SunRocket customers received a Dear John letter last night informing them SunRocket was kaputsville.
SunRocket financier says he “doesn’t know” whether customers will be able to get back their advance payments after creditors purchase the company’s remaining assets. [NYT]
Start-ups like SunRocket and Vonage, the largest and best known of the group, tend to offer only phone service, and they do not have the ability of the larger companies to ensure quality of service because they do not operate their own telecommunications lines, said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at Pali Research in New York. “They only have one product and they can’t control quality,” Mr. Greenfield said, adding that the business is “extremely challenging.”
So they leased their lines, outsourced their call center, and except for an office in Vienna, VA, were for all intents and purposes, a virtual operation.
As of last night, Sunrocket VoIP is unplugged, and they didn’t warn any of their 200,000+ customers, who had been attracted to the service by deals which offered $99 buy-one-year, get-one-year-free unlimited calling to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Now they’re experiencing spotty service, full outages, and a feeling of panic.
VOIP provider SunRocket has launched Everyday Hogwash, a contest site where bloggers can submit their complaints about niggling problems for a chance to win cash prizes. SunRocket’s marketing tag line is “the no-gotcha phone company,” from which they are stringing a tenuous line to the theme of the website . (We have yet to divine what Commander Sisko on ecstacy has to do with life’s little problems, but we aren’t in marketing.)