Wednesday, July 25, 2007

SunRocket runs out of fuel and crashes a miserable death!

I'm sure everyone, by now, has heard about SunRocket, the VoIP company that decided to shutdown without ANY warning. I have had phone service with SunRocket for a little over 2 years now, and have loved it. There was very little downtime. Call quality was great. And when it wasn't, it was probably because my son was downloading something at the time.


So, on Monday July 16th, my phone died. I had heard that SunRocket was having troubles, but I figured we'd be warned if they were about to be shutdown or anything. But, that didn't happen. Phone service just died with no warning. The next day, a new company mysteriously appeared called Teleblend. It promised to offer the exact features of SunRocket, and for a lower cost. It has been suspected that the original owners of SunRocket were behind it, as Teleblend seems to have a lot of information about SunRocket customers.


Other VoIP companies were inundated with new account requests. Most people seem to be going to ViaTalk.com. I even signed up for an account on the 19th. But then people were complaining that it was taking too long, and people started to cancel the account. SunRocket has also come out with their choices for replacements, Packet8.com and Teleblend.


Another company I looked at was Allo.com. I was excitied about what they had to offer. They had all of the features I wanted, and even had Caller ID Spoofing available. For the longest time, I have been trying to get people to start using my GrandCentral number instead of my SunRocket number. Part of the problem is when we call people. The caller ID is displaying my SunRocket number. If my caller ID were displaying my GrandCentral number, more and more people would actually start using it. So, having the ability to use the caller ID spoofing feature in Allo.com was very appealing. And, it was even cheaper than I was paying for SunRocket. BUT... When I tried to sign up, the sign up page stated that it was down for maintenance. After checking again the next day, I got onto their online chat and found out that they were also going to be shutting down on July 31st. Two VoIP compaines in one week are down the drain. This doesn't make be feel good about sticking with VoIP.


As I said earlier, I signed up with ViaTalk after I found out about Allo not being around anymore. I expected it to go pretty quick since I was going to use the SunRocket gizmo,which is the device that is used to create the dial tone for a regular phone. It, technically speaking, should be fairly automated and fairly easy to do. But knowing that they were being swamped for lots of SunRocket customers, I thought it may take a day, 2 at the worst. But here it is, the 25th, and as of this morning, still no account. During all this time, I kept hearing about another company called NuVio. My understanding is that they primarily are a business VoIP provider. So, they should know something about having good call quality. And, probably have decent customer service. They also claim to be profitable. They had just started residential service, and were offering a deal for SunRocket customers. Service, they promised, would be up and running within 24 hours, as they would be able to use the SunRocket gizmo.


Because I was tired of waiting, I decided to send an email to ViaTalk to cancel my order, and to sign up with NuVio. Literally within minutes, I had phone service up and running under NuVio. It was exactly what I was expecting from ViaTalk. But then, 3 hours later, I had my account created on ViaTalk. I think I'll stick with NuVio anyway. They don't exactly have Caller ID spoofing, but I can change the name of the outgoing caller ID, and it appears that I can even have the number blocked. I could, possibly, change the name to my GrandCentral number. I'll have to play with that and see what happens.


It's been an interesting week trying to figure out what is going on, trying to find another provider that is going to stick around for a while, and trying to get everything up and running before I lose the ability to transfer my current number to my new account. Hopefully things will calm down now.