MagicJack – Review (Terrible Customer Service)

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Happiness

It is inexpensive, easy to set up and it works until it doesn’t, then good luck getting it fixed. Be aware that when (not if) you have a problem, their customer service is terrible… on the verge of useless. If you really need your home phone to work, don’t get MagicJack. However, if you are like me and have a home phone as a back up to the back up, then give it a try. A year of phone service $30 for is a tempting offer. At the time I got MagicJack, a few years ago it was $19.95 a year. Before I got MagicJack I was only using cell phones, but moved to a location that had very bad cell phone coverage. I decided to try a cheap solution. It worked, but was very unreliable. The MagicJack Plus has been better, but far from perfect.

Good experiences.

– Voicemails are emailed to me, I really like this as I always have access to my email account. I do wish I could have them sent to multiple people, because the messages aren’t always for me. You can add multiple email addresses, but only one account can receive the email.
– Moving – Easy, just take your MagicJack with you, get your highspeed internet hooked up, plug it in, and the phone works. You do have to update your 911 and mailing addresses online, but still much easier than transferring a traditional phone line.
– Traveling – bring your MagicJack with you and use it anywhere you have internet access (with free calls to any US address).

Bad experiences.
– My MagicJack Plus quit working after about 9 months.
– I spent 4+ hours on customer service and did not resolve the issue. It was obvious to me that I needed new hardware. They did not accept that until about 2 months later when I had time to contact them again. So I had no home phone for 2 months, although I did download a free Android app for my son. The second time I contacted them it took about 15 minutes before they said “your MagicJack is not working”… no kidding. I paid shipping charges for a new one to be shipped.

– Overcharges with little to no recourse except to close my account.
– I transferred my phone number from an old MagicJack to the MagicJack Plus in February 2011 (in response to an offer from them) so I would not have to leave a computer on all the time. My home phone was only as reliable as my Windows Operating System… not very.
– Although the old MagicJack was never used again and I had “upgraded, and transferred the number” it was not a transfer of the number, it was a “cloning” of the number. My old device (in the trash) was still active, and they still charged me $30 for an annual renewal in May. When I explained it had not been used, something I’m sure they could see in their system anyway, they stated they could not cancel service or refund charges after 90 days. This happened because when I set up my new device for Auto Renew, they set up all devices for Auto Renew. I don’t believe you could see or set up your devices separately at the time, and I assumed my other device was inactivated when I TRANSFERRED the number to the new device.
– Now the website lets you set each device separately, an improvement… but I will watch the charges on this account very closely in the future.
– Even though my old device has not been used for about a year, they will not let me “cancel” the service and take the device off my account. They stated to just “turn off Auto Renew”, so I will have to watch this closely to be sure an “update to their system” or some other “glitch” doesn’t change the state of my Auto Renew settings.

Even though I was overcharged $30 last year, if I walk away from MagicJack phone service will likely cost me much more than $60 a year, so I won’t be making a “grand gesture” to show them how unhappy I am. But I will keep my eye on them. With the roll out of the new MagicJack Plus last year I’m sure they collected these overcharges on many of their customers. I only noticed because I was on my account to change my address and update my 911 service, but with a $30 a year payment most people probably don’t go to their account very often. These overcharges could go on for years for those people. So if you have MagicJack check out your account at least every few months and pay attention to emails from them.

I personally don’t know how this business is profitable, I’m sure it is run on a shoestring budget, and I keep expecting to get an email saying they are closing their doors and that my phone will quit working on such and such a date. If my home phone was critical I would be concerned about this and never consider using MagicJack. We have the home phone, plus a cell phone for each person in the house, so the home phone is a nice addition, but not worth spending much money on, and not a critical service. So I will keep using MagicJack for now. I do expect that someone will eventually compete with them on price, and due to the multiple issues with their customer service, I will be likely change to something new as soon as it is available. Until then I will keep my expectations in line with what I’m paying for – close to nothing.

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