Although MagicJack may seem like a great solution to costs associated with phone service, it does not come without problems of its own. Basically, the way the system works is that the device is plugged into a computer USB port at one end and into a telephone at the other. A new user then selects the number they want to use and shares it with others. So, what’s the problem?
As of November 12, 2010 a new pre-recorded message now informs customers and callers that calls have been rerouted improperly. Instead of all calls being considered local, they are now considered long distance as they have been routed through a 305 area code which is actually located in Florida. It has been reported that this problem came about when MagicJack merged with another company, but identifying the origin has been difficult.
MagicJack claims that problems have been caused by major carriers who, actually, have nothing to do with the system while carriers proclaim that since they have no connection with the system they cannot possibly resolve it. There is also some question as to which outside company was part of the merger. Therefore, it has not only been noted that the exact company involved remains unknown, but so is its location.
The result has been a feeling of panic and frustration for many people who utilize only this source to provide communication needs. AT&T has contacted individuals using this system to inform them that individuals attempting to call have been informed that the recording originates in the 305 area code. Callers have then been directed to contact their individual providers as well as to generate the call as a long distance number.
Many utilizing the MagicJack system have posted their concerns in online forums. Although customer service for this company has attempted to pacify customers, ultimately they maintain that it is not their fault, but is that of the carriers through which the service is provided. In response these carriers are to be instructed to reroute calls to the appropriate number. This has left many in a dilemma as to who is actually responsible.
Recently it has been suggested that the problems experienced by customers as well as callers may be the result of online hackers who may be intercepting calls. This claim is supported by that fact that not all major carriers are affected. However, enough are involved to force MagicJack to frequently shut down their live chat system due to overload. One way to ensure protection is to contact the FCC, Florida Attorney General’s Office, US Attorney General’s Office, and Better Business Bureau in order to file formal complaints. Although phone numbers and addresses for the company or companies who may be involved in the merger have been posted online, few have found resolution by contacting them directly.
It’s important to remember that MagicJack works through collaboration with major carriers. Should they and the companies they work with be involved in a dispute, this could be the trickle-down effect that often forces companies to surrender their stance under the pressure of consumer complaints. For those who are not willing to wait for a resolution, however, many cable companies and major carriers now offer programs that are equally affordable and negate the need to put up with problems of this kind.