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Sunset at Sunrocket? Layoffs rumored

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Update: Andy Abramson has more details on the story. CTO/CXO and several others are gone.  Still no word from the company or their PR department.

Sunrocket, one of the many VoIP service providers that has been suffering as a result of an all-out voice assault by the cable companies is rumored to have hit a major airpocket today. Our sources say that the company laid off about 40 of its employees, including some C-Level executives. While the company isn’t exactly out of business, things are pretty dicey here.

I have emailed their PR department but haven’t heard anything just yet. I am getting on a plane in about 10 minutes and if they get in touch before that, I will update the post. I am going to try again during the stopover in Newark. Please treat this as a rumor for now.

The VoIP service provider claims that it has 200,000 subscribers. The founders – Joyce Dorris and Paul Erickson – left the company earlier this year, and now the only hope for the company is to raise more capital from its existing investors including Nokia. The VoIP service providers including Vonage have been having a bad year as cable companies have started to flex their muscles and offering triple play services. SunRocket has been a hard company to figure out – and despite it’s great marketing spin, we found it hard to buy into their plans.

Our previous SunRocket stories

118 Responses to “Sunset at Sunrocket? Layoffs rumored”

  1. BEWARE. Voip.com is beyond useless and pathetic. I was on hold today for over 2 hours and never spoke to any one. Whn I firest called, I was caller number 8 with an approx hold time of under 2 min. then after 20 minutes the approx hold time was boosted to 15 minutes even though i was now #6 in line. when i became number 1 in line (after 40 min) i waited for another 90 minnutes and eventually HUNG UP because i was so irritated. they do NOT answer e mail inquiries or anything. and even as bad and pathetic as SR was, at least they answered the phone and e msils.

  2. Mary Ann Bradshaw

    No one should have a problem getting their Sunrocket no. ported. The problem is a lot of cust. reps. at the various VOIP cos. are unfamiliar with the process.

    I decided to go w/AT&T as I already have internet and one land line with them in addition to the two VOIP nos. w/Sunrocket. (I had these two numbers for approx. 25 yrs & wasn’t about to lose them as I did the $’s I paid SR!) When I called AT&T Friday I spoke to two different cust. reps. then their supervisor insisting it could be done even though Sunrocket was no longer in business before they finally got me through to the correct dept. who handles transfer of numbers. The lady at AT&T checked & verified
    both of my phone numbers with Sunrocket were owned by Global Crossing (they ventured with Sunrocket in Sept.’06 google Sunrocket/Global Crossing). After verifying with a third party that I was authorized to make the request, (this is required by the FCC she said) she was able to begin the process of requesting them from Global Crossing.

    I keep a basic land line phone as backup since in Dallas (raining) we’ve had too many power failures which causes you to lose both internet (desktop) and your phone service with strictly a VOIP, unless you have a cell phone & laptop.

    Sunrocket should be thankful they’re not a Building and I’m not al-Qaeda!

  3. Check out http://www.myteleblend.net/. There is no extra charge, SR # is ported, and better yet SR gizmo is to be used. No annual contract, and just $15/mo including tax) for SR customers. This is by far the best deal. The co. seems to have some connection with SR, but I am risking $15 only.

  4. Charlie

    SunRocket Telephone Adapter FOR SALE, 4 months old…Cheap! Call 1-800-GARBAGE!

    I recommend that everyone call their bank and see if they can get a prorated refund. My bank did it. I suspect that they will use credit card company channels to go after SunRocket.

    Charlie

  5. please please let me know how did you get the refund..?I am trying to call the sustomer service but it says that they stopped receiving calls.
    I just got my SR fon 1 month back.

    please help.

  6. found out at 5:30 am that sunrocket was liquidating…. did a quick internet seach as the message from SR was not very helpful about refunds if you paid annually – like we did. After reading a few blogs… found one that stated they had heard the news last night (11pm) — they had service since January 2007, they called their credit card company and received a pro-rated refund.

    i called my Chase – we purchased service in march 07 – they issued a pro-rated refund for the period we did not receive service.
    my custermer service rep was very familiar with the sr issue and I did not have any problems… bottom line — its not too late to get a prorated credit for service you will never receive.

    also – i was skeptical about Teleblend… opted for Packet8 – was able to find reviews about them and they waive the first month service fee (only paid $5.38 for two lines). can change within 30 days to antoher without penalty. the customer servce rep was very helpful, they give you their full name and telephone number to reach them.

  7. lovemyfurkids

    I still have my SR service without the voice mail but the voice mail hasn’t worked for eons. I went to SR website and they have changed the home page with a sob story about going out of business. But I took the opportunity to print any documentation I may need for these other providers and their offers. Figured I better do it before those losers tear down all proof that they ever existed. Waiting for my new equipment to arrive and praying the number transfer goes smoothly. About the only good thing eith this is that my new provider has the feature where you can cancel call waiting on a per call basis. Always hated that you couldn’t do that on SR. For god sake, my landlline phone had that ability eons ago and those idiots couldn’t do it. But come to think of it, their tech people were blithering idiots every single time i talked to them which was quite often unfortnately.

  8. Ashwin

    Hi..

    I also been a happy customer with SR for 3-4 yrs..and my phone is still working but no voicemail access…

    I just signed up with Lingo.com…
    https://www.lingo.com/shop/promotions/sunrocket.jsp
    on my friends recommendation..he has been with their monthly plan for 3 yrs..

    I signed up for the 195/yr plan..comparable to SR…and they are going to port my number over…and FREE shipping, activation etc..although they charge 40 upfront..but will b refunded at 3 months…

    ALSO -please note that they will charge 3-5 dollars a month for taxes / e911 mandated fees ( i think all of the other companies are charging too – read the small print )…

    AND the good thing was that when I said I was referred by my friend. ..we both get 25$ in each account…

    It took them about 5 mins to do the booking and I was all set..just call the 866 number on the page and talk to them..

    So if you are interested in joining..give my email : [email protected]
    Name : Ashwin Kothari

    Good Luck in whatever service you choose…and main thing is the number portability..hope all works out ..

  9. Michael Magliotti

    Guys,
    I am also a SR member and used their service for about 7 months. I was happy to find great service at such a reasonable price, but that’s gone now. For all of you wondering what to do to get your numbers transferred to another company all you have to do is act fast and start the transfer process. I signed up with a company at http://www.voipyourlife.com/
    This was the one company that came closest to SR in the International plans, which is use most. One of the customer service reps at VYL told me that because of FCC regulations SR is allowing other services to receive the numbers, she told me that it will work out nicely regardless with which company you go, so don’t listen to the packet 8 advertisement that they are the only ones with that capability. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email [email protected] or call me at, ooppps! strike that my phone is not working. LOL

  10. treasureocity

    Some conpanies are honoring contracts that were held by sunrocket. Do a google search and there are forbes and new york times articles outlining which ones here is a liknk about net2phone that will lead you into a few others.

    http://www.forbes.com/businesswire/feeds/businesswire/2007/07/19/businesswire20070719005457r1.html

    http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/business-phone-system/articles/8690-nuvio-erases-black-mark-left-sunrocket-voip-failure.htm

    Luckily I was at the end of my contract, my 3 free months end this month, hopefully this will help some who just signed up.

  11. As of 1:30PM EST July 19th, my SR phone numbers are still working, but SR voicemail has been dead for days.

    For those of you seeking a refund, IMO your best bet is your credit card company. Otherwise, we’ll be unsecured creditors. And if SR really owes millions, we are unlikely to see refunds.

    For what it’s worth, ATT offers a $5/month discount if you have cell service with them. So their U.S. unlimited plan would be $19.99/month. Lingo is $21.95/month. Packet8 is $24.99/month. Cox (my ISP), wants $39.95/month for service comparable to what I have had with SR. Though I got my money’s worth from SR over the past few years, I will definitely not buy any more annual prepaid plans.

  12. I just lost my service and been trying to get in contact with them. So if they are out of business what happens to the $200 I just paid two months ago? They did not even send an email to their customers to say they are out of business. I had to go online and find out on my own. This sucks. I want my money back!!!

  13. Justin

    I looked in to Vonage, but when I called to get set up I could not understand the Customer Service Rep. When I gave them my name they kept spelling it wrong, saying ‘G’ instead of ‘J’. I looked around at a few local companies and found a newer company that has been in the Voip game for about two years. I called in and talked to their customer service and one of their sales reps, and they were great. I could actually understand them! Their website doesn’t have a ton about their Voip product, since they just went national. Check them out though, I was really surprised. The website is http://www.nuvont.net, and their number is 1-877- Nuvont1

  14. With their unlimited plan, Vonage will port your SR #, give you 2 months free service, and free equipment with free overnight shipping (the # transfer takes 10 days, so they give you a temporary number to use in the mean time). Vonage is also the only publicly traded VoIP company, and currently the only VoIP company that stands a chance of successfully competing with the cable companies. At $25/month for the unlimited plan, it’s more expensive than SR, but still cheaper than my cable company or local carrier.

  15. I noticed yesterday 7/17/07 that whenI got an incomming call I cound not here the person that called but thay could hear me. The phone has a dial tone but today I tryed to make outgoing calls with a dial tone but after I dial the # it does not connect. I got 2 incomming calls today & had no problem talking or hearing the person who called. I went to http://www.voip.com to sign up with them & hopfully I will be able to keep my # that I have had since 1994. I did get 1 email from SunRocket todat but it said nothing in the message.It said Important Message from SunRocket?

  16. Larry J "Mont"

    It’s really sad when acompany does business this way..It makes you think twice about paying for services in ADVANCE…I’m going with VOIP for the MONTHLY service..

  17. Cynthia Zweber

    Chase wrote me saying that they are reversing my total charge. I asked for 10 months since my renew date was May 18. It sounds like it can be reversed if Sunrockets bank denies it. What is most important to me is keeping my telephone number of more than 10 years. I want to switch to AT&T Callvantage and they are investigating why my number cannot be ported to them.
    I have filed a compaint with the Michigan Attorney General (mostly about porting my number). Someone told me to contact the FCC.

  18. Rotty22

    I just filed my complaint with the NYS Attorney General Consumer Frauds and Protection. I also called my credit card company requesting a partial credit for my unused phone service and they complied and have issued me a credit of $105. (credit for 7 months of unused service). My credit card is Chase SubaruMC, and Stephanie from the Disputes Team was great handling my request.

  19. Susan Wyatt

    It’s too bad about SR. I have a dialtone, but haven’t been able to make or receive callsfor days. It’s interesting that the website still works.
    Viatalk has a program to roll over your SR contract. Signed up with them last night. Privately owned and with no debt. Spoke to Brian in CS, and he actually apologised to me about Sunrocket. When I asked him why he was apologising for them, he said the SR made all VOIPs look bad.

  20. I feel sorry for the past Sunrocket employees that were in the dark and for the approximate 200,000 past customers…

    I will be switching to Insight Communications cable company for internet phone service; and I am hopeful to get the port of my phone number from SunRocket started.

    Thanks to the earlier tip about call forwarding. Although my SunRocket voicemail is down, I do still have a dialtone and was able to forward calls to my cell phone.

    The race is now on for me to get my original phone number ported from SunRocket before the dialtone goes dead.

    God Bless those now looking for work and those out of money because of the Gotcha Company…or is that SunSuck, I mean RobbedbyRocket.

  21. With Sunrocket having shut down, I wanted to mention that myphonecompany is still alive and kicking. They have a promotion where you get the fourth month free with agent sign up… and they also have a plan called mydevice that allows you to use your existing equipment and myphonecompany service for a lower fee. They also have an expanded international calling radius. To find out more, go to the agent site at http://www.rip2p.com and click the sign up link to be redirected to their site to sign up and receive your fourth month free!

  22. My service has been down most of the day, and not working correctly when I do have a voice light. FYI the call forwarding function on the
    Sunrocket website is working, just forwarded all my calls to my cell.