Review by rollerblader7
Good "Love the IVR - gets rid of telemarketers for good"
- Location: Burlington,ON
- Cost: $12 per month
Bad "not plug&play- need to be a little geeky to set it up"
Overall "Great VOIP provider! outstanding service."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I've been a VOIP.MS customer for about 8 months. I ported my main residential number over about 5 months ago. The WSF (wife satisfaction factor) is high. I must say, I went to VOIP.MS for the price, but I'm staying for the IVR and other features such as ring groups. A ring group lets you do things such as ringing your cell together with your home phone. Whoever picks up first gets the call.
The IVR facility has let us put an end to telemarketers once and for all. Not a single one since I set it up (easy to do) several months ago.
I've set up the IVR like this:
-whitelist immediate family, and frequently calling friends etc to ring the phone using CallerID filtering, so they won't get the IVR. Other calls go to the IVR:
-"If you are family, a friend, etc, please press 1" which rings the phone
-"if you are trying to sell us something, please press 2" which goes to another recording asking them to send me an email instead. I set up a separate account, but no caller has ever used it.
-"everyone else please press 3", which goes straight to voicemail.
The actual recordings are little friendlier and more complete, but that's the idea. It took me about 15 minutes to set this up, including doing the recordings on my computer and uploading them. Of course, autodialers think they have an answering machine and just hang up. Should a real person be calling as a telemarketer, and they pressed 1, the phone would ring. The conversation would be pretty short though. "If I can't trust you to accurately identify yourself, why would I do business with you?", but that's never happened.
Sub-accounts are great too. I use a softphone when traveling to make various calls and call home.
The down side is that this is not a "plug and play" service, like Vonage etc. "some assembly required" such as configuring your ATA. Anyone with a bit of a technical background can do this. It's not hard. My ATA is wired into the house wiring, so all the phones in the house work as they did before. I had some problems with echo. Mostly I think they have been licked by tweaking ATA settings. The one remaining echo problem is calling to a friend who is using Cogeco's VOIP service. They hear an echo of their voice. Yet another friend on Cogeco VOIP has no echo. That person is near by, the one with the echo is several hundred miles away, as if that should make any difference in the VOIP world. Occasionally I have a talkoff problem (a DTMF tone gets generated based upon a, typically female, vocal sound which the ATA mistakes as a key press.)
Toll-free calls can be routed through Canadian or US networks so you can call numbers that normally would not accept calls from your country. I'm in Canada so my dial plan routes 800/866/877/888 to Canadian servers and onto the Canadian network, and if we put a "1" in front of it, it goes to a US server.
Tech support of great. When I ported my number from Cogeco, it didn't get picked up by VOIP.MS properly. I was without a phone for about an hour. When i contacted them, they fixed the problem while I was on their online chat service with them.
I want to thank Mango for his suggestions on configuring the ATA.
Our monthly cost varies between about $10-$12 per month for one DID, E911 and our calls. We tend to call mostly North America and always use the premium rates. Our internet provider is Cogeco cable.
Update: a couple of months ago I switched to a SPA 2102. It's behind my router and so I'm not using the router function in the SPA. Primarily this was because of the "DTMF Tx Strict Hold Off Time" parm. the SPA series has that, but the PAP2T-NA does not. This allows you to specify the amount of time to wait on DTMF detection. By setting this to 80 to 100 ms I am able to eliminate talk-off. i.e the spurious generation of DTMF tones, typically when two female voices talk at the same time... like that would ever happen! Interestingly, my subjective appraisal is that overall voice quality is better too.
Updated Aug/2011 - I switched to a Panasonic KX-TG550 system with a base deskphone and three DECT handsets around the house. This works very well. No talk-off problems. But the nice thing is that if I am on the phone, and someone calls the other telephone will ring. Mrs Rollerblader can answer the call. Amazing what happens when that last physical "phone line" in the house is taken out of the picture. This phone supports "join in" (barge in) too, so picking up another handset give the option of joining an existing call if you wish.
I continue to love the IVR and callerID whitelist features. Not a single telemarketer call in over a year!
member for 10.8 years, 298 visits, last login: 68 days ago
updated 3.2 years ago