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808netfone page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 6 reviews (2 good) (2 bad)
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Review by Phillips700 See Profile

  • Location: Kailua,Honolulu,HI
  • Cost: $18 per month (12 month contract)
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

For the first 30 days service was fine. Now no dial tone and the emails from the support division tell me to call.

I have had to travel to the Middle East and my family cannot contact me making their life very uncomfortable.

Support tells me to go through the reboot steps. I have done so many times. I have a tech support person here and he says it is probably the Linksys boxor a problem in HI. I am obviously getting DSL service which is evidenced by this post. So I am stuck along with my friends who I talked into this problem by telling them to get the same unit. Vonage has no problems out here so I am going to switch if the emails do not change and come up with working solutions. I would like to get a refund as well since they double charged me.

member for 5.5 years, 0 visits, last login: 5.5 years ago
updated 5.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by ksupan See Profile

  • Location: Laupahoehoe,Hawaii,HI
  • Cost: $38 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
Good "Good Call Quality - Good Price - Support for 2 phone numbers"
Bad "Poor website, Poor Customer Support (update: they're getting better)"
Overall "There may be hope for this provider (see updates)"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

Cost
Note: My monthly cost is for 2 lines - $27.95 for primary line PLUS $9.95 for a second line. Total: ~$38

Quality
Phone service is typically very good - there are sometimes a delay when initiating a calls but overall quality is good.

Features
Features are pretty good:
2nd Line ($9.95/mo)
3-Way Calling
7-digit Intrastate Dialing
(this is nice to have in Hawaii
- other services require 10-digit call for reaching other islands)
Anonymous Call Rejection
Call Forwarding
Caller ID
Call Waiting
Call Waiting Caller ID
Do Not Disturb
E911 Support
Follow Me Service
(I've had some problem with this feature but it mostly works; basically
you can have incoming calls ring on multiple phones; e.g. add your cell
phone number. It's different from call-forwarding in that all phones will
ring and whichever phone picks up the call "wins".
International Call Block
Last Number Redial
Take 808NetFone with you
(I suppose this is standard with any VOIP setup)
Unlimited Calls to Canada
Unlimited Local Calls
Unlimited Nationwide Calls
Unlimited Statewide Calls
Voice Mail

On the downside....
>> Porting Your Old Phone Number
Attempting to get my previous phone number ported over to 808NetFone was nearly impossible and I gave up after waiting over a month just to just get the required authorization forms sent to me. The problem here is that you have to keep your old number active while waiting for the port to happen - this means paying two phone bills while you wait.

>> Features
The standard set of features is actually pretty good (see above). One recent annoyance I discovered is the lack of a call-blocking feature to avoid calls from specific numbers.

>> Customer Service
Customer service is basically only available via phone (forget about doing anything online through their website or via email). The support folks are mostly fairly pleasant over the phone but getting something fixed (like the porting problem listed above) is just a waste of time.

On several occasions I have attempted to reach customer support, sales, or anybody that would listen to get an issue resolved and got the same result every time: No Response. I have even reported website errors (with solutions) regarding a paging problem for call history and it's the same result every time: No Response.

>> Web Site
Web site is horribly slow when accessing data. I have waited over a minute for a page to render only to find myself either logged out or returned to the original page.

Call history is lacking detail - shows only Phone number and time of call - no other details are present such as location of other number or length of call.

Paging feature for call history is broken - basically, the "Next" page link attempts to send you to the wrong URL. I figured out what the correct link should be but apparently nobody at 808NetFone is very interested in fixing it.

Site will automatically log you out with no warning.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Overall I can live with the crappy support and lousy website so long as the phone service keeps working and the price stays low. If I had the option to switch over to Oceanic Cable's VOIP service and still have two lines, I'd do it in a flash. Similarly, I would not hesitate to setup land lines if I could set it up for a reasonable cost.

It is unfortunate that 808NetFone does not appear to be making any progress in addressing their shortcomings as the things that are broken are very easy to fix. It defies logic that they are unwilling to spend the required time and effort to (1) Train up their staff and establish procedures for better customer support and (2) Fix the website and maybe add a couple more minor features. The revenue from the number of customers that they could gain (or at least retain) would more than recover the minuscule cost of fixing these minor (but annoying) problems that are undoubtedly costing them business. As far as I can tell, the phone service itself is solid so they apparently have a good functional infrastructure on the technology side.

***************************
UPDATE: August 8, 2008
Looks like things might be getting better... I just recently received an email from 808NetFone customer support stating that they made some improvements to the website. I checked it out briefly, and indeed the site is much more stable and responsive plus some previously broken features are now working.

Hat's off to 808NetFone for making the effort! Hopefully this keeps up and it will be a first-rate VOIP service provider.

member for 9.7 years, 25 visits, last login: 4.1 years ago
updated 5.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by n1418 See Profile

  • Location: Honolulu,Honolulu,HI
  • Cost: $32 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 30 days
Good "LOW prices, Excellent Quality, Great Features"
Bad "Nonexistent tier-one Tech Support, Slow startup time, don't return calls, nearly impossible to get service started/stopped"
Overall "Not Worth the Hassle--"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

My experiences with 808netfone have been varied, but overall great.

I signed up around 40 days ago online and waited. After a week, I began to call their technical support to ask how much longer it would be until my service would start. After several days of leaving messages (it's impossible to get through to a live person), I was finally told "oops, we'll get on top of it." I wasn't too concerned, as mistakes do happen-- no big deal.

After a couple more days, my Analog Telephone Adapter showed up along with the temporary number they had issued me until my home phone number had been ported over from Hawaiian Telcom. I also received an email requesting an authorization letter to port my number over from HawaiianTel. I tried to fax the letter in to them, but couldn't seem to get a good connection. I ended up mailing it in to the address on the form.

After a few more days, I called back in to leave a message inquiring as to when I could expect my number to be ported over. No response.

I waited another week, then called in again to leave a message. No response

I emailed Tech Support through their website, hoping they would at least read emails. No response.

Finally, in a fit of desperation (bear in mind I am paying two phone bills during this time), I called into 808netfone's main office and insisted on speaking with a Customer Support Supervisor. I also emailed the address listed below in another review on this website. Between the Customer Support Supervisor (who was incredibly courteous), and the other individual I emailed, my number was ported over and my service began flawlessly within four days!

I really haven't had any technical problems other than getting the ball rolling, and you really can't beat the price or the reliability.

Also, I want to state that my fax works considerably well. I get about 80% to go through. I do have problems with a couple of specific numbers, oddly enough, but that might not be fault of 808netphone.

For the record, Oceanic's VOIP service doesn't officially support faxes either.

Caller ID works fine as well. I don't get names, but the numbers come through fine.

"Follow Me" is a really neat feature they include that starts ringing my cell phone after my home phone rings unanswered twice. Whichever phone answers the call gets it. Caller ID, surprisingly enough gets passed through to my cell phone as well.

If you are tenacious enough to make it through the initial setup and bad first-tier tech support, this is a great service that offers an incredible alternative to Oceanic's VOIP, and beats the living tar out of anything those jokers at Hawaiian Telcom offer.

---UPDATE---

2008/03/24

It's now been over three months since I ported my 808netfone number to Verizon Wireless. After calling over a dozen times, I'm still being billed, my 808netfone account is still active, I still have a dial tone on my home phone line (meaning my account has not been cancelled), and I'm still not getting any results.

Considering the amount of stress it has taken to get this service started, the ridiculous customer service (or lack thereof), and the ineptitude of the billing department, not to mention the apparent inability to terminate service before mankind lands on Jupiter, I cannot recommend 808netfone for anything.

STAY AWAY from this company.

member for 7.9 years, 6 visits, last login: 6.3 years ago
updated 6.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by noob2 See Profile

  • Location: Ocean View,Hawaii,HI
  • Cost: $30 per month (12 month contract)
Good "cheap"
Bad "sound quality, customer service, reliability"
Overall "pay the extra 5 to 10 bucks and call a real phone company"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

we live in a rural area with few phone lines, and our internet service provider suggested 808netfone as an option for phone service. RIght now I have 2 months left on my contract, and I'm just paying the netfone bill while I forward all my calls to my Hawaiiantel phone. The sound quality is so bad on my netfone it sounds like the teacher on the old Charlie Brown cartoons. People complain they can't understand me, and I can't understand them. It happens all day long, and no matter who I talk to, the folks at netfone insist it's my internet provider's fault. My internet provider insists it's netfone's fault. I've gone to various websites to test my bandwidth and depending upon who I talk to, it's either netfone's fault, or it isn't. For nearly a year I've been calling netfone every week, and they always promise a technician will be calling me back, yet I've only spoken to an actual tech maybe 3 times all year. Nothing ever changes, and I'm locked into this contract for a year, even though their product doesn't work.

Screw this, I'm through, I called Hawaiian tel. Problem solved, for $35 and a $45 installation fee I had a real phone line. Done.

Sure, you can install your netfone immediately, they send the equipment to you practically ovenight. But what good is it if nobody can hear you? I find it odd that I had no problems for the first 30 days, but from that point forward I could never complete a call reliably. It's almost like they make sure things are working until you can't possibly break the contract. Very strange indeed.

I don't think they make their money on repeat business, but on that contract, kind of like those old scam health clubs. Don't make the same mistake I did.

member for 6.3 years, 0 visits, last login: 6.3 years ago
lodged 6.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by brendanlewis See Profile

  • Location: Hauula,Honolulu,HI
  • Cost: $27 per month
Good "nice sound quality"
Bad "Caller ID doesn't work properly; Tech Support is non existent"
Overall "Hope that you do not need support!"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

I want to get the truth out about 808netfone. Getting the service started was the easy part. It took me a couple of months to get my cell phone number ported to them from T-Mobile. It would have taken alot longer if I did not escalate my issue. Luckily someone in provisioning was nice enough to stay in touch with me until my number was ported over. I have had to call tech support for various issues. I have not reached a live voice yet. I have to leave multiple messages and sound very irate in order to get a callback. I can not get them to give me a price list of international long distance rates. If you do not demand quality for customer support, then choose 808netfone. Otherwise, pay the extra money and go with Oceanic Cable for their digital phone. I hope that someone from 808netfone sees this and wants to contact me. Lord knows I can never get in touch with any of them!

member for 8.1 years, 1 visits, last login: 5.9 years ago
lodged 8.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by burnside91 See Profile

  • Location: Kailua,Honolulu,HI
  • Cost: $13 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Great price, absolutely trouble free, excellent call quality, full same as landline E911 (for HI customers)."
Bad "No fax/modem support, crude web interface"
Overall "Instant setup, great price, no reason not to get it. Only choice for an 808 number."
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

I called to order the service over the phone because I had some questions about the contract term, etc. that isn't outlined on the website (!), although now it appears to be there but buried in the T&Cs.

I called and talked to a very nice person at PLNI in Honolulu, she offered to waive the $45 set up fee, which I'm not sure would have happened if I ordered online. There is a reasonable $45 cancellation fee if you cancel after 30 days but before 12 months. But, I do believe that you don't get charged any extra if you don't return the adapter, and you can recoup that by selling your adapter on eBay for $60, or keeping it and using it with another provider like FWD or BroadVoice (if you can unlock it that is). Also, if you want to get up and running immediately you can pick up your adapter at their downtown office, or their office in the Koko Marina shopping center in Hawaii Kai. I chose to pick up my adapter in downtown, in their 19th floor office building, and was up and running making calls and receiving calls with my new 808-447 number the same day. I can't attest to how smoothly it would go if you were to port in your 808 landline or cellular number, but they do offer that service.

They're just about the only VoIP provider to offer and 808 number (Vonage, AT&T, Verizon, Lingo, BroadVoice, VoicePulse, Packet8, all don't). I have seen two other ones but they were small ones with dubious names, and definately didn't offer as cheap of a monthly rate. 808NetFone is provided by Pacific LightNet who also runs Hawaii Online and provides phone service to a lot of local businesses and has for many years (f/k/a GST). So they're a trusted name with their own switch and equipment, not just a cheap reseller..

Setup was brainlessly easy. I just plugged in the adapter to the power and into a free ethernet port on my wireless router (connected to a EarthLink/Oceanic Time Warner cable modem) and within 10 seconds the ATA showed a green light and I had a dial tone. The ATA is a Sipura SPA-2100. It appears to be set up to automatically pull a DHCP address from whatever you plug it in to, I'm not sure how I would (or if it's possible) to configure it for static IP or PPPoE use (808NF disables the Sipura SPA-2100 web interface for the adapter itself, but maybe they would give you a password or something if you needed it in that situation). Their service is quite helpful, the customer serivce/support is provided by a dedicated VoIP person at their office in downtown Honolulu who is very knowledgable and responsive, when I had to call to ask about their features (how to block my number and *70), no calling India to someone who has to take down all your information first, and look for a solution.

I had a bit of trouble with the voicemail. Apparently the voicemail system password is separate and unrelated to the web interface password. A random voicemail password was generated for me when I signed up (which can be changed of course) and the representative forgot to write it down on my welcome sheet. They were quickly able to retrieve for me though when I called customer service (local representative in Honolulu, and no hold time to speak with them).

The call quality is great. I tried calling a few people, and having someone else in my house call me with a cell phone and talk to each other. The voice of the person talking into the VoIP line comes through on the other (cell phone) end crystal clear. The voice of the person you're talking to sounds a little "sharp" but perfectly intelligible, however this might be my new cordless phone which I purchased for use with the service and not the service itself. I tried A/B ing with a regular landline and couldn't tell the difference.

I'd have no problem with cancelling my landline and relying on this exclusively. It hasn't gone out or even skipped a beat once (not a single dropped word or metallic echo) in a month and hours and hours of use. I tried having someone else in my house call me on my cell phone using the VoIP while I was in another room, the voice quality of the person talking into the VoIP phone was amazing, even better than a landline (maybe because there's no noisy copper lines for the conversation to diverse?, or something about the clean G.711 to GSM transcoding?). PLNI also offers full e911 service automatically included (unless you specify that you're out of state--if you are, why are you looking at 808NetFone anyway?), so your call is routed to the exact same place as your landline 911, and the dispatcher gets your provided service address on their screen.

They also seem to have a big advantage in call quality in theory over the national guys. I pinged their server (voip.aloha.net) located in Honolulu 100 times, and got an average of just 12ms (9ms min, 18ms max) on my Oceanic cable modem, I do not think one could hope for a lower ping time anywhere for VoIP. That's what you get when your packets stay on the island. I was also amazed after seeing the comments I've heard about VoIP dying during heavy downloading or uploading how robust the connection was. I couldn't kill it if I wanted to, I tried to place a call while playing 3 streaming movies, download a 300mb file, and running the Broadband Reports Speed test, and it still wouldn't miss a beat. Including when I initiated the call in the middle of the bandwidth load and when I initiated it before the bandwidth load. I can even play Starcraft without messing up the VoIP.

The price is great, it includes everything but your standard Hawaii GET, and $1.20 if you want an unpublished number.

My only complaint would be that they are not as fully featured as the major national providers. The web interface is pretty crude, all there is is a missed call list and a crude "phone book". There is a click to dial feature, but it doesn't work.. They do send you voicemails through email though, with the messages attached as WAVs, their voicemail system is identical to the IPKall (www.ipkall.com) one if you're familiar with that.

Also, it does not appear to work with fax machines or modems. I tried and my fax machine started to load the page, but eventually gave up and spit the page out unsent. I might have better luck if I could set a lower trasmission speed or something, but unfortunately my fax doesn't offer that option. Woe is me, but they don't claim for faxing to work anyway. I don't fax often anyway and can get away with just a service like eFax though.

Overall, highly recommended. I hope to see them to continue to add more features to the service, and maybe advertise it better, they don't seem to have a lot of customers (they have almost zero advertising though) and I hope they don't go out of business.

Update: I tried out the VoIP on a friends Hawaiian Telcom DSL, and it didn't work as well latency wise, since they switched over the network from Verizon Online, the ping times to voip.aloha.net from DSL are 300 ms+ (traceroute shows that the traffic has to go across the pacific to Los Angeles and back again, no wonder, stupid HawTel no Hawaii interconnection). An Oceanic cable modem gives you ping times around 8 ms.

member for 13.3 years, 43 visits, last login: 157 days ago
updated 8.8 years ago

Comments: