Substitutes for Magic Jack Customer Service
Magic Jack was formerly named as an Editor’s Choice at CNET, and has worked well for millions of customers. Unfortunately, there are thousands of other customers who curse the day they began using Magic Jack.
Perhaps the most bothersome aspect is Magic Jack customer service, or lack thereof. Customer Service Scoreboard rated Magic Jack customer service as abysmal, giving it only 30 points out of a possible 200. Support groups have sprung up on the Internet to address problems as users encountered them, but it’s difficult and time-consuming to hunt all over the Internet looking for those resources, so I’ve listed a few of them below:
- Magic Jack Customer Service has a Frequently Asked Questions page on their web site to answer some questions. This information relates relates primarily to the buying decision, however. Can I port my current phone number to magicJack, is 911 supported, etc.
- Magic Jack also offers the ability to chat with a Live Agent via chat on their web site. As long as your questions are basic, common questions, you may have some luck with this feature.
- Many users have encountered more complex problems while using Magic Jack, and have turned to forums such as the “unofficial Magic Jack support forum” or a similar forum which discusses more general VoIP issues, broadband DSLReports.com.
There are many other online resources which can help fill the void left by the nearly non-existent Magic Jack customer service.
Calls that Won’t Connect
One of the most common complaints about Magic Jack is that its advertising leads consumers to believe they can make free phone calls anywhere in the United States and Canada – which is not entirely true. Bear with me for a couple paragraphs while I outline some of the billing practices of the telephone industry.
If a customer of Telephone Company A wants to call a friend who uses Telephone Company B, Company A has to pay a fee to Company B to “terminate” the call at the friend’s house. Normally these termination fees are very small – less than 1¢ per minute.
There are significant variations in these termination fees, however – notably in rural areas where the cost to provide telephone service is very high. The FCC realized there are great distances between houses and the low volume of calls, so they allow higher termination fees in those rural areas. These rural fees average about 6¢ per minute, and provide additional revenue for the rural telephone company to construct and maintain their lines.
Some enterprising companies decided to take advantage of those higher termination fees by setting up free conference call sites in a scheme called ‘traffic pumping’. When conference call attendees dial in, each of their phone companies are responsible for paying a termination fee to the rural telephone company – and that fee can be upwards of 20¢ per minute. It doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars, which the rural phone company then splits with the company that set up the conference call system.
It’s a bit much to try to pay a bill that large when you’re charging your customers less than $2.00 per month. Magic Jack successfully argued to the FCC that they weren’t a conventional phone company, and so doesn’t have to provide service to those rural areas. As a result, there are places you can’t call using Magic Jack. As it turns out, there are workarounds – for example, the use of GVJack to make the calls MagicJack won’t connect.