More Issues for MagicJack Customer Service
magicJack customer service has improved tremendously in the past few years. In addition to the improved customer service, there are a lot of other things to like about magicJack:
- The total monthly expense for magicJack's phone service is very inexpensive.
- You can make calls from anywhere in the world to most numbers in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands for free.
- You're able to accept calls from anywhere in the world for free.
- You can call another magicJack customer, anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world – for free.
- There are still more benefits available if you use the magicJack app for iOS and Android devices.
The bad news is that you can't necessarily place calls to everywhere in the US and Canada. The magicJack customer service department is aware of the issue, but you can't call a rural location which has high termination fees. If you dial a number and you hear three beeps followed by silence (or you hear nothing at all), the ‘receiving' phone company wants to charge magicJack a lot of money. Regardless how many complaints are made to customer service, magicJack won't make the connection.
Here are a couple of workarounds to make those calls:
Use Your Hangouts Account
You can sign up for a Google Hangouts account, which gives you the ability to use Google for text, telephone, and video calls. Once you've signed up and logged in to your account click on the icon for the service you'd like to use. You can then make a telephone call as you normally would. You can use your computer's camera, speakers, and microphone to make free Google phone calls and video calls. International calls made using Google are not free, but they do keep the cost per minute minimal.
Note that you can also use Google Hangouts to make text, telephone, and video calls to the vast majority of US and Canadian numbers for free on your Android or iPhone. Speaking from experience, life can get interesting with a Hangouts number, a magicJack app number, and your cell phone number all on the same device!
Almost Free – Calls Using Google Voice
You can also use Google Voice for texts and calls. In a sense, the service acts as a ‘bridge' in making your call. To make this technique work you need to sign up for Google Voice. Google Voice requires that you have at least one phone number of your own – whether a conventional landline, mobile phone, or VoIP such as magicJack. The use of Google Voice is free at this time, but you will likely have some ongoing monthly expense providing the phone number to allow it to work. You can avoid the need for a phone number (and its associated expense) by using GVJack, as suggested below.
You make outgoing calls by, telling Google Voice which phone you'd like to call from (for example, your home phone or your mobile phone), and the phone number of the person you're calling. Google Voice then calls your phone and calls your destination phone, patching the two together. To clarify, Google Voice does add some functionality to your phone that you wouldn't otherwise have.
GVJack – No Monthly Phone Bill of Any Kind!
If you'd prefer not to deal with Google Voice itself, you have another choice. Find a magicJack (even an expired magicJack will work), and pick up a plugin called GVJack for a one time expense of less than $20. Plug the magicJack into your computer and use GVJack to make free calls to numbers in the US and Canada. You also get a number of other features such as call blocking for your phone – but you can read more about those features at GVJack.
Even Google Voice Won't Solve All Your Phone Problems
In many cases, Google will allow you to make calls to area codes or phone numbers that magicJack has blocked due to high termination fees. Not even Google will connect you to some phone numbers with very high termination fees, however. For example, it won't connect you to many of the free conference calling sites or to phone sex chat lines. If you call a number Google has blocked, you'll simply get a busy signal.
The disadvantage to these Google solutions is that only Google knows how much longer they will continue to provide the free services. Google Voice has already been providing free phone service since March of 2009 – nearly 10 years! If you elect to use the service, keep in mind that Google can pull the plug when it suites their corporate goals, as they did with the Google 411 service in 2011.
While you cannot join most conference calls due to high termination fees, you can set up a free conference call anyone can attend. magicJack offers free conference calls using their own facilities. Their system can be used by anyone, whether they have a magicJack account or not. This won't help someone who is trying to join a conference call at a blocked number. It does provide an an alternative to those setting up a conference call which anyone can freely access. There are no high termination fees associated with their service.
Still another alternative is offered by Skype, which also offers free calls – but only to others who have Skype accounts. Like Google, Skype offers video chat as well as regular phone conversations, and requires both parties to have access to a Skype equipped computer to have a free conversation. Skype can also connect to conventional landlines (either locally or internationally) for a nominal fee, and provides for conference calls for up to 25 people.
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Questions or Comments?
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