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For Your Information - Information, Technology, Society

Archive - #1.2, October 8, 2002


ONE TO AVOID - PhoneFree.com

In case you've been interested in using Voice over IP (VoIP) from one of the free services on the internet, don't bother trying phonefree.com. It's about as poor as they get. A quick list of the problems encountered:

  • Installation errors: Initial installation completed with no errors, but my ID was not activated. However, it was on file, and I couldn't activate it. The 2nd installation finally did give me a user ID
  • Configuration errors: There's an option to make your phone number 'unlisted', but it's flaky at best. Even though I selected unlisted at every opportunity, my phone number (actually phonefree user id) got listed publicly. I tried several times to unlist it, finally gave up for the evening, and found in the morning that it had finally been update to unlisted.
  • Support errors: The supposed email address for support doesn't work: it bounces for "relay errors".
  • Voice quality: simply put; it's the pits.

I did learn that if you "left it alone" over night, things seemed to get better, but I quickly decided that I couldn't wait that long.




This is one of occasional mailings to people I know and respect. Feel free to ignore what doesn't interest you. I'll give you my best opinion, but your mileage may vary.

Have a great day!



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