Worst Provider Award Goes To…

June 17, 2008

The worst provider award goes to Nufone.Net for taking 3 weeks to get back to me (today) on a help desk ticket. I had my 800 number with that company since I started in this industry. Well not exactly, the company I was with previously was a Nufone number. All the same, I am not sure what the problem is these days with VOIP providers and resellers.

This guy, “Admin Jeremy” proceeds to tell me about how it was my fault his company was duplicating tones on my 800 number. He proceeds to tell me that I had to upgrade my software and a whole slew of things to make the problem go away. He went so far as to tell me that it was not possible for his company to be at fault…except the part where it took 3 weeks to answer my help desk ticket. Even then the guy never expressed any type of apology for his company’s behavior.

Apparently according to “Admin Jeremy” I had to be a post paid customer and not a prepaid customer in order to receive support. What this dufus doesn’t understand is that he never responded to the help desk ticket. So what difference does it make? There is no Customer Support or Help Desk phone number on their website and they sell phone numbers! Real shady!

Either way, Nufone.Net is the worst company and I don’t care that they don’t refund my money. I am tired of these VOIP Providers and their “company of one” mentality. It just goes to my theory that just because you have a background in IT, IS, Telecom, and a mixture of them all, you still have to be able to deal with your customers. Unfortunately you can’t learn customer service in school. You can’t learn this gaming 18 hours a day in a Warcraft expansion game. It involves you actually talking to people and dealing with their problems. You can’t just open up a company because you have the expertise in the industry. It takes many other factors that go into building a company. Most importantly, you need to be able to take care of your customer’s issues.

JP at Binfone.com has been my saviour. He took care of me when I ported my number from Nufone (which took a week to get ahold of…another reason I knew I was not at fault). I was up and running within 3 days, the minimum amount of time it takes to port a number. I hopefully have distanced myself from everyone that is incompetent and I can move ahead. Best part of all, I didn’t have to upgrade anything. That’s because there was nothing wrong with my setup because it was designed by CT Integration Systems with Rochester Institute of Technology telecom expertise.

Here is a link for another guy who thought Nufone went out of business:

http://lists.digium.com/pipermail/asterisk-biz/2004-November/001082.html

Another:

http://lairds.org/Kyler/stupidity/Jeremy_McNamara

http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t233111-p2-re-is-nufone-going-out-of-business.html

http://lists.digium.com/pipermail/asterisk-users/2004-May/039645.html

http://ircarchive.info/asterisk/2007/3/16/1.html

Wow! I didn’t know I could find all this on the first few pages just Googling “Nufone.” Maybe I should have done that before I dealt with them! Reading through most of the dialogue, Jeremy McNamara hasn’t learned his lesson about handling customers over the years. I feel sorry for people who can’t learn for their mistakes. It just shows that these types of people have no capacity to learn, but will probably own another company someday…

I will just name my award the Jeremy McNamara Award for Worst Provider. The saddest thing is that I have a whole list of names of people that could be named for this award. People just never learn anything about customer service. I have found that the largest concentration of customer service violators come from this industry. That is why I wished that the Federal Government licensed these people. That way it will weed out the incompetent people. Man this really burns me…

** As a disclaimer (for a certain someone), I am going through old emails and I don’t see your direct link except that I do know that you were an owner/representative of Plainvoip that has my money and I have no knowledge of any other owner. I think your type is dispicable and I will edit my blog for you, but please note that I don’t buy your “innocent” act when you left a message on my voice mail. Your old employer had quite a few things to say about your behavior at Molten, Inc. This is not a coincidence.

You might fill the Internet with your “I am a cool telecom guy, choose me as a resource.” However I am well aware of your history, whether or not you were directly involved with leadership of these companies, you represented them. To me and the legions of unhappy customers you left in the wake of at least two (that I know of) companies, there is no difference between ownership or representation. If you are truly innocent, then maybe your ability and judgment to work with legitimate businesses really sucks! At the very least, with your knowledge of the operations of many of these “scam” companies, you owe an apology to the screwed customers for knowingly allowing people you helped and doing nothing.

Your name actually causes many other people to NOT do business with that company. I wonder how you live with yourself and get up everyday. I seriously consider your ethical behavior and I hope that you personally don’t open a business in New York because you are a phone call away from the Consumer Protection Bureau. I have mentioned to several ranking politicians here about companies that “set up and fold” only to set up again without criminal charges. I hope to seriously cause some politicians to regulate the reseller industry. I will make it harder for people like you to continuously set up your companies and scamming others; giving companies like mine a bad name. Oh and the whole “I was just following orders” excuse won’t fly with a judge. Ask the guys at Nuremberg.**


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.