July 16, 2007

Educating VoIP Consumer

Earlier in the day, Om reported that SunRocket has closed down their service. New York Times is confirming the story indirectly, by attributing to somebody who has been briefed on its status. This is not good news for the subscribers who had to pay ahead of time for a year. It is not clear whether their service will be interrupted and worse whether they even have the right to port the number to a provider of their choice. NYT is indicating that SR is moving their customers to other providers. I suppose not all is lost.

Andy suggests that getting a GrandCentral number will be good solution, because then calls can be forwarded to the new number. GrandCentral has closed their open registration and indicate that they will allow limited registrations. It is possible that GrandCentral may decide to open registrations to SR customers. But it is less certain that GC will be able to port SR’s numbers. So we have to assume that Andy is suggesting a future course of action. Even so it is not that it is without risk. Having acquired it, Google can redirect the service or even cancel that service. It is not that we have not heard of a company closing down a service it has acquired. What happens then?

Taking on the role of Dr. Frank Bryant, my advice to potential VoIP consumers is that they should not lose out on the rights of telephony users. One of their rights is that the phone number belongs to them (within limits) and they are allowed to take it with them to any service provider. So before signing up with a service provider, it is incumbent on you to get clarification on this point. If one shouldn’t falls for low charges or claims of fancy services. I hope VoIP consumers become Susan again.

Posted by aswath at July 16, 2007 08:45 PM
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