Wednesday, August 12, 2009 the Best Home & Office Phone Service I have Ever Used

By: Alon Cohen

If this post smells to you like an ad it probably is. I work for and proud about what we offer. But I am also very satisfied with how I use the services every day. People who know me as a technologist know that I do not jump every time a new service comes alive. I do however likely to try new technologies more than the average person, and jump only when I know I get the best bang for the buck, and when I know that I get functionality that help me do more with less in order to feed my basic laziness.

In the past year and half I have been using, Vonage, Cablevision triple play, Skype, Jajah, 1Voice, Google Voice and more. I ended up canceling or not using all of them (besides Skype which gives me free Video). At that time frame, I have created a monster phone system for my home based solely on Virtual Office. I did not have to install anything just click my way on the web.

Why? Well I started small, moved my home phone number and fax numbers, than added menus to make sure my family members get their calls directly to their cell phones, instead of me answering the home phone with calls that are not for me. Then I added support for my wife when she fly overseas so I can save on roaming, then I added a Global Number in Israel so my parents can call me as if the call a local call, then I added a soft phone so my college kid can call anywhere from his dorm using his MAC and save the cell phone plan minutes, then I added IP Phone, so business calls become simpler and so on and on. All the above is done by carving what I needed for my day to day, out of the ultra flexible Virtual Office service.

None of the above is doable with a any single service from one company, and delivers the goods in a single easy to use service. It is that simple! is in my mind the most flexible, most innovative VoIP service with the best Customer Support - bar none. And if you want to challenge that statement, just call, they are there 24*7, and very responsive.

If I think something is not clear on the web feature description, I call the support as any other customer would. I use them to figure out how to best use some of the features we have or give them advice on the same topic. When I learn something new, I make sure it is added to the company’s web site so others can enjoy that knowledge as well.

Since I have joined, the company had created three new services: Home Phone Plus, Virtual Number and Chat Calls, added tons of features as per customer’s requests, improved reliability and much more. At that same timeframe Cablevision for instance (my internet provider) created very nice new commercials, and raised the price twice. I am asking you, does a new commercial help me if I was a customer? No! With I know that I keep moving forward and improve my utility and as a result, improve my lifestyle.

From what I am seeing, none of the VoiP / Triple-play companies have the same level of drive to improve and innovate that poses.

I am 100% sold. If you want to become a customer just like me, click the banner just above this blog and start your journey to telephony wonderland. Do not even worry about it, the first month is always free.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Canceling a Vonage Account

By: Alon Cohen

As someone who works for a somewhat competing phone company I would probably not think about publishing my own horror story of getting disconnected from Vonage on the company’s blog. However, since I do like Vonage I hope they take some hints from this blog post. After all Vonage have created a huge service from scratch and lead the fight to de-regulation of VoIP, sometimes they win and we all win and sometimes they loose and we all pay the price, consumers and VoIP phone companies as one.

Since I have encountered a somewhat similar story to mine about canceling a Vonage account on a respectable site I have decided to share some of it, by reference, on my personal blog and offer a potential solution for a tormented customer.

Just as an FYI, knowing about the cancelation situation, (which I work for) was established on the principals of providing the best customer support possible, best service possible at the most affordable price, while providing customers a simple way to move in and out from the service. Apparently it pays off. People come to us just because they heard we provide the best customer support.

So if you are leaving Vonage to any carrier here is a small advice:

First go to the winning company’s site, register, and start the process of number porting.

(You will normally need to have the last bill from the loosing company sent over)

Once the number was ported and only after it was ported, call the loosing company to disconnect.

If you do not call, you may keep paying the loosing company even if the number was ported!

If you happen to like and choose them (us), simply press the banner above to start the process. The banner will take you to the Virtual Office page which is designed for small businesses, but you can move around the site and select Home Phone Plus which is a direct replacement to Vonage.

Check it out.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Looking for Programming Power

By: Alon Cohen

From time to time I come up with an interesting idea that needs either a proof of concept to get funding or some developers who are willing to shell some free time to be part of a dream.

When Lior Haramaty & I started VocalTec 1989, the company who created the VoIP industry by launching the first Internet Phone in Feb 1995, it was nothing but a dream. We couldn’t have imagined how the future will unfold. We invested our free, and not so free, time at VocalTec in hope that we can make something out of it. And we did, with the help of a very dedicated team that joined over time we managed to go public by 1996.

Today’s internet is much faster, and results show up much quicker.

As I often do with new Ideas, I run them by my close friends to see if they hold water. Not every idea is a go. This time it seems to hit a soft spot. The idea has the potential to solve a big Internet security problem for each one of us.

If you are a web programmer / thinker / technologist / social network animal, that can take an idea and make it work by starting simple and thinking big, I have an idea that I am willing to make you part of. There are no rewards besides bragging rights until we actually make money.

Contact me if you think you are that person .