Friday, July 13, 2007

SunRocket turns Scud Missile

Well, the word is in: SunRocket is out for the count.

As the guy who did the wiring diagrams for the place (now you know who I worked for), it's sad to see. Congratulations to the ex-AOL management (you know who you are!) that took over for a new record in running a company into the ground, and congrats to the board of directors for yet another successfully mismanaged venture.

Internally, SunRocket's politics went further and further in preventing effective execution of the technology vision. But can be expected when you mix telecom and dot-com? The dot-com "meltdown" was a drop in the bucket compared to the losses incurred by telecoms companies during the downturn years, and clearly management from the has-beens has not learned from their mistakes. I won't make myself sound like a disgruntled former employee, but anyone who has worked there should not be surprised at the outcome.

All the best to the folks let go today and last month, and I'll get some toilet paper printed in the shape of stock options certificates!

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32 Comments:

Blogger David A. Lane, KG4GIY said...

What you said. Thanks to Steve, Pete, John, Jason, Steve and Octavio for all the help. And to The JayDub for showing me a better way to things!

7:03 PM  
Blogger Joseph Bajin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Big Rattler said...

What's a poor schmuck like me, a happy Sun Rocket customer to do?

When will my service cease?

Recommend another VoIP provider?

Ohh! the humanity....

Thanks for a great plan that didn't make it. I was totally happy with SR and go you other customers, too!

8:51 PM  
Blogger Big Rattler said...

typo: go you other = got you other

8:53 PM  
Blogger jaydub said...

That's currently the source of much speculation on dslreports...

8:59 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

your best bet is RNK Telecom, they are a phone company that also offers voip. But they are a voip company. You can go to www.jivetel.com to sign up with one of their resellers.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Jon Rochetti said...

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.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

I use(d) SunRocket since they were around. Since that time I have actually started working in a Voip provider which isnt nearly as big but is run by a few good people who get things done fast due to the small amount of employees. No run arounds, all problems get resolved, basically zero wait on customer service phone calls, and we actually contact the customer back if they report something. ITP4You ITP4You ITP4You

9:41 AM  
Blogger CygonX said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:03 AM  
Blogger champton44 said...

yep the losers charged me in april 2007 for 1 year of service for 203.40 and didn't blink an eye for doing it. now i will seek legal recourse with my credit card company.. who are the owners of sunrocket? name and address anybody so we can send them to the AG of Texas for endangering our lives without 911 service.

3:07 PM  
Blogger jaydub said...

Folks:

You have no recourse on the 911 issue. VoIP providers including SunRocket were crystal clear in stating that they could not guarantee service.

Let me remind you:

- VoIP is unregulated
- VoIP is not taxed because it's not regulated
- VoIP is cheaper because it's not taxed and does not need to build the massive infrastructure to run wires to your house
- 911 providers are not obligated to service non-phone systems (i.e. VoIP)

911 can barely solve the mobile end point issue with cell phones, but at least the physical presence (the tower) can guess you'd like help from those closest to you. What happens when you take your Gizmo on a trip to Canada and call 911?

5:26 PM  
Blogger Leagh said...

Bottom line. I am a Sunrocket user. I have 10 months of Service paid in advance. All I have to say is they had better file for bankruptcy to get out of a contract breech.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Jer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

The problem with voip is that it is not as simple as people make it out to be. Most voip providers send out a bunch of networking equipment and expect people to put everything together themselves. People get frustrated and sent the equipment and service back.

I have been a customer with Comvoice ( www.comvoice.com ) for about a year. When I got my system, they installed it for me. I am a techie and didnt need much help to begin with, but when they first came out to install the system, it sounded staticy. The technician called my ISP (qwest) and it turned out that my dsl circut had alot of errors and udp loss. They also installed some kind of network QoS manager with the system. They didnt leave the site until it was fixed and sure enough I havent had any problems since then. I cant imagine a non techy trying to hook this up themselves and troubleshoot their internet connection when their phones dont work as expected. I cant recall a single time I have been down or have had quality issues. They were also pretty quick at porting my number over. So for those at sunrocket looking to get to another provider, I highly recommend them.

As far as e911 goes, there is a sticker on my phone that says "If you are moving this phone to another location permanently, please contact us to change the address on file". So I am guessing as long as you report where your phone is at, you should be fine.

8:09 PM  
Blogger sjkrischke said...

My name is Scott Krischke and I am a journalist working on a story about some of the local implications of SunRocket's sudden closer - both from its former employees and customer base.

I am trying to find anyone who has been associated with SunRocket, either as a paid employee or a customer, who would be interested in talking about the closing and interruption of service.

If you or anyone else you know would like to voice some information or some of your thoughts or opinions on what occurred here, I would very much like to speak with you.

You can reach me at my office at 703-917-6409 (please leave a message and contact info if I am not there, as I am out in the field quite a bit), or via email at sjkrischke@connectionnewspapers.com

11:13 PM  
Blogger troy_shox said...

As a "former" customer (as of my notice in email this morning) my biggest concern was the lack of notice and the fact that my annual fee still sits with Sun Rocket and I doubt if I will ever see it again.

If a class action suit starts I will join.

12:20 PM  
Blogger David said...

Ditto here... Is there any way to recover at least partially the prepaid service?

10:11 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

what about myteleblend.net that they are recommending? Their website is a little vague. Is it really sunrocket in disguise trying to get more of our money?

11:29 PM  
Blogger jaydub said...

I don't think Teleblend has any SunRocket people involved, but in all honesty I don't know. I find the whole set-up kind of concerning.

As far as recovering pre-paid service fees, I think you're out of luck, since creditors and suppliers get first dibs at the money from the liquidated assets.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Wubbi said...

Funny thing too - when you try to cancel the SR service, you get a nice message saying "We are no longer taking customer service calls, thank you." and then it disconnects you.

Great, are they going to be like Vonage or AOL and keep billing for a year after they disconnect you? Gotta love the AOL way of keeping that market share!

1:23 PM  
Blogger sws1776 said...

Anyone can attempt to get their money back through the issueing bank of the credit card used to pay for SR services. On the back of your credit card statement there is a section for disputed items. Call the customer service number and have them help you fill out the form. Rules for disputes (chargebacks) vary from bank to bank but if you were billed within the past three months you have a good shot at a partial or full refund.

A personal gaurantee is part of the merchant application process in order to accept credit cards. This is done in part so the banks can get money to reimburse customers disputing transactions because the company went out of business.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Hans said...

Yesterday, I switched from SR to Teleblend as per SR's recommendation. Today, I tried calling the Teleblend Customer Service number. It was disconnected. Teleblend says it offers all the same features and benefits of SR. Yet, I can't retrieve my voice mail messages. Anyone with similar experiences?

1:55 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I paid my SunRocket bill for my second year of servie on June 22. I hadn't received my Discover bill for it at the time I found that SunRocket was out of business. We called Discover and they saw the SunRocket charge but fortunately for us they hadn't mailed the charge bill yet for the month of June. Discover is takeing care of it and we happily have kept our money. It couldn't hurt to call your credit card company ASAP !!!

2:11 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hanns
Yes I also tried to call their customer service and got the imfamous "number out of service or has been disconnected" message. I hope this isn't another SCAM!!!

2:14 PM  
Blogger Clifford said...

Those bastards got me too.

As far as bankruptcy, actually I think customer monies are covered by the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) and should have priority over creditors. This is money paid for goods or services not delivered and the creditor should not be entitled to participate in it.

I filed a complaint with the FCC. How can you FU a company so badly, so quickly. Sounds very shady to me. I hope some people get dragged downtown and put in the slammer.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Here here...I got sun burn too.

Well I decided I need to move on and not sign up again for yearly service because I don't want to lose another $200 (I'm only on my 4th month of my 12 month plan at SunRocket) so I re apply for a land line again and signed up with Onesuite.com SuiteAdvantage (A prepaid long distance with VOIP feature).

Cost? Deposit $10 initial signing up plus $2.95 monthly fee for SuiteAdvantage (free for the first month if you sign up before 08/20/07)

I will still try to dispute the charges from SR with credit card but I think my chances are low.

2:23 PM  
Blogger zxt said...

Tsk tsk tsk...I was about to cancel my parents SunRocket but chose not to and albeit renewed for another year. I even gave my props to SunRocket on my blog page and then this? The only good thing happened was I didn't cancel my Onesuite account and my land line (I was toying the idea of going VOIP/SunRocket all the way) now I think I'll just stay with Onesuite and use their voip feature. My parents are mad at me though for convincing them to renew their Sunrocket service :(

6:53 AM  
Blogger jleary said...

Just dropped another $199 on voip.com...anyone know of a reason why that might have been a a mistake? They're a private company in Boca Raton, and the reviews say the seem to have their act together.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

We are also former SR customers that were very happy with the service. So we paid another $213 to renew in February and lost it in July. Teleblend tried to get us but after a week we were able to shake those guys off. So we tried VOIP.com and paid the $199 on July 20th. It took until today to get the refund. Their customer service must be in India and if we did talk to someone, they either hung up or routed us to a voice mail!!! They posted a FedEx tracking number but never shipped the equipment,nor did we ever get a telephone number- took us forever to get it sorted out. They also have no direct email - have to use the little comment boxes to reach them. We have now taken the conservative route and gone month by month with Cordia. So far, so good. We'll see - not as advanced as SR but customer service seems o.k and got our equipment to us quickly - has good international rates.In general, VOIP is great against the insane charges of the telephone companies but I think we need a huge class action lawsuit against SR.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

SunRocket is no more in the list of VoIP providers. Though SunRocket directed their customers to Packet8 or TeleBlend, there are some other VoIP providers like Lingo have good deals for SunRocket customers. At present, Lingo offers two calling plans such as monthly $21.95 promotional calling plan and annual $195 calling plan with one month free, free shipping, free activation, free equipment and 30 day money back guarantee. In my opinion, Lingo VoIP calling plans are the best option for SunRocket customers.

3:55 AM  
Blogger CCNJ said...

First, there was a comment about customers having first dibs on moneys. Customers are considered creditors - same rules will apply.

Secondly, I too signed up with voip.com after SR went up in smoke, and I got SO SCREWED on the move. I regret every day the $199 I paid voip, and can't wait to find another provider to help me from this hell they're putting me through!

11:15 PM  
Blogger Emrg said...

1st I am sorry to hear that Sunrocket stung all the annual customers. I am now hunting a deal onVoIP. I have had my POTS for about 30 years, however now ATT won't move/keep my old number even though same area. However I can, port to a VoIP provider and keep it, get all the features free. Silly huh?

3:07 PM  

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