Virgin Media was recently doing “technical work” that resulted in a very heartbreaking moment for one pensioner in the U.K., according to a report from the BBC.
Stan Beaton, 68, had lost his wife Ruby in 2003 after many years of marriage. Even though Ruby was gone physically, Stan decided he could stay close to her if he held on to the voicemail she’d made for their answering machine more than a decade earlier.
Unfortunately, the “technical work,” which was not elaborated on in the BBC report, wiped out this message.
“I’ve always resisted changing companies because whenever I mentioned that my wife’s voice was our voicemail message and would it be retained and each company said no, so that’s why I never changed. Sadly, it disappeared. I was absolutely devastated by it, but also extremely angry.”
Unfortunately, the incident left Beaton with nothing but pictures and memories of the times he’d spent with Ruby. The one special link that allowed him to hear her voice every day was gone forever — or so he thought.
When Virgin Media got wind of what had happened, they pulled out all stops and dispensed 10 of their engineers in a crusade to find and recover the message.
Executive director of engineering Rob Evans said the task was difficult and the chances of getting the voicemail recording back were very slim. However, after days of searching, the team was finally able to find it. The BBC then approached Beaton and obtained permission to film his reaction upon hearing his wife’s voice again. It’s pretty moving stuff.
Virgin Media apologized for the mishap, as well, and said they would be making donations to charities of Beaton’s choosing. They also plan to deliver a copy of the message for safekeeping should something like this happen again.
To this, Stan said he has a “surprise” for whoever gets the lucky task of delivering it.
“I’ve got a nice bottle of Glenfiddich with their name on it.”
Beaton’s reaction to losing his wife is not unusual and is actually an increasingly popular practice among people in this technological age.
Alisha Krukowski explains the logic behind it in a post for HelloGrief.
“Each time my Dad, or my husband, or a close friend leaves a voicemail, I save it. I’ll continue to re-save it until that person leaves another voicemail. It doesn’t really matter what the message is, and I have saved more ‘I’m on my way home, see you soon’ messages from my husband than I can count. I need to know I have at least one message saved from each person I love.”
Do you save technology keepsakes like Krukowski or the pensioner in the Virgin Media story, readers? Sound off in our comments section.