Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Voice Pulse experience


I have been using Voice Pulse for about 4 years now.  When I signed up for VOIP my primary interest was to save on my phone bill.  Verizon aka the ‘Billing machine’ had sent me a notice that due to the fact that I did not make many long distance calls with them they were going to surcharge my account.  Yes I rolled my eyes on that sentence.  Between all the bogus FCC and other taxes, I had enough of their overpriced phone service.

So I pulled the trigger, visited one my favorite forum discussion sites called DSLReports.com and read the experiences from other users.  I went with a service called Voice Pulse which back in the day worked and had good service.  Well that was then and now it’s a whole different story.  About 18 months ago something changed over at Voice Pulse.  I have no idea what but the service went downhill.  First they dropped their internal voice mail system and went with a 3rd party called YouMail.  You can probably guess what happened, a finger pointing game when voice mail did not work correctly. The MWI (message waiting indicator) was the main problem.  Someone would leave you a voice mail and you had no clue voice mail was sent.  Well many months (years) later it still does not work to any degree of reliability.  Next was the voice quality.  It was always good (not great) but more than acceptable.  Then Voice Pulse did some sort of update which made my AT&T TL92328 cordless handsets a door stop.  Nobody could hear me, the output was very soft.  They worked fine on any other VOIP / POTS service but not Voice Pulse.  I had to buy all new handsets from Panasonic to get my phone service back.  (some savings switching to VOIP!)  Then my cell phone minutes were on the rise because none of my friends could reach me on my Voice Pulse number.

So months past, I opened several trouble tickets with them.  It became very clear they were a 9-5 shop.  If something went down during the evening hours it would be down until the next day.  I was kinda shocked when they had a big outage and had no idea for the whole evening.  You would think they would be monitoring major system outages 24/7.

Then the bizarre started, the phone would ring, you would answer after the first ring and nobody was there and calls went directly to voice mail. And of course with no surprise the MWI indicator was not working again.  Then I could not call any 800 service, my cell could call the same number but not Voice Pulse.  So the end of the road came when mega storm Sandy hit the east coast.  I was not able to make almost any call yet my cell phone could call the same numbers without issue. 

For anyone considering VOIP my experience is don’t port your number on day one.  After reading many reviews / issues on the forums get a temporary DID number and carefully test your selection.  None of them are perfect.

I will do a follow up with VOIP.ms which is my new VOIP service.  So far it works great.    

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