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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. Bob Gore

    here is some more info for all concerned.
    this is a link for news from the NY TImes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/17/business/17sunrocket.html?ref=technology

    This one is how to unlock your gizmos and transfer your numbers. I personally have not done this…yet…How to info comes after the disclaimer on the top of the web page. Follow at your own risk but the info is interesting none the less.

    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/How-To-Flee-SunRocket-85795

  2. I’ve signed up with another company, and here’s the “rest of the story”:
    They will not be able to port my number until they can contact SunRocket, which will no doubt take an Act of Congress. Yeah, right. So, what now?

  3. OK, everyone! Here’s a way to go that I got off another website:

    Get the legal system and government involved.

    File a complaint with the FCC at:
    http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cib/fcc475.cfm

    Mention something like:

    SunRocket, a VoIP telephone provider based in Vienna, VA disconnected my prepaid telephone and E-911 service on July 17, 2007 without ANY required advanced customer notification or alternative service options, leaving me at significant risk without 911 capabilities. The company’s executives should be arrested and jailed for putting approximately 160,000 households at such risk.

    Also contact your local Attorney General and demand that the executives that made the decision to leave customers without phone service and E-911 service be arrested for public endangerment

    Here is a link to that blog
    http://thecrustysysarch.blogspot.com/2007/07/sunrocket-turns-scud-missile.html

  4. Susan Bender

    Have called the #’s for Bernie Murphy and gotten voice mail. That’s more than I got from Sunrocket. I too have paid for a year in advance and now no phone and no money. What do I do about my phone #, I heard that it can’t be transferred if they cant contact Sunrocket. Wow, what a mess. I filed a complaint with the FCC and will continue to file complaints everywhere I can until someone responds to my complaints. Next is the Public Utilities Commission in my state. How can they not be held responsible for all our money?

  5. Well, the news only gets worse. Read this and weep:
    SunRocket Is Out of Business

    July 17, 2007: Numerous news reports have confirmed what we have been saying for the last several days – SunRocket, one of the most popular VoIP services, is going out of business. Whether you are a current SunRocket subscriber that needs a new service or someone just looking for the best VoIP service, we’ve got you covered. Read our comparisons and reviews of the best VoIP services below or check our update page for more SunRocket news, including how to port your number to a new service.

    I got this from ConsumerCompare.com, however, they are the ones I went to and found SunRocket at the top of the list. So, we all need to stay hooked up and keep the “consumer” part of this charade informed.

  6. Bob Gore

    I have had Sunrocket for more then a year. Just renewed this past april. I am calling my credit card company to see about getting some of my money back. I am canceling the service. If you have a phone number that you do not want to loose, I would recomend that you get a new service very quickly and port your phone number out of there ASAP. Its a shame they used to be a good company. now they are just Shit.

  7. Do we wait for some service to start back up or is it gone forever? I need to get another phone service, but don’t want to be paying for two services!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Bob Gore

    I have grown very tired of Sun Rocket treating us like garbage. At the very least they should answer their phones. What bastards (and I am being nice).
    Thanks to Lynda Wells I called the number for BlueRun Menlo Park
    Phone: +1 650 462 7250
    Fax: +1 650 462 7252
    They put me in touch with Someone who is “handeling ” Sunrocket. I did not talk to him but I left him a message.
    the name and number are
    Bernie Murphy
    1-605-329-9996 ext. 235
    Everyone call Bernie and maybe some will get an answer.

  9. There is definitely something horrible happening. I talked to a tech guy last week, whene there was a system problem, and he was anything but nice…but the problem went away. Now…down again…with spotty service on my end. Very scary. Here’s the name of their primary inversment firm: BlueRun Menlo Park

    545 Middlefield Road,
    Suite 210
    Menlo Park, CA 94025
    United States

    Phone: +1 650 462 7250
    Fax: +1 650 462 7252

    Let’s ALL call them and get some answers!

  10. George Johnson

    For the last 3 days my phone has been useless. I dialed the number and got the same recording. I’m trying to find out if they’re going out of business. Up untill this past week it was OK, echos here and there, but OK. @ weeks ago we started getting choppy audio, like someone was turning the volume up and down. Now it is non-functional. I’m pretty much left with my cellphone for communication. I paid $250 out in front fot 15 months of service. I became a customer on April 28th 2007 and it worked OK until last week. So that’s like shy of 3 months service for $250??? YAY!!

    Unless they make a huge recovery quick I’d say stay away from SunRocket. They’re not telling me , or apparently anyone else, what’s goin on. I’m left to assume that they are goin down in flames. I’ll likely have to go back to Verizon and chase SR for the money, god only knows how long that will take to get back!!

    If anyone knows something I don’t know please let me know. FYI I am not someone who is unfamilar with computers, I am the lead support for a 2000 pc network that I am responsible for soup to nuts, suffice to say I have tried quite a few variations to make this work with no success!! If they are having a problem it would be wise to communicate with their customers. If I find out anything else I will update here.

  11. vicki smith

    my phone is down as well, since yesterday. they haven’t responded to emails and they’re phone number is ‘not accepting calls for customer service’. what is going on with this company? i prepaid for a year, how can i contact anyone let alone get my money back?

  12. Bostonman

    They upgraded their system a few weeks ago and my phone call quality to Hong Kong has improved a lot…. Looks like they screwed up something badly. Hope they are not out of business, just paid them $199 a few months ago!

  13. We have two phones – no dial tone today. Never got our “free” phones due after 30 days… Sadly, their website is still promoting their service. They may not be gone, but DONT BUY their services.

  14. I am experiencing outage as well. Can recieve a call at times but no outgoing calls. Customer Service does’nt respond. No news – no idea where to get support from :(

  15. Amanda Gill

    My SunROCKET is still DOWN! UI am so ticked! The customer service says, “We are no longer taking CUstomer Service Calls.” What the hell is that?
    I am paid up as well. You woul dthink the least they could do, would be to post a message if there is problems. I mam so MAD you have no idea! My parents phones are also not working. ACK! What do we do?> Is there no one we can contact?

  16. Bobbie West

    Wondering if anyone actually KNOWS what is going on.I’m getting the same stuff from my side..no phone access,no one available for customer service.Anyone see anything in the news about what happened.

  17. Vivek Pratap

    My phone is down, customer service is not taking calls. Looks like the company has wound up. It can also be that they made some big goof up and since they have no way to resolve the problem, they have decided to not take any more calls.

    I have paid in advance for the whole year. Dont know if they even will do any refunds. Need to make these companies more accountable to their customers.

  18. Linda childress

    They got the heck out of dodge. We signed up with them 2 weeks ago and they didn’t even send all the cables to hook it up with, and they obviously have shut down. Tried to call them and the recording says were not taking any customer or sales calls. Good bye.Its definatly the gotcha company.

  19. This is the GOTCHA TELEPHONE CO. The dont answere the phone 18 min. on hold. I faxed them 4x still dont get it streight. No # trans fer after 3 months. STAY AWAY FROM SUN ROCKET. When u stay with the Big Boys u pay more but u get more

  20. LaNell Barrett

    Knock on wood,,, I love SunRocket so far (after a month). Maybe it just works better in the tropics. HowEVER, I haven’t a hint as to how to set up voicemail with it. Off now to seek help.

  21. I’m just about through w/the initial 31 day trial & so far the service has been decent. I am on a Comcast broadband connection & I have only had one call w/feedback. I’ve had 1 minor outage that was easily taken care of by re-booting the Gizmo. I placed my request to transfer over our landline # & approx 2 days later I was informed by SR that my current service provider did not approve the transfer….the same old BS that we hear about that the big boys (in this case Comcast) are giving the little guys (SunRocket) as many problems as possible w/ # portability issues. My specific issue was that Comcast (it’s actually a 3rd party vendor who handles these requests by SEC Regs) did not relay my account name exactly as it appears on my bill…or so I was told. I of course confirmed w/both SR & Comcast that my name was correct & botrh parties did confirm this…so it had to be the error of the 3rd party. After reading about the troubles folks have had on these portability matters & experiencing it myself, I truly think the big boys are playing games here making it as hard as possible to release their #’s to the little guys. Perhaps the big boys are in the pockets of these 3rd party “indiscriminate” providers that the SEC has set in place. These 3rd party communicator’s of info (for all # transfer requests) are selected based upon your location by the SEC. So it stands to reason that the big boys are greasing these folks via the backdoor to make it as hard as possible to get #’s transferred. In my opinion I think the SEC should conduct an investigation into this being that there’s been so many folks complaining about this. After all, outfits such as SunRocket don’t want this to be happening so I truly do not think it is a problem on SunRocket’s end.

    After voicing my concerns w/both Comcast & SunRocket & showing Comcast that I knew a little bit more about these problems than the ave consumer (I worked for PacBell for many years & know the industry lingo & all the hanky panky that can go on w/in) my matter was quickly resolved & am being told I should be good to go by 5/1.

    Bottom line, my experience has been a good one to date. Some things to keep in mind….VOIP is not for everyone. If you are on a DSL connection, you should make sure of your location in relation to your Hub…if you’re more than approx 60% beyond your middle ground of your Hub, it might not be a good fit for you.

    However, if you’re broadband of course this does not apply to you & you should be fine.

    Also, be mindful of how you choose to hook up your Gizmo….if you have a router, the Gizmo will work best if you hook it up in front of the router..so to the modem 1st & then your router.

    So for some, VOIP is a slam dunk, for others it might be more of a challenge. As technology improves however, I think we will begin to see the big boys jump into this arena more so w/both feet. Right now though, the customer base of these VOIP outfits are still too small to really threaten the big boys..at least enough to make them want to work harder @ bringing this type of service to their masses. After all, this type of VOIP service will lower their margins so of course they are not too anxious to want to develop it further. They will leave that up to the little fish….then, when the time is right, the big boys will enter the mix w/both feet. Personally, I can’t wait for that day as it will bring the prices down & eventually, everyone will have landline quality for the price of today’s VOIP services…w/all the bells & whistles too of course.

    So in closing, be careful of slamming SunRocket too much….as stated, their intentions are to grow & they realize that in order to do this, they must not provide a great service but be as consistent as possible in doing so while giving you the best possible price.

    More power to the little guys I say….they are the one’s who will force the big boys to eventually lower their profit margins by entering the fray here. Competition is good for everyone & the big boys know this, so their goal for the time being is to make these changes (VOIP tech) happen as slow as possible. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out over the next few yrs imo.

    & if anyone thinks I’m a SunRocket Shill…forget about it…just someone w/a lil industry insight & a fair amount of tech know-how. Having said that, if my SR experience ever turns south on me for any reason, I will make sure to post it here. My only reason for posting here is to try & level things out here…..after all, most folks will only take the time to give their input when they are angry or upset….it is quite rare for the satisfied customer to take the time to give their input.

    If anyone wants to discuss this further w/me to learn more about what I feel is truly going here w/the games the big vendors are playing w/the little VOIP outfits, I’ll be more than happy to discuss it further….feel free to email me @ [email protected]

    I think what the big boys are doing to Co’s like SR is a crime & would love to see a Grass Roots base of support for Co’s like SR! If this happend I think the SEC would listen & do something about it….or at least apply more pressure to these 3rd party folks w/re to # portability matters….total BS it is.

    Cheers!

    Rob
    Northern California

  22. Gerry Waldron

    I joined SunRocket on March 29, 2006. They immediately billed me $199 with the promise that they would switch to my land line number within 2 weeks. As I had passed out over 500 business cards with my existing number, I had to have that existing number. On April 11, 2006 the SR Provisioning Manager found out that he could not transfer my existing number (reported later by a SR agent.)

    Instead of being honest, he LIED and posted that he needed to do an “address verification.” Months went by with no progress, so I wrote a letter the the Founder/CEO. A woman VP (Marketing?) assigned her aide to solve the problem. A priority level 9 (their highest priority level) was assigned, and the VP’s aide started to make some real progress.

    Then the Provisioning Manager halted progress by saying that he would personally handle the “fiasco.”

    As before, all progress ceased. I made another follow up call in mid to late November. The SR agent was flabbergasted when he found a level 9 problem that had nothing done since the Provissioning Manager had blocked the VP’s aide.

    The only conclusion I could make was that the Provisioning Manages was BOTH INCOMPETENT and a LIAR.

    Working behind the back of the Provisioning Manager, SR was able to finally get me a number on December 11, 2006 (8 1/2 momths after they pocketed my $199 for a year of service. At that time, I asked SR to change my billing date from 3/29/06 to 12/11/06.

    Now I have just been billed (4/4/07) for $209.26. When I called to complain, they offerred to refund “”HALF of my 3/29/06 money, even though they admitted all of the problems were SRs. They said “its our policy.” I got AMEX to challange the bill and reverse payment.

    From my experience, there are 2 major types of companies:

    One is run by reasonably honest people who sincerely try to correct any mistakes that they make. AMEX is one such company.

    The other is run by people like Ken Lay of Enron. They are basically dishonest, customer hating, moneygrabbing “CROOKS” who enjoy being preditors. My only possible opinion of SunRocket is that they are an “Enron Type company.”

    I would not recommend SR to anyone.

    Then, on

  23. Russell Losse

    I had order the service at the end of June.By the end of August,they were still trying to switch my number.Finally on September 8th they made the switch.But I was being charge for it since the end of June.The only reason I wanted to keep my number was that I had people, business,doctors,bosses,and family that have had that number for over 15 years. The next reson was that my service kept dying on me. I had to boot my system up 3 to 4 times a day. I was talking to a doctor one time (just after surgery)and it died on me.Two weeks doing this I decided that was enough. So I went to another phone service.I tried to call up 4 times to cancel my contract with sun rocket each time they had a reason I could not do it at this time. In December of 2006 I still had not gotten my money back and I still have not gotten it back as of March 30,2007. I would like to know what to do?

  24. Today 199 for 2 years and 40 in rebate in VOIP-REBATES .COM

    JUST for today they offer a special of 199 for 2 year, after you sing up with them visit this web page and your info and they will give you a 40 dollar s in rebates »voip-rebates.com/sunrocket.aspx. I had got my rebate in 4 weeks.

    this company is really really goog i have DSL conection from verizon with just 760 kbps (the shipper one, and slowly too) and the quality is great! i made call almost to all my relatives and family in Central America, (nicargua, mexico, Honduras, Salvador, Guatemala) and all the calls sounds really really good or excellent is best word to descibe the sound quallity!

  25. After having little trouble with SR in 8 months I now cannot connect their gizmo without losing my Internet connection. If I rest everything and hook their gizmo dierctly to my modem it works fine. so I replaced and upgraded my D-link 624 to a D-link 625. Same trouble and am waiting for SR to reply.

  26. Well, from what I’m reading, this may be the first Pro-Sunrocket post yet. I’ve been with Sunrocket for 3 years now, in 3 different locations: Seattle, San Diego, and now Hillsboro, OR. The voice quality has gone exactly as the quality of my broadband/router went. In San Diego the service would fail once every 3 months but that was always due to Time Warner internet (terrible). In Seattle it was alright, never failed but at times was patchy. In Seattle I was on DSL and the internet got bogged down in peak hours. Now, in Hillsboro, it has been flawless for over a year but I think it’s because I have Verizon FiOS 15 Mbps internet. Sunrocket has given me $200 in rewards for the 6 families I’ve convinced to sign-up. All are still customers except for my brother who moved to Utah. The internet was so slow there that it didn’t support his VOIP calls. He also had a terrible time setting it up to begin with. Turned out to be a router compatability issue.

    My Recommendation: For any Voip service, including Sunrocket,

    1)make sure you have a good router that you know is compatible with the GIZMO.
    2)Only get VOIP if you have decent broadband (>1.5 Mbps at all times).
    3)Never try to run your internet through your GIZMO before other internet connected items (computer, router, Xbox). The GIZMO should be always after the router in your setup.

    Overall, I’ve saved hundreds of dollars and am very happy with the quality. I even wrote an email to Sunrocket asking for some reward for referring so many people when at the time there was no reward program. When the program came out 5 months later, they remembered me and credited my account $50 dollars!

    I’m not going to lie, though, there have been patchy voice quality issues, but 95% of the time it was internet related. And with my current fiber-optic internet, the voice clarity is crystal clear.

  27. Sharon Knowlton

    Sun Rocket is absolute crap! Don’t bother with it. We have had unreliable service and are about to cancel since our contract will end in 2 weeks. We miss phone calls and about half the time we make calls the poor individuals on the other end can’t understand us as our conversations “break up” constantly. We have run several “tests” or whatever the hell it is that supposed to help but to no avail!! We’re done!!

  28. Mikki Harper

    I have had Sun Rocket for 7 months now and have never lost a connection.
    I do get feed back sometimes on my phone but no worse than any of my kids cell phones. I held onto my land line for all that time my grandkids who use the phone so much more than me used the sun rocket phone. They never complained nor had any problems. So I am now stricktly Sun Rocket user. After 7 months I feel secure. I also have Comcast for my internet. Maybe that is why it is steadfast.
    Mik