oh. well, thank you for trying… *click
The sound of defeat in this man’s voice, ripped me apart. The one thing that had brought him any shred of happiness since gotta wife’s passing is now gone because a careless rep wiped his phone without backing it up. So quick message for that rep: *ahem FUCK YOU
So all in all, if you are saving some important text messages between you and a loved one and want to keep them, make sure they’re safe. There’s no such thing as being too safe. Screen shot them, back those screen shots up to Google photos or iCloud. Print them off then laminate them and put them in a fire box. You never know what can happen to your phone.
TLDR; Customers text messages between him and his late wife got deleted and I had to break the news that they were gone forever.