If you’ve been waiting for a chance to use Skype on your iPhone over AT&T’s network to save on international calls or supplement your calling plan’s minutes, your day has come. After a little nudge from the FCC, the company has reversed its ban on VOIP apps on its data network, and will now let you Skype away until you run out of people to call or things to say.
Until now, airplane cabins have been blessedly free from idle phone chatter thanks to FAA regulations. Now, thanks to the introduction of wi-fi on commercial flights, it’s time to ask: should passengers be able to use Skype, Google Voice, or another VoIP service of their choice to make phone calls in the air?
Apple may not feel like you’re ready to take advantage of Google Voice, but luckily Jobs and his legion can’t lock you out of every potential way to access the service. (Yet.) Here are three paths to GV you can use today, no permission needed from the Applelord.
A lot of Consumerist readers use Skype. (I mostly use it to call my cell phone when I can’t find it, but I also use SkypeIn for my business line.) Many of said readers, such as George, have technical or billing problems with Skype, but can’t get a response out of the Web-based customer support system. What should they do?
We’re having a hard time figuring out how Vonage can justify pulling their “Visual Voicemail” scam on customers without even offering the option of a refund, but that’s exactly what they’re doing to Daniel. They quietly turned on the feature over a year ago. You’d think in a year of logging onto the website, an observant customer would catch that sort of thing—only Vonage makes it actually look like it’s not enabled on your control panel, all the better to sneak it past you. Here’s how they pulled it off with Daniel’s account.
A few hours before Republican FCC chairman Kevin “Kevvy” Martin officially lost his job — he launched an investigation into whether Comcast is deliberately degrading rival phone services.
We don’t know what the hell happened with this customer service situation, but somehow the CSR for Vonage decided that when Sarah abruptly hung up on him, she agreed by default to a service cancellation and $92 cancellation fee. That sounds like the kind of angry-CSR “mistake” that can be fixed with a second call—but according to the next CSR Sarah spoke to, that’s just Vonage policy. What?
William got an email from Vonage yesterday telling him they’re raising his bill starting in February.
Wanna cut down that phone bill? Here’s 102 of the best free phone services on the internet. [VOIP-News]
Vonage has settled with AT&T over claims that the VOIP provider infringed on some patents held by the telecommunications giant.
Vonage has a handy web form which forwards all issues to their Executive Response Team. A reader says he submitted his issue and he got a callback and resolution within 3 hours. “A 3 hour turn around isn’t bad at all,” he writes, “considering I’d already wasted 2-3 hours on the regular phone support over the past 3 days.”
Vonage’s appeal was rejected by a U.S. appeals court, and so troubled VOIP provider Vonage will have to pay $117.5 million to Verizon as punishment for infringing their patents. In addition, Vonage will be required to donate 2.5 million to charity. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
Score another point for consumers making it over the unyielding wall of “customer service.” Keith writes in about his recent struggles with Vonage, over an account he thought had been completely canceled six months earlier, “The carpet bomb instructions were inspired and within 3 weeks of sending my carpet bomb I got my resolve… The great part is I got my credit from the same person who stone walled me the months previous. Oh success is sweet.”
It’s not a good week for Vonage. VoIP Security firm Sipera has announced that they’ve discovered a vulnerability in Vonage’s equipment that can allow hackers to take control of user accounts to intercept calls, make calls via the accounts, eavesdrop, or launch DoS attacks. Although most VoIP systems are about as secure as sending IM messages over a public wifi network (that is, not secure at all), Vonage has a couple of special problems with its Motorola adapters not authorizing requests, which leaves a special door open for bad people doing bad things. The problem also affects adapters from Grandstream and Globe7.
Let’s face it, you are probably smarter than your last Comcast technician—at least, you probably think you are.
Last week’s two-day Skype outage was due to millions of users across the globe restarting their computers after a Windows Security update. [Skype]