Substitutes for Magic Jack Customer Service
magicJack was formerly named as an Editor's Choice at CNET, and has worked well for millions of customers. Unfortunately, there were others who cursed the day they began using magicJack. Perhaps the most bothersome aspect was magicJack customer service, or lack thereof. Customer Service Scoreboard rated magicJack customer service as abysmal, giving it only 30 points out of a possible 200.
Happily, those days seem to be behind us. The magicJack customer support service has rallied and now provides much better support across the board. Regardless, support groups sprung up on the Internet to address problems as users encountered them. 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:
- magicJack 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.
- magicJack 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. In recent years, customer service has improved immensely.
- Many users have encountered more complex problems while using magicJack, and have turned to forums such as the “unofficial magicJack support forum” or a similar forum which discusses more general VoIP issues, broadband DSLReports.com.
There are many other online resources which can help provide answers with magicJack issues.
One of the most common complaints about magicJack is its claim that customers 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. For example, in rural areas the cost to provide telephone service is very high. The FCC realized there are great distances between houses. In addition, there is a low volume of calls. As a result, the FCC allows larger termination fees in those areas. These rural fees average about 6¢ per minute. They provide the revenue for rural telephone companies 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. The rural phone company then provides a kickback to the company that set up the conference call system.
It's a bit much to pay a bill that large when you're charging your customers less than $2.50 per month. magicJack successfully argued to the FCC that they weren't a conventional phone company, and so didn't have to provide service to those rural areas. As a result, there are some places you can't call using magicJack. As it turns out, there are workarounds – for example, you can use GVJack to make many calls which MagicJack won't connect. Calls made using GVJack are entirely free.
Comments or Questions?
Do you have a question or comment about magicJack customer service (or lack thereof)? 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.