The fledgling VoIP technology is not ready for prime time as yet. The proof of this came today when dozens of Sun Rocket, a Vienna, VA-based VoIP service provider reported extended outages, and expressed their dismay. This is not the first time VoIP users have had […]

The fledgling VoIP technology is not ready for prime time as yet. The proof of this came today when dozens of Sun Rocket, a Vienna, VA-based VoIP service provider reported extended outages, and expressed their dismay. This is not the first time VoIP users have had to deal with these problems. Broadvoice, Vonage and AT&T’s Callvantage at some point or the other have managed to go on the blink. Even Sunrocket had reported some problems earlier.

Ryan Thrash, who seemed to be pretty happy with the concept of SunRocket, writes,
> “The service itself has been decidedly flakey. Requiring rebooting their “Gizmo” router numerous times… at least once every two weeks it seems. There is no way I would ever recommend them at this point for anyone remotely not up their in their “internal geek” level.”

Another user, Ed Siebold, angry at the outages writes in an email:
> “SunRocket may be in the Baltimore but their service is very poor. I have had the service for about three months and average at least one day a week with no service. Additionally, I can never get through to the customer service either by phone (thank goodness for my cell) or via online.”

When I checked with the company, spokesperson Brian Lustig admitted that they were having glitches and were working on fixing the problems. He did not specify what exactly was the problem, and the company was investigating the issues, and promised to keep us posted.

  1. Yeah and ILECs never have extended outages. 83 days with no phone service in 2002/2003 with Verizon. I’ve had Vonage for 1/2 year and so far have only had an outage when my linksys box failed. They promptly replaced it. This compared to Verizon who claimed it was MY PROBLEM that the phone wasn’t working. Very interesting when it didn’t work at the NID.

  2. ILECs may have outages, but it’s typically not consistently every two weeks. And you also don’t typically have to reboot your phone to get it working again.

  3. imho, THIS outage issue is the reason that NONE of the independent Voip providers are ramping or growing! I have Packet8 and it has had numerous problems but lately has been getting better——-Plenty of ROOM for improvement to get to 99.999% like the PSTN! I call it ”’better than Cell Service”’ is my claim when trying to resell it

  4. I’ve had SunRocket since April. During that time I’ve experienced 2 major outages and one minor one, of which I am aware. I’ve rebooted their modem once during that time. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the service.

  5. It’s showing voice back up and I can get a dial tone now … but I can’t make outbound calls. Worse, inbound calls don’t even go to voicemail… it’s just a busy signal or no ring at all. I went through the first service outage, and numerous ones that a quick reboot of the Gizmo/router fixed.

    I’ve had the service since mid-to-late June I think and have had to reset the router 6 times I thing due to lost registrations. The Gizmo sits in front of the network router and has gotten so screwed up that it’s caused general outages for the network even for the non-VOIP traffic on more than one occassion. That’s a huge pain and not what I’d recommend for typical consumers.

    They pushed a new firmware recently to try to fix this, then the service went down again. I’ve been able to maintain IP on the network now, though, so there is some improvement.

    This is really sad for them and doesn’t bode well.

  6. Today is Monday Sept 12th. It is down again tonight and after 2 solid days last Thursday & Friday, I really don’t think these guys have a clue.

    I have had a service ticket in for 3 weeks which they never fixed or even advise what they are doing about it. I have called them everyday and still don’t have anything even close to reliable service.

    Undermanned, cheap or broken equipment, no tech people who know anything and obviously no money to get anything fixed.

    Bye bye Sunrocket!

  7. Sadly, I also bid adieu to Sunrocket after crazy voice problems that had never been an issue before. Cancelling the service was dead simple and handled absolutely perfectly and promptly.

    The most shocking part though is that they didn’t even pass me along to a supervisor to try to save the account. I surmise they’ve just been beaten down over their recent infrastructure meltdowns. I fear their recent $25-million infusion is only going to prolong the inevitable.

    Maybe consumer-broadband-based VOIP without some serious QOS through the entire network chain is not a good idea. I’ve heard that sentiment exactly from both senior-level folks in the VOIP PBX market and at the carrier level. The only customers the PBX folks ever have issues with are ones trying to make commodity DSL/cable connections work for VOIP. A “real” T1 with an SLA, and you’ve invariably got 100% happy customers.

    I would think there is a legitimate market for premium (i.e. 2x the prevailing current rate) broadband connections that support QOS and a static IP.

  8. I have Verizon’s Voicewing and have been experiencing similar problems with the service going down very frequently and was looking to change… any updates on SunRocket or Vonage?

    I recommend you STAY FAR AWAY FROM Verizon’s package. They just say “sorry, problems with the network”… The problems are no outgoing phone service, no voicemail, busy for incoming calls – this has been days at a time and they will not issue a credit! Any other readers with better luck as I do use my home phone VERY frequenlty all across the country! Thank you – mjk

  9. I just signed up for SunRocket yesterday. Everything seemed to go well until today. I called to add to additional “signature” numbers to my account and was told they had a massive database failure and would be down for a week. When I asked (5) times to speak with a manager, there was no one available. Could not even get them to take my call back number. Tried emailing them a couple of times at the address on their web site. Both emails returned as undeliverable. Does not seem any company will survive long with customer service like that. I’m going to wait until my adapter arrives and see what the quality is like. If this service is down as much as I am reading here, I will most likely say bye bye to them too. Stay away from AT&T Call Vantage and had bad luck with Vonage too. Seem they all are plagued with technical problems and inadequate customer service. The good ole POTS line may still be the best bet. Good luck.

  10. [...] Take case of John, who only today posted a comment on my blog. He called SunRocket, because he wanted to add two more additional phone numbers to his existing service. He was told that because of database failure, they could not do it for a whole week. “Next, I emailed builditbetter@sunrocket.com, the address they provide their customers to report concerns. Both were returned as “undeliverable” by their mail server … Even if they give the service away for free, I doubt it is of any value if they cant keep their critical systems online,” writes John, who is not the first to express his frustration about the service. There have been others who have bemoaned about Sun Rocket. [...]


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