Does MagicJack Still Offer Call Forwarding?
Update March 10, 2015: Call forwarding has been re-enabled for all model and users of magicJack. Just make sure you don't run afoul of the magicJack Terms of Service. That page has since been renamed “Subscriber Agreement for Products and Services“, but the intent is still the same. If you step over the line, they reserve the right to cancel your account. The bits of that document that pertain to call forwarding are under a section about excessive usage:
If we become aware of unreasonably excessive use, including but not limited to, a customer whose usage is extraordinarily greater than the average Device or magicApp customer usage, or a customer who calls more than 50 different telephone numbers per day, or a customer who forwards calls from their Device and/or magicApp to a non-Company number for longer than a two week consecutive period, or systematic or intentional misuse, we reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to terminate your use of the Device and/or magicApp and/or Associated Software immediately, and you will not be entitled to get a refund of any licensing fee or any other fee you may have paid to us.
It's one long sentence, but the gist of it is if they think you're using your phone excessively, they have the right to go medieval on you and cut off your use of your magicJack. Read the next section to find out how magicJack treated call forwarding in days gone by. You never know… they may decide to pull the plug on it once again.
The Previous State of Affairs
Could you use call forwarding a year ago? In a word, maybe. The official magicJack line on call forwarding is that they have discontinued the feature. There are a several possible workarounds, however.
1. An Alternate Login
Before panicking, first login to your account, and while still logged in click on this link. With luck you'll find call forwarding is still available. As of Nov 3, 2013, my call forwarding was not available when I logged into my account normally (click on the picture to the right to enlarge). It was available when I clicked on the second link while still logged in to magicJack, however (click to enlarge the picture below). If your call forwarding is still available, access is quick and easy when using the MagicFeatures plugin. In addition to allowing instant access to call forwarding, even when you're away from your magicJack, you can also block unwanted callers, set up speed dial numbers, and a host of other features. Review the full list of benefits offered by MagicFeatures. The review takes only a minute, and may make the use of your phone much more pleasant.
2. Pay for Call Forwarding
If the workaround above doesn't work, magicJack has allowed some customers to pay for access to call forwarding. For those select customers, the money they prepay is used to offset magicJack's per-minute charge for each forwarded call. This option isn't really too appealing, but it beats a sharp poke in the ribs. If you must have call forwarding, being able to prepay allows your calls to be forwarded to you through the magicJack phone system – so long as a balance is maintained in your account. For reasons known only to magicJack, this second option has not been made available to every magicJack customer.
3. Third Party Solutions
PCPhonesoft has developed a bit of software that combines the capabilities of Google Voice with a new, used, or even an expired magicJack. The software is called GVJack, and provides users with the call forwarding capabilities of Google Voice. A number of additional features are part of Google Voice, and GVJack adds still more features to those offered by Google Voice. If you decide to give this workaround a try, you need to set up a Google Voice account and purchase a magicJack. Note that a used magicJack from eBay will do, and that even the original magicJack will do – it doesn't have to be a magicJack Plus. In addition, GVJack doesn't require a ‘live' magicJack – it will work even if the subscription for the dongle has expired. Now download GVJack, follow it's installation instructions, plug the magicJack into a USB port on your computer, and plug a phone into the magicJack. The total time to install is about 5 minutes, tops. Google Voice will then give you a number of features, and GVJack adds still more features to the mix. Once done, you'll have a complete phone service (including call forwarding) – for just the cost of GVJack and a used or dead magicJack. Google has provided Google Voice for free since 2009, and has committed to keep it free through 2013. Historically, Google has announced the cost for Google Voice for the upcoming year in November or December of the year prior – and historically (since 2009) that cost has been free.
Those are your options as they relate to call forwarding using your magicJack. Call forwarding may be available using other VoIP providers, but none can match the price and features offered by magicJack and augmented by MagicFeatures. Gotta love it!
Do you have a question or comment about call forwarding for magicJack? Drop a note in the comment box below and put it out there for all to see! You may find the answer you're looking for – or perhaps you'll hear from another sympathetic user.