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

[Future9] Interest in ATAs?

Hi guys,

It's been a while since we last provided pre-provisioned ATAs - we stopped doing it due to some problems we've had and logistical issues, but considering resuming offering this. Got a quick "survey" for you:

1. Would this (pre-provisioned ATAs from Future Nine) be of any interest to you (or someone you know)?
2. Which would you prefer:
A - adapter priced around $50 and free for you to keep when cancelling service.
B - free adapter, just pay shipping - but not possible to use with other providers when cancelling service.

We don't make much (if any) profit on the adapters- it's really just a way to make it easier for non-techies to receive service.

Opinions welcome!


WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1

2 recommendations

Since you are just asking for opinions I will only say this: To me it has always seemed wrong for providers to lock their adapters, thus forcing customers to send a perfectly good piece of electronic equipment to a landfill if they want to switch providers, or in the event you ever stop offering your service. I realize that in the big picture, VoIP adapters are probably only a small part of the electronic waste out there, but still, every little bit helps.

The other thing to keep in mind is that at some point your "free" adapter might be unlocked anyway, the way one person in this forum used to go around unlocking "locked" PAP2's. And the final point is that people will probably take better care of a device they paid real money for - they won't be as likely to let the kids use it as a makeshift hockey puck, or something like that!

On the flip side, people love getting something "free", especially when it is a somewhat costly piece of electronics.

One option might be option A, but as an additional option allow them to pay $5 per month for the device if they will agree to a minimum one year service contract. After the year is up the rate drops by $5 and you get an extra $10 from those who stick out the year, to help cover the inevitable few that will not fulfill the contract. Or maybe a six month contract and an extra $10 per month until it's paid off. At least that would take away some of the sting for those who just can't seem to come up with an extra $50.

Rastan

join:2007-04-25
Canada
reply to nitzan
I agree with WhyADuck about locking adapters. Voip is a progressive technology and there's nothing progressive about locking adapters. It's a terrible idea.

unjaded

join:2013-03-04
Irving, TX
reply to nitzan
2_A

I am no fan of purchasing locked down anything. With 2A you could offer the option of having the customer enter a few lines deferring control over line_1 to future9. VT has an option like that. FutureNine could allow advanced users to tinker with provisioned settings, or require everyone to open a ticket to make adjustments

win win

again ^ that's on 2A, customer purchased not-locked device

I actively use PAP2T, spa2102, OBi110*. Ooma was a farce; too bad it cannot be wielded as vpn appliance for PBX.

Would you be able to offer a volume discount on OBi110/202 or future devices (no pun intended) ?

Which would be ideal in future9 for SIP TCP & TLS?

* I do not feed myself to googlevilvoice or other evil properties; I'm no commodity.

grand total

join:2005-10-26
Mississauga
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
·Anveo
reply to Rastan
said by Rastan:

I agree with WhyADuck about locking adapters. Voip is a progressive technology and there's nothing progressive about locking adapters. It's a terrible idea.

I could not agree more. When I left Vonage I hated that I had two worthless paper weights that could not be unlocked. Keep your customers with great service, not locking. However I do understand the concept of locking to reduce support costs.
--
DPC3825 (bridged mode) - WRT610N + Tomato - Panasonic KX-TGP500 - Asterisk 1.8.10.1 on Virtual Server
Anveo - FreePhoneLine - Voxbeam - Numbergroup - Callcentric - VoIP.MS - Localphone - UKDDI

rblizz

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

2. Which would you prefer:
A - adapter priced around $50 and free for you to keep when cancelling service.
B - free adapter, just pay shipping - but not possible to use with other providers when cancelling service.

I, personally, would rather pay up front and own an unlocked device.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
reply to WhyADuck
I also agree with WhyADuck; in particular the compromise of a monthly payment plan to own the adapter.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to nitzan
Thanks for the comments guys. Here's the thing though- if a customer was tech-savvy enough to configure their own adapter wouldn't they just BYOD? remember we are targeting people who don't want to mess with configuration. We aren't in the business of selling adapters - it's just a way to accommodate for users who can't or don't want to purchase and configure an adapter on their own.

Yes- the tech support aspect is one of the concerns. In the past we've had users tinker with our pre-provisioned adapters, mess things up, and de-provision it so we can't even fix it remotely. Best case scenario we managed to walk them through fixing it (which of course takes more support resources) - worst case scenario some users couldn't fix it.

As far as free vs pay- essentially it's about competition. If users can go to a competitor and get an (locked) adapter for free - why would they pay us to buy one? again I'm not talking about tech guys who can BYOD, I'm thinking about people who don't want to mess with configuration. I do like the monthly payment idea - that might work, thanks!

Obi is not an option due to logistical/price and business concerns. Again our focus is not to provide the best overall adapter - we just want something that will work well with our service and not cost too much.

SIP TLS and TCP - we do not support currently. Maybe in a future upgrade we can support it but that won't be anytime soon.

grand total

join:2005-10-26
Mississauga
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
·Anveo
said by nitzan:

Here's the thing though- if a customer was tech-savvy enough to configure their own adapter wouldn't they just BYOD? remember we are targeting people who don't want to mess with configuration.

Good point. You asked the wrong people. From that point of view I'd take the free (locked) adapter, just as I did when I signed up with Vonage.
--
DPC3825 (bridged mode) - WRT610N + Tomato - Panasonic KX-TGP500 - Asterisk 1.8.10.1 on Virtual Server
Anveo - FreePhoneLine - Voxbeam - Numbergroup - Callcentric - VoIP.MS - Localphone - UKDDI

Rastan

join:2007-04-25
Canada
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·voip.ms
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

Thanks for the comments guys. Here's the thing though- if a customer was tech-savvy enough to configure their own adapter wouldn't they just BYOD? remember we are targeting people who don't want to mess with configuration. We aren't in the business of selling adapters - it's just a way to accommodate for users who can't or don't want to purchase and configure an adapter on their own.

What will these potential customers who aren't tech savvy think about your company when they realize their ATA is useless when they switch to another provider? Good word of mouth can attract a significant amount of customers and pissing off customers will generate bad word of mouth.

It doesn't cost you anything to sell ATA's that are preconfigured without locking them or if locking is necessary to preserve settings then at least provide them with an unlock code if they discontinue their service.


dbmaven
There's no shortage
Premium,Mod
join:1999-10-26
Sty in Sky
kudos:3
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·Optimum Online
The original post offered 2 options (I'm paraphrasing):

1 - customer pays $50 (or possibly some other amount) for an unlocked ATA which they keep if they cancel service later
2 - customer gets a FREE ATA that is locked and can't be used with another service if they cancel later.
--
Ad astra per alas porci!!

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to grand total
said by grand total:

said by nitzan:

Here's the thing though- if a customer was tech-savvy enough to configure their own adapter wouldn't they just BYOD? remember we are targeting people who don't want to mess with configuration.

Good point. You asked the wrong people. From that point of view I'd take the free (locked) adapter, just as I did when I signed up with Vonage.

That is what I am thinking. As long as you offer BYOD still the techy types are covered.
Ones needing an adapter preconfigured would be a target market for a locked adapter that just works and gives them incentive to try then stay with your service.


cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
reply to dbmaven
said by dbmaven:

The original post offered 2 options (I'm paraphrasing):

1 - customer pays $50 (or possibly some other amount) for an unlocked ATA which they keep if they cancel service later
2 - customer gets a FREE ATA that is locked and can't be used with another service if they cancel later.

3 - customer gets a free locked device that you can unlock for them when they leave.

That'll take care of the support issues, and let them keep a useful device if they want to. You can put some restrictions around this if you want, like you unlock it for a fee, or for free if they've been with you for long enough that it made it worth it giving them a free device.

rblizz

join:2001-12-16
North Richland Hills, TX

1 edit
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

Thanks for the comments guys. Here's the thing though- if a customer was tech-savvy enough to configure their own adapter wouldn't they just BYOD?

I was in favor of the choice were you program the ATA and then sell it (outright) unlocked to your customer. It's not BYOD, because you're programming and selling it to your customer, but when he gets it, it's his -- and, in the future (if he wants), he can reprogram it to his heart's content.

rblizz

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

3 - customer gets a free locked device that you can unlock for them when they leave.

That'll take care of the support issues, and let them keep a useful device if they want to. You can put some restrictions around this if you want, like you unlock it for a fee, or for free if they've been with you for long enough that it made it worth it giving them a free device.

That would work also. I think even Vonage offered unlocking (for a fee) when they were selling Linksys adapters.

SCADAGeo

join:2012-11-08
N California
kudos:2
reply to cybersaga
said by cybersaga:

3 - customer gets a free locked device that you can unlock for them when they leave.

That'll take care of the support issues, and let them keep a useful device if they want to. You can put some restrictions around this if you want, like you unlock it for a fee, or for free if they've been with you for long enough that it made it worth it giving them a free device.

+1


cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·localphone.com
·callwithus
·Google Voice
·Callcentric
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com
reply to nitzan
I have a dim opinion about proprietary anything , so generally speaking, option A is more interesting. Additionally, you will not lose money if somebody cancels service. Of course, it only makes sense if the ATA's are reasonably easy to configure and/or have some level of customer support.


Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

Hi guys,
1. Would this (pre-provisioned ATAs from Future Nine) be of any interest to you (or someone you know)?
2. Which would you prefer:
A - adapter priced around $50 and free for you to keep when cancelling service.
B - free adapter, just pay shipping - but not possible to use with other providers when cancelling service.

I use this service for years and just noticed local support.
Back on topic.

For masses, option B is more convenient as long as you lock them in some kind of agreement (6 to 12 months to recover ATA cost or charge them cost in A if they leave early).

But best to offer both options. Personally I would go for A or buy my own well supported ATA
--
Semper Fi