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Arne Bolen
Happy Anveo customer
Premium
join:2009-06-21
Cyberspace
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Anveo
·voip.ms

1 edit
reply to dicodread

Re: [General] Google voice going paid?

said by dicodread:

Could it be a sign the next move is to come up with a subscription for google voice when new persons try to sign up? Maybe a while after they will end the honey moon and force everyone onto the paid service.

Five years ago you could have 100 mail accounts on the free edition of Google Apps. During the years Google slowly lowered that number and last year it was limited to 10 free mail accounts. Thus it was no surprise the free edition was closed.

The free edition was a marketing tool for Google, a tool they had great success with. Today around 5 million domains are using Google Apps and most of them are using Google Apps for Business ($50 a year per mail account).

Due to the success with Google Apps for Business there is no need for Google to continue with the free edition of Google Apps. Those in need of a free mail account can still use the service with the gmail.com domain.

Google Apps and Google Voice are totally different parts of Google and it's likely Google Voice will continue the current free service at least a few more years.
--
My VoIP News

voip_wire

join:2010-07-02
kudos:1
said by Arne Bolen:

Five years ago you could have 100 mail accounts on the free edition of Google Apps. During the years Google slowly lowered that number and earlier this year it was limited to 10 free mail accounts.

The 10 users limit is probably in place a bit longer - I started using them in 2011 and 10 users limit was already in place.

said by Arne Bolen:

Google Apps and Google Voice are totally different parts of Google and it's likely Google Voice will continue the current free service at least a few more years.

+1
I would like to add though that this change portends North American calls with Google Voice will not remain free forever.

cheers,
-m


Arne Bolen
Happy Anveo customer
Premium
join:2009-06-21
Cyberspace
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Anveo
·voip.ms
said by voip_wire:

The 10 users limit is probably in place a bit longer - I started using them in 2011 and 10 users limit was already in place.

You are right, the limit was changed to 10 users last year.

said by voip_wire:

I would like to add though that this change portends North American calls with Google Voice will not remain free forever.

Google needs to decide what to do with Google Voice. Currently the service doesn't create any revenue for Google except for outgoing calls outside of North America.
--
My VoIP News

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL

1 recommendation

reply to voip_wire
These speculations pop up at every year's end. The fact is that nobody knows what will happen and Google can change their policy at any time, not just as of Jan 01. Google could also make outgoing calls through devices like Obi impossible at any time. Currently, only a relatively small number of people use GV for outgoing calls and the costs of operation are probably minimal.
I think that free GV is more of a problem for other VOIP carriers than for Google itself. I have been using GV for outgoing calls via Obi for the last 13 months and I am pleasantly surprised about the quality and consistency of the connections, quite frankly as good or even better than from some SIP providers, let alone junk like Magic Jack or Nettalk. I bet a lot of VOIP execs are praying daily for Google pulling the plug.

sokhapkin
Premium
join:2003-05-08
North Fort Myers, FL

1 recommendation

said by cell14:

I bet a lot of VOIP execs are praying daily for Google pulling the plug.

Well said
--
»www.callwithus.com

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to Arne Bolen
said by Arne Bolen:

and it's likely Google Voice will continue the current free service at least a few more years.

I sure hope not. Google Voice is bad for VOIP because it is not economical- it essentially takes away customers from economical providers making it harder for them to survive long-term. It distorts the market - maybe even enough to kill a few providers - only for Google to arbitrarily shut it down or start charging later. As a user I guess it seems like a good thing, but when you look at the big picture it's just hurting the industry.

Think about it like this: lets say some big corp decided to start handing out free eggs at supermarkets. Within months/years all normal companies/farmers would stop producing eggs because they can't sell them. Then big-corp can either start charging and be the only egg manufacturer on the market, or worse- they could just shut down operations so no eggs for anybody. Point is- variety in an industry is good, so artificial forces that prevent variety are bad.

Edit: of course I'm biased. I've heard the "I bought an Obi and going to use GV only from now on" from a lot of customers before, but that's exactly the point. There's also, perhaps more evil aspect to consider here: the harder it gets for providers to recruit and retain customers - the more they're going to spend on advertising. And guess who gains the most from that...

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
said by nitzan:

said by Arne Bolen:

and it's likely Google Voice will continue the current free service at least a few more years.

I sure hope not. Google Voice is bad for VOIP because it is not economical- it essentially takes away customers from economical providers making it harder for them to survive long-term. It distorts the market - maybe even enough to kill a few providers - only for Google to arbitrarily shut it down or start charging later. As a user I guess it seems like a good thing, but when you look at the big picture it's just hurting the industry.

Think about it like this: lets say some big corp decided to start handing out free eggs at supermarkets. Within months/years all normal companies/farmers would stop producing eggs because they can't sell them. Then big-corp can either start charging and be the only egg manufacturer on the market, or worse- they could just shut down operations so no eggs for anybody. Point is- variety in an industry is good, so artificial forces that prevent variety are bad.

Edit: of course I'm biased. I've heard the "I bought an Obi and going to use GV only from now on" from a lot of customers before, but that's exactly the point. There's also, perhaps more evil aspect to consider here: the harder it gets for providers to recruit and retain customers - the more they're going to spend on advertising. And guess who gains the most from that...

I hear you. But honestly, small VOIP carriers can do a lot to offset the GV impact and unfortunately, they often do not do that.
GV is a perfect replacement for Ooma, Magic jack or Nettalk . It does not replace a full featured VOIP service. I do not see a small business owner cancelling his Callcentric service and switching everything to Google voice. But look at certain things : Example, Anveo web site. Designed to turn off the customer. Or some other companies not to be named who only take minimum payments of 15.- or even 25(!) dollars!( I am not talking about semi-wholesalers like Voxbeam) They have to offer features AND perfection AND customer service, GV is really short on those things. Go and cater more to budget customers. And last not least, operate truly globally! If you do, GV will have only a limited impact on you. I am a very happy customer of Localphone in spite of free Google Voice.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
said by cell14:

I do not see a small business owner cancelling his Callcentric service and switching everything to Google voice.

Actually I'm pretty sure GV has plenty of business customers. Whether that's a good idea or not (it's not) is a different argument.

Or some other companies not to be named who only take minimum payments of 15.- or even 25(!) dollars!

This is actually by design, for a couple of reasons:
1. The transaction fee on a $1 payment is 30%. For a $5 payment it's 9%. a $15 payment it's 5%. a $25 payment it's 4%. If a provider allowed you to make $1 payments they'd have to jack up their prices 30% to make up for it. If you take a close look you'll see providers offering lower payment options also tend to be more expensive.
2. No offense to small-time users, but $15 is not a lot. I'd expect a typical user to go through that in a couple of months. In a way by offering a higher minimum payment you can prevent infrequent users from signing up. A while ago I had a problem with a user because he used about $1 of calls in 2 months, and opened around 16 support cases during the same time. You can't handle users like that and remain profitable.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to cell14
You raise some excellent points, but I agree with Nitzan on the minimum payments issue.

Having a merchant agreement with a credit card company myself, I know that the fees are absolutely ridiculous.

Even huge businesses complain bitterly about the CC fees they have to fork over, even though they get better deals than the smaller merchants. It's murder for the smaller guys.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

Point is- variety in an industry is good, so artificial forces that prevent variety are bad.

This is very true.

The same reason that the US and the European Union have gone after Microsoft.

In the short term, the fact that Microsoft had (and pushed) a free browser was good for consumers.

In the long term, it discouraged innovation. MS saturating the market with a free browser killed off better ones such as Netscape.

Now thanks to some sacrifice (such as by the Mozilla folks) we have a competitive browser market again.

Of course the big competitor now is (ironically) Google Chrome, but that's OK, it took Mothra to fight Godzilla....

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
reply to PX Eliezer70
said by PX Eliezer70:

Having a merchant agreement with a credit card company myself, I know that the fees are absolutely ridiculous.

Agreed. It's time for a new payment system which keeps the convenience and SECURITY of a CC payment.
BTW, number of people incl. myself signed up with Localphone BECAUSE they offered a 1$ payments, I would not have paid $ 25.- up front. There is a huge difference between pre paid and post paid. So that certainly works well for them.
Now I indeed pay in 5 or 10 $ increments and I would even pay more I just do not want to loose more money to possible SIP scammers/scanners. They do not take AMEX though, which I hate but understand.
One way around this issue would be charging transaction surcharges for established customers who choose very small payments.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
said by cell14:

One way around this issue would be charging transaction surcharges for established customers who choose very small payments.

And then you'd have customers up in arms and complaining to visa/mastercard/paypal about you passing on the transaction fee to them (something you can't do according to most merchant agreements). We have some vendors who charge transaction fees and to be honest I don't like it - I understand it, but still don't like it anyway because I feel like they're advertising one price and charging another. Not something I'd want to put my users through.


Trev
IP Telephony Addict
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Victoria, BC
kudos:6
said by nitzan:

And then you'd have customers up in arms and complaining to visa/mastercard/paypal about you passing on the transaction fee to them (something you can't do according to most merchant agreements). We have some vendors who charge transaction fees and to be honest I don't like it - I understand it, but still don't like it anyway because I feel like they're advertising one price and charging another. Not something I'd want to put my users through.

Indeed I have the same problem with some vendors and also despise the practice. If you want to charge 3% for taking my payment, just make the pricing 3% higher and don't charge that fee.

Especially when the processing fee applies equally to credit, PayPal, and direct deposit / wire transfers.
--
Wondering what I do? Find out at »www.digitalcon.ca
Get your Obihai ATA in Canada.

ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

said by Arne Bolen:

and it's likely Google Voice will continue the current free service at least a few more years.

I sure hope not. Google Voice is bad for VOIP because it is not economical- it essentially takes away customers from economical providers making it harder for them to survive long-term. It distorts the market - maybe even enough to kill a few providers - only for Google to arbitrarily shut it down or start charging later. As a user I guess it seems like a good thing, but when you look at the big picture it's just hurting the industry.

How lame, nitzan See Profile! Google Voice is about the only provider ever discussed on this forum that provides:

1. SMS.

2. Mnemonic phone numbers, without any "select a state/city" bullshit.

Plus it truly runs in the cloud, and is generally quite reliable. (For the record, I don't think it's fair to blame any VoIP provider when XO et al are at fault.)

How exactly do you guys expect to compete with Google Voice if you don't offer any services that many people use Google Voice for?

Since someone from CC pointed out in another thread (now closed) that I'm getting services from CallCentric that noone else provides, perhaps as such it's fine to reveal that, for example, I did manage to get a custom, mnemonic, phone number from CallCentric; indeed, no other provider in North America offers free mnemonic phone numbers through SIP. However, that only happened after I made a manual request with the tech support, and each time they did this (I tried it twice, IIRC; the prior time was with a Dirt-Cheap-DID that in the end I decided not to purchase), they did point it out both times that they normally can't (or don't) provide such service. I emailed Anveo once about getting a custom number, and they explicitly said that they don't offer any mnemonic or custom numbers.

If you seriously think that Google Voice is hurting your business, get off your arse and offer something that's at least half as good. Pinger and lots of other startups do similar services as Google Voice as well (they usually still don't offer mnemonic phone numbers, though). I'm an avid Google Voice user, but it doesn't stop me from spending money on CallCentric and now also on CallWithUs. If it won't be Google Voice that's "hurting your business", it'll be Pinger, CallCentric, CallWithUs, Anveo, VoIP.ms or someone else. Sorry, I just couldn't resist!

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
Last I checked, GV doesn't actually offer VOIP service - so by default ALL providers offer better service than them. The only reason they are successful (defined by number of users) is that the service is free - if and when they start charging for service the grand majority of users will move on to real VOIP providers.

ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
said by nitzan:

Last I checked, GV doesn't actually offer VOIP service - so by default ALL providers offer better service than them. The only reason they are successful (defined by number of users) is that the service is free - if and when they start charging for service the grand majority of users will move on to real VOIP providers.

Did you not read what I said?

DO YOU OFFER SMS?

Why would I move to you if you don't offer SMS? Which is exactly what I use Google Voice for. End of story. You guys live in your magic NA VoIP world where noone needs SMS.


bbbc

join:2001-10-02
NorthAmerica
kudos:2
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
reply to ConstantineM
said by ConstantineM :

Mnemonic phone numbers, without any "select a state/city" bullshit.

Humm, most of my DIDs are vanity / phonewords. These numbers are never easy to get and I pay for it. I've jumped through hoops getting these numbers from one provider (who holds the prefix in the area I want) and then porting them to a VoIP provider that is a million times cheaper. Porting always seem to be a hassle too, but long story short, I get the numbers after a ton of work on my part.

It is what it is. Give the VoIP guys a break. How many guys (and gals) our age give a sh*t about texting from a computer?

--
Consumerist.com | Consumers Union

rblizz

join:2001-12-16
North Richland Hills, TX
reply to ConstantineM
said by ConstantineM:

How lame, nitzan See Profile! Google Voice is about the only provider ever discussed on this forum that provides:

1. SMS.

Well, there you go. For the one of us that cares, GV offers SMS. My problem with Google Voice is I never know what they're going to be doing next year -- or next week. They've committed to nothing. So why would you plan anything around them?

The best that can be said about GV is that (for now) you can get an OBi and make free outgoing calls. If you want a number that you know is going to be there next year, go with someone else.

I like picking a vendor and settling in with them. I don't want to worry about when (because it's a matter of "when" not "if") Google decides to either charge (how much, no one knows) or just give up on the experiment.

But I'm not looking for SMS in a VoIP provider, so what do I know?

rblizz

join:2001-12-16
North Richland Hills, TX
reply to bbbc
said by bbbc:

It is what it is. Give the VoIP guys a break. How many guys (and gals) our age give a sh*t about texting from a computer?

Really? I thought SMS was THE most important feature you could get in VoIP service.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

1 recommendation

reply to ConstantineM
said by ConstantineM:

How lame, nitzan See Profile! Google Voice is about the only provider ever discussed on this forum that provides:

1. SMS.

2. Mnemonic phone numbers, without any "select a state/city" bullshit.

How exactly do you guys expect to compete with Google Voice if you don't offer any services that many people use Google Voice for?

Mmm, I think that the large majority of GV users are using it because it's free.

As far as SMS over IP (SMOIP), a few VoIP providers offer it (Anveo and Vitelity come to mind) but I don't know that there has been a big consumer demand for it.

Mnemonic phone numbers are cute, but again there is not a big consumer demand for them except in the case of TF numbers. And even TF mnemonic numbers are less important than they used to be except for the handful like 1-800-Flowers.

GV is [not] a threat because of SMS (would be different if they had S&M) or because of Mnemonics (another niche, most people don't need a phone number that spells out their name).

The main attribute of Bluto is [large].

The main attribute of Paris is [Eiffel Tower].

The main attribute of Dolly Parton is....well, I don't want to milk this any more.

But surely the main attribute of GoogleVoice is [free].

And they are smart enough to know that.


bbbc

join:2001-10-02
NorthAmerica
kudos:2
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
said by PX Eliezer :

Mnemonic phone numbers are cute, but again there is not a big consumer demand for them except in the case of TF numbers. And even TF mnemonic numbers are less important than they used to be except for the handful like 1-800-Flowers.

If you have a business, whether large or small, I think they help with marketing. I got a toll-free with ending zeros, 0000. You get the magic all eights and you get the Asian crowd who believes in luck. I helped a roofer get XXX-ROOF. Again, getting all these numbers are a pain in the ass, but I think it's worth it in the long run.

--
Consumerist.com | Consumers Union

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
said by bbbc:

I helped a roofer get XXX-ROOF.

Right, but Connie's point is that the [area code] does not matter, that we are in a continental pool where locality is irrelevant.

I disagree with him.

If you are in Nashville, you might hesitate to call the number GET-NEW-ROOF because that would be in Montreal. (Note to mods: This [438-639-7663] is a non-working number, no 639 exchange in that AC yet).

People [do] still notice area codes. Locality does matter, aside from the TF codes.


bbbc

join:2001-10-02
NorthAmerica
kudos:2
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
said by PX Eliezer :

Right, but Connie's point is that the [area code] does not matter, that we are in a continental pool where locality is irrelevant.

I disagree with him.

If you are in Nashville, you might hesitate to call the number GET-NEW-ROOF because that would be in Montreal. (Note to mods: This [438-639-7663] is a non-working number, no 639 exchange in that AC yet).

People [do] still notice area codes. Locality does matter, aside from the TF codes.

Sorry, you are spot on. The area code totally matters with vanity numbers, people want to know that you're local.

As far as the Obihai ATAs, they are simply the best stand-alone device right now. Free GV is an added bonus that probably won't last.

--
Consumerist.com | Consumers Union

ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
reply to rblizz
said by rblizz:

The best that can be said about GV is that (for now) you can get an OBi and make free outgoing calls. If you want a number that you know is going to be there next year, go with someone else.

I like picking a vendor and settling in with them. I don't want to worry about when (because it's a matter of "when" not "if") Google decides to either charge (how much, no one knows) or just give up on the experiment.

What a bunch of FUD-spreading.

Do any PAYG VoIP providers that are ALREADY cheap offer any kind of price guarantees for the future?

Then why do you expect Google to be any different?

You guys are so biased against Google Voice, it's just ridiculous!


bbbc

join:2001-10-02
NorthAmerica
kudos:2
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
said by ConstantineM :

You guys are so biased against Google Voice, it's just ridiculous!

You're making me snicker. I use Google Voice a ton for North American long distance. I revert to VoIP.ms when I'm calling overseas. I remember the day when calling Europe cost a ton. Hell, I pay under 2¢ a minute, billed in seconds, to call England.

Texting through a VoIP provider is really a niche service. Out of curiosity, do you have a honey in some country that you can't text them without it costing a fortune through your mobile provider?

--
Consumerist.com | Consumers Union

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

if and when they start charging for service the grand majority of users will move on to real VOIP providers.

I would not be so sure.
With a real CS and some improvements they could start charging and even with the current set up a 0.25c/min charge would be tolerable for many people.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
I don't think so, but of course only future may tell...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
We'll see soon, keep checking....
»twitter.com/googlevoice

rblizz

join:2001-12-16
North Richland Hills, TX
reply to ConstantineM
said by ConstantineM:

What a bunch of FUD-spreading.

Do any PAYG VoIP providers that are ALREADY cheap offer any kind of price guarantees for the future?

Then why do you expect Google to be any different?

You guys are so biased against Google Voice, it's just ridiculous!

What FUD have I spread? Google has been purposely coy about their long-term plans for GV -- this is not something I've done, it's something they've done.

Do you think I'm anti-Google? I'm currently using Google Chrome, I own an Android -- I got my wife and brothers and a nephew to buy Android phones and two nephews to buy Android tablets. I almost exclusively use Google Search.

Fact is, as of now (in the 2nd week of December) no one knows for sure if Google Voice will free in 2013 or not -- and it its like this every year. That's my problem with GV.


NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06
reply to PX Eliezer70
I use Google Voice because it's free... of any taxes, fees, etc., and because I'm not forced to have 911/E911/whatever. I'd be happy to pay a small fee each month to anyone as long as none of it went back to the govt. (pure rip-off there) and I weren't required to have 911.