Do You Know Your VOIP Provider?

June 11, 2008

One of the things that I had to deal with during my timultuous time of setting up Instant Call Blast and my previous company was the myriad of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) providers and resellers that have invaded the web. I dealt with at least 17 different companies to become vendors for my calls before I decided to see what it took to become one myself.

I pride myself on being completely honest. That is something that is a rare commodity in this industry. You want to know who I am? Google “Anthony Morelle.” Of course then you have to figure out if I am the DJ, the Penn State Quarterback, the City of Rochester City meter thief, or some newscaster. I am none of them, but I do hail from Rochester, NY. I do post on other blogs occasionally.

The point I am trying to make, and I cannot stress this enough, find out who you are dealing with. Political affiliations aside, the most important thing to figure out is “are they reputable?” I had a provider in my early days of going solo tell me that he was in business for over 12 years when a background check on his company only showed 2 years. Being in the VOIP Reselling business is quite a challenge. Being involved for over 10 years is unheard of. These companies go out of business faster than you can say “Voice Over Internet Protocol.”

There are other companies that I compete with on the Internet that are less than reputable. It’s important to understand who you are dealing with. I can’t stress that enough. You will see some shady things going on when the prices are real cheap. There is a reason for that folks! I am selling you a pretty reasonable product. If there is only one way to receive payment, then you might want to figure out why.

If a company is affiliated with another, larger VOIP vendor and the reseller tells you that the reason your calls stopped is because the larger company doesn’t like robocalls or voice broadcasts. That person is lying to you and I would highly recommend a refund. Most of the larger companies like Verizon, XO, Comcast, Level 3, Time Warner and many others thrive on these types of calls because they are still making money. One company I dealt with directly told me that they signed up 3 companies like mine last week. Prerecorded phone messages are the wave of the future when getting a message out compared to the cost of postage.

If your provider decides not to answer your help ticket, they joined this place:

http://www.myvoipprovider.com/VoIP_Provider_Graveyard/

The worst part about everything is that the government does nothing. Companies go under, take your money, and set up shop somewhere else under a new name. There was a guy I knew about that owned 3 different VOIP reselling companies in a few years and was still able to operate within the United States. That guy should be in a cell somewhere. Other providers have already been there. Find out who you are dealing with folks.

It doesn’t matter if they are selling you time for a penny a call or half a penny. You get what you paid for. You may be treated with no dignity, no respect, and have to deal with a person who may not even know the definition of “business ethics.” I am only telling you this because I feel you should know. As a former customer to at least 20 companies, I have the experience to know that you will be ripped off when you don’t do your homework.

Why trust me you ask? Well because I am trying to bring back business ethics and customer service to this industry. You aren’t just a bunch of walking dollar signs and I truly believe that I can be an example and a beacon for many of my customers who have been burned in the past by other companies. This technology is very useful with every day applications. You just have to find the right people to deal with.

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A Few Things You Should Know About This Industry

June 11, 2008

Some Things You Need to Know About Robocalls, Voice Broadcasts, and Emergency Notification

Instant Call Blast understands that there are plenty of other companies out on the Internet that provide similar services to political campaigns. As we speak with potential clients, we have know that many people do not understand exactly what a “Robocall” or automated voice message is. Here is a list of things you should know when doing business with a company like Instant Call Blast!

What is a call blast?

A call blast is a voice broadcast, robocall, or recorded alert that has a message. Using it with a list of contacts, it blasts out that message to thousands of people at once. The message can be compressed into a .WAV file, an MPEG, other recording media, or simply a landline phone.

Do companies charge more for robocalls than others?

The price of a robocall can vary because there are many different reasons that go into the price of a phone call. A company that sells you calls for a penny, may be using phone technology that allows for the cost of the connection to be less than a penny. The provider isn’t telling you what is the quality of the call or whether they are reselling the call to you, degrading the quality.

The entire industry could sell their calls for a penny a call, but not all companies are going to give you the best quality. Price is the least determining factor when making a decision. Everyone price shops for the best product for the price. It is no less different with robocalls.

Is sound quality important for my call blast?

The VOIP industry uses a codec (G.729A and G.723.1) for VOIP that may be between 13 and 15 kilobytes per second for a prerecorded message. Is your message really worth poor sound quality? What does that say about the efforts of your call blast when someone gets a call from a call blaster, hears the message, and it is all garbled?

At Instant Call Blast, we employ the latest codecs that the VOIP industry has invented. It allows us to give our customers 64 KBPS. It will seem like the caller is sitting next to you, speaking face to face!

How many people will hear my message?

Each Call Blast is determined heavily on the list itself. Where did you get it? Is it reliable? Can you quantify the results before you actually blast out calls? These are the important questions you should be asking yourself.

Instant Call Blast has the latest in Answering Machine Detection (AMD) software which will play your message after your call goes to voice mail. Your connect rate will also determine how many “live” people listened to your message. That will determine your percentage. Using more than one call round targeted for different times will also increase the effectiveness by up to 15%! On average, Instant Call Blast has seen lists that were at most 80% effective. The results may vary largely on how relevant your list is and how up to date.

Most companies will only contact a number once before counting it as a call. You might as well hand your money over to the provider and let them keep the money upfront. You want the provider to attempt more than once? Well that is an extra fee.

At Instant Call Blast we attempt contact your list up to and including three times only paying for the additional rounds. We clean your list for free and we will only count the calls that were connected. That’s better than many other companies in the industry!

Will I get a report when the call blast is over?

Every customer will receive a report almost immediately after the call has been made. You will receive a short report with relative statistics as well as a comprehensive report outlining the activity on each call on the list in a spreadsheet format. The report will be emailed to your address on file. If you plan on using the call list again, you can see what information needs to be updated or removed so that you can have an even more effective call blast next time around!

Are there any fees when setting up a call blast?

You should not be charged for anything except the calls themselves. If you are being charged for anything else, you are probably getting ripped off! There should be no reason you are paying for list cleaning, list maintenance, reports, extra rounds. All that can be programmed with virtually no effort at all. If you are getting “pennied” to death by other providers, you might want to make a switch to Instant Call Blast!