Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Not So Magic Jack

There is nothing like a frustrating user experience for good blog fodder.

Several years ago, I gave up having a land line, opting for a cell phone which took care of most of my needs. Now, running a business, I need much more phone time than any decent cell phone plan allows. I've successfully used Skype for the last few months, but always wanting to save money I decided to look into the next big thing. The Magic Jack. www.magicjack.com
It came highly rated by many hi-tech magazines and the infomercial looked good. Free local and long distance and voicemail. Too good to be true?
The claim is that in 5 minutes, with a special USB that is sent to you, you can plug in your phone and make all of your calls through your computer for $10/year. Great! My phone bill problem is solved. But my technical problems have just begun.
I asked for expedited delivery since the need is sooner than later. The device arrived in a few days. It's not too overpackaged and comes with a single color card wrap. It looks easy. But it's not.
Rather than walk through what has become a painful scenario (45 minutes and it still doesn't work) I'll share the highlights:
  • Asking for passwords that were never sent or given and then acquiring a password via email that doesn't work.
  • Continued difficulty bringing up Live Chat for tech assistance and no possibility of a phone conversation.
  • Confusing queries on set up and a box that you don't know to click that is supposed to offer "quick help"
  • Requiring upgrades to a brand new device. Most users won't know how to save and run an .exe file. (this assumes a fairly advanced user)
  • No good answers on how to fix the "connect to the internet" error message when I am clearly connected. Apparently they are upgrading and I have to wait 24 hours to try my new device again.

What did work was an extension USB dongle in the package since the USB is large and would cover needed plugs in my laptop, fairly simple packaging, though they could use less stryofoam.

So far, I am less than impressed and hope they are continuing to try and fix this user experience.

6 comments:

Doctor said...

Big Scam! Don't buy this product. Big launch before they were ready.

I'm having all of the same problems. Not only that, they scammed me for an extra 49.95 for 5 years and I discovered they charged me for that immediately, so half the 100 I paid is in their pocket with no indication they will refund that portion.

So, I bought this to save money and now these crooks have my money and I can't reach them.

I'm furious. I'll be writing this up in my own blog. Yeah, my 40,000 hits a month isn't much, but I want to my part to expose the baloney.

Chris said...

I'm amazed at how many people do not READ before buying anything. Right after you place your order on the MagicJack web page, there is a page that pops up saying that you have the OPTION to buy 5 years of advance service for the MagicJack - all you needed to do was um, say "NO THANKS" and they would not have billed you for the advance service. How can YOU blame someeone else for your OWN stupidity?? It just takes some a little bit of your precious time to READ what is right in front of you and some common sense.

Janna said...

For the record, the web page does say, 5 years for $49.95, but the way I read it, it sounded like that was *instead of* not in addition to my $40 purchase. The good news is that I replied immediately about my misunderstanding and the $50 was removed from my bill.

browningmark4a said...

i purchased this product about a month ago,and loved it.Then i purchased 1 for my dad and added the 5 years on just to get it over with.my invoice /bill said $49.95 to be billed on 5/13/2008
and the next $46.90 to be billed on 6/13/08
well $96.85 just came out of my account today 5/15/08
thank christ i had enough in there. TECH SUPPORT BEGINS WITH S and has 5 letters and when waiting a total of 45 min for entire (live chat) and getting nowhere and then getting the call termminted by the operater?well that s word again comes into play Watch out for the all upfront payment like i got my invoice/bill states one thing,there charges did just the opposite.BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darvin said...

Nice blog. We were using Magic Jack for a week or so. Even when it was working, there was at least a 30-60 second delay on outgoing calls, as well as incoming... you answer the phone and hear nothing (on the callers end it is still ringing, even though you have picked up). Then it just stopped working altogether. Customer care does not really ‘care’. Check out this great site www.pissedconsumer.com for other complaints about the company.

Darvin said...

Nice blog. We were using Magic Jack for a week or so. Even when it was working, there was at least a 30-60 second delay on outgoing calls, as well as incoming... you answer the phone and hear nothing (on the callers end it is still ringing, even though you have picked up). Then it just stopped working altogether. Customer care does not really ‘care’. Check out this great site www.pissedconsumer.com for other complaints about the company.