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SunRocket hit by problems, again

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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.

65 Responses to “SunRocket hit by problems, again”

  1. Bill Watson

    I was able to contact SunRocket on Sunday 10/22 and reconnect. Evidently Time/Warner has an access code I was unaware of that was causing the problem. The scratchiness continues… So voice quality is not on par with a dedicated telephone service. This would be a problem if I had long conversations but I do not. My phone calls are generally <5 minutes.

  2. I have been using sunrocket 8mths and no real problems, sounds great and all the features are perfect. the only thing I found strange is the random calls and when i pick up there is no one on the line but air. the same person will call again and again but no one there. so I block the caller and then there will be someone else calling and no one there so Ill block them. i think i have about 15 blocked now. but for the most reasonable priced phone out there its a small burden.

  3. I’ve had Sunrocket for about 5 weeks now and I’m shocked at the negative comments. Maybe they have just recently gotten their act together but I’ve tried a total of 3 providers now (packet 8 and Vonage in addition to Sunrocket). By far I’m most satisfied with Sunrocket. It has performed flawlessly, they ported my old number exactly as promised, and I only paid $199 for 15 months ($13.27/month) for the service. I AM THRILLED!!!! Voice quality is on par with Vonage and better than Packet 8. And they don’t charge all the “garbage” fees that the others do. Packet 8’s “19.95” price is really about $24.00 per month approaching double that of Sunrocket and I found them inferior (used them for an entire year).

  4. Bill Watson

    I’ve had the inconvenience of living in Buffalo during our freak Friday the 13th storm. Internet and power went out for a week. I’ve tried to reconnect with Sunrocket but no pnone number is working. Their web pages are also not coming up. Does anyone know if they went out of business?

    My Sunrocket service has been fair since January. Some scratchiness during intermittent periods and some missed calls. It wasn’t bad enough to drop them but it has been a little irritating. Now I can’t get ahold of them and I’d like my phone service back.

    The $199 for the year was a good deal and I’m hoping that they work through their growing pains. Assuming they haven’t given up.

  5. I cannot say how terrible the experience has been with Sun Rocket.
    I have been billed twice from April to August.
    My number was never transfered and my account was finally cut off.
    I have been on the phones for more than 20 hours.
    I have emails referring to my refund but no refund was ever made even if agreed on the phone.
    I feel the only solution for a refund is an attorney.
    Los Angeles, CA

  6. Only had Sun Rocket for a month, I must have called, ten times, for technical installation or general questions. Always the phone was answered within one minute, try that with Verizon et al. Totally, professional, courteous and every issue was resolved instantly. I think they’re doing a great job. If my service would go down occassionally, I have a cell phone. You can’t beat Sun Rocket, service or price, say I. hARRISBURG, pa

  7. Ty Stallard

    I have had SunRockets Service for about 6 months now. At first I had a difficult time with dropped calls. No one at customer service really knew what to do and never called me at all when I sent an email to the [email protected].

    Then I emailed Linksys since I had a new Linksys WRT54GX router with SRX200 techonology. They supported me the same day and help me configure my QoS and I had my phone up and running with no problem or drops.

    Until yesterday.

    Yesterday, I tried to make a phone call and got a busy signal no matter what number I called.

    I made a phone call to SunRocket and they had my reconfigure my setup. Now I can make calls out with the exceptions of a few dropped calls here and there. But now my router losing connections to my XBOX for my kids and inconsistent connection speeds with my internet.

    So it’s configure it the old way, which means, no phone but my kids can play XBOX and we have internet connections. But if I configure it their way, I have a phone but XBOX drops and my internet conneciton is bad.

    I called several times and they only want to fix the phone issues.

    I told them that their GIZMO box is not meant to be used as a router and can’t handle the bandwidth.

    I just emailed Linksys to see if they can help. At this point I am ready to disconnect my SunRocket Phone.

    I just don’t understand how it could have worked so well for 6 months then drop dead all of a sudden. I think they pushed a firmware update the hosed everything and are reluctant to admit it.

  8. Angela

    I became a Sun Rocket customer in Feb. from the day it was installed I had problems. It started knocking off my internet which caused dropped calls. I often was told I sounded like I was underwater. After three months speaking with atleast 10 different people, emailing non stop my problem was not resolved i spoke to a “supervisor” who said that if I cancelled I would get a full refund. On Thursday July 6 2006 I called to cancel and was told full refund as of today I got an email stating they were not goin to honor a full refund because I had their service for more then 30 days. I tried for four months to give them a chance they sent me 4 Gizmos 3 different engineers called me to remedy the issues. I had Time Warner at my house for four days to see if it was them or SunRocket. So my warning DO NOT repeat DO NOT GET SUNROCKET PHONE SERVICE. YOU WILL ONLY GET HIGH BLOOD PRESURE AND A HEADACHE.

  9. on again off again

    have had sr for one month now. I’m not satisfied w/service at all: droped calls, no dial tone for about an hour a least 4 days a week if not more, no dial tone for 3 days, constant reboots. called support and they suggested it was my internet provider. called internet provider and they said there was no problem. if these problems persist(don’t see why they wouldn’t) im gonna have to drop sun rocket just like they drop my calls.

  10. Anonymous

    Sun Rocket phone system needs to clone the IP address of your service provider,

    This is a one time thing to do

    What happens is you communicate with the GIZMO by internet and dial to the GIZMO and walla CLONED!!

    to do this contact customer support and they will guide you to the web site and put the information,

    This will eliminate all reboots with the GIZMO

  11. denis

    I ordered Sun Rocket on May 17th. They said it would take 5 to 10 days so I waited until May 31st to call back. I was told that another phone would be sent UPS overnight. I stayed at home all day on June 1st, but the phone did nto arrive. Io I called again on June 2nd. They tell me that UPS will deliver it today, but since I am not at home and UPS does not deliver on Saturday and Sunday, I will have to wait till Monday. I have been on hold for 15 minutes awiting to speak to a supervisor.

  12. Gellert

    I signed up with Sunrocket April 30th, got my phone in about 7 days. I set it up and everything looked good. I pick up the phone and get a dial tone wooohooo! I call my own cell #…and I wait…and I wait…and wait some more. Well, after 41 seconds, I get a busy signal. After trying to call ANY phone number, the same thing happens. After 41 seconds exactly…I get that same busy signal. When I try calling my Sunrocket phone # from my cell, I get a “Your call cannot be completed as dialed, please try again later.” After 2 e-mails to customer services and 2 phone calls to tech support (Yes I had a foreign guy as well), they told me that the problem is on their end and not mine. I ask how long is it going to take for them to fix the problem “on their end.” The foreign guy says he doesn’t know because that’s a totally different department than him.

    Sooooo…almost 1 week after hooking up my Sunrocket, it sits useless. What a great deal for $199.00. If they don’t fix this problem of mine by Wednesday, I am GLADLY sending it back for a refund.

  13. Darryl Hong

    I have been using SunRocket for 2 months with very little problems. The system is easy to hook up and works great with the wireless web router. I have had no outages or interruptions. I guess the only complaint i have is it took a few weeks to tranfer my phone number over, and the phone company was not happy with me switching over to VOIP.
    My old phone bill was 75$ a month with no long distance service. i just felt i was being ripped off. My new SunRocket system has almost paid for itself. It’s 16$ a month with unlimited long distance if you have to reboot the system once a month is that so hard to do. It’s a no Brainer.

  14. I had them for 3 months, big mistake. Messed up by www connection as well. I had eth misfortune of recommending SR to a friend who suffers equally and blames me now. God, I despise SR.

  15. Marsha Bell

    I cannot begin to tell you how upset I am with SunRocket and it’s service. For well over a month, we have tried to get our phone service transferred back to Verizon, with no response from SunRocket. Repeated calls and e-mails from either us or Verizon have gotten us nowhere, even though I followed all FCC requirements. SunRocket has implied that they might cut off our service before transferring us back, thereby making us lose the phone number we have had for many years. I have a business, and all my advertising has my number on it. To lose it would be very bad for me, and would require a great deal of damage control.

    We never had the service disruptions we’ve had with SunRocket when we had Verizon, except during hurricanes. Having to call three times in two months is not acceptable. Also, on two occasions, the person at Member Services did not speak English well enough to offer assistance to where I felt confident that the person really understood my concerns.

    This has been a nightmare I would not like to see anyone else experience.

  16. I have had SunRocket for two months now and l love it. Easy instructions – you just have to follow step-by-step. I have a wireless router as well … no problems. Experienced 1 time when I had to disconnect power to the Gizmo (the run light was RED – indicating we did not have phone service) powered downs the Gizmo – waited five seconds, powered it up and we were back in service.

    They said it would be several weeks for my old phone number to transfer from Sprint. I was pleasantly surprised the change took about a week! Called Sprint to confirm the change to close my account. The service was alreadt disonnected without any issues with Sprint! That ws the best customer service I every received from Sprint. Other experiences were not good with Sprint. Sun Rocket rocks!

  17. I am wondering if any of these problems with this company have been resolved. Some of these posting are from almost a year ago.
    Can anyone with this service now either recommend or not?

  18. I am looking to change to a VOIN, and am now getting discouraged. I am not very computer savy, just use it for the basics email, and to look something up on google once in a while. Is there ANYTHING out there that is reasonably reliable, inexpensive and easy to set up?

  19. Charley

    Am about to make 1st plunge into VIOP. Still watching reports on Sun Rocket. Seems some of the same people saying nearly the same issues over and over. Wondering if it might be same people with another competitor trashing SR and others.

  20. This is one reason I love the internet. I was really, really close to signing up with Sun Rocket a minute ago. Then I figured I’d Google the name and I found this site. Guess it’s back to the drawing-board as I need the phone for my home business (but want to lose the $100 per month Sprint bill).

  21. Anonymous

    I got a Sunrocket account for my parents. Bad move but it was the only voip service in their area. Sunrocket I HATE THEM!!!! First of all their technical service which by the way have absolutely no tech ability are in the Phillipines and no where near their other departments for support so one doesn’t know what the other is doing and they communicate off of tickets but again no status reports or what where or when they picked up your ticket to begin repair. I have no incoming calls for 10 days now but hey I am not worried because the “broken english guy” at sunrocket said he submitted the ticket and they are working on it! Better of using two cans and a string for phone service.

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. Victor Blake

    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.