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Review by mfoam99
Good "it works!"
- Location: Parkersburg,Wood,WV
- Cost: $13 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 12 days
Bad "occasional glitches but they are resolved quickly"
Overall "great value"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
I cancelled my service about 6 months ago due to personal reasons. I recently signed back up and use a linksys router and have noticed even better call quality than what I had in the past when i had my old D-link router. I am very satisfied with Viatalk.
I have been listening to a coworker tell me how great (and not so great ) VOIP is for the last two years but it took my until now to finally give it a try (and I am known for being tight with my money). I ordered viatalk phone service unlimited plan buy one year and get one year free right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Probably it was a combination of the holiday and the promotion and my impatience but it seemed like it took forever for me to receive my adapter, in reality it was about 12 days. I might be turning into a geek I don't know but when my wife called me at work and told me that the adapter had arrived I ordered a pizza, and picked up a six pack of beer and thought to myself that I would spend the evening hooking up the phone. Its funny I was actually disappointed that it only took me about 5 minutes to plug it in and it worked. I used the service for about a month before porting my number from Verizon, which took about 14 days. Overall I am very satisfied with Viatalk. I use the Wakeup call everyday and am continuing to discover other features all of the time.
Oh yea I have a D-link modem using cable internet with a 3MB download /356 upload and a D-link router
member for 7 years, 433 visits, last login: 18 days ago
updated 40 days ago
Review by jandy
Good "Great customer service, great user forums, great call quality"
- Location: Fort Wayne,Allen,IN
- Cost: $12 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 13 days
Bad "installation was hard for me, product is maturing"
Overall "Very solid service; few quirks here and there; WAY better (and cheaper) than POTS."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
Just renewed for another two years. Solid service, no outages. Can't believe that my PAP2T still works like a clock. Very happy with the service. Can't beat the features you get for the price. VT is a lot quieter these days in terms of board participation. They haven't updated their blog on their website for quite a while, but everything is working great.
Still with VT. No service issues since last update. Don't see myself changing anytime soon. If it ain't broken...
I have now been a VT customer for over four years, and over that time the service has been extremely reliable. The features are very rich, and they keep on adding new features. When I have contacted tech support, the response has been fast and usually helpful. I'd recommend it to anyone with average or above tech knowledge.
Just a quick note to say that I did decide to renew last month. The quality has been very consistent, reliable, and strong for me. The only way I see myself switching is if I ultimately succumb to the allure of a triple play deal (I don't have cable TV--just an antenna) or if the service really changes for the worse. I don't see those scenarios happening in the short or longer term, so I signed up for their 18-month renewal deal. The monthly fees don't bother me, as I calculate those into my average monthly cost, and it is still one heck of a value in my book.
Over two years, and ViaTalk keeps working. I've had ZERO problems with outages over the last year--just some minor issues like the VMWI light not going off (which seems fixed now). Call quality has always been very clear. I enjoy the features--particularly Do Not Disturb, Anonymous Call Rejection, Voicemails to e-mail, etc. I was considering the cable company's triple play, but my wife and I decided against it. We don't watch much TV (so our antenna is working just fine), and VT has provided us with good, consistent service. So why rock the boat? My package is up until Dec. 2009, but we will probably renew. Maybe a nice renewal special will come along between now and then! (hint, hint, VT, if you are reading!)
It's been over a year, and I continue to have no problems with ViaTalk. Looks like a lot of folks are, judging from the forum here. But I am happy with over a year of reliable, crystal clear call quality and great features.
VT is great. I've had very few problems since my last update. VT is getting a bad rap from all of the former SR customers who are overloading the system and (perhaps understandably) are very impatient and want things to work as of yesterday. I've been nervous, but happy to report that my service continues to be great in spite of the surge in VT usage.
I just upgraded my "reliability" rating. I continue to have zero problems with this service. Excellent call quality, astounding features, and all-around fantastic value. I'm so happy with my choice.
I have had zero problems since the last update. The service has been very dependable. I've even noticed that fewer people seem to be reporting problems on the VT forum here. Voice quality has been excellent--I'm very happy with the service. I think that I will stop updating this review unless I experience any major problems or changes in service.
Service has been excellent since the last update. Unfortunately, we had a death in the family which necessitated lots of phone calls in and out. VT quality was perfect during this time of hectic and increased phone use. I'm definitely feeling better about the reliability and service.
I've had rock-solid service and call quality since my last update. I've left my setup alone, except for updating the firmware on the Actiontec router. I'm very happy with the service, and am starting to gain more confidence in the reliability.
I feel like things are beginning to "settle down" for my service. I've been tweaking things, and now I am going to leave my settings alone for as long as possible to try to get a better feel for stability over a larger chunk of time with my current setup.
Customer service has been much more responsive and helpful this week. I still think that, overall, VT is a great service. Voice quality since the last update has been excellent.
VT could be experiencing growing pains, as there have been more complaints about customer service in the last week. The problem is that it's really hard to pin down where problems in call quality come from and also hard to figure out how to fix them.
I've had some problems with the service, but nothing that I would describe as major, catastrophic, or unfixable. The service presents a good value. I love getting my voicemail messages on e-mail. But I also realize now that I am constantly concerned about the reliability of my phone service whereas as a POTS customer I never had to question it. I knew that coming into this experience, but living it is different than thinking about it.
Overall, I'm sticking with VT, but am starting to become a little concerned about the quality of the CS. I just want problems clearly communicated as quickly as possible, and transparency regarding where the problems are coming from and what is being done to fix them.
Just had the porting of my number completed. Pros/Cons regarding this process:
PROS: Faxed my paperwork on 01.03.07. Porting process complete on 01.11.07. That's pretty quick. From the reviews I've read, VT generally completes the process much more quickly than the competition.
CONS: VT really needs to improve the knowledgebase and FAQ so that a consumer knows what to expect with this process. From reading the forums, I assumed my number would be inactive for a "few hours." My dial tone on my POTS line was dead when I woke up at 7 a.m. I didn't receive the "porting is complete" e-mail until 5 p.m.
Evidently, the porting team at VT doesn't start working on porting numbers until 1 p.m. EST. Would have been nice to know this upfront.
After receiving the e-mail, my phone didn't work. My cell phone wouldn't dial the 866 support #, leaving e-mail support as my only option. I sent an "urgent" e-mail to support, and they replied with instructed on how to log into my PAP2 and reset some settings. They got back to me in an hour, which is pretty good.
Unfortunately, though, part of the instructions were incorrect. I was able to recognize the error and had the service back up and running by 7 p.m. After the number is ported, you have to go back to the control panel and reset things to the way you had them with the temporary number. Again, would have been nice to have had a "heads up" on this.
Overall, I'm still happy with ViaTalk and still feel the customer service is pretty darn good . They need to develop the knowledgebase and FAQ to better prepare customers for what happens during the porting process.
I will update this review, as I have only had full functionality of VT for the last couple of days. I had a few kinks in the installation process, but I am happy to say that VT customer support has been excellent. I am impressed with the company, and I think that they are going about VOIP in the right way. I get the feeling that the company is interested in long-term success as opposed to making a quick buck, which is a good feeling.
Call quality is excellent. You can read about my installation problems with incoming calls in the VT forum on this site.
»No incoming calls--do I need port forwarding?
Overall, I feel like I am going to be a long-term customer. I think, though, that a person switching to VT needs to understand that he/she will have to be patient with the process. So long as a person is willing to work with the company and understanding of "kinks" in the process, I think that VT is an excellent value. The features are fantastic. And I think that the service is just going to get better and better. Time will tell if this is just initial excitement/idealism, and I will update in the coming months after I've had time to really fully test things.
I am going to port my number within the next month after I get my next phone invoice. I will let you know how that goes.
member for 6.9 years, 361 visits, last login: 111 days ago
updated 111 days ago
Review by alancats
Good "Reliable call-making; Feature-rich Website; Excellent Call-Blocking Features"
- Location: Washington,District Of Columbia,DC
- Cost: $11 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "None That I've Encountered"
Overall "Reliable VOIP Service if You Have a Decent ISP Connection"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
I just thought it was time to update my original review to reflect an interstate move, to DC. Viatalk's service is still working well for me, and I heartily recommend it. When I reconnected my Linksys VOIP box after the move, an issue popped up with my wireless router's firewall blocking outgoing calls, but that was quickly resolved by helpful instructions provided from Viatalk's tech support team.
What I love about Viatalk is the wealth of privacy/call-blocking options. As soon as I see that weird con artists from out of state or phone solicitors have made calls when I check my call log on the Viatalk website, I either block that number specifically, or the entire area code. Being able to check voicemails online remains a nice and useful feature. The Viatalk team seems to perptually adding functionality to the service, which is always appreciated. The monthly taxes and fees for DC are a miniscule $3.25 a month, and the $189 charge for 24 months of service makes this the most reasonably priced phone service out there.
I've been with Viatalk for over three years, and I'm still very satisfied with their product. I'm one of the refugees from defunct VOIP company Sunrocket, who had to migrate to another VOIP provider when that company died in August, 2007. I switched to ViaTalk in 2007 and have been very happy since.
The best thing about Viatalk service is the feature-rich website, which allows you to listen to voicemail messages, view call logs of incoming and outgoing calls and take advantage of some very cool call-blocking features. For example, you can block all anonymous calls, block specific numbers, block numbers that begin with a certain prefix, block numbers by Caller ID words, or block numbers from an entire area code. Viatalk also just added the ability to block those weird con artist calls featuring non-standard phone numbers often beginning in "0." Very useful and much appreciated by me, as I have been harassed by these calls in the past.
Viatalk is based in upstate New York. The few times I've called customer service, I've managed to get a customer service rep fairly quickly, who A) spoke flawless English; B) was an American citizen (I assume); and C) was actually helpful. When I call my ISP customer service, I get routed to a call center halfway around the world and a barely intelligible rep of dubious helpfulness, so I do like the fact that one can still get customer service based on American soil, a rarity these days. That is not xenophobia speaking; merely my personal preference.
My experience is that, generally speaking, the quality of VOIP service largely depends on the speed of one's internet connection. I have a fairly mediocre download speed from my cable ISP of roughly 4.5 mb/s and .75 mb/s upload, and despite this, call quality has been consistently good. I do notice some slight deterioration in voice quality when I'm downloading a file, but it's not too bad, and I generally avoid downloading if I'm on a long call anyway.
One thing to be aware of -- if you sign up for a long-term contract, Viatalk does assess monthly E-911 and other charges. These are as follows for NY State: E-911 ($1.00); Regulatory Recovery Fee ($1.97); and E911 Cost Recovery Fee (48 cents), for a total of $3.45 monthly. I personally don't have an issue with this, because I'm satisfied with the service and even taking these fees into account, it is still a far better deal than paying for POTS phone service from Verizon or RCN. I am paying for an 18-month contract (not offered any longer) and my total monthly cost comes out to $13.95. Not bad at all in my book. The new package costs are slightly higher, as prices for service have risen across the VOIP industry, but I still think Viatalk is a great deal.
member for 13.2 years, 54 visits, last login: 46 days ago
updated 266 days ago
Review by unknvoip
Good "Features & Price"
- Location: Rochester,Monroe,NY
- Cost: $12 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 10 days
Overall "Reliable service, great features and a great price ."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
2/25/13 - I just renewed for two more years. For me service has been rock solid. No issues during Sandy. No issues during Irene last year. No issues during Nemo. No issues any other time. Not a lot of new features, but the filter on incoming calls are so flexible that I almost never get telemarketer calls. If one slips through, they never do again. They don't have an Android app, but the mobile browser site works nicely. I am actually upping my Web-site rating. It works well, but is a little cluttered. I would give it a 9/10. I am marking it up from 75% because that is too low and my true evaluation is closer to the 5/5.
------------ Original review with older updates appended to end below -------------------------
Have had several months of flawless service, while a few on the forums here have had other experiences. As things stand right now, will probably stay with the service when my current term is up next spring. My favorite feature is custom call routing. Love to forward telemarketers to my cell so I yell at them a few times before forwarding them to the 'Blacklisted' list.
Customer Service can be hit or miss on their helpfulness as some reps are much more capable than others. Some who answer my tickets on-line are completely clueless - sometimes giving me answers that could not remotely apply to my issue.
On the up side, I have only had very few occasional outages for short periods of time.
-- Update history --
Update 10/3/06 - Server upgrades are done and my intermittent outages have ended. Network Down Forward worked great when my cable modem froze up last week. Becoming more satisfied again.
Update 8/10/07 - In the midst of all the Sunrocket users coming over and bogging down Customer Service with install/port/technical issues, the service has been fine for me.
Update 10/16/07 - Very upset over changing the rules of E911 charges after public statement they would not charge for those on pre-paid plans until after renewal. CS rep said they would honor that, but only after my insistence. There needs to be a category for Integrity for the ranking. I would give them a 2/5 on that right now! Lowered other ratings over this issue. This is just plan wrong - what will they do next????
Update 11/28/07 - They have reversed the 911 charges for those prepaid before 10/06 if they contact VT. Better than not honoring prior statements. They seem to have stabilized from the SR debacle. Made a positive change to their TOS to make cancellation less painful. Current thought is to go month-to-month when pre-paid terms are up in 04/09.
Updated 6/23/08 - Working so well for me last few months, forgot to come back and update my review. Happy customer at the moment.
Update 7/29/08 - Recently had my VT supplied adapter blow out in an electrical storm. VT was good and sent out a replacement the next day. Only problem was they did not set up my provisioning of the new adapter to match the old one. I have not been able to get them to respond to tickets to update my provisioning file or to the ones to fix the things that don't work properly because of it (Time and VMWI, specifically). Other than that, service for me has been VERY reliable.
Update 1/23/09 - Through migration to new infrastructure all has been well. No problems ever on calls. CS has become more responsive to my tickets. Others seem to have some issues, but I don't experience any of those things. Added a beta area of CP for new features and feedback. Contacts working better than when first implemented. Ratings increased as a result.
Update 3/10/09 - Made it through the DST change just fine. That had been an issue with my service in the past. While mine was fine, I know some other DSL users had some issues. Insist support sets correct time zone and applies the right DST rule to you adapter and you should be fine.
Update 11/12/09 - It has been a smooth summer for my service. Just works. Call logs have been improved and a few other features have been upgraded in recent months. Decided to renew in Sept. I would still like to see the Contacts section of the CP improved. Overall a very good value for me, so I choose not to pursue switching to a competing service. I have a lot of configuration set to filter calls that I did not want to reproduce and I did not want to risk having to go through the tweaks sometimes necessary with a new provider.
Update 3/30/10 - They continue to develop and enhance features and I recently noticed and issue with how DND feature handled time periods that wrapped the day boundary. Issue was resolved within a couple days and I was provided with a work-around until the fix was implemented. To me, Tech Support now seems that it is where it should be. Very satisfied at the moment.
Update 10/27/10 - Just learned that pre-pay is gone. Now the plans are $17/mo, take it or leave it. I guess I will be looking for another lower cost, but still quality provider that matches my low volume calling needs.
11/8/10 - Pre-pay is gone, but now they have added a light usage plan. $10.95 + tax/fees for 2000 minutes outgoing a month. It takes me 2 years for 2000 outgoing. This will be a great deal for me and keep me from having to uproot and move on. I have adjusted my ratings back appropriately to reflect an improved value for the money.
2/22/11 - last week pulled trigger on the BOGO @ $189. Good with VT for two more years. Been with them almost 5 now. Still working well for me, although I would love to see that Android app come out.
8/3/11 - It just works. Worst thing that happened to me is I noticed my DND settings did not adjust with DST. Submitted a ticket and CS cheerfully moved them all for me. Also let me know they are working on having that be automatic. The best compliment I can give them is: they save me money and I seldom have to think about them.
12/12/11 - Same thing with the switch to standard time. Servers have been solid for me and twice yearly adjustment of my DND settings is not a big deal.
6/13/12 - I just got my 6-month nag from DSLReports to update my review. Not much has changed. Very rare cases of one-way audio from time to time, but otherwise very reliable service. Passed my 6 year anniversary in April.
member for 7.3 years, 3416 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 286 days ago
Review by dcurrey
Good "Very reliable low cost service."
- Location: Mason,Warren,OH
- Cost: $13 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 10 days
Bad "Have to keep an eye out for renewal specials."
Overall "Blows POTS service out of water."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
Recently was offered the $189 for 2 years deal. Looks like I am good until 2015.
Nothing else new to report.
April 25th was my 5 year point service continues to perform excellently.
Just recently renewed for another 2 years for $189 BOGO sale.
Nothing else really new to report everything just works.
Total monthly cost now shows included taxes.
Service continues to run smoothly.
Viatalk keeps adding new features such as Callerid Name block. The ability to set forwards, DND, simultaneous ring, etc directly from the phone without having to log into the Control Panel. Outgoing number routing. Now have international plans! The list goes on and on!
Went ahead and upped the value for money. I am done complaining about bogus fees since this is now becoming the norm with voip. Its still not right but what can you do?
Not much has changed since last review.
Service for me is still stable. Tech support is responsive if I do have a trouble ticket issued. Usually 2 a year when time changes. Once in awhile something odd may come up.
Billing is still crazy. Prepay is not truly prepay, prices are not locked in for term, you get almost random taxes and fees billed monthly. Taxes varies greatly depending on location, time of day, phase of moon, weather, mood of CEO, who knows what else they take into account.
As far a reliability goes for the past couple months things have been running very smoothly.
They did update the TOS. VT now has a $49.95 early termination fee. This is an improvement over the %50 early termination fee.
They also from time to time offer current users special 1 year deals. Not as good as the Buy One Get One deal for $199+ but not bad for another years service if you want to risk it.
Due to the massive complaints and bad PR about the fees being added to contracts that have already been paid for the company has been crediting the accounts if you complain about it. And only if you complain about it.
It appears the CEO (VTBrendan) has lied to us. He promised after the bogus fees where added to new accounts that all existing contracts will be honored. (Original thread.»[ViaTalk] ViaTalk TOS Change October 4 2006) We find out today that is not so. They are now only waiving the fees for 1 year.
Viatalk recently added extra fees to cover the cost of doing business expenses.
We already had e-911 as a standard feature. Now we need to pay extra per month for it.
Also added the Regulatory Recover Fee. A total BS fee so they can make more profit and still advertise a lower rate.
People on prepay still have to keep a credit card on file so Viatalk can bill you monthly for the additional fees. This also gives them the ability to raise the rates mid term. Since you are locked in for the term you have no options unless you want to pay a 50% early termination fee.
Its an interesting concept don't you think? A prepay plan that is not prepaid nor locked in.
Signed up on April 25, 2006 during one of the $199 buy 1 year get 1 year free deals. Took longer than usual to get the adapter but once it arrived it was plug and play.
Service for the most part has been pretty good. Sound quality is excellent. Some interruptions when they tried to get server fallover working correctly. For the most part we seem past that, I hope.
Viatalk will give you the admin password for the furnished pap2 if you ask. Great for testing different settings, and general troubleshooting. When you get them they way you like simple submit a trouble ticket and they make the changes permanent. At most trouble tickets have only taken a couple hours. (As far as remember anyway.)
Never had to call customer service so no comment on that. The CEO does post in the voip forum that is a big plus.
They seem interested on what customers have to say. Implement new features all the time. Sometimes without adequately testing them it seems.
Website Control Panel. Layout is a little clumsy. Some feature sets should be combined into single area. Custom Callerid, Call Routing, and Whitelist to name a few.
I will continue to update as needed.
member for 9.4 years, 3652 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 340 days ago
Review by thefoxbox
Good "It's cheap... $199 for two years (promo rate for 2lines plus $3 a month for federal charges)... Quality is good, when it works."
- Location: Irving,Dallas,TX
- Cost: $9 per month
- Install: about 14 days
Bad "Blinking VM light on Uniden phones and SUPER LONG DELAY before connection unless you dial 1"
Overall "It works when it works, and it works well. Tech support is a massive joke."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
Updated 1/1/2013: The home phone still uses ViaTalk. Their pricing has been competitive every year. The service is more reliable and more feature-packed than when we first signed up. Viatalk truly makes VoIP service ... sorta fun. (OK, so I get a kick out of sending rude telemarketers to the "blacklisted" message...)
Anyway, their pricing is great and we've been able to renew and get 18 to 24 months instead of just 12 for the same price and we've been with them since late 2007. I'd recommend them... Great unlimited service, although their international charges aren't nearly as competitive as they used to be...
UPDATED 2/24/2009: There may be a sudden influx of renewed 'satisfaction' with ViaTalk over the coming days. They just sent out a nice, long e-mail about how they have upgraded their networks, and wow! The response time is sick (as in amazingly good) in relation to response time over the phone (the time it takes for the other person to hear you and vice-versa). It used to lag and I used to be extremely hesitant to use the home phone. Now it's no problem. Also, the remarks about their customer service still holds reasonably true. If your bill is even one day past due (when my mother had her credit card info stolen and had to be issued a replacement that hadn't yet arrived), they cut off our service. The girl answering the phone didn't really give a crap. I guess that's what you get for $12 a month on average.
Main disadvantage: If you don't dial "1" before a number, be prepared to wait for 10-15 seconds before it even starts ringing... This is a severe annoyance since day one. They explained it to me a while back and it's ridiculous that no other company has this horrid delay, but the price is amazing.
Tech support (avg hold time) is supposedly now three minutes. I wouldn't hold my breath... Maybe 5-10. It's certainly a lot shorter as of late 2009 vs. late 2008.
Amazing price, though. Huge abundance of features... way more than the other three providers I've been with, including Vonage. They also have "labs" features similar to Google that you can sign up for and participate in. They also actively take suggestions from current customers.
Their web site has silly pics/names of the staff, but that's probably my biggest complaint.
These guy's tech support is as bad as Verizon's... but they aren't nearly as massive.
I have had this service since 3Q 2007.
The service is all right. I searched and have had at least three other companies, but this one was the best value. You get two phone lines for the price of one. That's pretty amazing in my book, considering that some companies charge the full price for another line even if you are already a customer.
The VM doesn't work right with Uniden phones and they are "aware" of this issue as of April 2008 (when I last spoke to them about it). [I believe this issue has been resolved since Q3 2009]. They were nice enough to give me the password to check the settings in the box that I got when I signed up to see if I could adjust the settings. It didn't really help. It is working better than before. It just seems that at times, the voice mail light will not turn off even after new messages have been deleted. Sometimes, it's delayed.
I'm glad I got this service, and the international rates are pretty low as well. (Update since Q3 2009: The rates to the only country my mom calls internationally, El Salvador, spontaneously doubled, so you may want to make sure you aren't paying twice as much a month for international calls). I wouldn't go back to POTS anyday, and the discount far outweighs the disadvantages of this service.
member for 9.1 years, 53 visits, last login: 341 days ago
updated 341 days ago
Review by DaveDude
Good "Price is good, lots of features"
- Location: New Jersey
- Cost: $24 per month
- Install: about 15 days
Bad "service went bad lately"
Overall "Good, but features sometimes dont work"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
Was great till about a month ago. Cant call 800s numbers, or other viatalk customers, Incoming calls going into dead air. Fast busy during calls.
-- 10/24/12-- i cancelled viatalk about 3 months ago, after repeated issues. I would not recommend.
member for 14.2 years, 4409 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1.1 years ago
Review by v35_pilot
Good "Excellent and powerful phone features, cost of service, voice quality"
- Location: Fayetteville,Onondaga,NY
- Cost: $20 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 4 days
Bad "None as of this review period."
Overall "Quality and reliability quite high in my experience."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
----- Update, August 2012 --------
Another year and I am still a customer, which is now extending into my sixth year with Viatalk. I have grown to really love and depend on the much more powerful call features (when compared to cable's very weak digital phone offering). As long as service reliability remains as high as it has been this past year (again, about a 98% reliability factor), I will remain a happy customer.
Calling tech support is still a random exercise in "let's see how much unwarranted arrogance from a level 1 support rep I can tolerate in one session," but as long as there is no need to call I am fine.
----- Update, June 2011 --------
For the most part, my phone service through VT has not been at the forefront of my mind; that is because it has been reliable and call quality good. I would estimate that over the last two years reliability has been around 95%, with just very occasional hiccups. If I am not thinking about the phone every time I pick it up it is working as I expect. And for that I am appreciative.
----- Update, April 2009 --------
Please, oh please do not let my positive experience over these last few months be a curse! My latest update is to share my happiness with ViaTalk's improvements to stability and overall reliability of the service. I have not had any VT-side complaints in at least three months now. Thank you, VT, for your hard work in improving the customer experience.
Like most customers, I also wish that VT would combine all of the piddly taxes and fees into one monthly invoice but that is just a minor issue.
----- Update, late June 2008 --------
Hey, wait a minute. I indicated in my previous update that I was jumping ship, so what happened? Am I still with VT? Yes, I am still with them. Why? Well, pretty much right after that update back in January a number of VT team members made a very public appearance into the VT forums and it seemed to me that the company recognized the importance of addressing some of their customer perception issues across all fronts. It appeared that there was a rebirth of sorts in customer service so I decided to stick around and see how that played out. For the most part it worked.
Over the last six months there was only one massive failure (service went down for at a day due, supposedly, to problems at an upstream provider) and at least two minor but annoying hiccups (inbound calls would disconnect within 5 seconds of answering). In the second case, the presence of the different VT team members in the forums was instrumental in getting a quick resolution.
Conclusion: I still see VT as a company with great potential. If only the problems could become even less frequent so that my confidence in my phone service could grow, I know I could remain a customer for a long time.
----- Update, late January 2008 --------
Well, it came down to continued poor reliability even after the barrage of similar complaints on DSLR and sharply declining VT ratings. One would think that the company would have instigated some type of PR damage control here in DSLR but to this day there has been no outward attempt to repair the declining reputation. It seems as if some are in a heavy state of denial.
To this day I still had issues calling specific local exchanges - dial tone, dial a number, then nothing. Party at other end admitted later that I was connected but I could never hear a thing and was forced to redial. Got more complaints from others about my voice still breaking up occasionally mid-call.
And frankly, I am concerned about this company's financial longevity. Signs abound regarding cash flow problems, especially in looking at continued affiliate payment issues posted to the VT forum here. Sunrocket's demise has elevated my sensitivity to other small companies' abilities to weather the challenges they face.
I still think VT has the basis for a good product and I will use the forum to watch them from a distance, but somewhere between the raw product and the execution there are faulty methods and procedures that have yet to be corrected.
----- Update, early January 2008 --------
First it was the poor response times and poor quality of customer service after the Sunrocket demise late last summer, but I could deal with that since I had no problems with my phone reliability and no real reason to contact customer support. But then service and call quality began to degrade.
It started with occasional loud distortion while talking. A bigger problem replaced that one when outgoing calls would not connect at all (dial tone, dial, then nothing). That problem segued into multiple problems with voicemail - could not dial VM from my VT phone (fast busy after dialing) and had to retrieve VM through the website - worse still, at least six voicemails were taken by the VT VM system one afternoon and then lost (could not be recovered by VT or retrieved by me).
The latest unresolved problems have to do with calls that drop in the middle and inbound calls that drop the second I answer the phone. It seems that this service is getting worse rather than better, despite the valiant efforts of the VT techs who reply in the VT board here on DSLreports. My ISP is Verizon FIOS and my VT-supplied ATA is in the DMZ so I KNOW the problems are not at my end. Furthermore, all of these problems have been reported by many others in the VT board here over the last few months.
The bottom line for me is that if I don't see improvement over the next month I will be forced by continued poor reliability to shop for another VoIP provider. Too bad, too, since this company has the foundation to provide excellent service.
-------- Original Review, October 2006 --------
As a newbie to VOIP, I signed up on Monday, 9/19/06, at 3:30 pm Eastern US time for a one month plan to compare the reliability and quality of this service side-by-side with my Verizon POTS phone. The favorable reviews here, combined with forum participation by ViaTalks CEO and a tech support member, were the reasons for my choice in VOIP providers.
My credit card was billed the following day, Tuesday, about 5:00 pm, or about 26 hours after signing up. Within a half an hour of being charged for the service, I received a second email with my new ViaTalk phone number and temporary password to access my account on the web site. When I accessed the website to see my order status, my equipment was shown as shipped and a tracking number provided.
I then signed into the ViaTalk control panel on their website and spent about an hour acquainting myself with all of the basic and advanced phone features available. ViaTalk has an extensive group of features that offer incredible control over ones phone service.
The welcome package with the PAP2 adapter took three days from the time I was billed to arrive at my house. Installation of the PAP2 was a breeze and I was up with a dial tone mere seconds after removing the PAP2 device from the box and connecting it to my phone and existing router (Note: save the PAP2 box and all included instructions, just in case you need to return it to ViaTalk). I then placed a couple of calls to friends and family and noted a few issues with call quality. Intermittent audio and echoing plagued my calls, despite using Verizon FiOS and their plentiful 5 Mbps upload bandwidth as my ISP.
I called tech support, waited only a minute in the queue, and received excellent technical support. ViaTalk support made a quick change to the PAP2 so that it would use a different port, and also sent me an email with instructions on how to move the PAP2 into the routers DMZ. After the port change and the modification to move the PAP2 into my routers DMZ, call quality improved dramatically.
After using the service for one month, I decided that reliability and call quality were good enough (not perfect, however) to take the plunge by requesting the porting of my existing Verizon POTS phone number. Porting my phone number from Verizon to VT (all handled by VT) took 10 calendar days from the time I faxed my request to ViaTalk until the day I received an email announcing its completion. There was a three hour period during the day my number was ported where inbound callers received a This number has been disconnected message, but other than that the porting was painless.
At that point I also took advantage of a one year deal that ViaTalk started during that week, which effectively lowered my monthly bill to about $11.70/month (this included the one month I paid to test the service, the installation and setup fees, and the one year deal). My Verizon POTS service was about $60/month for unlimited calls in the US and Canada, but only included the caller ID and call waiting features.
With a bit over one month of call history now (about 2500 minutes), I have experienced approximately 97% service reliability. Problems occur in the order of one out of every 30 calls or so and range from major issues like no outbound audio or calls that dont complete, to minor issues like occasional echo on either side of the call.
At this point I am happy with my service. My greatest satisfaction comes from having complete control over my phone calls, thanks to ViaTalks extensive list of features and web-based control panel. The "Do Not Disturb" feature combined with a White List (phone numbers I allow through the DND) allows me to turn off my phone (send calls to voicemail) in the evening and back on the next morning, meaning very limited interruptions during dinner and evening prime time.
One other recommendation I discovered is to sign up for VT's priority customer service at $1.95/month for a few months in the beginning. This allows any call to customer service to move up to the top position in the queue, if there is one. The few times I called customer service to date there were 11 to 15 others in line awaiting assistance. Being sent to the top of the queue resulted in much shorter waits on hold.
member for 7.9 years, 2339 visits, last login: 76 days ago
updated 1.2 years ago
Review by dmolavi
Good "When it worked, it worked well."
- Location: Sewell,Gloucester,NJ
- Cost: $17 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "Upgrades in March 2012 caused so many problems, I had to leave them."
Overall "Not as reliable as they once were."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
UPDATE 25 July 2012:
So ViaTalk decided to stick me with a $0.90 E911 fee the day after I cancelled, which caused my number to remain in their system. The port to my new provider completed, however, people on ViaTalk's network could not contact me. It was only after threatening an FCC complaint did the completely release the number.
UPDATE 17 July 2012:
Today was my last day of ViaTalk service, after almost 5 years of using them. Unfortunately, some upgrades they did this year rendered the service all but unusable for me. I hope that they can bring the reliability back, and if so, I will return as a customer, as I thought they were one of the best out there.
UPDATE 11 February 2010:
Recently got a new VT provisioned ATA as my BYOD from SunRocket finally went to the scrap pile in the sky. Service is still rock solid, and I have no plans on leaving anytime soon.
UPDATE: 6 May 2008 - All is well in VT-land. WAF is at an all time high, new CP seems to be working well, service has been very reliable.
What else can I say? I got stuck in the SR fallout, signed up on Monday night, had config info Tuesday afternoon, placed my first call shortly after that. Voice quality is better than SR, and the website is much more feature rich. I'll update shortly once they grab the 12 months on my SR contract and after I've had more experience w/ them.
member for 8.6 years, 1785 visits, last login: 26 days ago
updated 1.3 years ago
Review by mogulman
Good "Tech Support US Based, Good. Ticket Tracking System. Web interface. Inexpensive. Pretty reliable VoIP service"
- Location: Parker,Douglas,CO
- Cost: $13 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 14 days
Bad "Tech support isn't 24/7"
Overall "Good Telephone service for the money. Lots of features. Mostly Reliable. Not for a newbie."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
Still working well. Better then my other line on another VoIP provider. I just renewed for 2 more years.
Service has been really good since last review. No real issues. I think MWI (Message Waiting) is still slow to get cleared, but otherwise service has been really good.
For the past year..everything was working great until a few weeks ago. MWI light and a few dialing problems. I called a support ticket and I think it has been fixed. I renewed my service.
I'm considering adding another line, but want to try some more next week and see if everything is resolved.
Haven't updated in a while so I thought I'd give it a go. I had some intermittent issues with Voicemail waiting indicators about 2 months ago. Otherwise, call quality and features have been good for me for the last 6+ months. Voicemail waiting indicator problem hasn't resurfaced either.
When the problem was happening with VMWI, I believe it was something with VT or with my ISP. I was never able to nail it down. I changed a bunch of settings and talked to tech support and magically things got fixed. Hopefully the issue won't come back. Either way it wasn't a major issue.
Features/quality for price is still great for Viatalk for me and my family. I still wish the service was more of a plug and play without needing to call support. If this was the case it would be more suited for non-techie people.
VT is still really good. I got moved to their new control panel. It is pretty nice after getting used to it. There are a couple of features I wish they would bring over from the old one.
Reliability has still been pretty good for me over the last few months. The main issue people seem to have is with certain servers, and then having to be switched to different servers. I haven't experienced this though.
I believe VT is still not the best for non-technical users.
I think if VT did the following:
-Increased their reliability/handling of Proxy Servers
-Made it easier for people to join with hardware that is pre-configured for what users want most (VMWI, Better Dialplan).
-Maybe provide an ATA that can sit in front of a home router...
-Made some minor tweaks to their control panel
They would be able to get more novice users onboard without as much problems.
Viatalk Customer Service has improved greatly. I've had great response lately. As good or better then any services I have (Internet, Phone, etc). Call quality is still very good. VT has made a very good effort at improving their image and quality. My service current 2 year term is expiring in April. I've signed up for an additional year.
Service has been pretty reliable for me for that last 6 months. Support has been good too. My contract will be running out in about 3 months. I'm trying to decide if I want to renew or not.
The only issue is that now Viatalk is adding about $3.50 per line/month for fees. So this brings their price up a little higher. I really need to either pay a single yearly fee or pay monthly. I can't pay both. I'm considering trying other providers like Voicepulse.
I've had Viatalk service for approximately a year. I had Vonage server for a few years before that. I have 2 lines with Viatalk.
When I first signed up for Viatalk the sign-up process was pretty easy. I signed up on the web. I got my account information and devices within a few weeks of signing up. I understand that this period is normally quicker, but I signed up when there was a big promotion going on, so they were extremely busy.
I received 2 Linksys PAP2 devices for my phone lines. One for each line. The service didn't work immediately with me just hooking up the devices. On Vonage, the devices worked out-of-the-box. I called Viatalk tech support and they helped me through some configuration changes and I was up and running. This took less then an hour. During my number porting, one line ported quickly and easily. The other line was stuck for a little while. I had to make numerous calls to Vonage to get the port to be finalized. Vonage hadn't completely released my line from their system so my 911 service was messed up on that line. This was a Vonage problem and not Viatalk.
For the first 3-4 months I had phone service with Viatalk, the service was a little flaky. I would say I ran about 85% of the time without any issues. The issues that I did have were not severe, most of the time. I did have a couple of times where call forwarding wasn't working correctly. I also lost some calls. To be honest, I was almost ready to ditch the service, except the price and tech support at Viatalk was really good. All the tech support people have been really good at Viatalk.
Anyway... about 4 months into my service they added redundant servers into their system. This helped greatly with the uptime/quality of my service. They also added options and fixed some options on their site. For the last 8 months my service has been really great. I've had maybe 5 times over the last 8 months where I have had any type of downtime. They have all been for less then a few minutes.
Viatalk has listened to its users and added features. They have also modified existing features and made them better. There are tons of features with Viatalk service. The price is right. They also give you complete access (username/password) to your phone devices if you want it. I'm a geek so I enjoy looking at that stuff. Vonage would never give users access to their devices.
I'd say the best things about Viatalk right now:
2. Tech Support - and the ability to track any tickets that you create
3. Call Quality/Reliability
Things that could be improved on Viatalk (not much):
1. PAP2 devices are still provisioned and sent to users with pretty generic settings. Viatalk should come up with a better pre-set profile on their devices so users don't have to tweek as much. This includes timezone settings, Dialplans, and Ringer settings.
2. Some parts of the web-interface could use some improvement. Maybe a little extra speed in the web-interface and voicemail
My whole household uses the Viatalk service and my wife (non-geek) has been pretty happy with the service.
member for 11.2 years, 2108 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 1.7 years ago