I'm often told not to judge a company by their Web pages and business practices. Still seems like a good indication though.
I have a friend who is *very* knowledgeable about VoIP who has strongly recommended Nufone every time we've talked about PSTN interconnects over the past year or so. I finally got my system up this week and decided to get a provider so I asked him once more for suggestions. Again, his regard for Nufone was much higher than for any others.
So I replied to an old message from Nufone's Jeremy McNamara in which he said I could just call and set up credit card payment over the phone. (It was just after 5:00 and no one answered when I called.) I gave my contact info so that he could call me whenever was convenient.
I didn't hear from him today so when I had a break I finally called. I was a little disappointed by the automatic phone handling but it seemed o.k. Then I got a sales person (I guess.). That's when it fell apart.
First, I was struck by how horrible the audio was. Whenever the person spoke there were audio cuts at about 3Hz. It was really annoying but I tried to be patient and give him all of the info he needed.
Finally he ran my Visa card. No go. Did I have the address right? Try again. That is no simple task; he had to cut and paste all of my information into a new form. Nope, my address still doesn't match the one on file. I grab a statement and read the address from it. More cutting and pasting. He tries again and it still fails. My only other card is Discover but they don't take that so it's game over.
Reluctantly I signed up with VoicePulse. Easy. Unfortunately I am getting errors about everything being busy so I haven't been able to use them. My view of VoIP is dim.
Then I get a message from...me? It's a copy of the message I'd sent saying that I'd like to open an account at Nufone. There's no other text to it, just my message as I sent it. Looking at the headers, I see some indication that it's a ticket handling system that just shot it at me. From: " email@example.com via RT" X-RT-Original-Encoding: utf-8 RT-Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org In-Reply-To: X-Mailer: Perl5 Mail::Internet v1.60 RT-Ticket: nufone.net #1721 Message-Id: X-RT-Loop-Prevention: nufone.net Sender: Apache
I know how hard it can be to set up a ticket system so I decided to respond to tell them what happened but not to worry about responding because I've already moved on to VoicePulse (and I wished them luck because I still hoped to try them again someday). That's when it got weird.
Jeremy responded and seemed confused about the message to which I was referring (which had been bounced to me). He also said "When voicepulse goes down for another week, you will change your mind." I know VoicePulse stinks and I'm not expecting much from it but that just seemed unprofessional.
O.k., because he's been good to a friend of mine, I decided to go ahead and try to explain what happened. I just fell in deeper. For explaining that the message came to me as I'd sent it (with minor changes to the headers), I got That was our system closing out that trouble ticket due to inactivity. The top of the message shows the state change.
The inactivity was theirs. I sent it the day before and they did nothing about it so they sent it back to me?! Also, the message had*no* indication of "state change."
Worse, I got this. As our website states you can paypal email@example.com or call 248-724-VoIP to debit your credit card. If someone does not answer the phone number it is customary for you to leave your name and contact information so that someone can call you back. So, after leaving my name and contact information (including telephone number) with them for a day, I get grief for not doing it?
Ug. I sure hope someone comes along with better VoIP and customer service. I'd be willing to deal with the demeanor of Nufone if they could provide good technical service but after hearing their own system I have significant doubts.