Review by Red Hazard
Good "Price and Reliability"
- Location: O Fallon,Saint Clair,IL
- Cost: $7 per month (48 month contract)
- Install: about 3 days
Bad "VOIPo ATA does not support home wiring according to VOIPo support."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Update 11/28/2013: Service still remains stable. I'm downgrading the "Ease of Installation" to mediocre due to 2 issues I discovered after switching to the OBi202 using the OBI-VOIPo pre-configured installation wizard. 1. The registration renewal interval was 60 seconds and not the standard 3600 (1 hour) interval (BTW VOIPo's ATA was 3600) and I did not want to add more bloating toward my internet cap. I had to get help changing to 3600 and the directions are now in the DSLreports VOIP Tech Chat Forum (search: OBIHAI Registration Interval with VOIPo). 2. The voice mail stutter tone notification was defaulted to disable with the installation wizard even though VOIPo provided ATAs have it enabled (at least mine, an HT502, did). It took me a while to figure out how to enable it with the OBi202. I posted directions on the VOIPo site in the Home & Home Office VoIP forum, but regrettably all my posts were subsequently expunged, presumably unintentionally. So you'll have to figure that one out though its not difficult.
Update 08/29/2013: Service still remains reliable. I recently upgraded to a BYOD OBi202 due to sporadic OSD of CID/CNAM info from a DirecTV HR24 STB. It now displays consistently probably due to the 1 ampere power supply as compared to the HT502/702's 0.5 ampere power supplies. This was the only issue I had with the HT-702 used for the past ~9 months. Also the OBI installation went very smooth using the OBI-VOIPo pre-configured installation wizard and took only a few mins. Accordingly the Ease of Installation rating has been upgraded.
Update 12/02/2012: I was able to register my BYOD ATA after determing that the DIR-655 B1 router, after F/W 2.07 and 2.10 updates and maybe 2.01, mandates that ALG SIP be ENABLED in order to register in the BYOD configuration. I verified this with a Grand Stream HT502 and HT702.
Update 11/15/2012: Service has been very stable. If I had to make a SWAG, I would guess that the previous reported problems had something to with asymetrical registration that now is no longer an issue. However Voipo support indicated that I needed t purchase another ATA which was wrong, but I must admit that I also thought the ATA was faulty (though I knew it was not my CAT 5e wiring causing that "issue"). O/A 10/13/2012 I updated the firmware of the DIR-655 from version 2.00 to 2.07 and I think that increased the reliability as occasionally numbers had to be re-dialed and that is no longer a problem. Accordingly, the reliability rating has been changed to max.
Update 10/2/2012: I give up. The VOIPo HT-502 is now working properly and is in it's initial physical/electrical configuration. Since the service is working properly and has been recently reasonably reliable, I am upgrading my review to reflect this fact for the past 2-3 weeks. Also the comments from Tim indicated that they do support BYOD (at least the same ATAs they issue) required my BYOD non-support comment to be removed. (Their site needs to be upgraded regarding BYOD IMO). I have ordered a phone line compatible multimeter for checking the ringing current, currently in the mail, and will take measurements if the ringing problem returns. FWIW, the ATA is powered by an APC HS-500 UPS.
Update 09/12/2012: This morning my 2-line desk phone rang on FXS 2 while FXS 1 was on-hook. I checked VOIPo VPanel and noted under Devices that only FXS 2 was registered which I fixed with an ATA reboot. With both ports registered, I then verified incoming calls would ring on FXS 1 first and then left it off-hook to see if FXS 2 would ring. It did, but still has the weak ringing current symptom. This definitely has to be a VOIPo HT-502 issue. Why was the FXS 2 ringing current OK when FXS 1 was not registered? I dread contacting VOIPo support after their "home wiring causing the ringing problem" diagnosis.
Update 09/10/2012: This is bizarre. The VOIPo HT-502 now rings on FXS 1 as it should (good ringing current and rings first when both lines on-hook). However, if FXS 1 is off-hook, FXS 2 attempts to ring but ringing current is too weak to even ring a single phone with a REN of 0.1. This is vice versa from the problem that initially occurred (I use the USOC color code for Cat5 and FXS 1 port is back on the blue pair). This does however prove once again that my home wiring is not causing the ringing issue. With my bad experience using VOIPo support, I am reluctant to try again and need to make sure the problem does not reverse again because my base station phone has several wireless phones throughout the house that are primary usage and currently on FXS 1.
Update 8/28/2012: Attempted to use my own device (PAP2T this time) with the same results as my HT-502. Incoming calls work fine on both lines but outgoing calls more often than not result in a fast busy. When I look at the simple instructions of other VOIP providers that encourage or require BYODs, the setup looks simple. However, there must be some tricky BYOD settings that VOIPo requires and I don't know the secret handshake. So I am back using VOIPo's ATA with line 1 still having ringing problems.
Update 8/19/2012: Essentially no change. I attempted using my own HT-502 and incoming calls rang fine on both lines. However, outbound calls consistently received a fast busy. I have something incorrect in the advanced settings and am unable to find help on the internet. I am back using VOIPo's ATA with line 1 still having ringing problems.
Update 8/2/2012: No change. I probably will go the BYOD route if I can find some known good settings for VOIPo service on the internet for my owned HT-502 and empirically prove that my home wiring did not cause any problems. Since I no longer have an operable cloned second line, I am knocking off another point for value.
After 6 months, Line 1 of HT502 stopped working and calls started coming in on Line 2. Determined Line 1 had weak ringing current. Went to VOIPo chat for help. Advised that my house is wired with Cat5e and uses a DMT-16 Telephone Distribution Module. Was told by VOIPO that I HAD TO CONNECT MY PHONE DIRECTLY TO THE ATA. VOIPo tech said they DO NOT support home wiring. They claimed my home wiring degraded their used HT502 and wanted $50 to send me another one. I have 3 phones connected with a total REN of 0.3. If I had connected a single dial phone (REN 1.0) directly to their ATA, meeting VOIPO installation requirements, the load would be more than 3X than what I have now. Saying my home wiring degraded their used ATA does not support the common sense test.
Currently I am using HT502 Line 2, which behaves like Line 1 did previously, and have Line 1 disconnected as I do not want to spend $50 to replace their defective, used ATA. How do I know the next one would not also malfunction before my contract expires and get stuck with another $50 charge 2 or 3 times more if history is an indicator? Also, the HT502 supports a REN up to 3.0 which indicates that it is designed to support a number of extensions thus requiring home wiring with a bridging arrangement. Further, on the Grandstream internet site, in the HT502 user manual on page 11 of 50, Figure 2, it SHOWS 3 PHONES CONNECTED TO LINE 1 AND ANOTHER 3 ON LINE 2 JUST LIKE MY CONFIGURATION!! That's the final commentary on VOIPo policy and tech support.
member for 1.3 years, 36 visits, last login: 8 days ago
updated 8 days ago
Newport Beach, CA
VOIPo I'm the owner of VOIPo and have seen your review in several places. Sorry to hear that you are frustrated with our service.
As you've stated, our support team determined that the device was damaged by house wiring and should be replaced.
We offer free replacements for devices that fail, but unfortunately we are not able to offer free replacements for devices that are damaged due to something like household wiring.
Since the device was damaged due to household wiring and this is not covered by our replacement policy, we offered a replacement device for $49.95 which you declined.
I do understand that you feel we should replace the device for free, but unfortunately we're not able to do that since it would not have been damaged if it had not been connected to household wiring.
At this time based upon the information that I have, it seems that everything has been handled in accordance with our policies and support handled all of your issues appropriately.
I notice you keep updating this review quite often (many times without any changes) so I'm not sure if this is being done to draw attention to it or if you have other issues with VOIPo that makes you frustrated with our company. If you would like to move your service to another provider, I can certainly make sure you get a full prorated refund since it seems like you have an unusual amount of frustration here.
As a gesture of goodwill, I would be willing to issue a replacement at our cost to meet you in the middle if that is something you are interested in. We could also provision any Grandstream ATA that you have if you'd like to purchase your own elsewhere.
If there is something I am missing or something that wasn't handled properly and in accordance with our policies, feel free to e-mail me directly at tim @ voipo.com and I'll be happy to look into it for you and get things resolved. Similarly if you'd like to take up my offer to provision a third-party device or buy one at our cost, just send me an e-mail.
Newport Beach, CA
said by Red Hazard:For BYOD, we don't really require any special settings. If you own another 502 and want us to provision it we can do so without locking you out of the device (we'd just put whatever password you want in the provisioning file). Maybe that would work so you could compare our settings to what you use? Then if you want to stop using our provisioning, you just remove our provisioning URL from the device. Just e-mail me if you wanted to do this (include the MAC address) and I'll get it setup and send you back the provisioning URL to put in the device.
With the detailed symptoms I have reported, I do not understand how anyone can conclude my Cat5e home wiring is causing the problems I am having with your HT-502. I also note that most customers use their home wiring, according to my research, without problems. My updates show the different configurations I have tried and the changing symptoms I have incurred. There is only one update that only indicated "no change" AND in that, I indicated troubles finding the required advanced settings for MY BYOD HT-502. I therefore don't understand the comment about updates being "many times without any changes".
What I do not understand is why when problems started initially, port 1 would not ring properly and now it does and port 2 now has the problems port 1 had (weak ringing current symptom). They were on the same blue pair when they "failed" and port 1 is now working properly on that same cable pair. This does not indicate a hardware electrical issue to me. I am going to experiment more with different phones directly connected to your HT-502 before I take you up on your offer to let me use my HT-502 and have your tech folks provide the correct advanced setting that have alluded me. FWIW, if my HT-502 fails within a year (not just 6 months) using the same wiring configuration, I'll gladly pay the $50 for damages and document the results here.
I'm not really a technical guy so I'm not going to get into technical details of the troubleshooting that's already been done. I have to defer to our tech guys for that.
I'm more than happy to try to help you out though as outlined above either with provisioning your personal device or meeting you in the middle on the replacement policy.
E-mail me at tim @ voipo.com if you want to discuss either of those of if there's something I'm missing where our techs didn't handle things without policy.