| Review by gboudreau |
member for 1.1 years, 1 visits, last login: 1 year ago
lodged 1.1 years ago
- Contract price not specified.
- (24 month contract)
- about 5 days
- "Awesome feature set."
- "Some local toll-free numbers can't be reached!"
- "Not recommended"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
Last year, I took the plunge and switched from a big local telephony provider to a web-based VoIP provider: Phone Power.
Their features set is quite something: free second line, voicemails to email, some free international minutes, etc.
But, when it comes to routing local calls, they are so-so.
I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Many local agencies & companies have 1-800 numbers that are geolocation-locked; you cant call those numbers from outside Canada, or outside Quebec (depending). How they detect the origin of the call is not based on the caller ID (the callers phone number); it has to do with how the call is routed, i.e. where its coming from for real.
Now, the problem is not that Phone Power isnt technically capable of routing those calls correctly, since I have been able to call those numbers on multiple occasions. The problem is that they are unable to keep routing consistent. The result is that those calls will only work sometimes, and will sometimes fail. And, when its not working, and you call/chat support to fix it, they dont know how to resolve the situation. Sometimes, after 20-30 minutes of back and forth, they are able to make those calls go through. Other times, they cant fix it, and answer that theyll investigate further, and contact me later when they found something.
Heres a timeline of my (10+) contacts with support regarding this:
Me: I cant connect to the following number: 1-800-361-3977 Would it help if my voip phone number was a canadian phone number maybe ?
Support: Possibly. Likely. Though youd need to speak with billing for the logistics of that.
Me: Trying to dial [a 1-866 number], its telling me that number cant be reached from my calling area.
Support: Basically i tried forcing the call through all of the providers i have available to me and i get the same message from them all. Call the bank and see if they allow inbound calls from outside canada.
Me: Michael called me today regarding a problem Im having with 1-866 numbers.
Support (after 1+ hour of back and forth): Can you dial one more time plaese?
Me: yes, its ringing! Bingo!!
Support We will be calling you back because we do not want this issue to happen to you or an other customer. I will currently leave it on for now. They might be changing it to test it on our end.
Support: This is a follow up email regarding the ticket you recently opened with us about dialing toll free numbers in Canada. While we do bill calls to Canada at a domestic rate, the call features recognize Canadian numbers as International in nature (as we are an American based company). So with International dialing blocked, it would not permit you to call such numbers.
Me: [...] it seems like it only partially block Canadian numbers
Because I can call local Canadian numbers without a problem with the setting On. It only prevents me from being able to call some Canadian 1-800 numbers
Me: Returning the call from Dude. He asked to call back if my 1-866 calls failed again. They do. it worked fine at the end of the chat session on the 27th, but now they are failing again.
Support: Please try calling again and let me know what happens now.
Me: Its working. All of them seems to work again now.
Support: We are still going to need to work on this issue to get it fully resolved. We will contact you once we have an update.
Me: The number you have dial has not been recognized.; different error message than earlier today.
Support: [We need to trace the call; can you dial the number again?]
Me: [No, my wife needs the phone now. I'll call back again when the phone if unused.]
Me: Some 1-866 local numbers cant be reached again.
Support: Ok, lets go again.
Me: working now.
Support: We tried to reach you in regards to the problem or service issue you reported on your Phone Power account, but had no success. If you are still experiencing the problem or issue, please reply to this email, or contact us at 888-607-6937 (option 3) in the next 24 hours.
Me: Its working fine at this time.
Me: Since I last wrote to you about this on November 16, 2011, when all was working fine, some 1-800 number are not working again.
Me: if you cant fix it like that, just make it so all my calls are routed like they were on Nov. 16 and leave it at that.
Support: I have already tested that and it did not work either. I will look into this more and contact you later.
Me: Whats the update on this ? Last contact was on December 5: I will look into this more and contact you later.
Me: (7 hours later) Official complain email sent to email@example.com, with instructions to forward to the appropriate person, since there is no other contact information on their website.
No response whatsoever.
Support: This is a follow up email regarding the ticket you recently opened with us about your outbound calls to toll free numbers, we attempted to reach you however were not successful. We have removed the test route, please re-test and let us know if problem still exist.
Me: 1-800 / 1-866 calls are failing again.
There is likely an easy workaround Though I agree with you that PP handled this poorly, IMO they did not deserve a scathing review, just because of a minor, easily worked-around issue. Googling 800-361-3977 shows, right on the result page "Telephone: 450 562-8581 or 1 800 361-3977." If you call 1-450-562-8581, press option 2 to get the Info-Santé IVR. It's a good bet that calling your bank or visiting their website will also yield a non-toll-free number.
Using a softphone, smartphone SIP app or other VoIP device, you could use one of several free services to call toll-free numbers. Another option is "laundering" your call through a service such as Localphone (calls to US and Canada toll-free numbers are free).
Canadian Toll Free Routing gboudreau, I am sorry that you have experienced this issue for so long. I located the account and I can see this has been an ongoing issue. I will be reviewing the information with our routing group to see if we can determine why your routing is intermittent. One possible explanation is that routing to Canadian toll free numbers isn't as transparent as it is for US numbers.