Review by michely
Good "Cheap, call quality when it's working."
- Location: Terrebonne,QC
- Cost: $5 per month
Bad "Not 100% reliablable, atrocious technical support."
Overall "OK if you have a cell in case the line stop working and don't care about spending many hours of your time to have it fixed."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
For those who don't know, Freephoneline advertise providing you a free phone number and a software where you can receive and make free call to many cities in Canada. Also, you can buy for $50 a configuration file to use with your own VOIP ATA adapter or buy a preprogrammed adapter for $99. This way, you can use any regular phone work as if you have a regular land line. Many cities are not part of their free cities, so you need to pay long distance fee that are needs to be prepaid.
I have been a freephoneline user since 2010 and ditched Bell completely when I bought the configuration file for my Linksys SPA-2102 in may 2011. I spend about $5 a month in long distance using the service and paid the $50 configuration file.
Lately I was having some problems with my line. I stopped having a dial tone on a Friday a couple of weeks ago. I called for technical support and was told that they had a server problem and I should reset my ATA two hours later and the problem should be resolved. It didn't resolve the problem, and couldn't take the time to resolve the problem the Saturday, so I didn't have a line for the whole week end. The week later I called and spoke to someone that would do something and call me back after on my cell phone. Never had a call back. Called again and spoke to someone that told me that can't help me as I was not in front of the computer and the ATA when I called. I finally was able to have someone resolve the issue after 4 calls and speaking with 4 different technical support assistants.
Last week, I started having the exact same problem. The only difference is that every single time I called to get support it hung up and asked me to call later. Both with French and English support.
I sent a service request and was told that my description of the problem was too vague to work on the issue. I replied to look back at the closed service request as I had the same problem as last time. I wrote down every troubleshooting steps I have done and asked to be called back on my cell.
3 days later, still no call.
Called service over 10 times using my cell and it always disconnect me. I even tried leaving my phone number to be called back when trying to reach the tech support for client that purchased the adapter. Got an auto call about 20 minutes later and I WAS STILL ON HOLD. Even worst, after waiting another 5 minutes I got disconnected. ARGGH!!!
I called back and chose the purchase department. Obviously, this one took my call directly. I explained my problem to the guy and he told me that he could help me as he is also a tech.
I explained my problem and he looked into my account.
He told me that my problem is that the Follow me setting was enabled and there was no number to transfer to. This is why I was getting directly in the voicemail when calling from my cell.
I told him I haven't enabled that feature and even if I would it wouldn't prevent me from getting a dial tone.
He told me to open the software and disconnect my ATA to test it. I replied that I was not home, I could start the software, but not disconnect the ATA. He told me probably the ATA was the problem. I told him I have already tried doing what he told and still wasn't able to receive calls using the software. He told me the problem was because someone enabled call forwarding.
When I arrived home during lunch time, I disconnected the ATA, started the software and still couldn't receive calls from it. I logged in the software using another account and it worked fine. I verified that call forwarding was not set on and it wasn't. Got back to work to come back about 4 hours later, I called back Fongo. While I was on the phone waiting, I connected back the ATA and to my surprise everything was working fine. Disconnected the ATA and tried the software and everything was OK.
I guess that someone there saw my service request reply and resolved the issue.
In my 10 years working in the computer and network business, I haven't seen such bad support except when I was threatened by a Dell technician.
I know some people would say they advertise free service so I shouldn't expect good technical support, but as I paid $50 for the configuration file and spend about $5 a month in long distance, I think I should at least have some sort of support when I consider that using the VOIP.MS service would cost me roughly the same amount.
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