Magic Jack - Good or Evil? - Comments Page 1

Category: Gadgets , Telephony




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Posted by:

Bill Gibson
11 Feb 2009

Hey Bob: Thanks for your insight and research on this and many other questions posted. I really like the way you break things down and give clear advice such as this one on Magicjack and the many other topics. I am glad I came across your web site. Thanks again for your hard work.

Posted by:

Louie
12 Feb 2009

Regarding your comment about phone companies "Oh, and by the way... do you think that maybe your phone company ALSO knows who you are and who you call? Of course they do, and that doesn't make them evil." I'd have to think about that one ;-)

Actually the only bad thing that I've read about MJ is the tech support leaves a bit to be desired but the hardware seems to work as advertised (amazing)

Posted by:

Bill
12 Feb 2009

I love Magic Jack. It has enabled me to call friends across the US and talk as long as I want. No worries about toll or minutes usage. Yes, once in a while I might get a skip in a word, but rarely, and I have an old computer. The next thing you know they will be saying the symbol on the device is a sign of Satan worshippers-poor Proctor and Gambles.

Why not try the device and judge for yourself.

Posted by:

Dave Hargett
12 Feb 2009

I bought one and have tried it just once so far. I plugged in my regular touch tone phone (a very old one) into my laptop and used Majic Jack via my wifi connection to my Comcast cable. I called my 80 year old parents. I was getting the occasional skip of a syllable or so, and they were too. I've been too busy to find my headset to try it with that. I'm just planning to use it when I travel or when it's more convenient in my home office, as there is no phone in the room where I have my laptop. I'm not ready to drop a landline just yet, and I'm dismayed to read in another article about tech support issues, but I had no problem installing the device or making my first phone call.

Posted by:

Tim Malloroy
12 Feb 2009

I have found the MagicJack to be fairly reliable and useful. Support does make a big wind sucking sound. I have found them to be no more "evil" than Google.

Posted by:

Don Shenton
12 Feb 2009

Say, Bob, I really enjoy your articles. I don't have PayPal or I'd send you a few Snickers.

Your Article on "Is Magic Jack Spy ware?" is excellent. I use MagicJack daily, but before I bought I read the TOS. I found some of the details hard to fully be confident of what was being said. I called the Canadian representative and was satisfied. As you say, we have to mostly just trust the software we use. Likely the biggest risk is MS and most of us use their OS, etc., for better or for worse.

I've installed MagicJack on a couple of computers without an incident. Yes, you can plug your unit into any computer and retain your phone number, etc.

We use MagicJack in our business, D.R.S. Design Inc. and have no complaints.

Don Shenton

Posted by:

Mal Stockman
12 Feb 2009

I don`t know (or care) whether MJ is spyware or not. That was not my beef with them. I also know that many people find the product great and swear by it. They apparently have all the necessary equipment that makes it perform satisfactorily. However if you are not fortunate enough to have just the right equipment (as was apparently my case) and you want to return it well within the month`s trial period, lots of luck. My fiasco started a few months back and had to be resolved by disputing the charge with my Visa. Maybe they have changed by now but at the time I researched the net and found many others having the same problem.
The concept is good and should really fly if only they were honest and said up front what the minimal equipment was necessary to use their product. My equipment was good enough to run two different VOIP phones but apparently wasn`t good enough for MJ.

Posted by:

brian
12 Feb 2009

Thank you Bob for the interesting update to Magic Jack.

Like You I do not own a MJ at this moment. But I do have a close friend that swears by it for his work. He has saved hundreds of dollars in long distant calls (we are in Canada) using MJ. I do Agree with the others that their Customer Service is somewhat lacking, possibly Quality Control could be tighten up a bit more and the lack of coverage in some parts of the US , Canada and other foreign countries is frustrating. But these items are fixable and with additional features (i.e. multi-line/pbx integration) will make Magic Jack unique piece hardware for home or business. Thanks for keeping us on our toes Bob.

On another note Bob, could you suggest a compact phone that compliments the MJ system for someone that travels?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Anyone want to chime in here?

Posted by:

Matthew
12 Feb 2009

Howdy Bob... Thanks for your clear-cut information about MJ. I would certainly consider getting one now, if I didn't have to leave my PC on 24/7, in which case Vonage is a better choice for me.

I've been getting your newsletters forever, it seems. I've come to trust in what you say, and I cannot criticize any of it, and believe you me; I'm a critic's critic. I just signed up for another one of your newsletters. Something else to look forward to, when I fire up the old mailbox. Ciao

Posted by:

Murray
12 Feb 2009

I have commented before as I have used MJ for some time and love the product. I also have numerous good spyware cleaners and never have found MJ being detected by any of them. It is a phone device and like any phone needs to be plugged in to operate. A POTS needs to be plugged into the jack to work. I'm glad you debunked the rumours about MJ. I don't work for or have a stake in MJ either but find it functions well and don't hesitate to recommend it to others.

Posted by:

Jack Alexander
12 Feb 2009

Any suspicion of spyware is adequate for me to avoid a product. I test software and have just recovered my machine from a ton of junk it put into my machine and undid what it also did that I wasn't given the opportunity to opt out and do things manually. I never put anything permanently on my machine that I don't have complete control over. In other words, no automation and it must be uninstallable 100%.

I'll pass on the MJ-I'm not sold. I'll keep Skype which I don't as yet use...

Posted by:

Lorraine
12 Feb 2009

I have a MagicJack and it works just fine. I haven't seen any advertising on it at all. And you can't beat the cost!

Posted by:

Jeff
12 Feb 2009

Been using MJ for over 2 years mostly for vacations over seas. Makes calling home a pleasure instead of a financial nightmare. If you have kids in school or living abroad, get one, configure it here and ship to them to use. BTW, when my MJ failed, an email to the company had a replacement in my hands in 2 days.
There will always be whiners about anything technical. Privacy with any internet function is at best an illusion. Anyone wants to know about my mundane life is in for a boring read.

Posted by:

Rick
12 Feb 2009

Thanks, but I'd rather go by what the BBB says about them. Believe me, it's not good.

http://www.seflorida.bbb.org/BusinessReport.aspx?CompanyID=92003333

EDITOR'S NOTE: Better read that report again. Out of 1048 complaints, only one is listed as "unassigned." All the others say that a refund was given, or the company "performed according to their contract." It also says:

"On November 25, 2008 the BBB met with representatives of Magic Jack to discuss various options to eliminate the cause and pattern of complaints filed by consumers. After discussion with the BBB MagicJack agreed to modify their website to clarify the terms an conditions of their 30 Day Free Trial offer. The Bureau also received a commitment from Dan Borislow, the president of Magic Jack, to provide improved customer service and a more "user friendly" product. The BBB has agreed to place Magic Jack on an NR status pending an evaluation of the changes made by the company."

Posted by:

Cathie
12 Feb 2009

I would analyze the bottom line here - do the economics of the product make business sense, or does the company have to sell your data in order to make money. We all love cheap things on the internet, but do you really know the price you are paying. I find the target marketing some companies do really creepy - and pretty ineffective - but relatively harmless. But we should all be much more diligent about what we are buying. That's how we got into this mortgage crisis, remember?

Posted by:

Dave
12 Feb 2009

Bob, great research and debunking. I have been using Magic Jack for over a year and It is a great phone service. Magic Jack is one of those rare things that sounds like it may be to good to be true for the price, but its the real deal.(presently 59.95 for 5 yrs of service)

I highly recomend it to anyone with a highspeed IP that needs a phone service for thier computer. Keep up the good work.

Posted by:

Ken
12 Feb 2009

MJ works just fine but what is really important (as with any VoIP) is that you have a good, fast connection to the Internet. As far as I can tell, only three things (outside of the occasional lemon) will make MJ run poorly: a bad connection, a bad computer or (most common issue of all) people! Fortunately, not much that can go wrong - it really does just plug and play.

MJ works well for me on an iffy connection and a fairly decent computer. I've used their tech support and been helped quickly and politely. My only complaint is length of time to load after a boot, and that gets better with each new update.

Posted by:

James M. Orpi
12 Feb 2009

OKAY Bob, Based on the FACT that anything computerized is tracable & trackable. $19.95 a year for PHONE SERVICE? GOD BLESS Magic Jack. If people are worried about MJ tracking or tracing thier calls, what about your CELL PHONE, CAR or TRUCK, LAPTOP, ETC, ETC, ETC. GPS, ONSTAR, and the like. ALL have tracers and trackers. Your cell phone is by TOWERS, GPS (GLOBAL POSITION SENSOR), come on people. "ONSTAR" and the like can unlock your car, notify services in the event of an accident, shut down your vehicle with an emissions failure. HEHEHEHEHE, OMG!! MJ knows who I Called.

Posted by:

bob
13 Feb 2009

I've been using MJ for over a year and am quite pleased. voice quality is actually pretty good. having to boot up my PC to use it is a little inconvenient I guess but I knew that before I decided to take a chance on it. tech support is low budget but I didn't expect too much for $20/yr anyway - but they did work with me via chat not too long ago when I developed a minor problem with the service. also had a chat operator actually call me on his cell phone when I had a little trouble when I first signed up. bottom line is that for $20/yr it's a steal. just recently re-up'd for 5 [email protected]$60. not too much more inconvenient than using a calling card and I'm looking forward to maybe being able to use it with Wimax service when it's available here in Chicago.

Posted by:

Eric Bray
13 Feb 2009

I have had the magicJack dongle for 11 months; I also have a 'old' computer that had limited power on the USB bus so I had to get an AC powered USB hub to get the dongle to work faultlessly on my computer. Since I am on a wireless network I also had to 'tune' my network card on my computer.

Read about it on my blog: http://drbray.blogspot.com/2008/12/magicjack-reality.html

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