More Issues for MagicJack Customer Service
There is good news regarding magicJack:
- It’s very inexpensive.
- It will accept calls from anywhere in the US or Canada.
The bad news is that you can’t necessarily place calls to anywhere in those countries. 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 magicJack customer service, they won’t make the connection.
Here are a couple of workarounds to make those calls:
Calls Through Your Gmail Account
You can sign up for a Google Gmail account, which gives you the ability to use Google to make telephone and video calls. Login to your account and click on the ‘call phone’ icon in the left column to activate a dialing pad, and make a telephone call as you normally would. You can use your computer’s camera, speakers, and microphone to make free Google phone calls. Note that Google has indicated that this feature will be free though 2013 – and may be free thereafter. International calls made using Google are not free, although the cost to converse is minimal.
Call Using Google Voice
Google also offers additional phone features though Google Voice, which acts as a ‘bridge’ in making your call. To make this technique work you need to sign up for Google Voice. Google Voice offers several unique features, but requires that you have at least one phone number of your own – whether a conventional landline, mobile phone, or VoIP such as magicJack. You make outgoing calls by accessing your Google Voice account, telling it 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’d like to talk to. Google Voice then calls your phone and calls your destination phone, patching the two together.
In both cases, Google enables you to make calls to area codes or phone numbers that magicJack has blocked due to high termination fees. Not even Google will not connect you to some phone numbers with the highest termination fees, however – such as many free conference calling sites or phone sex chat lines. If you call a number Google has blocked, you’ll simply get a busy signal. The disadvantage to either of the Google solutions is that only Google knows how much longer their service will remain free.
Apparently magicJack’s customer service department does listen; they now offer free conference calls. 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, but allows an alternative to those setting up a conference call.
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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