Whoa. I’m going to tip toe through this story a bit carefully, as it’d be easy to come off as if we’re rallying the pitchforks. We’ve reached out to T-Mobile for their side of the story, but haven’t heard back just yet.
Here’s what we know: YouMail, a visual voicemail app with millions of downloads, has just been pulled from the Android Market. The reasoning, according to an e-mail sent from Google to YouMail: because T-Mobile said so.
To quote the e-mail (pictured above) directly:
Specifically, we have received a complaint from T-Mobile that this application is causing adverse network disruption. We encourage you to contact T-Mobile to negotiate a revision and/or agreement to republish this application and update your existing users.
The problem? According to YouMail, T-Mobile never once reached out to YouMail to complain. Says founder Alex Quilici, “Our number is toll-free, so it would have even been a free call for them.”
Alex also added that not only did T-Mobile never complain, but none of the carriers have complained. They’re doing “over 50 million calls every month”, and no carrier has ever expressed an issue.
We’re trying to put together the puzzle pieces and figure out what’s going on here. It’s strange that T-Mobile would send out the blockade without a polite reach out — and it’s even stranger that Google would flip the switch on an app with millions of downloads without connecting all the dots. We’ll update you with more when we get to the bottom of this.
Update #1: T-Mobile says they tried to tell YouMail about this in November.
Update #2: YouMail says they’ve spoken to T-Mobile, have addressed their issues, and will return to the Market shortly.