Virtual phone service providers were on to something big. They knew they had a service that was a viable alternative to conventional phone systems, and they knew they could sell it because the cost was low for these pioneer providers and for their customers, as well. Patrons of the conventional phone system were paying a premium, and any service that could provide professional service, at a much lower price, was of course very attractive. VoIP-based systems enabled businesses to use their phones at any location with an internet connection, whereas service from the traditional telephone company is restricted to one location. VoIP and Hosted IP phone service seemed too good to be true; it looked impressive, simple, even elegant. The businesses who decided to make the switch, however, were in for a big surprise.
Here’s Why VoIP Users Are Sorry They Switched.
This is a significant problem for those who use a VoIP connection, and there are a startling variety of triggers that will cause a call to drop. Among the reasons for this occurrence are:
…and these are just a few of the reasons.
Dependence on Internet Connection
A VoIP connection relies entirely on the performance and quality of the client’s internet, and there must be sufficient and consistent bandwidth for anything close to a stable call. Many businesses who sign up for this phone service quickly find that their calls are frequently interrupted simply because their bandwidth is being compromised by heavy activity on the internet connection, such as large downloads by other users on-site. Calls can even be interrupted by background operations on any computer using the same internet connection. The only effective way to remedy this is to set up a separate connection to provide dedicated bandwidth for VoIP service. To the dismay of many business owners, they find that they have no choice but to buy all kinds of new equipment to secure a dedicated connection for their phone service.
Many of those using a VoIP service find out that their customers have problems on their end, while the call seemed to be functioning perfectly on the VoIP client’s side. You can see how troubling it would be if, on your end, the call sounds clear as a bell, and meanwhile, your customer’s end is fuzzy and cutting in and out, completely unbeknownst to you. As a result, a business may never know that its customer had a bad experience, or worse, why they lost their business.
The Echo Effect
As is the case with almost any telecom issue, there are many possible causes for echo on the line. Even with the superior PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), an echo can occur from time to time; however, on PSTN, you can’t hear the echo because there is no delay. VoIP connections have far more frequent and pronounced occurrences of echo, due to the fact that there is an inherent delay with these connections. For anyone to notice the echo, it has to be loud and delayed, both of which are characteristics of echo on a VoIP network. You can always install echo-cancelling hardware, which helps—but it’s not cheap.
You Got The Jitters
Packet voice networks are the culprit here, wherein information (essentially translated code representing vocal audio) is contained in multiple, evenly-spaced “packets” which are sent in an (ideally) continuous stream to the receiving end. The problem arises when there is a delay between the packets, due to network congestion, improper queuing, or configuration errors. The result? Garbled, freaky-sounding audio that makes a conversation very difficult.
Why Businesses are Switching Back to Conventional Phone Systems, or to Virtual PSTN-based Service.
More Than They Bargained For
Though VoIP service does work fine for some businesses (if you want to pay for the extra equipment to create dedicated bandwidth, and you’re ok with less reliable service), the vast majority of those who decided to go this route were dismayed to find that the quality and features promised were not a reality.
Good Luck Getting Your Money Back
On top of that, many VoIP providers perpetrated an insidious crime on their clients—they required contract commitments for 1, 2, or more years, costing businesses a lot of money for service that is sub-par, not to mention all the customers who were lost because of missed, dropped, or unintelligible calls. These companies knew the service would not live up to the hype, so they came up with iron-clad contracts, written by their teams of lawyers. Once again, that is not the case with every VoIP provider; some provide excellent customer service and truly care about their clients.
**Visit the link at the end of this article for some horror stories of those who got trapped in the VoIP world.
THE SUPERIOR VIRTUAL PHONE SYSTEM
Talkroute connects calls via the PSTN; that means that all of your calls are sent over the existing telephone network that you’re already using—AT&T, Verizon, etc. No internet connection is necessary, and all the issues mentioned in this article do not apply. You can choose a new local or toll free number from our comprehensive list or transfer your current number, no questions asked. We’re not the only ones using this superior method, but I like to think that we do it best. Start your free trial today.
We hope that you will continue to join us on our journey as we help you Grow Your Business! Our blog is 100% free and you don’t have to be a Talkroute customer to benefit from our materials. However, if you would like to try Talkroute’s Virtual Phone System for free, you can sign up for a trial here. See you in a few days.
1. “Top Reasons Why VoIP Calls Drop,” The Smartbox Knowledgebase, Smartvox, Ltd., http://kb.smartvox.co.uk/voip-sip/top-reasons-voip-calls-drop/
2. “Causes of Echo,” Voip-info.org, http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Causes+of+Echo
3. “Understanding Jitter in Packet Voice Networks (Cisco IOS Platforms),” Cisco, http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/voice/voice-quality/18902-jitter-packet-voice.html