Magic Jack - Not A Bad Gadget for Free Calling But Forget About Customer Service if a Billing Error is Made
Incidentally (Notes on Transferring Ownership, Lost or Stolen MagicJack, and Buying a Second-Hand MagicJack
A commenter brought up a situation in which he'd purchased a second-hand MagicJack but didn't have the original password and e.mail account information. Because it was a situation I haven't run into I went to Magic Jack's live chat to ask a few things about how things work if the device is lost or stolen, or if someone buys a second-hand Magic Jack. As it happened, I got a super-quick response when I clicked on live chat, and the person easily answered my questions within a very, very, short time.
Information on "odd" situations like this is below:
Lost or Stolen Magic Jack
If your MagicJack becomes lost or stolen contact the company immediately to block service.
Buying A Second-Hand MagicJack
If you're thinking about buying a second-hand MagicJack you should know that you should know that one thing you should do is get the original password and e.mail account information from the original owner. If you have that information you can change both, and you can also add your own credit card in case you want to buy additional years of service and/or International prepaid minutes. (This is based on my just checking with Keira, on MagicJack's live chat and asking.) A second-hand owner who has changed the password can also change the 911 information MagicJack has on record for the account.
I asked MagicJack's live chat about the password and original e.mail account in the case of a second-hand purchaser, and I was told both can be changed at any time, as long as someone has the original information.
MagicJack can be used on different computers, and it isn't necessary to have the password each time you change the computer on which the device is being used; so a second-hand user (even without the original information) would be able to use the device. Also, a second-hand purchaser (without a password) would be able to get technical assistance through MagicJack's frequently asked questions/search feature and through live chat with a MagicJack customer service rep.
What a potential purchaser of a second-hand device may wanted to double-check with the company, itself (as opposed to taking my word for it here) from the company, is what, exactly, does changing the password and e.mail information mean, in terms of being a second-hand owner (since there's no way to transfer ownership in the company's records). What information, that they keep on any account, can or can't be changed if a device is purchased second-hand (in view that ownership can't be transferred). In other words, a potential second-hand buyer should contact the company's live chat and ask what, exactly, "transferring ownership" means and doesn't mean. From what I gather, "transfer of ownership" seems to means nothing but who the company has on file as the owner. I asked if there's something a potential second-hand purchaser needs to know, and it appears to me there is nothing in particular (other than knowing his name will not be listed in MagicJack's file as the "owner"). I don't know how that matters if I can sell my MagicJack to any Tom, Dick, or Harry; give them the password, and consider (in my "mental records") them "owner". I suppose it could be a problem if someone were to try to claim a MagicJack device with lots of money on the account as part of an insurance claim after, say, a home burglary.
Of course, how important considering these details is depends on how much a potential second-hand purchaser would be spending. If someone can buy a second-hand device with only a year of service on it, that would be one thing. He'd have to measure the price of the device against the time left on it and consider the fact that the need to add more time and/or International prepaid minutes would come sooner on a device with less time/International minutes on it. A device with a lot of time in service left (as in the case of the commenter below) would mean no real need for putting money on a MagicJack account; but it would mean using the device with whatever limitations not able to transfer ownership may pose for a longer period of time. Of course, making certain to get the password and e.mail information from the original owner will eliminate a lot of problems.
The point is, if you're considering buying a second-hand MagicJack these are things you may want to ask before you do, particularly if you're going to be paying for several years of service already on the device. Then again, if someone has a MagicJack they no longer want or need and is willing to sell you the device and a year of service for very little money, go with it.
I can see a scenario where a MagicJack account may have a lot of prepaid International minutes on it already. I don't happen to know how far in advance anyone can pay for the "Gold Preferred" (5-year service) ahead of time. As far as I know, with the exception of International prepaid minutes, the most money involved with any MagicJack device and account would be the original $35 purchase price and any extra years of service, which, as far as I know, would most likely be about $59 for the 5-year service (in other words, not particularly worth worrying about any home burglaries and insurance claims over).
All the Clear Calls You Want - But Little Customer Support on Mistakes They Make in Charges
Don't ask me why I was up at 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning, but I was. That's when the infomercial for Magic Jack was aired; and although I've never in my life been tempted by any infomercial, I fell for this one. (Actually, a couple of years ago there was that buy-one-get-one deal on inflatable guest beds, and that was hard to resist. Also, I'm still resisting the swivel-chair exerciser that allows a person to do the sit-down twist while watching television...) In any case, in all my wise-shopper wisdom I ordered the calling device. Once the damage was done I decided to research the product.
While I did find some good reviews, most of them were old. That's why I'm writing this piece.
Magic Jack is a tiny gadget that plugs into the USB port of your PC. Any phone can then be connected to Magic Jack, and - voila - all the free domestic calls you want (and prepaid International calls can be made for .02 a minute). When purchased by calling the number shown in the infomercial Magic Jack, itself, costs $39.99. That price is the purchase price for the gadget and includes a phone number advertised as being yours "for life". System requirements include Apple/Mac, Windows XP or Vista, as well as a high-speed Internet connection.
Magic Jack can be ordered on a free trial basis, so your credit card will not be billed unless you decide to keep the gadget.
The first year of service is offered at no charge, and the second year is offered at $19.99 (which can be paid when/if you decide to keep Magic Jack). The free-trial offer is what got me to make that call; but even with that I wondered if I had ordered something that would not work well.
While the company offering the product offers ways to deal with any difficulties in installing the software, all went super-smoothly and super-quickly with my installation. I've seen others say a similar thing about their installation.
Within minutes of plugging the device into the USB port it is possible to begin making calls with it.
For now, I'm using an inexpensive cordless phone system, so any extremely minor imperfections may be attributed to that (or to the fact that I haven't yet found the right audio settings on 1) the phone, 2) my computer, or 3) the Magic Jack program, itself. I've thought twice about even mentioning the very minor imperfection because it is, in fact, so minor.
The calls are clear, and I've been told that I sound exactly the same as I do when I use my cell phone (which is an almost-land-line-like sound). The person to whom I was spoke came in loud and clear, although that minor imperfection was present: He almost came in too loud, and there was just the hint of "airiness" in the background.
It was so slight it is almost not worth mentioning, because many PC calling systems have far worse (or else they sound as if they've gone dead while you are talking). I've called several automated systems (my bank and a couple of companies), and the quality of the call seemed perfect. When my trial-calling person called me from his home a couple of times I let his calls go to voice mail. Magic Jack sent me e.mails to let me know the voice mails were there and the number from which the sender called.
For now, I'm using a digital phone system, so there's the chance that an analog phone (or another brand or quality of phone) would eradicate the barely perceptable imperfection in the human-to-human call. For the most part, the device offers quality of calling that comes extremely close to land-line phones.
One note about the generally excellent, automated, system used to take phone orders for the product: While the process is well designed customers need to be careful at the very end of the ordering process. Once the order has been placed the system's "lady" asks if you will listen to one more thing. "She" explains how you can order other devices at a discounted price. The system then asks how many more the caller would like, but instructs what button to push if no additional devices are desired.
At this point in the process, however, there is the option to choose faster delivery (3 business days) over the free-shipping, 14-day, time-frame. This is where I accidentally ordered faster shipping, and I still don't quite know how that happened. Since the device can be ordered online (www.magicjack.com) at the same price and on the same free-trial basis, I think I would recommend ordering it that way, rather than over the telephone.
The company does warn that the product should not be relied as the only way to make a 911 call, in view of the possibility that power outages and computer problems can occur. Provided there are no unforeseen power problems, emergency calls can be made; and company offers the provision for the user to list his exact location. Since the product is portable and can be taken on trips and used with any computer and any phone, the company reminds users to remember to change the location they list for emergency calls.
Most of us have probably tried one kind of PC calling program/system or another at one time or another. While good quality calls may be available through these, I haven't really run into one of them. Getting full-service from these usually does require a per-month charge.
I ordered the gadget because I figured I had nothing to lose. If I liked it I could turn my computer into a phone (at least for the next two years) for a very reasonable, one-time, charge.
I think I like it. I think I'll keep it. (The company said I would, but I wasn't sure I could believe them.)
ADDITIONAL NOTE ADDED ONE DAY AFTER THIS WRITING:
Although the above piece could have been re-written, now that I have gotten rid of that "hint of imperfection" in sound quality, I thought that leaving the original piece, which pointed out the original (although minor) issue would be more helpful.
I have resolved that very minor problem by adjusting the sound in my headset to one level lower than it had been. Apparently, it turns out the calls come through TOO loud and clear, which may require turning the earpiece volume down a level.
Post Script: And Now About the Customer Service Problem:
It has been over a month since I've had the device. It works well. Last week I noticed, though, that my Magic Account did not show that I had signed up for the second year of service. My plan was to contact them to ask about that after they took their charges from my credit card, which was delayed until the 30 days had passed since I received the product.
My card was charged for priority shipping that I did not request, and it was charged for the second year of service that does not show up on my account. Magic Jack does not offer any kind of customer support other than online live chat, and my online chat lasted around an hour, with long, long, intervals between my input and getting a reply. In the end, I was told, essentially, that no refund for the priority shipping would occur (because I did, I've now discovered, get priority shipping that I DID NOT request). My request for a refund (in view of the fact that the second year doesn't show up on my account) was ignored. Essentially, I told the customer service rep that since I was being charged for shipping I hadn't requested I wanted to cancel the second year of service (whether or not my records even show that I have it). That request was ignored, and I was told to "give it a week", and the second week should show up in my account.
I asked for an e.mail or US mail address, so I could write to the company (and, yes, complain). That's when I was told there is no customer support other than the long, drawn-out, online chat.
As of today, I have been charged $73.00 (plus change), $19.99 of which is for a second year that isn't showing up in my account, and $13.00 (plus change) for shipping I specifically declined during the phone order process. If the second year shows up in a week, I suppose that's fine; but I don't appreciate having my request to cancel (since it isn't showing up anyway) just not even acknowledged.
I do not recommend ordering the device over their automated phone order-processing. It is too easy to have an error occur at the end, when they ask if you want priority shipping, the second year, and any additional devices. They do have their website, where orders can be placed and where, perhaps, such errors may be less likely to occur (although I don't know about that for sure).
About Voice Mail - When It Works
One question that has come up a few times is whether voice mail works when the computer is off or when the device is not plugged in. Apparently, even though the Magic Jack site says voice mail works whether the device is plugged, computer is off, or Internet connection is down; other resources have provided information that appears to conflict with Magic Jack's site, so people sometimes wonder. Here's the link to the page on the Magic Jack site, regarding voice mail:
I've tested, for myself, whether voice mail works when my own PC is off and when the Magic Jack device is not plugged in. I called myself, left a message, and didn't plug the Magic Jack back into the computer until I turned it back on and checked my e.mail. Even without the device plugged in the e.mail (with the attached .wav file was there when I got to my Inbox).
(This question is addressed somewhere down the "row" of comments, but I thought I'd include this note about it here, in case anyone is wondering (and doesn't know about the comment that's quite a ways into the row of comments.)
A Note About Satellite Internet and MagicJack
A reader asked if MagicJack could be used with Satellite Internet, so I checked the MagicJack "knowledgebase" to see if I could find the answer.
In answer to the question about whether MagicJack recommends using the device with Satellite Internet MagicJack put an emphatic (all caps) "NO". They note that even though Satellite Internet is faster than dial-up, it is considerably slower than cable.
This page and its content is copyright of Lisa HW, with original publication in February, 2008 and ongoing changes to text found on this page. All rights reserved.
Author's Note: In Feburary 2007 I wrote the above account of my experience with purchasing and installing MagicJack. In the months since, readers have been amazingly helpful in contributing their own experiences.
Since it has been over a year since I first installed MagicJack, I thought I would "sum up" my experience with it now. The first review is the one written in February 2007. My update, as well as a wealth of reader contributions, follows.
16 Months Later - An Update
Since I've had MagicJack for a while now, I thought it may be useful to write an update.
It has been over 16 months since I purchased MagicJack (as a result of an impulse, infomercial, purchase). The software has been installed in my PC (with Vista) since then. The device, itself, has remained plugged into the same machine for the same length of time. My first year of free service has run out, so I'm now on that "extra" year (that I paid $20 for).
Although I'm only one consumer; based on my experience with MagicJack, I'd have to say that no news is good news.
Other than an echo problem; which turned out to be because I had the volume settings on too high, and which I resolved by using MagicJack's "troubleshooting" feature on their site); I've had no problems with the device, the existing installation, or the company. This was not the fault of the device, but there has been a time or two when I've moved my computer desk and made cables push against MagicJack, causing it to "sort of fall out" of the USB port. Because I use the port at the back of the machine, I haven't noticed that the blue light was off until I tried to make a call. Now I know to take a look behind the PC to make sure the light is on. That problem could be eliminated by using a front USB port, but I can't stress enough that it has only occurred twice and didn't happen "for no reason".
In the interest of full disclosure, I don't use the MagicJack phone regularly. It's an extra phone that, to me, just seemed worth the price. There are a few people who have that number, though, so I've had time to get a reading on the quality of calling. On my end, the calls sound exactly the way calls over the land line sound. There have been times when the person to whom I'm talking has reported a slight echo but said it wasn't "anything big".
Although, after the initial encounters I had with customer service (over relatively minor issues, as mentioned in previous writing), I have had no reason to contact MagicJack's live chat for myself; because I have tried to assist readers occasionally, I have had some limited, additional, dealings with the live chat feature. It has been satisfactory. It occurred to me to re-write the MagicJack Hub with a title that didn't send such a negative message about customer service; but the fact is that I, and others who have commented, did have the negative experiences mentioned. Maybe my first impression of customer service was not the best. Maybe I've only had no problems with it because my own issues were eventually resolved. In any case, things are as they are; and having more confidence in customer service today doesn't mean there was no reason not to in the past.
One thing I've had quite a bit of experience with is the MagicJack website. Again, because I've often looked for answers to people's questions by using the MagicJack "knowledgebase", I gotten to know the site much better than I had in the past (or that many casual users may). I've discovered that once a person knows the site better (and it can take some time), it gets easier to know better what kind of words to use when searching.
I've had two automatic upgrades to the software, and they went well and without any "big deals" or problems.
I suspect that if I'd take the time (and I should, in view of the fact that I've found myself writing more about MagicJack than I ever planned to), I think I could probably eliminate the minor echo occasionally reported by others who talk to me. It doesn't happen all that often, though, and even when I do try to use the troubleshooting feature to further adjust volumes, it will be kind of tricky to know whether the problem is solved. It would involve making adjustments and then making a bunch of calls and asking people if there was the hint of echo. I haven't had the inclination to be bothered doing that. For the record, I'm using an inexpensive, cordless phone.
In spite of that (truly) minor imperfection perceived only by the occasional caller, I have to say I kind of love MagicJack. I'll admit part of that "love" could be the "gadget appeal", but I just find it kind of "neat" to have that extra phone number and phone; and the knowledge that if and when I ever do get to go on vacation (and I will - soon), I'll get to tote my phone number with me.
I see lots of complaints (especially on YouTube) about MagicJack, and I'm obviously not in a position to dispute or question them. I do sometimes wonder if some of these people just didn't do something correctly, or if they have the wrong PC or connection. I guess it isn't my business.
In any case, MagicJack is now being sold at a number of retailers (which is very different than when I purchased mine). In view of the guarantee on the device, I, personally, don't see how anyone can go too wrong with it.
About the 911 Icon on the Magic Jack "Soft Phone" (Screen)
A reader asked it's possible to accidentally dial 911 from the Magic Jack "soft phone" (the Magic Jack screen that shows up on your PC's screen when you use Magic Jack for calls). I'd never paid much attention to that icon, which will appear in different colors, depending on whether your location (for 911 purposes ) is on record with Magic Jack and whether Magic Jack 911 service is available in your area.
Green indicates that your location is on file (as you've entered it). Magic Jack urges users to keep their 911 location information up-to-date.
Red indicates Magic Jack cannot identify your location. To fix this click on the red light in http://my.magicjack.com
Yellow indicates that Magic Jack cannot immediately identify your physical location. Verifying your physical location may take a few days.
With regard to whether accidentally pressing that 911 icon on the Magic Jack soft phone could reach 911 operators: YES
One customer-service/tech-service rep with Magic Jack pointed out that the 911 icon is set off from the the numbers and that accidentally hitting it (and reaching 911) is not likely. I don't think the icon is all that far away from the star, the zero, and the pound sign. I can see how if you have a mouse that may stick a little on your desk surface it might be fairly easy to have a slip-up. I don't have a mouse pad on my small computer desk (no room for one, really, because I have a good-sized, ergonomic, keyboard). Once in a while the mouse does stick ever so slightly.
Another thought is that small children (either making calls or sitting on a caller's lap) could find the round, green, button (again the otherwise mostly black screen) appealing enough to want to click it.
One reason I never really paid much attention to the 911 icon is that I always dial from my real phone, rather than the screen's soft phone. Another point about the icon is that it never even occurred to me that it could be a "live" icon. Dialing from the real phone eliminates the possibility of a 911 mishap, although I'd think that just being a little careful when clicking the bottom row of the soft phone's keypad ought to be all that's necessary to all but eliminate the possibility of a mishap.
My own plan is that if I ever need 911 I'll reach for a phone other than the Magic Jack phone anyway. Somehow, with all the warnings about limitations of Magic Jack when it comes to 911 service I've just never planned to use it (even though I do have my location information listed just in case).
For more information (and recommended information) about 911 service from your Magic Jack phone:
Matt (A Reader) Comments -
The following comments/contributions were made by Matt, who is a reader. Because of formatting issues associated with longer posts, I've included Matt's post in a separate text box.
I came across your site while researching the magicJack and have found
your "hub" to be quite useful. Or at least attempting to be. One thing
I've noticed (since I've read everything here) is that it seems the
majority of people don't even bother to read the ToS and just
unknowingly "Accept" everything in it when they hook up their
magicJack. Then they turn around and complain about what they just
Wake up people! READ the TOS BEFORE you finish the install process.
You have to agree to it as you go through the installation, so you
might as well know what the hell you are agreeing to.
But to break it down in laymens terms....
You do NOT get Unlimited Free Long Distance. You get somewhat
restricted access. If you use your magicJack 20x as much as a "normal"
user, you are considered to be an excessive user and will end up
having to purchase minutes (at a very low rate) to make outgoing
calls. They don't define how much talk time a "normal" user uses. So
they leave it wide open to terminate your account at any time w/o
notice at their discretion.
Don't be too alarmed though, as most VOIP, Telecommunications and ISP
ToS agreements use verbage like this to cover their own asses. In most
cases, your accounts aren't really monitored unless extremely
excessive activity is detected. In other words, there are No SET Usage
CAPS but they reserve the right to implement them at any time and w/o
notice to you. Some ISPs are starting to do so now and charge for
"extra" bandwidth. Much like a hosting company does.
People need to get over thinking that they can make Unlimited Long
Distance, reliable phone calls for a measly $40/yr. At least not if
you plan to abuse the system like the idiot (that filed a report with
the BBB) was trying to do, running a telemarketing scam from her
magicJack line (linked to somewhere on this site unless I found it on
another site this site links to. LOL) My guess is that the majority of
the people that had their accounts "terminated" were abusing the
system in some way or another. I quote the word "terminated" because
most accounts weren't really "terminated" but limited to incoming
calls and blocked from outgoing calls (until minutes were purchased).
As for the most of the people that complained to the BBB that their
credit cards were charged well before the 30 day "free trial" period
Well, for the most part what's really going on is that people aren't
using REAL credit cards. They are using Debit Cards, Bank Cards, Check
Cards. These cards work differently than REAL Credit Cards (I found
out the hard way myself). What happens is when you make an online
"Free Trial" purchase with your Debit Card, the funds are put into a
"hold" status by your bank immediately. Meaning you cannot use those
funds (in case you decide to go ahead and keep your magicJack) until
you either cancel the free trial or keep the device. At which time
your funds are either released back to your main account (if you
cancel) or released to magicJack (if you keep the service).
This is NOT magicJack's fault. This is due to your banking
As for the majority of overcharged complaints.... i.e. ordered 5 years
and only got 4 years in your account. Or were charged twice, etc. Part
of this depends on how you ordered. If ordering over the phone there
is huge room for human error. The fact is, that it's very easy to
accidentally click the wrong button (as a phone sales rep) when you
are rushed to take as many orders as possible, etc. Or even submit the
order twice on accident (thinking the first click didn't take, etc.).
I've worked for many telemarketing firms, both outgoing and incoming
sales and some of the scripted screens can be a bit confusing at
times, especially when you are rushed to make the sale (and upsells)
and move on to the next call. This is just a fact of life.
If ordering online... well, there's so much room for error that any
number of things could have happened to generate an "extra" charge. In
this case, it still boils down to human error one way or the other.
Either you as a customer accidentally did something during the
ordering process or there's a bug in the script. If it's a buggy
script, it boils down to a human programmer that made a buggy script
with sloppy code. From the looks of the site, I would say this is at
least partly the case for many people with problems of things ordered
but not showing up in their "my magicjack" account. Pretty much
everything about their site is poorly designed. Aside from the
marketing itself, the site really sucks bad.
This is a MUCH better designed site and lucky for Canadians, they even
have a phone support number for their customers clearly printed on the
FRONT page of their site. This is obviously run by a Canadian Partner
and not the same morons running the USA site which is seriously
lacking in quality.
So the bottom line is out of over 1.5 million units sold there are
less than 500 complaints to the BBC. Most of which are probably due to
the users not understanding the magicJack device, not reading the TOS,
not reading the FAQ and feeling sorry for themselves because they
expected to plug the magicJack into their computers and become super
heros instantly (with free unlimited long distance to boot).
And don't get me started with the idiots over at The Rip-Off Report (dot com)
(which itself isn't a very reliable source). I'm surprised that some
of these people can even figure out how to plug in their computers and
sign on to the internet. It seems most of these reports are from the
technically challenged hot heads out there that get upset extremely
easy. These are the same kind of people that expect phone support from
freeware developers. LOL
Speaking of support.....
I personally think that their chat support is just as good if not
better than most Ma-Belle companies phone support. I see people saying
things like "if you want premium support pay for premium services".
But the fact is, even then you are unlikely to get support that is
much better than the magicJack support. For example, I had Verizon for
a number of years and absolutely DREADED having to call their tech
support people (which I had to do at least once every other month, but
usually once a month or more). I had to talk to non-english speaking
people that were apparently required to avoid solving problems even at
the higher tech levels. I could never get anything done w/o talking to
a supervisor and even then usually I would have to talk to several
supervisors before my problems were addressed.
I'm assuming that much is the same at magicJack support. Let me let
you all in on a fairly well known "secret"....keep trying until you
get someone competent. If you find yourself talking to an idiot, leave
the chat session and start a new session. I can't even count how many
times I've done this with various utility companies in order to get a
billing issue resolved. If the person trying to "help" me continually
comes up with excuses and avoids solving my problems, I do one of two
things..I ask to speak to a supervisor or I simply hang up and call
Funny thing is that in some cases I've found that even after a
supervisor supposedly cannot help with something, I can hang up and
call back and get a regular customer support rep to solve my problem
for me. It simply depends on who is on the other end of the phone
and/or PC. Some people don't have any desire to help others and they
only show up for a paycheck. Other people actually enjoy helping
people (like Lisa) and will jump through hoops to solve your problems
I used to do tech support for Ameritech Phone Company (are they even
around anymore) and I did everything I could to make the customer
happy. If they had some charge they didn't understand, I would explain
it in detail. If there was some service added w/o their consent, I
would remove it and credit their account, etc., etc., etc.
My supervisors apparently didn't like the fact that I was making the
Ameritech customers happy cuz they transfered me to sales of a
completely different product after monitoring some of my most helpful
calls. Fact is, the customers were happy but the Client (Ameritech)
was not because I was circumventing their little scam of adding
unauthorized services with extra fess to their customers phone bills.
For those of you that do NOT know.....Customer service is almost
always outsourced. That means when you call Verizon Tech Support, you
are talking to people that know absolutely nothing about Verizon
and/or their services. You are talking to people that are reading a
script on the PC in front of them. They can only go through the
screens the way their admin has set it up for them (usually with a
series of canned replies). That's why they very rarely address your
actually problems/questions, they can't. In fact, they aren't allowed
to if they want to keep their job. They HAVE to read the screens in
front of them. If they deviate from the scripted responses that is
grounds for termination.
That's why they always start with a series of questions about your
account, name, address, phone number and whatever is required of them
to ask you. Then, once you finally get a chance to tell them what is
wrong, they have to try to find an appropriate response(good luck) or
at least one that seems close to what your problem is.
Now obviously not ALL support is like this, but the vast majority of
it is. That's why a dozen different companies can use the same call
center to handle all of their support. The telemarketing/call center
helps their clients setup the canned replies and whatnot that the
support/telemarketing people can use to sell/support you.
So try not to get so upset at the person on the other end. It's
usually NOT their fault that they aren't allowed to help you, it's
their job to avoid solving your problems if it means losing the client
money. We are trained to make it as aggravating as possible to credit
your account or send any kind of refunds or accept any returns. That's
why most of them have different levels of support. All that really
means is that the higher level tech you talk to the more access to
your account information and/or access to change your account
information. However, on the flip side; the higher level support is
also trained more to avoid losing any money for the client. In other
words, they have more excuses to tell you why they cannot fix your
problem when really the fix is right in front of them on screen.
It takes determination to get through to the right people at times,
but it can almost always be done if you have the patience and
determination to spend the hours it takes arguing with "apparent"
morons. Most of them aren't really morons, they are just doing their
job as they were told to.
Obviously there are also just simply rude, arrogant and incompetent
support people but that is more the minority than majority. Most of
them just seem incompetent because their job requires them to act like
they are. So keep that in mind next time you feel like venting on any
customer support people.
As for magicJack chat support, I've talked to one of the support
people who was extremely polite and tried her best to be helpful
(within the limits of her job) for 2 - 3 hours. Her responses were
much the same as others I've seen pasted here and on the unofficial
support forum at: www.magicjacksupport.com
Which leads me to believe they are using scripted/canned responses as
required by whoever signs their paycheck. Fact is, I had already done
almost everything she had me do well before I even went to the chat
for support because I actually researched my problem before bothering
Was my problem solved? Nope. Not even a little bit. So far, the
magicJack has been next to useless to me. The longest call I've been
able to make was 15 minutes, then dead silence. Most calls are cutoff
well before 15 minutes, usually more like 5 minutes. When some people
ring me, it says my number has been disconnected or is no longer in
service. Also, I have to reboot my PC after EACH phone call in order
to get magicJack to connect again. Restarting magicJack doesn't work
for me. This is reguardless of whether I make the call or recieve the
call. Once the call is cut off, I have to reboot.
I've only been able to make more than one call w/o rebooting once. I
was able to make several very short calls (which for once weren't
disconnected by magicJack) within an hours time or so. After which
magicJack went back to the "No network connection [error 9]" as usual.
I get error 3 and error 9 constantly. I'm lucky to stay connected for
more than 5 - 10 minutes at a time and that's only IF I don't make any
calls. If I DO make a call, then magicJack almost always loses
connection. Like I said, only one time have I been able to make more
than ONE call w/o rebooting my PC.
In fact, I haven't been able to stay connected long enough to even
setup my voice mail. Which still apparently works for some and doesn't
for others. My brother says he left a voice mail for me, but I never
got it in my email. Sometimes the number never goes to voicemail and
just rings and rings and rings (but not here just for the person
trying to call).
I'm trying to be patient, but it's starting to get on my nerves.
Especially when I hear of all the success stories of plugging it in
and it working right away. Then I got all excited thinking I would
have a similar experience when really, all I've gotten so far is
several sleepless nights, tons of frustration and a huge headache
trying to get this damn thing to work. I'm hesitant to take it back to
Radio Shack for an exchange though, cuz I have a feeling that it's NOT
the magicJack Dongel that's causing the problem. I'm guessing it's a
software issue of some sort. Something is blocking magicJack or is
simply incompatible and causing a conflict of some sort. I just don't
know what it is or where to start.
Anyway, this post isn't really asking for help unless someone can
offer some as I plan to seek help at the unofficial support forum
where I will provide much more detailed info on my specific setup and
problem, and again through the tech chat. I'm confident that
eventually, I will find someone that can and actually WILL help.
Thanks for maintaining the magicJack HUB Lisa.
[sarcasm] Now go collect your magicJack paycheck. We ALL KNOW you
REALLY work for them RIGHT? ;-) [/sarcasm]
Don't you just love how some people assume that just because you have
a positive attitude and try to help people troubleshoot their problems
that you MUST have a hidden agenda and are working directly for
I must be too. Because even with my aggravation, I'm hopeful that I'll
get mine working and have no intentions of getting a rufund for my
magicJack. If I do take it back it will be for an exchange for one
that does work. It's entirely possible that I just ended up with a
defective unit, but I don't think so. Even so, I'm sure Radio Shack
will exchange it if needed.
My advice to those worrying about credit card and/or debit card fraud,
etc. simply go to Radio Shack or Best Buy or similar, pay cash and
keep your packaging and reciept just in case. The main reason I went
to Radio Shack to get mine was because I didn't wanna wait for it to
arrive in the mail when there is a Radio Shack about a mile from the
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