SunRocket Tells Customers KTHXBAI, Thanks For The Money

SunRocket customers received a Dear John letter last night informing them SunRocket was kaputsville.

Note to other companies thinking of folding: send that letter before the New York Times article comes out. It’s called, “staying ahead of the curve.”

Two fun facts about the letter, reprinted inside: 1)There’s no mention of any intent to refund anyone’s money. 2) It uses
the word service 16 times.

Reader and former SunRocket customer Patrick writes, “The last line kind of makes me feel like I’ve been serviced in the same sense that farmers borrow bulls to service cows. I’m sure it was “their pleasure”.

Dear Customers,

After significant effort by the Company to avoid this result, SunRocket is in the process of closing its operations and therefore will no longer be able to provide you with the phone service that you have been accustomed to. However, this email provides you with an opportunity to sign up with select service providers who we believe will offer outstanding replacement service

In order to assist you, we have entered into negotiations with a number of service providers. As a result of those negotiations, we have entered into agreements with 8×8, Inc., provider of the Packet8 service, and Unified Communications Corp., provider of Teleban d service to offer you the best options and we are proud to recommend the following alternatives to you. Please make your decision to move to a new service provides immediately as future service is uncertain.

8×8/Packet8

The Packet8 Internet phone service incorporates patent protected technology from 8×8. Inc., a publicly traded company in business for more than 20 years. The service works in the same way as SunRocket.s and offers a virtually identical feature set.

. No Startup Costs
. FREE activation
. FREE equipment
. FREE shipping
. FREE first month of service
. Quickly port your number at no charge

A Savings of over $100!

Copy and paste the following link into your Internet browser:
http://getpacket8.packet8.net/sunrocket/ or call 1-800-868-0068 and mention special offer code SUNROCKET

Unified Communications Corp./TeleBlend

The TeleBlend Internet phone service inc orporates patent-protected technology from Unified Communications Corp., a privately held company in business to provide outstanding customer service and telephony products. Teleblends has been working behind the scenes already to restore and continue service for all Sun Rocket customers The service works in the same way as SunRocket.s and offers an identical feature set with our Unlimited Transfer Plan.
. No Startup Costs
. FREE activation
. USE your existing hardware
. FREE and Quick transfer of your current number
. No Need to port your number to another provider
. UNLIMITED calling to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico

Copy and paste the following link into your Internet browser: http://www.myteleblend.net

It has been our pleasure to service you at SunRocket!

PREVIOUSLY:
SunRocket Postmortem: Virtual Everything Means No One Really Gives A Damn
SunRocket VoIP Is Dead, Run Away While You Still Can

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. tvh2k says:

    “Copy and paste the following link into your Internet browser:”

    Do they really need to tell us how to use a URL?

  2. @tvh2k: there are quite a few people that actually need more information that this — what is copy and paste? Is Internet Explorer OK?

    Where’s the “Any” key?

  3. Erskine says:

    @tvh2k: “Do they really need to tell us how to use a URL?”

    Yes, the peole affected by this need all the help they can get. They went with SunRocket in the first place, didn’t they?

  4. LTS! says:

    Is it TeleBlend or teleban d? I could not tell. I hope the former, because the latter sounds like the VOIP service that the government should be monitoring to solve this whole terrorism thing.

  5. tadowguy says:

    @ERSKINE: I received 13 months of phone service for $199, without any federal taxes or 911 fees. I sure am dumb.

  6. Toof_75_75 says:

    @LTS!:

    HAHA I was thinking the same thing!

  7. clerner68 says:

    I got burned with sunrocket, over 6 months left on my prepaid account.
    I called my credit card company and they said it can be partially refunded
    back so I opened the dispute. I ordered on monday from another VOIP
    provider called voiceral (www.voiceral.com). They have a 3 months free
    special for people switching from sunrocket. I didn’t trust the companies
    that sunrocket was listing as suggested companies to change to (because you
    know they are related to sunrocket to get money) so I did some research
    online and these guys have been around a while with some positive feedback.
    This situation worked out better for me than I thought – with the credit
    card refund, and the 3 free months from Voiceral this worked out in my
    favor. I got a new telephone number, while they port over the sunrocket
    phone number I used to have – so overall I’m very happy and can’t believe
    I actualy made a few dollars out of this mess.

  8. adamondi says:

    Is anyone actually going to act on the recommendation of a “service provider” that completely ceased providing service without bothering to tell its customers for several days? Talk about an endorsement I would not want to touch with a ten-foot pole….

  9. Zonino says:

    This cracked me up… directly from Teleblend FAQ:

    “We are sorry that you want to cancel your phone service. We are not SunRocket so we cannot take any cancellation information for them. If you do not want to sign up with us for new service that is your prerogative.”

    Glad to know its he customers “prerogative” to pay for service that had already been paid for..

  10. chstwnd says:

    I’m in the process of disputing the charge from ~3.5 months ago, so I have some time to consider my options. With the apparently effortless transition to teleblend (briefly checked out the website), it makes me wonder if someone high up in SunRocket had their hands in both companies. Not to be too much of a conspiracy theorist, but…could the fold have been planned to allow someone to cover up embezzlement?

    I used to have Vonage, and was reasonably happy with it, except that they seemed to be using the same tactic as all of the megacorporations – miscellaneous surcharges (and increasing) inflated my bill by 20%.

  11. Ray Wert Jr says:

    @tvh2k: Better yet, can they really not figure out how to link?

  12. chstwnd says:

    One more thing…. Isn’t it a bie strange that the teleblend website is currently ONLY setup to receive fleeing SunRocket customers (the Vonage link takes you to the SunRocket transfer page). And I would think that there would be some legal repercussion for actually posting the SunRocket logo/TM on the teleblend site

  13. chstwnd says:

    oh, it just keeps getting better. The contact number from the SunRocket site is
    (877) 252-4549

    and the contact info from the very helpful TeleBlend site is (877) 252-4548.

    The likelihood of these numbers being handed out sequentially to different companies providing the same service is virtually nil.

    Can someone say “federal prosecution”?

  14. sonichghog says:

    I am in the process of switching to Via Talk. But at this time my Sunrockt number still works. Just no voicemail.

  15. sonichghog says:

    Teleblend? I just took a look at the site. There does not seem to be a way to become a user if you did not have sunrocket. Looks a little fishy to me?
    Even the Vonage link shows up as sunrocket.

  16. Erskine says:

    @tadowguy: Yep, y’are.

  17. nightshadowon says:

    @tvh2k: Was it a “dear john letter” as described or a “dear john email”? Pretty hard to copy and paste from a piece of paper no matter how computer savvy you are (well I guess you can scan and ocr then copy and paste).

  18. SomeoneGNU says:

    Even more amusing, if you enter any phone number you can get the $12.95 deal. I smell a scam a brewing. I’ve even entered fake phone numbers.

  19. BetterWhoIs gives us some interesting information about myteleblend.net:

    Updated Date: 18-jul-2007
    Creation Date: 18-jul-2007
    Expiration Date: 18-jul-2009

    I can’t believe that crappy SunRocket wants people to join a company with a website that was created two days ago. Yeah. That’s awesome. Go, SunRocket! Go, TeleBlend! Or not.

  20. Here’s more (that I had to get from the bowels — tee hee! — of GoDaddy):

    TeleBlend

    5 Bragdon Lane
    Kennebunk, Maine 04043
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. ([www.godaddy.com])
    Domain Name: MYTELEBLEND.NET
    Created on: 17-Jul-07
    Expires on: 18-Jul-09
    Last Updated on: 17-Jul-07

    Administrative Contact:
    TeleBlend, TeleBlend info@teleblend.com
    TeleBlend
    5 Bragdon Lane
    Kennebunk, Maine 04043
    United States
    8772524549

    Technical Contact:
    TeleBlend, TeleBlend info@teleblend.com
    TeleBlend
    5 Bragdon Lane
    Kennebunk, Maine 04043
    United States
    8772524549

  21. Finally, here’s a message board discussion thread at dslreports.com entitled “Who the f**k is TeleBlend? Interesting stuff. Here’s a sample:

    … The pages tell us [Teleblend is] “a United Systems Access Brand” which, according to Yahoo is a company which “focused on the acquisition and management of young or ailing companies that exhibit growth potential” BINGO. They buy up failing telecom companies. …

    Okay, so here is my question. If they have acquired the assets of SunRocket (at the very least it appears that they have acquired the web site code and the customer list) then how to they avoid incurring the liabilities of SunRocket (the obligation to fulfill existing contracts)? I’m not a lawyer or anything but it seems to me that unless you buy such assets as part of a court-sanctioned bankruptcy sale or something similar, you shouldn’t be able to simply wave your hands and magically make the liabilities disappear.

  22. royal72 says:

    dude i know this scheme! it’s like the furniture stores here in san diego that have “going out of business” sales every weekend and then they magically do not close… then there’s the more elaborate version where they actually “close”. the name changes and they have a new location, but they’re exactly the same shit company run by the same cunt pumps(ie: the bedroom superstore changed to mor furniture here in sd).

  23. Crumbles says:

    If anyone is switching over to ViaTalk, send me an IM on AIM: Crumbles19

    I currently have ViaTalk and they have been awesome. I get a discount, and you get a discount for using the referral. Anyway, IM me if you’re interested.

  24. Buran says:

    “We’ve cancelled the service you prepaid for and here’s where you can replace the service by spending more money, money we’re not returning to you for the service we decided not to provide you.”

    Ridiculous.

  25. SexCpotatoes says:

    oooh, send me requests too, sxcpotatoes_at_yahoo.com, I can make invites and get a discount too. I whole-heartedly reccommend ViaTalk, they have a $199 buy a year get a year free promotion right now with TWO phone lines! I only wish I coulda gotten those instead of the one line awhile back. Works awesome, and I’m saving $20 or more a month, with every feature known to man, and then some.

  26. Nick says:

    Look, their Terms of Service are completely identical. They both mention retail stores. If TeleBlend was created 2 days ago, there is no way anyone could have purchased it from a “retail outlet”. And they both misspell “local authorities.s.” in the Taxes section of the document.

    Now that’s not fishy at all… ;-)
    [www.myteleblend.net] vs. [www.sunrocket.com]

  27. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Still paying too much for phone service? Maybe. My phone still works :)
    In breaking news, Verizon files bankruptcy, and their assets were purchased by a brand new company, Verizun.
    And it is not uncommon for a company buying another company to purchase only the assets (customer lists, equipment, inventory) and not liabilities (bills, etc.). It may be ‘shady’ but it is also ‘legal.’ Someone still is responsible for the liabilities.

  28. FLConsumer says:

    Been with Viatalk for 2 years here. Very pleased. No outages, and VoIP isn’t their primary business.

  29. Rev3rb says:

    I was thinking if there was going to be a class action suit, but now I think disputing the charges on my credit card might be the better option.

  30. FutureRoadie says:

    I spoke witha teleblend rep. right when the email came out and they straight out said they bought out sunrockets assets, except for property. Legal repprecussions? I dont think any being they bought off their assets and not the company, I would understand it to be different. $12.95 a month is a pretty good month to month rate for my remaining 14 months, I will prob. sign up with them.
    Btw when I spoke to them they said they were going to cut the line on sunrocket customers thatt didnt switch in a week to 2 weeks

  31. synergy says:

    “It has been our pleasure to service you at SunRocket!”

    Well, they definitely got serviced. They’re fucked.

  32. MuswellHillUK says:

    One of the posters said (cut and paste from above): The pages tell us
    [Teleblend is] “a United Systems Access Brand” which, according to Yahoo
    is a company which “focused on the acquisition and management of young or
    ailing companies that exhibit growth potential” BINGO. They buy up failing
    telecom companies. …

    I am not a lawyer, either, but I do believe you are right. One can not,
    except with official bankrupty proceedings and approval from the bankruptcy
    court, just dump the creditors and keep the revenue-makers.

    I, too, am a SunRocket customer whose phone is still (temporarily) working
    and the Sherwood Partners mass email was sent to me in what is so obviously
    an attempt to make sure we know we have been put over a barrel, not only
    regards prepays for service we now won’t be receiving from SunRocket (by
    the way, last I heard that is a violation of a contractual obligation)and
    having our much-needed telephone numbers held hostage unless we panic and
    opt for Teleblend or Packet8.

    FCC has started an investigation of this entire mass and told me on Friday
    morning when I phoned them that they have been buried in phone calls from
    SunRocket customers across the country. They also told me to phone them
    back this coming week when, hopefully, they would have some information for
    us all.

  33. chstwnd says:

    If the FCC gets involved and actually brings charges against parties involved, what are the chances that Teleblend will be dissolved as party to a fraud scheme?

  34. dtn says:

    I would love to see that the FCA does something about this. I’m in the process of signing on with ViaTalk. I sent in the request over a week ago, and still no information from them via email as of yet. I called and held in que for over 30 min. and finally was able to speak with someone. They simply told me to wait another day or so… boy, thats helpful!

    I also didn’t trust the company SunRocket was suggesting… I think its a scam as well. I seriously doubt that Packet8 purchases all of SunRockets assets. If you look on SunRockets forum, there is a message explaining what went down. There was an expected buyer of SunRocket, then at the last minute, they backed out. After that happened, the doors were closed.

  35. dtn says:

    Oops…. FCC

  36. Nick says:

    Apart from all the underhandedness of the company’s formation, the Teleblend service itself isn’t looking so hot right now either… [status.teleblendsupport.net]

  37. MuswellHillUK says:

    I just read NICK2588′s posting regarding Teleblend and used the status.teleblend
    link he posted. So Teleblend had its voicemail go down? Or is it only just
    now establishing it?

    Also, did anybody know that (at least as of a day ago) suddenly one could
    access one’s old SunRocket account page again and that some of the extras
    that had been lost when this all hit the fan have now been restored? Kind
    of strange, that, isn’t it!

  38. MuswellHillUK says:


    Failures
    by Mike Masnick
    Wed, Jan 3rd 2007 6:26pm
    Share This

    Permalink.
    Marty, The Dot Com Cleanup Guy, Not Doing So Well These Days
    from the no-dot-comes-to-cleanup dept

    Remember Marty, the dot com cleanup guy? That would be Marty Pichinson,
    founder and CEO of Sherwood Partners, who was all over the press in the post-dot
    com bubble days. Sherwood Partners was the firm that the big VCs called in
    to help liquidate all those dot bombs. For a few years, Marty just couldn’t
    stay out of the press. Even in 2004, Marty claimed he was still going strong,
    moving the business from Los Angeles to Palo Alto, hiring lots of help and
    opening satellite offices. Unfortunately, though, for Marty, Bubble 2.0 has
    come along, and the latest profile notes that the dot com cleanup business
    may be in need of some cleaning up itself. Sherwood Partners has shut down
    the satellite offices, cut its staff in half, and is trying to reinvent its
    reputation not as liquidation specialists, but as experts who can help a
    company last longer. However, Sherwood’s reputation as the gleeful “cleaner”
    of dot com busts isn’t helping the company. The article quotes a few different
    VCs who all clearly distance themselves from the company, insisting that
    all of their portfolio firms are doing well and are in no need of Marty’s
    kind of help. Of course, like most things, these types of businesses tend
    to be cyclical. When the next bubble bursts, we’re sure there will be plenty
    of business around for Marty, assuming he’s still in business himself.
    2 Comments | Leave a Comment..


    **************************************
    Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at [discover.aol.com]

  39. MuswellHillUK says:

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  40. MuswellHillUK says:

    I have located a law firm who are now looking into filing a class action
    lawsuit. If you wish to be kept informed as to whether they determine grounds
    and viability of such a suit, please contact me via email at MuswellHillUK@aol.com