Can A Phone Service Provider Block Calls To Numbers It Doesn't Like?

from the that-seems-like-an-fcc-violation dept

About four years ago, I signed up for AT&T CallVantage VoIP service and ditched my traditional POTS landline phone service. This was back when AT&T was actually betting on CallVantage and using it as a (many reviews claimed) better alternative to Vonage. Then, of course, SBC bought AT&T and wanted nothing whatsoever to do with CallVantage. It neglected the service, and quality got worse and worse until it announced a few months ago that it was shutting the service down completely. Fair enough. I contemplated going strictly with a combination of Skype and my cell phone for phone service, but I’ve found both to be somewhat unreliable at times — and for unexplained reasons my new laptop has terrible microphone inputs — so everyone I’ve called via Skype insists they can’t hear me at all (and I’ve tried both USB and the mic inputs, and multiple microphones — no luck).

So, after hearing about some friends who were using it and doing some online research, I decided to try “MagicJack.” You may have seen their late night commercials that are hard to avoid (even if you use a DVR). It’s basically a much cheaper VoIP option that’s not that unlike Vonage/CallVantage, except that instead of getting a VoIP router to hook up to your broadband modem directly, it’s just a USB dongle that connects directly to your computer. I read some reviews online, and they all basically said the same thing: when it works, it works great, but don’t expect any customer support if things go wrong. And, oh yes, hold your nose at the infomercial sales process and the constant upsell attempts. Still, I figured it was worth a shot and ordered a free trial (you have 30 days). Of course, to get through the process, you have to decline something like 30 upsell attempts (my favorite: $4 to have them ship it faster — I declined and the thing still showed up in two days).

I’ve been using it for about a week, and it’s not too bad. There are some annoyances, but the call quality works fine. I think there’s a slight delay, which gives calls that old long distance pause between people speaking that used to be common, but I can live with that. The actual call quality seems better than my old CallVantage.

But today, MagicJack appears to be breaking the law. Every Friday we have a staff call at Floor64. Since not everyone here works locally or in the office every day, we have a conference call using every startup’s favorite: So I called in this morning, and MagicJack refused. Instead, it gave me a recording telling me that I needed to use MagicJack’s own free conferencing solution. That might be fine for setting up conference calls, but this was a call that was already going on, and which people were waiting for me to dial into. And there was no way to get around it. MagicJack simply refuses to let you call

Now, it’s not hard to figure out why. This issue cropped up two years ago, when a bunch of small telcos started blocking calls to, because FreeConference is actually a big regulatory arbitrage scam. MagicJack itself is a CLEC that most likely benefits from some kind of regulatory arbitrage, so it’s just another small telco blocking FreeConference to push its own services. But, just because telcos don’t like competition, it doesn’t mean it’s legal for them to block others’ services. After widespread complaints in 2007, most telcos backed down and stopped blocking calls to FreeConference, and the FCC started looking into the matter — though I don’t believe it ever came out with a ruling on the matter. I’m pretty sure there are still a smattering of lawsuits out there about the whole thing.

But, considering how many conference call invites I get these days that use FreeConference, it’s quite a pain to find out that my own phone line can’t dial into it. Other MagicJack users have been discovering the same thing, and MagicJack’s customer service response has been hopelessly inept. They just keep repeating that you need to use their own free conferencing service, and if you finally find someone who understands that you’re trying to call into someone else’s conference they just say sorry, you can’t do that.

In the past, of course, the FCC has indicated that it’s a violation of federal rules to disallow phone calls to get through just because you don’t like the numbers being dialed, and it seems that when you promise people free unlimited local and long distance phone calls throughout the US, then you need to live up to that promise. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep the MagicJack after this trial period, but this is a huge strike against it. Who knows what other numbers they might not let me call next week?

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Companies: fcc, magicjack

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Comments on “Can A Phone Service Provider Block Calls To Numbers It Doesn't Like?”

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Ima Fish (profile) says:

If MagicJack is a telco, then it’s legally a common-carrier and must accept and connect to all phone numbers. If it not a telco, then it is not a common-carrier and it can do whatever the frick it wants.

I seem to remember that a federal court determined that VOIP services were not telcos and did not have to pay or collected fees fees similar to the fees collected by land line telcos. If that’s still the law, MagicJack is in the right.

jmproffitt (profile) says:

Net neutrality for phones

I’m surprised you made no mention of the notion of Net Neutrality. It’s the same thing, at least to me. Either you are on the net, or you’re not and there shouldn’t be shades of gray to it or qualifications. Every node on the net must be able to reach every other node (with legitimate traffic) or it’s not a real network.

magicJack Inventor (user link) says:

Conference calling

I am the Inventor of magicJack and CEO.It is not illegal for us to block calls to Freeconference.Please be aware though,that we do not want to block calls to anyone and so far offer to complete all calls.A lot of these companies are simply taking advantage of the way they are able to charge other telephone companies,but in our case,we have invited other conference calling companies to interconnect to us for free,so we can complete our customers calls to them.We are waiting on their request to do so.

Dan Borislow

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Conference calling

I am the Inventor of magicJack and CEO.It is not illegal for us to block calls to Freeconference.Please be aware though,that we do not want to block calls to anyone and so far offer to complete all calls

I’m not sure the FCC agrees with you on whether or not it is illegal.

But, more importantly, you are either uninformed of what your own company is doing or are lying. You did NOT offer to complete my call this morning. It just played a recording saying I had to use MagicJack’s conference system, even though there was a meeting in progress that I needed to reach.

We are waiting on their request to do so.

Well why not allow us to actually call in while you wait? Why piss off so many customers?

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Conference calling

There is a very high incidence of ADD, dyslexia, autism and other similar issues in the inventor community. The bottom line is that it is very common for inventors to have poor written communication skills. I had this problem and it has taken me thirty years to mitigate.

I have not tried the MagicJack but have been using VOIP services for many years. I tried a number of VOIP services and eventually settled on It is much more expensive than MagicJack but has many interesting features including allowing customers use of their own VOIP adapters and Asterisk PBX.

Perhaps the best way for MagicJack to handle the issue these conference services is to clearly explain the problem on their web site and offer clients the ability to use them with a prepaid account, passing the cost through to the user?

Also, see:

Ronald J. Riley,

I am speaking only on my own behalf.
President – – RJR act
Executive Director – – RJR at
Senior Fellow –
President – Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 8 pm EST.

PRMan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Conference calling

I tried Broadvoice for my business because it integrated with my TalkSwitch PBX system.

The quality was absolutely rotten compared to Vonage, which is equivalent to a high-quality cell phone.

I have been very happy with Vonage at $25 per month. It’s not that expensive and you can call anyone as long as you like.

Customer service has been pretty good compared to the awful service from most other phone companies and apparently from MagicJack as well.

Do you really want to give money to someone who upsells you 30 times, plants spyware on your computer and refuses to connect you to certain calls?

C’mon, Mike, I would think you of all people could see the difference between price and value.

GJ (profile) says:

Re: Re: Conference calling

Don B: We are waiting on their request to do so.

Mike M: Well why not allow us to actually call in while you wait? Why piss off so many customers?

If I read Don Barslow’s posting correctly, the company that hosts your free conference calls bills the company that tries to connect to them. So Don won’t make that connection because it’ll cost him money which he won’t be able to get back from you, because the price of his service is so darn low.

By inviting the “free” conferencing companies to connect to him for “free”, he’s trying to change the Telco’s business models where they like to be paid for everything.

A worthwhile goal, don’t you think?

salut says:

Re: Re: Conference calling

salut moi c’est bamba je suis un ivoirien mais je vie en Mauritanie sais juste un renseignement suis les appelle suis magicjack pour faire les appelle internationale dans tout les pays et suis tout les le fixe et portable je veux voir combien ?a coute les tarification je suis beaucoup un ter-ais? donne moi tout les conduction je veux faire cabine avec ?a juste pour faire appelle bye bye

Alex Cory says:

Re: Conference calling

Dan: Your posting is disingenuous. You know that telephone carriers pay a termination fee for the last mile of service and your offer of a free connection is not genuine. FreeConference is obviously benefitting from this as well (it seems you have copied their revenue model).

For those who are not familiar, the FCC did rule against any blocking of calls, but also constrained participation in this business to CLEC’s whose rates are typically between half a cent and 2 and a half cents per minute. For most long distance companies, that means they are making money on this regulatory arbitrage, since 70% of the calls on FreeConference are SMB originated at an average long distance fee of about 5 cents per minute.

How do I know all this? I am the former CEO of FreeConference. I have moved back into more comfortable territory for me in the online software services business, but did fight through these wars with the telco’s and the telco owned FCC while I was at FreeConference.

FreeConference has a standing invitation from the FCC to report any and all blocking. I will be passing this info on to them…

Wise one says:

Re: Re: Conference calling

Why do you [still] think that MG is subject to [any] FCC jurisdiction? The FCC has long ago declared that carriers like MG are not common carriers and as such are NOT subject to FCC jurisdiction, nor regulations, in a decision that was not appealed and is now time barred from being appealed. Do your homework first, before displaying ignorance. Had the decision went the other way it still wouldn’t affect MG because MG is neither in the US nor has any US connxn and the applicable US communications laws outside the US is subject to limits contained in applicable treaties if any.


Linda (profile) says:

Re: Conference calling

Is it possible that some networks will not or can not call a magicjack number? I have had a few reports of people who said they couldn’t get through, but I never took notice since the magicjack seems to work fine most of the time. The last one I took an interest in because it was a very important call, and have been working with your tech support folks to try to make it work so that this number can call me but so far no dice. He is calling from a system where he has to dial 9- to get an outside number. So now I wonder how many calls I have missed from people who did not have an alternative number for me.

Charles Powis says:

Re: Dan Please read Majic Jack on Android Nexus one

I enjoy your product , I have bought several of them.
But I think it would be a great coup if you were to get on board with Google and the Android market and offer Magic Jack as a soft phone App for the Nexus one and other Android Phones. You would both benefit and have cross over market exposure. (before some one else does a seamless Voip app for Android

Charles Powis

Victoria says:

Re: Conference calling

So why you are blocking other VOIP numbers. I use a company in which I get free calls to Europe. YOU BLOCK their numbers ans now I do not have a way to communicate with my family in Europe. I trust your service with free calls in USA, but it does not seem to be the case. I only hope you do not meet my whole family, because you probably would block them too.

Carlos F (profile) says:

Re: Conference calling

Look like your company and the other have conflict of interes because the market, but the costumer pay the bill, in my case I pay for a calling card from other company than magic jack, and I can not make a long distance phone call, just because magic jack block the company phone number. I think the CRTC of Canada must speak about the matter.

arpnm (profile) says:

Re: ESP not Common Carrier

Dan, thanks for replying so openly here. The problem from the consumer side is quite simple though. I was a loyal magicjack user who had just decided to replace my land line with magicjack after almost a year of happy use UNTIL you started blocking Your decision to block the one number most commonly used by most of the businesses I work with (I work remotely and online as many do) means that whether I want to or not, I can no longer consider MagicJack an alternative or a replacement for my land line. It bums me out that you drove a loyal customer away by changing your service.

So, reluctantly, I am now looking for competitive services/products that allow me to call numbers that I require access to in order to do business. I’m considering a variety of other products and services and now, fortunately, there are a couple good competitors out there that allow calls to, can link to my cell phone and can be considered as alternatives to land lines.

Not sure why that was a good business move on magicjacks’s part honestly, especially with all the complaints to the FCC one find’s when googling this issue and the purported class action and other legal suits. It’s always a bad move to make your product not work anymore for loyal customers. We’re great advertising otherwise, but we have to be practical. If you make the product no longer work as we need it to, we buy a different product.

magicJack Inventor (user link) says:


I am not lying or uninformed.Nor can I make anybody use our Free conference calling,but we do make it available for anybody who wants to use it.

I am protecting ourselves and our customers from excessively high access charges by companies who might be gaming the system.

In the Telephone world,there are requirements to interconnect with one another.If you do not,you might not be able to pass traffic back and forth.It’s a fact of life .I have interconnect agreements with Verizon,AT&T,Sprint etc.If we did not,we would be out in the cold.I can interconnect with any conference calling company who wants to within minutes.It is their responsibility to initiate this connection.

My customers have been very positive in my endeavors to protect them and keep prices much,much lower than anybody else.They do not expect me to have free collect calls,976 or 900 calls,why would they expect me to complete any calls that have high charges associated with it? But it should not matter,do like every other telephone company and connect to me, so my 4 million customers can use their service.

In reality,it is your conference call company company who is blocking you.We have waited,in fact over two weeks for your company to connect.It’s 11:00 oclock Friday night,we are working.

Dan Borislow

darla says:

Re: Neither

solution: let me connect to freeconference through magicjack and pass the costs to me if I must connect. you could even add a fee and profit yourselves. you allready have my credit card. I dont expect you to absorb those costs…but I dont like to hear that I cant do somthing when I need to. makes your device less usefull.

Donald R says:

Re: Neither

I have had MagicJack for over a year. The 1st year worked great. But, my next year I was no longer allowed to call local phone numbers since 3/8/2011 because of “Cost Prohibitive. I beleive your website states free ” Local and Long Distance call”

Now here is the funny thing.

I had a friend get a Magicjack, signed up, got a number of 304-300-xxxx, My number is 304-300-xxxx and lives 2 house’s from me. Now, How is it that he is able to call all Local Phone Numbers in our area and I am not. For some reason the “Cost Prohibitive” applies to me and not him and we have the same local numbers. The interconnect company is the same.

Please Explain

Carlos F (profile) says:

Re: Neither

you stated
“In reality,it is your conference call company company who is blocking you”

something is missing here because when the costumer dial another long distance company magic jack answer telling the costumer to use magic jack pre paid long distance plan. and refuse to connect the phone call.
so you are blocking the competence phone numbers.

magicJack Inventor (user link) says:



That is a good point,it could be that the person attempting to answer the many questions does not know all the answers.I will do a lookup of all no’s and start working on answers.We are a very big Linux user ourselves.We are presently working on a build of the softphone using QT by Trolltech.This will enable us to port to almost anything real quickly.As soon as we complete the port to QT,linux will be the first thing to port to.We are also working on a standalone softphone,where you do not need a magicJack.It will be a major hit.


mjb5406 (profile) says:

Re: Linux

Oh good grief… I don’t work for magicJack yet I know that the unit contains flash memory with auto-installed drivers for Windows and OS X and none for Linux. If your people don’t hav answers to the really simple qustions like that, they sure can’t be relied upon to answer any kind of more complex technical issue, like “is the OS X driver Snow Leopard compatible” or “can it work with 64-bit Vista” (if it’s not a digitally-signed driver, no it won’t). Not a very good start for tech info.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Linux

nearly anyone who is a regular to this site could out tech 80% of the front line support personnel of ANY major ISP.

do you seriously think that any company out there trying to stay competitive hires front line reps who would even understand what you are saying let alone know that kinda stuff?

lets both be realistic, you hardly EVER get a hold of someone on the first try who actually understands that kind of information… regardless of who or what they are supporting.

mjb5406 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Linux

Dear AC (#??? … there are so many of you).,

This is hardly an issue of “front line” vs. second, third or higher level of support… front-line reps should have a script saying “We work with, and have been tested to work with, such-and-such operating systems”. What’s the big deal about that? They may not know why, but they should be able to tell someone that.

David B (profile) says:

Re: Other MJ gripes

Another topic might be needed here, but from the posts it looks like the inventor is listening, so now is my chance to say all I have found wrong with my MJ:

1. That dang startup icon pops right up in front of my screen and insists on staying on top and NOT moving. Turn that thing off or let me move it. Who else hates this?

2. Why does this thing take so long to startup? Put some of your SW resources into making it more efficient and transparent to the OS (Windows XP).

3. I really needed this to work on my HP Pavilion laptop on a trip and the SW would absolutely not install. I tried two different MJ units. They work on other identical laptops. Tech support tried everything and escalated the call but finally just gave up and said it doesn’t work. Like #2, put more work into improving the SW. Still won’t work on my XP laptop.

4. I already posted a comment on my conferencing experience. I hope my new success means this problem is behind us.

5. Sometimes I call numbers and the other end cannot hear anything I say, though I hear them fine. This is definitely a destination phone number problem and the problem stays with specific #’s, while other numbers work fine. These numbers may all have been within my state, and some are local. The problem is reliably repeatable, though so far if I wait a day or so the specific numbers start to work again. What’s the deal?

Other than that I really like it. Thanks. Hope Dan is listening.

David B

Chargone (profile) says:

humm. all looks a little slippery to me, but perfectly reasonable if it’s on the level.

‘course, not being a business type, i just get by with the free local calling that the telcos are required to provide residential customers here, and the voice function in my instant messenger software πŸ˜€

yeah, that’s not even 2c worth, is it? call it 1 πŸ˜€

sceptic says:

Re: Not Sure I Would Trust It

Wow. Really, wow. Everyone that thinks about using magicjack must read that article. Basically you are installing spyware on your computer that cannot be removed easily.
Their Terms Of Service spell out in no uncertain terms that they have the right to spy on you. From the article:

In the TOS you agree that everything in your computer is fair game for them to know about, all web sites, email, and numbers called are there info.

Further,quoted from the magicjack TOS:

β€œYou also understand and agree that use of the magicJack device and Software will include advertisements and that these advertisements are necessary for the magicJack device to work … Our computers may analyze the phone numbers you call in order to improve the relevance of the ads”.

Caveat Emptor, indeed

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not Sure I Would Trust It

Personally I don’t see anything terribly out of line with standard boilerplate TOS filler. You quote the ‘article’ as saying they can spy on you without limit, but nothing in the (current) TOS says anything of the sort.

The portion of the TOS you quote *specifically* lists the information that they may use for advertisements. And none of it is from your computer.

The ‘Privacy’ portion is closer to what you say:
“10. Privacy Policy
Your registration data and certain other information about you are subject to this Terms of Service.”

Again, though that’s pretty standard stuff I would think. The ‘certain’ clarification would seem to be something preventing blatant fishing expeditions into unrelated information.

The bigger issue is they don’t require a notice to you when the TOS changes. Basically the rules can change without you knowing. Not what I consider ‘quality’, but hardly rare in the world of online service providers either.

JoakimE (profile) says:

Bad Microphone Ports

I had this happen as well with skype.

Problem was, that even though i thought i was using the microphone port, and was properly plugged into the microphone port. I was, in fact, not using it.

Why? Well, i was using a non-powered microphone, which the port didn’t support, so when i was talking to people, they actually heard me via the internal microphone (not port) present in the laptop itself, complete with HDD and fan noise.

Once I borrowed a powered microphone from a buddy, the clarity shot through the roof, as the microphone i was talking into was actually being used.

Lesson learned. Lesson shared.

– Joakim

salut says:

Re: salut

salut moi c’est bamba je suis un ivoirien mais je vie en Mauritanie sais juste un renseignement suis les appelle suis magicjack pour faire les appelle internationale dans tout les pays et suis tout les le fixe et portable je veux voir combien ?a coute les tarification je suis beaucoup un ter-ais? donne moi tout les conduction je veux faire cabine avec ?a juste pour faire appelle bye bye

Nick (profile) says:


Vonage’s very shiny happy television advertisements FAIL to disclose to consumers that they need high speed Internet service. Well, they do in the last five seconds of the commercial, and that is only with tiny white letters way down in the bottom left corner. I only caught it because I stopped my DVR and went frame-by-frame until it made its two-second appearance. Who are they kidding? I mean, aren’t the people who cannot afford Internet access that call be really p*ssed off?


Gene Gaines (profile) says:

FREE! Wow, I'll order 100 of those free MagicJack things!

I am always surprised by the people who think that they are entitled to “pick up” something for free, and that includes their right to try to steal from someone. The MagicJack guy offered ONE person a free device as a means of proving his identity. One person. Trying to push him into giving you his product for free sort of makes you, how do I say it politely, a sleazeball.

As a telecom professional, I will say that the MagicJack provides excellent, high-quality service at the lowest possible price. At that price level, I do not think that the company needs to have high-paid tech support people available for my phone call 24×7. I remember what I paid for the service, I email in any tech questions, and I have without exception received excellent, knowledgeable answers.

It is unreasonable to expect a company to engage in a service that gives them a substantial loss for every transaction. That is what happens in the case of FreeConference. MagicJack has taken the entirely reasonable response of providing an alternative free service of it own. Plainly, MagicJack provides excellent service at a tenth the cost.

I have used MagicJack for an average of 6 calls a day for the last year. Between home and office I pay for telecom service from Verizon (FIOS), Vonage, Skype, Google, Gizmo5, and 2 cell carriers.

I have come (to my amazement) to rely on MagicJack for my calling. Excellent reliability and quality, but the decider is the flexibility of being able to pull out the device and put in my pocket, and so easily forward calls to another phone while it is in my pocket.

I do not know the company or its inventor, but my hat is off to him for a job very well done.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: FREE! Wow, I'll order 100 of those free MagicJack things!

> It is unreasonable to expect a company to engage in a service
> that gives them a substantial loss for every transaction. That is
> what happens in the case of FreeConference.

While I agree that their actions are reasonable in the face of the ridiculous connection charges that they incur with other conference call services, they have, however, completely dropped the ball when it comes to customer service.

Just read the chat transcripts with MagicJack customer service in the linked articles above. It’s obvious that everyone working customer service is either completely clueless about the real reason the company is blocking certain calls or they’re purposely trying to hide the ball from the customer for some bizarre reason.

Either way, they need to be upfront and clear with their customers about why they’re doing what they’re doing instead of just repeating the same rote information over and over like a robot or outright refusing to give customers any explanation at all.

mjb5406 (profile) says:

Re: FREE! Wow, I'll order 100 of those free MagicJack things!

Not sure about your assertion that he offered it to one person… it was not posted as a reply (I think my message triggered it since I questioned whether it was the real inventor or not), but as a standalone message entitled “If You Knew Me”. There was nothing in it that said “the first person to contact me”, etc. Maybe if it was sent as a reply it would be different, and I would agree with you, but the message seemed pretty clear as a “come one, come all”.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

Make up your mind, Mike!

Oh Mike, back in 2003 you wrote that VoIP services should not be treated like traditional phone services and you wrote that any regulatory agency who thought otherwise was “confused.”

Now apparently you do want regulation on VoIP. You want the feds to treat VoIP services as good old fashion common carriers, like land lines.

What’s your real opinion on the issue, Mike?

David (profile) says:

Re: Make up your mind, Mike!

Well, this is kind of typical of Mike. He likes to take a stand and throw the topic out, I guess to generate comments and traffic, regardless of whether it’s consistent with other things he’s said.

For instance, in this very posting, he says “FreeConference is actually a big regulatory arbitrage scam”. Why does he use a service that he thinks/knows is a scam?

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Re: Make up your mind, Mike!

“For instance, in this very posting, he says “FreeConference is actually a big regulatory arbitrage scam”. Why does he use a service that he thinks/knows is a scam?”

um, because it’s free? (for Mike, anyway.)

I hate the DH rule, but if I owned an AL team, I’d sure as hell field one. It wouldn’t make me a hypocrit.

Alex Cory says:

Re: Re: Re: Make up your mind, Mike!

No one is being scammed out of money. For the major carriers, they have customers that pay an average of 5 cents a minute for the long distance service to reach the conference line (if they are typical SMB customers) or an average of about 9 cents per minute if they are residential wireless customers. The only customers that can get a ‘free’ ride are customers with unlimited minutes whose average cost per minute (whatever their flat fee is divided by their minute usage) is less than about 2 cents per minute (I think the maximum CLEC rate is about 2.2 cents per minute and only CLEC’s can participate in this business since the June 2007 ruling by the FCC that eliminated the high cost rural ILEC’s).

If you work for AT&T you would argue that any use of minutes that has termination fees takes away from their revenues and is a net loss. But that argument is just plain silly. You paid extra to get a flat fee on purpose. As long as AT&T is collecting more than it pays, it is making positive revenue, since it’s costs of transmission are actually less than a tenth of a cent…

This is a legitimate way to pay for the mandate for rural service and everyone is making money, so please stop calling it a scam…

earthsheriff (profile) says:

Connect MJ with Google Voice - SOLVED!

If you help out the Troops you can get a GV # to connect all MJ with the BEST call quality ever..(past UPSET Vonage and user also). MJ also beeps and my clients love the GV call quality. Our Troops site if http://www.TickettoHappiness.Org.
If you support our project we can get you a GV #..! Let us know..!

mjb5406 (profile) says:

Re: Connect MJ with Google Voice - SOLVED!

The site isn’t valid… and honestly, if you have or sign up for a Gmail account, then go to and sign up for Google Voice you’ll get it in a short period of time. Not sure if the URL listed is an error or just bogus, but I doubt if anyone has “connections” with Google to get a GV number faster.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: telemarketing calls

Oh bullshit, everyone i know thats tried Magic Fail, about 2 weeks later the people they call start getting calls from their Magic Fail number, say “HEY ISNT THIS NUMBER AND SERVICE GREAT! YOU SHOULD BUY IT TOO!!!!” then they get pissed when you tell them to F. off and die… if your going to hijack my stuff or my buddies stuff, i sure dont want to buy crap from you

mjb5406 (profile) says:

I wonder...

If, in fact, magicJack is not considered a Telco or a CLEC, how on earth can services like FreeConference even bill them? The only answer I can think of is that, while magicJack is not a Telco or CLEC, they have to use some CLEC to connect to the traditional phone system; if that’s the case, magicJack may, indeed, be justified in blocking the call, and it would probably be legal if they are doing so as part of their contract with the CLEC; the CLEC isn’t doing the blocking, so they are not, technically, in vioation of FCC regulations. Sounds like a pretty grey area.

Anonymous Coward says:

Business 101: don't skimp on the critical, much less, deductable items

I worry about the longterm longevity of your “blog company”.

If you’re unable to find $50 in the couch cushions to cover critical communication services, much less invest into ongoing “blog maintainability” (this probably would have thwarted your hacker a few weeks ago), I don’t know what is going to keep you going.

GoToMeeting includes a conference number service, and instead of fighting with technology, it can dramatically improve productivity.

mjb5406 (profile) says:

Re: Use or don't use it

I don’t think anyone is quibbling over that… it seems that the issue is simply with number blocking, and whether or not magicJack falls under Common Carrier rules. For $40 for the first year with the hardware, and $20 a year after that, it’s really hard to argue the economics. I’m surprised nobody has bitched about “it only works if I leave my computer on” πŸ™‚

Wise one says:

Re: Use or don't use it

Reasonably priced? Suppose it depends on the value you put on information you’ve been entrusted with by your friends and associates, and all other information that’s of a pvt nature (Bank accts, cr card numbers, pwds, etd.).

He collects all that information from all customer computers and sells it, legally. Sells for how much? Well, that depends on the buyer first. Since he’s not in any way limited what buyers to sell to, the world’s wide open to him — Al Queda, Taliban, Hezbolla, CIA, RCMP, U5, contract killers — no limits whatsoever. Who says each buyer won’t pay $10 for your name, $100+ for all available information pertaining to you?

Seems to me like he can afford to not only send out a few million MJ’s for free, but actually pay you to take ’em off his hands and still profit greater than anyone. You’ve given him your consent, and there aren’t any laws anywhere to limit his using the information within the bounds of your consent as often as he wants for any price he wants; except perhaps, maybe in the US but guess what, neither he his company nor his equipmnt is based in the US! And how much are you able to pay as retainer for one of the very few fgn law attys who won’t give you any guarantees? Assuming w/o conceding you’ll be able to find one [who he hasn’t already retained]…


Wise one says:

Re: Re: Use or don't use it

Oh, are you aware of the penalties that could be imposed upon YOU under criminal laws of almost any land for aiding and abetting HIM, just by your having consented to his distributing any and all information he selects (from your computer), to anyone he chooses if he happens to choose an entity that became listed as a terrorist organization somewhere and his contact individual has ever met or spoken with someone suspected of being a member? Remember that ours are courts of law, not justice, despite any connotations to the contrary, and there aren’t many judges in this world who give a darn about any individual.

Even if you aren’t charged with any crime, you ought to know that what justice officials in most countries (incl US and Canada) do to citizens NOT chgd with any crime can be far worse than a thousand criminal convictions! And just try crossing an int’l border somewhere sometime if you’ve ever been arrested somewhere for anything, even if you haven’t been charged let alone convicted or acquitted…

Still don’t care? Then you’re the kind of prey he wants and you deserve to be victimized.


Ian L (profile) says:

Just found out it doesn't work for me

I’ve used some sort of conference calling service on my MJ account before, but I guess it wasn’t FreeConferenceCall (or rather high-termination-fee-conference-call). Just tried and while the listen-to-a-recording number works, the join-into-a-meeting number doesn’t.

That said, what do you expect for less than $2 per month? If I REALLY need to do the whole conference call thing I’ll use another SIP provider (1.25Β’ per minute anyone? How about 1.05Β’?) or I’ll dial through Google Voice. Problem solved.

Or I could use MJ’s own conference call number.

Yes, it’s an inconvenience, but if MJ allowed calling to those services they’d lose money after maybe as little as a half-hour of calling. If they’re losing money on you, they naturally dont want you as a customer. MJ’s cost structure is ridiculously low (if I got service for $15/year elsewhere I’d barely have 100 minutes and an inbound number) so their business model can’t stand several-cent-per-minute termination charges that are split between an entity like FreeConferenceCall and some small ILEC.

To my knowledge though calls to numbers in that small ILEC other then FreeConfCall aren’t blocked, so if your grandma lives in PoDunk Telephone Cooperative land, you can still get a call through with a MagicJack.

MagicJack in effect can’t afford to be a common carrier with its price structure. If you want something that is, pay 10x the price and there you have it. It’s not like MagicJack is forcing you to use their phone service to the exclusion of all the (dozens and dozens) of VoIP providers out there, the dozen or so major cell providers and MVNOs, and the couple of landline options (telco and cableco) for VoIP. MJ does the best they can by providing a free conference calling number of their own, and quality on it is fine.

From a business perspective I’d personally play things a little differently, choosing instead to have an “international calling rate” to the conference call providers. A few cents per minute later, the problem is solved. The costs are passed on to the customer and everyone except TechDirt reporters are happy. But that’s just me.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Dur dur dur

Or MagicJack should stop their false advertising and Mike would have known their service wouldn’t work for him.

That’s the point isn’t it? MagicJack made promises that it couldn’t deliver on (for perfectly valid reasons) and it refuses to make good on their promises or even stop making those promises. That’s pretty shitty, regardless of the cost.

Bill M. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dur dur dur

False advertising? Let me get this straight. The “free” conferencing call service Mike wants to use is — by his own admission — a scam which is bilking phone companies out of perhaps millions of dollars, thanks to a loophole in a law that was intended for an entirely different purpose. The MagicJack owner has taken the time to respond here and explain that firstly their company isn’t subject to the regulations that would require them to connect you to this number, and secondly that they don’t connect you precisely because they are trying to offer an extremely low-cost service to their customers. I see the “free” conferencing call service Mike refers to as analogous to those scams which try to get you to call certain offshore numbers that cost hundreds of dollars. The only difference is that it’s the phone companies being bilked, not the end consumer. If MagicJack was blocking calls to such offshore numbers, we’d be hailing them as protecting consumers from bogus charges.

If you ask me, anyone who is using is simply aiding and abetting the unethical business policies of that company. I have no sympathy for them or anyone who’s trying to get a free ride. TANSTAAFL.

Let’s say there is a hundred or so phone numbers that MagicJack won’t connect you to. That is a tiny, less-than-half-a-percent of the phone numbers it WILL work for. I don’t think it’s reasonable for them to have a page of “fine print” in their ads that goes into the fact it won’t connect you to scam services like, etc.

It seems to me MagicJack makes good on its promises and while it’s not a service I would use, I don’t think they are being dishonest, nor do I have any sympathy for Mike or the point he’s trying to make in this post. It should be entitled, “Can a Phone Service Provider Block Calls to A Small Number of Scam Service Numbers that Will Charge So Much Money to the Phone Service Provider that it Can’t Sustain Its Business Model?”

Anonymous Coward says:

Lapse of office communication needs backup plans

Let’s face it, Mike really wants something that works on his Palm Pre. Unfortunately Palm appears to be hurting for developers, and hasn’t got around to including a voice recorder app yet. This is a total bummer because if we could attach our voice conversations to emails, we could work like a walkie-talkie! Super cool!

In the meantime, why not give “Ol’ Reliable” a shot: notepad. By that, I mean getting a 99Β’ pad of paper, a few pens, envelopes, and some stamps.

The good news is that in a week when the LA forest fires clear up and invade Utah, (hopefully this will cause Orrin Hatch pass out) and Mike will be able to continue to communicate using smoke signals again.

Anonymous Coward says:

OK so the short of it is that Magic Jack blocks services that require them to make a payment to use. Not unreasonable for something that is free to use. I wonder how the conference call services bill the Verizons of the world and where the Verizons bill you.

Mike should get a USB based microphone that converts his voice to digital before it goes into the computer.

Steve R. (profile) says:

The Real Implications

This may be a little story, but its a harbinger of what could happen at the grand scale if we do not have network neutrality. I can just envision each ISP channeling their customer only through “approved” affiliates and partners. Not a member of the approved channel, too bad, no connection for you. As an extra benefit, as you pass-through each portal, you will be entitled to pay a convenience fee for accessing the partner ISP.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Still lying...

I would be fine with their policy on FreeConference calls, or any other type of expensive usage, if they just stated that. Something along the lines of, ‘At this time, we cannot facilitate the use of or other such services because of their expense. However, we do offer an alternate service….”. But that’s not what they’re doing. They are still lying to customers today. Here is the transcript of the chat session I JUST had with Brent from MagicJack:

Chat InformationPlease wait for a site operator to respond.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Brent’

Chat InformationYour Issue ID for this chat is LTK419077123605X

Brent: Hello, how may I help you?

Rose M. Welch: Hi, Brent. I saw the commercial on television and I had a few questions.

Rose M. Welch: Are there any limits to using MagicJack in the US? Like, can I only call other MagicJack users or what?

Brent: Thank you for bringing up your concern to us. Let me assist you with this.

Brent: There are no limits on calls to US and Canadian numbers, Rose and they are absolutely free and unlimited.

Rose M. Welch: So there aren’t any numbers that I can’t call and use?

Rose M. Welch: Does MagicJack have caller id, *69, or any of those kinds of features?

Brent: Use you are correct on that.

Brent: Yes**

Rose M. Welch: I would be using it for my business that I run from home. What is the caller id going to say when I call people?

Brent: Yes, magicJack has a caller ID feature but it has no feature for *69, Rose.

Brent: Caller ID feature availability will depend on the phone that you are using. Some customers will see the number repeated twice on the phone (for cordless), while others may only see the numbers and not the names.

Rose M. Welch: Okay, but it won’t say MagicJack or anything like that, right?

Brent: Yes, you are correct on that.

Rose M. Welch: What about 3-way or conference calls? Are there any known issues with using those kinds of features?

Brent: Yes, magicJack supports 3-way calling when you have 2 incoming calls. When you have two incoming calls (one on hold), press ## to start a three-way call. Press #* to end the three-way call.

Brent: As of the moment, we have no records on issues for 3-way or conference calling.

Rose M. Welch: Okay, cool. Thank you very much, Brent. Have a nice evening.

Brent: You are most welcome.

Brent: It’s my pleasure to assist you.

Brent: Have a great evening ahead and take care.

Brent: Thank you for stopping by to chat, I hope I did a good job at addressing your concerns. Please take a second to answer a one question survey about the service I provided. Please click the “CLOSE” button on the top right of this screen and the survey will appear. Thanks again!

Brent: Please click the “CLOSE” button on the top right of this screen and the survey will appear. Thanks again!

Jeremy says:

RE: Still Lying

Wow. Apparently not ballsy enough to just ask, “Does your service work with”

I was though. Here’s the transcript (mind you I had to deal with repetitive “click button” answers these “online chat” support services use). Seems like if you do ask them a specific question they actually will give you a specific answer . .

Chat InformationPlease wait for a site operator to respond.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Kiefer’

Chat InformationYour Issue ID for this chat is LTK419077128174X

Kiefer: Hello, how may I help you?

Jeremy: Hi. Does your service have a problem/compatibility issue with

Jeremy: ?

Kiefer: Thank you for bringing your concern to us.

Kiefer: Please allow me to assist you.

Kiefer: Please wait while I check that for you

Kiefer: Please dial 305-848-8888. A voice prompt will say “Welcome to the magicJack Free Conference Service. Press 1 to join a conference room, press 2 to register a new conference room.”

Kiefer: If you enter (2) the voice prompt will say “Your conference room will be assigned based on a three digit PIN plus the last 7 digits of your magicJack phone number, please enter your 3 digit PIN number.”

(removed repetitive “pushbutton answers” giving me same instructions to use magic jack conference call service)

Jeremy: Sounds like the magic jack instructions for me to create a conference call. I need to use Can I use (a yes or no answer would suffice).

Jeremy: ?

Kiefer: No, Jeremy. Please dial 305-848-8888 to join conference calling.

Jeremy: Thanks

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: RE: Still Lying

Why would I? I wanted to know what they were telling prospective customers, not prospective investigative reporters. They told you no, but they told me that there were NO limits on calls and NO records on issues for conference calling. That’s pretty contradictory and was exactly my point. They are still lying to people.

Bill M. (profile) says:

Re: Re: RE: Still Lying

You’re still missing the point, Rose. We don’t know of any other phone number that MagicJack blocks other than You are wanting MagickJack to put on their television ads, web site, pre-sales chat line, and everywhere else they promote themselves that they don’t allow calls to this scam conference calling service? That is ridiculous.

We also don’t know if any mainstream carriers like AT&T are blocking numbers, I bet they are (for one reason or another).

Not only does it needlessly take away from the practical truth that they allow unlimited calls to any US/Canadian number, but it essentially advertises this bogus “free” conference service. Even if there were 100 such numbers that they block, for various reasons, it still would be 99.99998% of the numbers available in those two countries (assuming at least 500 million numbers).

As for your less-than-direct online chat with MJ, most people think of “conference calling” as a 3-way call they initiate on their own phone or a legitimate 3rd-party service. In which case, their answer to you was just fine. I’m really happy to see that a direct question about a specific service is answered correctly by the online chat people.

I don’t use MagicJack because I don’t like the USB-connection scheme, installing software, keeping my computer on all the time, and (newly discovered) the idea they might put advertising on my screen. However, it seems to be a great option for people who want to use conventional phone equipment and pay even less than Skype for their calls. I simply can’t fault them for blocking access to numbers like which have usury connection fees, even if at the same time they are advertising “call anyone in the US or Canada.”

Why aren’t you more steamed at for not disclosing their business model and the fact that some networks “aren’t compatible” with them?

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: RE: Still Lying

Let’s quit talking about the FCC and start talking about the FTC. πŸ™‚

According to the FTC’s Deception Policy Statement, an ad is deceptive if it contains a statement or omits information that is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and is ‘material’ -that is, important- to a consumer’s decision to buy or use the product.

Consumers obviously view this as important, or it wouldn’t be all over the Internet. FreeConference is a hugely popular service and not being able to use it with MagicJack is very important. Remember that users could use FreeConference until a recent update. They removed that functionality.

The FTC also says that no statement should be used in any advertisement which creates a false impression of the usability of the product offered. Even though the true facts are subsequently made known to the buyer, the law is violated if the first contact or interview is secured by deception. In other words, 100% means 100%. Unlimited means unlimited. It doesn’t mean 99.9% or with some limits.

I asked questions that a reasonable buyer would ask, to hear what they would say to a reasonable buyer. It’s their job to disclose the information that I asked for. They should have told me that, no, there were some known issues with some conference services and that calls were not unlimited. To do otherwise is misleading, deceptive, and illegal. πŸ™‚

Oh, also, FreeConference’s business model is hardly secret. Where did you get that idea?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 RE: Still Lying (Rose the Retard)

First, if you think the service is going to work the same way a regular phone service works. You need to hook it up to a computer and use high speed intrawebs to make it work. Next, you need to leave the computer on. After that, if your DSL goes down, remember it’s not MagicJack’s fault that you can’t make calls.

Given that it’s obviously a service with limitations, why do you enter into an expectation that it should work at 100%.

MagicJack’s site says that it also doesn’t allow for Calling Party-Pays services. Normally these are 1-976 or 1-900 calls, and whatever scheme that FreeConference uses is in my mind, is a CPP service. Besides, who knows, maybe MagicJack’s upstream provider disallows CPP services.

So all MagicJack needs to do is say “Service will not work with 1-900, 1-976 and certain teleconference providers” as many VoIP services do.

But the rub comes from how you and Mike completely discount MagicJack being willing to offer a similar conference service with equal functionality at no cost to its users.

Secondly, Mike should absolutely share the blame. For someone to overlook “Hey, this hooks up to my computer, I better try it before the call and perhaps do a dry-run” before the actual call seems very hurried and short-sighted.

Next thing you know, Rose will whine that MagicJack’s 411 service doesn’t give the same order of results as your home phone, or Rose didn’t know that SMS services advertised late at night weren’t actually free.

Same victim mentality. Get real.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 RE: Still Lying (Rose the Retard)

Umm… How in the world is FreeConference a Calling Party Pays service? The calling party doesn’t pay. At all. Ever. That pretty much makes it NOT a CPP service.

Further, if the service provider flat-out tells you that there are no limitations, why should I expect there to be limitations? When they advertise it and you chat them and ask them and they still deny having any limitations, should you still expect limitations? And at what point is it okay (in your opinion) to accept what they tell you?

You seem to think that I want MagicJack to stop blocking FreeConference. I don’t think they should do that. What I want is for them to be honest about their services. It’s cheap enough to not piss people off if you’re just upfront with them.

If they were honest about it, people like Mike could advise their clients to use a different service when making the appointment, as opposed to screwing everything up across time zones when you go to enter the conference.

It seems like you think that people have to have a paranoid mentality or a victim mentality. Which are you, Coward? Lol, I guess being called a victim is the new being called a Nazi. πŸ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 RE: Still Lying (Rose the Retard)

What the hell does a failed conference call have to do with Nazis? Now your being a retard *and* an ass. Wow. This is one for the books: Godwins law as it applies to a $20 phone adapter.

In all reality, Mike’s whining about how a $20 service doesn’t meet his expectations. That’s really like whining about a pizza order, and pepperoni being on all the pizza except the pieces he got.

>>> If they were honest about
>>> it, people like Mike could
>>> advise their clients to use
>>> a different service when
>>> making the appointment, as
>>> opposed to screwing everything
>>> up across time zones when you
>>> go to enter the conference.

Yup. Your Right!

From the original article:
>>>> Every Friday we have a staff call at Floor64.

Maybe I am absolutely dumb, or a complete idiot and fool, but as the moderator or host, you should make sure it works with your own setup, right? What Mike originally described is like trying to give a PowerPoint Presentation on a computer without PowerPoint, and somehow he’s trying to tell you that it’s Dell’s Fault.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 RE: Still Lying (Rose the Retard)

You obviously haven’t done any research at all. Maybe Mike is whining and maybe he isn’t. I don’t really care. Mike is (obviously) not the only MagicJack user so why should we take his experience as the be-all/end-all of the debate? If you run a search for MagicJack, you will find tons of people complaining about the following:

MagicJack worked just fine with FreeConference until recently. Lots of people tried it out, found that it worked for them, and purchased it. Then all of the sudden, after an update, they started having issues. They called in and kept being told that there were no issues, just call this other number. Now we find out that MagicJack removed functionality for a perfectly valid reason, but failed to alert customers of the upcoming change, failed to change their site information, and are still failing to tell the truth about their now-limited functionality.

Don’t those customers have a right to be upset? Don’t prospective customers who are being lied to have a right to be upset? Are all of those people whiny retards as well? Or are you just an idiot?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 RE: Still Lying (Rose the Retard)

No, I have done research. I am more amazed at the number of people who feel they’ve been somehow “wronged” and fire up their blogs and start whining about how they’ve a victim of a $20 piece of technology.

Remember the $19.99 antenna boosters? Hell… Compare that.

Personally, I’ve been wronged by $7,000 pieces of technology, singular services costing upwards $2,000 in a single sitting. I’ve also bought hundreds of $20 toys that have not met my expectation.

I highly reccomend the Jawbone bluetooth headset. This thing is amazing. I’ve never been so impressed since buying an iPhone.

Also, I’ve invested first-round funding for 20+ businesses that my investment was spent on booze and hookers and did not work out, and I just shook my head in amazement.

For a company who proudly boasts on their front page “Shut Us Up for $100 Million” I’d expect something a little more concrete than the top commented article being something about not making phone calls.

Christ Almighty. Why not just pick up a cell phone? Problem solved, and you’re on your way.

What do these unhappy customers with their fancy blogs really want? An included pre-paid return shipping label with their order? Heck, it’s tough these days.

Let me tell you this: I absolutely applaud Dan. We need more and better inventors like him that can actually bring a product to market. If he gave a 30 day return time, and increased the price of the hardware to $75.00 to cover the operational costs and 15% return rate, it could also filter out the sub-prime folks so the blogs go away.

Griff (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Where did my comment go ?

I spent ages typing that and only got the first line !

Anyway, agree with the guy that says “use a cellphone Mike”.

And the guy who says the the MJ CEO was ballsy sticking his head above the parapet in a hostile blog.

He’s at least out there doing it, not just sitting somewhere comfortable flinging mud.

Nitrous says:

Re: Re: Re:7 RE: Still Lying (Rose the Retard)

Wow. Anonymous Coward, you are a salesmen’s dream. Can sell you anything and not worry about you coming back when it doesn’t do what he told you it could do. Hey, let me sell you something for a grand, and tell you it does all these great things. Even though I know flat out that one specific thing you asked for can’t be done. Your branding of anonymous coward fits well. What would you do if you were sold a keyboard that the letter “A” didn’t work on and you were told to use the “@” symbol instead. I guess you would accept it and move one.

I could care less about the problem with magicjack not using that conference service. It would anger me in anywya or keep me from buying it. However, that said, I would be pretty upset if I used that service and bought the product under false pretense. Not only that, I would have every right to be upset with it whether you think so or not.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: RE: Still Lying

No failure. A customer doesn’t have the same responsibilities as a business does. In this case, the business has a duty (both morally and legally) to disclose any information that could impact my buying decision. What does it matter if I’ve read product reviews or not? I shouldn’t have to disclose that when asking them to provide or confirm information.

Walt says:

What about the real telcos?

It’s my understanding that these “free” conference calls are somehow entangled with small phone companies, and the phone companies kick back some of the exorbitant interconnect fees those small companies can get from the big boys to make money for both of them.

But there are actually just small phone companies that have high interconnect rates without the free conference call scam. My mom is serviced by one of them. I don’t think their service area is even an entire county.

At one time I had long distance service that had a variable per-minute rate based on their call cost. You never really knew what you were going to pay for a call, but on average it was really low. Calls to mom were the most expensive calls I made.

So can I use MagicJack to call mom? Or is she too expensive too?

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“I think it was both gutsy and forthcoming for the magic jack guy to actually respond to the blog. You have to hand it to him that he had an actual reason for his actions and shared them with the community, a lot of people put on the hot seat dont do that. We should applaud him for that.”

I’ll second that.

Rose M. Welch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yeah, but he doesn’t have the guts to put a statement on his site, or to tell prospective or complaining customers what the issue is. I think if they HAD told (and wouldn continue to tell, or even start to tell) everyone who called, ‘Sorry, we can’t provide a connection to that service because of this good reason.’, THAT would be gutsy and forthcoming.

Responding to ONE blog is just not enough.

DaveV says:

unable to reach a conference call

I like magicjack. BUT… I was shocked when I had to be on a conference call and magicjack would not let me make the call.
I got the same message as everyone else but I am not in control of what number someone sets up for their conference call. This is a major inconvenience. Everything I liked about magicjack seemed to dissipate into thin air when I was not allowed to use it for an online meeting with others.
I hope the situation is resolved soon but a lot of damage to the company’s credibility has already been caused. It is a shame because the service had been great.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Look into the Open Source Alternative

There’s an old joke that “a business consultant is someone you pay to borrow your watch to tell you what time it is.” I think that applies in considerable measure to VOIP providers. They often tend not to do a whole lot more than operating a nameserver, and providing proprietary software which does not follow open standards. If they provide telephone connectivity or bandwidth at all, it is likely to be on a meager scale. They rely on most of their customers to have high-speed internet connections at both ends, and to install the software at both ends.

Particularly if you are doing conference calls in-house, you ought to look into Ekiga (formerly GnomeMeeting). It’s a H. 323 implementation, similar to the old Microsoft NetMeeting software, with which it is partly compatible. Ekiga is open-source (GPL), and built into the major Linux distributions, and there’s a Windows version. I’ve read about Ekiga, and played with the Linux client without connecting to anyone, but I haven’t actually used it to connect across the internet, so the following should be taken with qualifications. Ekiga has the essential minimum of teleconferencing capabilities, video, voice, address books, and instant messenger (chat, which you can use to pass around e-mail addresses and URL’s). You can set up your own in-house nameserver, and not have to rely on outsiders.

Ekiga does not have some of the advanced features which Microsoft NetMeeting had, viz. a shared whiteboard, file transfers, application sharing, and the ability to operate another computer by remote control. These latter capabilities of Microsoft NetMeeting must have been designed primarily for tech support people, to enable them to reach out over the internet and show customers how to use Windows. Of course, as matters turned out, the kind of conditions where users need help are things like device driver issues, where basic system functionality is messed up. NetMeeting rather reminds me of Frederick Brooks’ observations about the IBM OS/360 link-editor, that it was an exercise in gold-plating an obsolete device. NetMeeting might have an advantage for teaching certain types of subjects, dealing with the kinds of students who cannot or will not learn from books.

A dongle which plugs a telephone into a USB port might be worth ten dollars in outright purchase. It doesn’t seem an adequate reason for locking into a whole package.

zerojj says:

Unfair to magicjack?

Detailed explanation of how FreeConferenceCall is “free”
What’s With the 712 Area Code? | Alec Saunders SquawkBox

Seems like this TD article is bit unfair to MagicJack (not that I’m a big fan of MJ)

Another interesting scam of LD rate differences:
Phil Factor’s Phrenetic Phoughts : Never Alienate your DBAs

zerojj says:

skype - did you try mic boost?

this may be obvious to the original poster, but did you try enabling “mic boost” on your microphone’s input? Sometimes this has done the trick for me on some computers.

Also, found this old entry on freeconferencecall’s own blog, where several comments suggest that other major carriers have blocked calls to them (perhaps due to the “rate gaming” that they are doing)

Fake Dana Carvey says:

Whelp, someone claiming to be former CEO of FreeConfrence weighed in.

I’m really trying to hold myself back here, and I hate to sound like Dana Carvey as he played the Church Lady from “Saturday Night Live” but why not:

“Now, isn’t that special.”

Whisper To Dan:
File bankruptcy on Monday. Apparently Mike is mad that his slices of pizza didn’t have any pepperoni, and he is going to use all his power to fuck with you for the next two years, even though he’s probably a secret jew and doesn’t have a US birth certificate.

Just look at what Mike did to Phorm. He just kept writing crap about them, and writing crap about them, and writing crap about them.

Give Mike his money back, and call it a day. Call him today. You obviously pissed him off more than anyone else I’ve seen because he hasn’t chimed in yet.

W.Brennan says:

30 Day Free Trial? More like 28 Day Scam!

I signed up for the 30 day trial on 8/7/09. Basically, I found the product lacking and realized it was not going to meet my needs. I requested a return authorization an on 8/31. The RMA was granted without incident. I mailed the product back on September 2nd (well before the September 14th deadline I was given in the RMA email). Guess what? They charged my card anyway on September 5th!!!

The billing support chat I attempted was entirely unhelpful. That left me no choice but to dispute the charge with my credit card. The next step will be to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Seriously I blame myself for not knowing this was a scam. You can’t even uninstall the software. That should tell you something right there!

Richard Whitney (profile) says:

Magic Jack

Gene Gaines: agreed. I have the same telco profile as you, with the exception of Vonage (I used Vonage during its first two years, just didn’t need it any more). Magic Jack has been easy to use, reliable and most economical. I have been using Magic Jack since the beginning of 2008, and I make at least 10 calls per day using it. Some of those calls are international calls, and all are made with no problem.
Early on, there were people who stumbled onto Magic Jack who had problems. Sometimes it was their USB port, but it was always their relationship to technology. They were the folks who had endless problems with everything they ever tried to install, and were the typical end users that IT support folks have names for.
The posts here follow a certain template. The fringe wants Magic Jack to work on Linux and BeOS. What mainstream start-up is going to deliver to that cult first? The sanctimonious want to indict Magic Jack for lying. Listen, if it doesn’t work for you, return it and go far away. And take something for your chronic pain.
The population wants to be free of Ma Bell, but wants all the trappings of the Bell System. That was then, this is now. You can still have a corded phone from Verizon and pay for everything they can itemize, and then you can call 976-numbers and freeconference all you want.

J. Williams says:

MagicJack and CLEC

While I agree that providers should not be forced to pay the insanely high termination fees for these scams, the claimed MJ CEO has left out what may be a useful bit of information in this scenario.

MagicJack is not a CLEC. It uses YMAX for its connections. If you check out website, you find that Mr. MagicJack is its founder, although another is listed below him as CEO.

So, this may be a little technical game where YMAX, as the CLEC, does not refuse to connect the calls, but does not need to since MagicJack, which may be technically allowed to block them, does.

Interestingly, I can connect to numbers with my MagicJack. Either things have changed in the past few days or my line is glitching.

Wise one says:

Re: You might even be able to file a complaint online of the FCC's own web site!)

No, there’s a difference between Reply and Respond. Any reply from any gov’t agency will NOT be to any extent responsive to anything mentioned in your communication to them.

We don’t want to know how appreciated our letters are, nor the agencies’ purpose. That is not responsiveness.


David B (profile) says:

MJ conference calling


I have to comment, my MJ did this to me on an important call a couple weeks ago, and I was really pissed. Like many of you said tech support was no use and couldn’t even really comprehend why I couldn’t use their free conf service instead.

I tried again last week and now my conference calling numbers are working! Still works tonight. (

Maybe Dan’s (inventor) explanation about connecting is correct, but it would be nice if they had some info on the issue to give rather than just pissing off their customers.

LOUIS says:


Steve from Ohio says:

Re: Re:

Magic Jack advertises to companies to save money by buying their device and paying the $19.95 a year and saving all kinds of money for companies both large and small.

Me thinks your criticism of the complaint is way off.

The company advertises for companies to use their device. They tell them it works. And then they find out that it does not.

Magic Jack will get sued if enough people complain and will have to reinstate. It will only happen if people get together and complain to the FCC.

Steve from Ohio says:

Re: Re:

Magic Jack advertises to companies to save money by buying their device and paying the $19.95 a year and saving all kinds of money for companies both large and small.

Me thinks your criticism of the complaint is way off.

The company advertises for companies to use their device. They tell them it works. And then they find out that it does not.

Magic Jack will get sued if enough people complain and will have to reinstate. It will only happen if people get together and complain to the FCC.

Ben says:


You guys are riddiculus. Yes its frustrating that we cant dial into gotomeeting or other such service. But you clearly dont know how phones work, or VoiP for that matter.

lets state some facts here.

customers save themselves a riddiculus amount of money.
customers can call pretty much whoever the hell they want with the exception of a few businesses who deny the magicjack service
magicjack bends over backwards for customers to be able to make next-to-free phone calls that other companies would charge out the rear end for
magicjack does not block these companys, the companys are blocking magicjack.
all the complainers are free to keep spending 600$ a year on a phone service that is barely better then magicjack that charges 20$ a year…

now lets state some speculation of mine:

magicjack would keep their customers, even if they trippled their prices… i would pay 60, 100, even 200 a year for this service, because its worth it, and still a fraction of the alternative. but they dont. finally a good company whose trying to do right comes out, stops people from being robed, and you guys are throwing rocks at them.. awesome..

im also willing to bet that 80+% of complains, are the highway-robbing phone companies afraid to loose business.

you guys, really do suck…. thank you magicjack

Ben says:


oh ive done some math, this is interesting…

how many employees do you think magicjack has? betoween engineers, operators, customer service, management, sales, advertising, client services, maitnence, quality assurance, etc etc… im going to go with an extremely low number being 500, and im sure its actually ALOT more then that.

NOW 500 employees working 40 hours a week for 48 weeks in a year.. lets pretend magic jack is stingy and is paying them ALL 7.50$ an hour (minimum wage where i live) thats 7,200,000$ paid in payroll alone

magic jack says that have 4,000,000 customers, that pay 20$ a year which is 80,000,000 a year. we are left with 72,800,000

what are they spending in advertising? The average commercial production cost falls into the $150,000 to $350,000 range.

thats production alone folks…

so now we are down to roughly 72,550,000

The standard half-hour of television contains 22 minutes of program and 8 minutes of commercials – 6 minutes for national advertising and 2 minutes for local. National advertising is obviously your most expensive option, but even then the rates vary by Nielsen-rated viewership. Highly-watched programs can command rates in the millions of dollars. For example, a 30-second spot during the 2005 Superbowl sold for $2.4 million. Commercials during less-watched programs are more affordable, but the cost of those commercials may still run in excess of $100,000 per 30-seconds.


thats in 73,000,000 advertised airing alone.

oh noes! were at

-450,000$ where did our profit go!

guys im not done yet. i can go on forever. a large business website costs about 10,000$ TO PRODUCE let alone hosting it, theres access charges everytime you call someone, theirs the cost of their home office, be it morgage or rent, and all the things they need in their office to keep it running (utilites etc) theres workmans comp. for all their employees, theres a metric fuckton of business taxes, theirs the money they pay the credit card companies too be able to charge peoples credit cards for their service, theirs a legal team, and it goes on and on and on and on….

and here you guys are asking them why they are not paying out the rear to connect you to a service that they are going to pay MILLIONS for.

guess who the number 7 most profitable company in 2009 was? At@t with a whopping 12,867,000,000 in PURE PROFIT.

ill say it again, you guys are jerks…

Kris says:

Magic Jack

Magic Jack is a excellent and low cost option for phone calls, unless the telcos can lobby / bribe cpngress into charging fees.

The only problem i had with my Magic Jack was it didnt run perfect on XP, nor did it support Linux Debian, Linux will be the future of PC loaded software.

The Magic Jack is working perfect with Win 7.

Also I would like to give Magic Jack Inventor a huge HIGH FIVE for coming directly to the public and dealing with us person to person!

I have never seen this before..

Good work inventor, oh, if you could give us a way to block numbers we dont like it would be great, and maybe give us an option to remove Advertising.

Kris says:

Magic Jack

Magic Jack is a excellent and low cost option for phone calls, unless the telcos can lobby / bribe cpngress into charging fees.

The only problem i had with my Magic Jack was it didnt run perfect on XP, nor did it support Linux Debian, Linux will be the future of PC loaded software.

The Magic Jack is working perfect with Win 7.

Also I would like to give Magic Jack Inventor a huge HIGH FIVE for coming directly to the public and dealing with us person to person!

I have never seen this before..

Good work inventor, oh, if you could give us a way to block numbers we dont like it would be great, and maybe give us an option to remove Advertising.

Mark says:

Majicjack farce

What this inventor and CEO of majickjack seems to claim is not entirely true.

The DO know which Area Codes and Prefixes are subject to higher settlement fees and in fact do not block them!

They do know that most of the conferencing services do not take advantage of these rural area codes and prefixes, and still block them.

Majicjack is only trying to promote THEIR conferencing services probably because they themselves offer area codes / prefixes with higher settlement fees that they can charge other carriers.

Majickjack is NOT a sustainable model once they stop selling dongles, which I am sure they eventually will if not already seen a slow down in those sales. Of course users having to BUY new dongles that seem to fail frequently for no reason seem to help the current model.

Zee (profile) says:

Don't rely on MagicJack

MJ is a good product, an excellent invention that will eventually pave way for other great inventions but at $20 a year, please don’t rely for it as your all in one telecommunication tool. I mean get a back up or make MJ your back up. A $20 back up phone is perfect especially for travelers.

I do have my main VoIP service from Onesuite but I also have MJ. Everyone needs a back up specially when it comes to VoIP.

I also use Google Voice and its useful from time to time.

Bottom line, don’t expect the earth and sky for $20/year.

anna says:

WARNING - MagicJack hijacks desktops!

Whenever I open my computer, anticipating the gorgeous picture I put on my destop, I am assaulted with a big Magic Jack ad immediately! Not one of my other many programs has the audacity to perform this extremely rude behavior.

And it won’t go away!

When I contacted MJ, I got a very arrogant not-so-custumer-service-rep who asked if I read the TOS on this. Wasn’t she surprised when I said, “yes” and could you show me where it described this rude behavior? Because I would not have accepted this.

Later, after she pretended to escalate me to another rep (herself) she admitted the lie. It is not mentioned in the TOS.

I give this company a very low score on the integrity scale.

NN says:

Solved MagicJack conf. call block with workaround....

Go to Google Voice and set up a free account.
Enter your MagicJack number as the contact phone.
After the verification process, create a new contact for the conference call number and hit “call.”

In a second or two, Google calls your magicjack number and connects you to the conference call — like MAGIC….!!!!
Google bypasses MagicJack greed…!!!

DougieO says:

Re: Solved MagicJack conf. call block with workaround....

I managed to do the same for call to a county government agency that MagicJack was blocking with the conference call message. However, I have not had great success overall with MagicJack & Google Voice integration. Together, the two would be perfect, but I’ve had a number of dropped calls or people can’t hear me or vice-versa. Anyone experience the same of have a solution? Thanks!

Frank Fone (profile) says:

Magicjack Blocking calling cards and more

Mr. Borislow: I hope you still;; read this site. Today, after buying as many 10 MJ’s for friends and families and using the MJ for almost 2 years, I found out that you are blocking calls to long distance companies and calling cards. I’m very disappointed. You make millions with this product, why can we, the “little people” enjoy calling with lower rates internationally than the ones you offer? You advertise call any number ion the US and Canada for free, but you block the numbers that compete with you. I bought your product in good faith. You even had video interview where you said that the profit margin at $ 19.95 was so great, that you were almost ashamed to charge “that much” a year ( Telephony Magazine)
Today I got the recording after calling my regular long distance company access number that, if I wanted to call long distance. I should pay Magicjack. Well. I did pay Magicjack for unlimited US calling.
Thank you very much for unblocking all the blocked #’s

Hope your daughter and the dogs are doing well.



Magicblocker says:

List of blocked exchanges we found so far or MJ

207-235-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Carrabasset, ME
[note ? 207-235-4xxx = CRC Communications of Maine, Inc. in Carrabasset, ME]
207-237-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Bigelow, ME
207-246-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Stratton, ME
*207-265-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Kingfield, ME
[note ? 207-265-6xxx are Verizon cell phones in Kingfield, ME ? not sure if these are blocked?]
207-297-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Coburn Gore, ME
207-338-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NO NEW ENGLAND TEL OP DBA FAIRPOINT COMM – ME (Fairpoint) in Belfast, ME
207-368-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NO NEW ENGLAND TEL OP DBA FAIRPOINT COMM – ME (Fairpoint) in Newport, ME
207-444-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Northland Telephone of Maine in Eagle Lake [Ft. Kent], ME
207-474-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NO NEW ENGLAND TEL OP DBA FAIRPOINT COMM – ME (Fairpoint) in Skowhegan, ME
*207-566-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset elephone/TDSTelecom in Embden Lake, ME
[note – ? 207-566-4xxx = CRC Communications of Maine, Inc. in Embden Lake, ME]
207-585-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Weld, ME
207-589-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Northland Telephone of Maine in Liberty, ME
207-628-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in North New Portland, ME
207-634-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Norridgewock, ME
207-635-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in North Anson, ME
207-639-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Phillips, ME
207-643-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Solon, ME
207-652-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in New Vineyard, ME
207-667-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NO NEW ENGLAND TEL OP DBA FAIRPOINT COMM – ME (Fairpoint) in Ellsworth, ME
207-674-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Oxford County Telephone & Telegraph Co – West Paris, ME

207-684-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Somerset Telephone/TDSTelecom in Strong, ME
207-732-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Mid Maine Telecom in West Enfield, ME
207-757-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Northland Telephone of Maine in Sherman Mills, ME
207-785-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Tidewater Telecom in Union, ME
207-834-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Northland Telephone of Maine in Fort Kent, ME
207-945-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NO NEW ENGLAND TEL OP DBA FAIRPOINT COMM – ME (Fairpoint) in Bangor, ME
207-948-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Unity Telephone Co in Unity, ME

[note ? original info was in error; used correct info for prefix given ? not sure if this is really blocked?]

218-238-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Loretel Systems Inc. in Lake Park, MN
218-332-xxxx {BLOCKED] = Onvoy, Inc. in Fergus Falls, MN
[Note: 218-332-5xxx= Onvoy, Inc. in Fergus Falls, MN]
[ 218-332-7xxx = 360Networks (USA) Inc.- MN (360 Networks) in Fergus Falls, MN]
218-334-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Loretel Systems Inc. in Frazee, MN
218-335-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Cass Lake, MN
218-346-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Perham, MN
[Note: 218-335-5xxx = Onvoy, Inc. in Cass Lake, MN]
218-356-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Twin Valley ? Ulen Telephone Co., Inc. in Gary, MN
218-363-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Longville, MN
218-367-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Ottertail, MN
218-375-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Callaway Telephone Exchange in Callaway, MN
218-385-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in New York Mills, MN
218-439-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Loretel Systems Inc. in Audubon, MN
218-462-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Deer Creek, MN
218-473-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Twin Valley ? Ulen Telephone Co., Inc. in Waubun, MN
218-483-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Hawley, MN
[ 218-483-7xxx = 360Networks (USA) Inc.- MN (360 Networks) in Hawley, MN]
218-547-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Walker, MN
218-573-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Osage, MN
218-583-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Henning, MN
{Note: 218-583-1xxx = Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless MN (Verizon) in Henning, MN]
[ 218-583-7xxx = 360Networks (USA) Inc.- MN (360 Networks) in Henning, MN]
218-584-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Twin Valley ? Ulen Telephone Co., Inc. in Twin Valley, MN
218-596-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Twin Valley ? Ulen Telephone Co., Inc. in Ulen, MN
218-631-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Wadena, MN
[Note: 218-631-6xxx = CLEC, LLC ? MN in Wadena, MN]
[ 218-631-8xxx = Level 3 Communications, LLC ? MN in Wadena, MN]
218-652-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Nevis, MN
218-675-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Arvig Telephone Co. in Hackensack, MN
218-732 -xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Park Rapids, MN
218-758-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Dent, MN
218-844-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Tekster Communications, Inc. in Detroit Lakes, MN
218-846-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Detroit Lakes, MN
[Note: 218-846-8xxx = Onvoy, Inc. in Detroit Lakes, MN]
218-847-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Detroit Lakes, MN
218-863-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Loretel Systems Inc. in Pelican Rapids, MN
218-864-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Battle Lake, MN
218-894-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Staples, MN
[Note: 218-894-6xxx = Onvoy, Inc. in Staples, MN]
[ 218-894-7xxx = Level 3 Communications, LLC ? MN in Staples, MN]
[ 218-894-8xxx = Qwest Corporation in Staples, MN]
218-924-xxxx [BLOCKED] = East Otter Tail Telephone Co. in Bertha, MN
218-935-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Qwest Corporation in Mahnomen, MN
[Note: 218-935-1xxx = Level 3 Communications, LLC ? MN in Mahnomen, MN]
[ 218-935-3xxx = Onvoy, Inc. in Mahnomen, MN]
[ 218-935-7xxx = 360Networks (USA) Inc.- MN (360 Networks) in Mahnomen, MN]
218-983-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Twin Valley ? Ulen Telephone Co., Inc. in White Earth, MN
219-345-XXXX [Blocked]Netnitco Lake Village, IN
251-540-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Fort Morgan, AL
251-945-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Silverhill, AL
251-942-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Robertsdale, AL
251-946-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Seminole, AL
251-947-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Robertsdale, AL
251-948-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Gulf Shores, AL
251-949-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Bon Secour, AL
251-955-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Foley, AL
251-960-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Loxley, AL
251-964-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Loxley, AL
251-965-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Magnolia Springs, AL
251-967-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Gulf Shores, AL
251-968-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Gulf Shores, AL
251-974-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Orange Beach, AL
251-980-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Orange Beach, AL
251-981-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Orange Beach, AL
251-986-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Elberta, AL
251-987-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Elberta, AL
251-988-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Summerdale, AL
251-989-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Gulf Telephone Co. dba Centurylink in Summerdale, AL

270-396-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Brandenburg Phone Co. in Clarkson, KY
270-397-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Brandenburg Phone Co. in Leitchfield, KY
270-580-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Brandenburg Phone Co. in Hardinsburg, KY
270-902-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Brandenburg Phone Co. in McDaniels, KY
270-949-xxxx [WORKING] = Brandenburg Phone Co. in South Hardin, KY
270-982-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Brandenburg Phone Co. in Elizabethtown, KY

304-643-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Armstrong Telephone Co. in Harrisville, WV
304-869-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Armstrong Telephone Co. in Ellenboro, WV

315-265-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Verizon NY (Verizon) in Potsdam, NY

319-293-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Van Buren Telco in Keosauqua, Iowa
319-592-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Van Buren Telco in Bonaparte, Iowa
[Notes: 319-668-0xxx IOWA WIRELESS SERVICES, LP in Williamsburg, IA]
[ 319-668-4xxx MCC TELEPHONY OF IOWA, LLC in Williamsburg, IA]
[ 319-668-7 SPRINT COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY, L.P. – IA (Sprint) in Williamsburg, IA]
319-863-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Iowa Telecom (Now Windstream) in Washington, IA

320-676-xxxx [BLOCKED] = CITIZENS TELECOM CO MN-FRONTIER CITIZENS COM-MN (Frontier Communications) in Isle, MN
320-684-xxxx [BLOCKED] = CITIZENS TELECOM CO MN-FRONTIER CITIZENS COM-MN (Frontier Communications) in Malmo, MNin Pittsburgh, PA
[412-254-1xxx = Fibernet Telecommunications of Pennsylvania LLC ? PA in Pittsburgh, PA]
[412-254-3xxx = CLEC, LLC ? PA in Pittsburgh, PA]
[412-254-4xxx = CLEC, LLC ? PA in Pittsburgh, PA]
[412-254-5xxx = Compartners, LLC ? PA in Pittsburgh, PA]
[412-254-6xxx = CLEC, LLC ? PA in Pittsburgh, PA]
[412-254-7xxx = Nextel Communications, Inc. (Sprint) in Pittsburgh, PA]
[412-254-8xxx = Level 3 Communications, Inc. – PA in Pittsburgh, PA]
[412-254-9xxx = XO Communications Services, Inc. – PA in Pittsburgh, PA]

417-746-xxxx CenturyLink—- Norwood, Missouri
417-948-xxxx CenturyLink—- Vanzant, Missouri
417-926-xxxx CenturyLink—- Mountain Grove, Missouri
417-683-xxxx CenturyLink—- Ava, Missouri

435-462-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Central Utah Telephone Inc. in Mount Pleasant, UT
*435-705-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Nextel Communications, Inc. (Sprint) in St. George, UT
[notes: 435-705-1xxx = Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless (Verizon) in St. George, UT]
[ 435-705-2xxx = Qwest Corporation in St. George, UT]
[ 435-705-3xxx = Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless (Verizon) in St. George, UT]
[ 435-705-4xxx = Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless (Verizon) in St. George, UT]
[*WORKING* 435-705-5xxx = YMAX COMMUNICATIONS CORP. – UT [aka MagicJack] in St. George, UT ? [I should hope!]
[ 435-705-8xxx = Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless (Verizon) in St. George, UT]
[ 435-705-9xxx = Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless (Verizon) in St. George, UT]

440-593-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Conneaut Telephone Co. in Conneaut, OH
440-594-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Conneaut Telephone Co. in Conneaut, OH
440-599-xxxx [BLOCKED] = CONNEAUT TELEPHONE CO. in Conneaut, OH

507-243-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Mid-Communications, Inc. dba Hickorytech in Madison Lake, MN
507-735-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NO INFO for this prefix!

509-657-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Pioneer Telephone Company in Endicott, WA

514-310-xxxx [BELL CANADA 7-DIGIT SERVICE; WON’T WORK OUTSIDE AC 514 or from VOIP] Bell Canada QC

518-392-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Taconic Telephone Co. In Chatham, NY

540-396-xxxx [BLOCKED] = MGW TELEPHONE COMPANY INC in McDowell, VA
540-939-xxxx [BLOCKED] = MGW TELEPHONE COMPANY INC in Deerfield, VA
540-949-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NTELOS TELEPHONE INC. in Waynesboro, VA
540-962-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NTELOS TELEPHONE INC. in Covington, VA

541-563-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Pioneer Telephone Cooperative in Waldport, OR

559-683-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Sierra Telephone Company, Inc. in Oakhurst, CA
559-692-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Sierra Telephone Company, Inc. in Oakhurst, CA
559-641-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Sierra Telephone Company, Inc. in Oakhurst, CA

563-544-xxxx {BLOCKED] = Ace Telephone Association ? Iowa in New Albin, Iowa
563-873-xxxx [BLOCKED] = ALPINE COMMUNICATIONS, L.C. in McGregor, IA
563-964-xxxx [BLOCKED] = ALPINE COMMUNICATIONS, L.C. In Garnavillo, IA

*570-333 [BLOCKED] = COMMONWEALTH TELEPHONE COMPANY (Citizens Communications Company) in Center Moreland, PA
[notes: 570-333-6xxx = Core Communications ? PA in Center Moreland, PA]
[ 570-333-7xxx = Comcast Business Communications, Inc. – PA (Comcast) in Center Moreland, PA]
*570-897 COMMONWEALTH TELEPHONE COMPANY = (Citizens Communications Company) in Portland, PA
[notes: 570-897-1xxx = CORE COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PA in Portland, PA]

573-439-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Mark Twain Rural Telephone Cooperative in Philadelphia, MO
573-437-xxxx [BLOCKED] = FIDELITY TELEPHONE CO. **See Note**
**NOTE: Can Call Cell phones, but not Home or Business landlines**


[Note: 603-362-0xxx = Lightship Telecom, LLC ? NH in Atkinson, NH]
[ 603-362-1xxx = Freedom Ring Communications, LLC in Atkinson, NH]
[ 603-362-2xxx = Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile (Verizon Wireless) in Atkinson, NH]
*reported working 2010-11-06
*reported working 2010-11-06

605-537-xxxx [BLOCKED]=Rosholt, SD

606-295-xxxx [WORKING] = LESLIE CO. TELEPHONE CO. in Canoe, KS
*reported working 2010-11-02

607-546-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Empire Telephone corp in Burdett, NY

608-324-xxxx [BLOCKED] = UTELCO, INC in Monroe, WI
608-325-xxxx [BLOCKED] = UTELCO, INC in Monroe, WI
608-328-xxxx [BLOCKED] = UTELCO, INC in Monroe, WI
608-329-xxxx [BLOCKED] = UTELCO (TDS Telecom) in Monroe, WI
608-527-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Mt. Vernon Telephone Co. in New Glarus, WI

610-381-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Palmerton Telephone Company in Kunkletown, PA
610-681-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Palmerton Telephone Company in Kresgeville, PA

620-496-xxxx [BLOCKED] = La Harpe Telephone Co. in La Harpe, KS [info corrected]

641-472-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Iowa Telecom (now Windstream) in Fairfield, IA

647-919-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Rogers Wireless in Toronto, ON [Canada]

660-423-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Mark Twain Rural Telephone Cooperative in Hurdland, MO

701-356-xxxx [WORKING] = IDEAONE TELECOM in Fargo, ND

716-761-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Chautauqua & Erie Phone Corp. in Sherman, NY
719-537-xxxx [Blocked] = Century Tel, Inc.[CenturyLink]
724-423-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Citizens Telephone Company of Kecksburg in Kecksburg, PA
724-443-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications of PA in Gibsonia, PA
724-444-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications of PA in Gibsonia, PA
724-455-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Laurel Highland Phone Company in Indianhead, PA
724-742-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications of PA in Criders Corners, PA
724-779-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications of PA in Criders Corners, PA
724-804-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications Enterprise Services – PA in Latrobe, PA
724-933-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications of PA in Wexford, PA
724-934-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications of PA in Wexford, PA
724-935-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Consolidated Communications of PA in Wexford, PA

765-675-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Tipton Telephone Co., Inc. in Tipton, IN

805-690-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Time Warner Telecom of California LP – CA

812-936-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Smithville Telephone Co. in French Lick, IN
814-786-xxxx [BLOCKED] = PA
850-283-xxxx [WORKING as of 11/23/2010] = GTC Inc. FL in Tyndall AFB, FL
850-286-xxxx [WORKING as of 11/23/2010] = GTC Inc. FL in Tyndall AFB, FL

907)XXX Alaska [yes, all of Alaska is blocked]
907-373-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Matanuska Telephone Association Inc. in Wasilla, AK [Watch out for Sarah, Dan!]
907-854-xxxx [BLOCKED] = NEW CINGULAR WIRELESS PCS, LLC (AT&T Wireless) in Eagle River, AK

912-754-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Georgia Windstream, Inc. in Springfield, GA ”
912-826-xxxx [BLOCKED] = Georgia Windstream, Inc. in Rincon, GA


941-861-xxxx [BLOCKED?]= Telcove Investment in Sarasota, FL
941-863-xxxx [BLOCKED] = [no carrier info!] in Sarasota, FL
**according to the NPA/NXX database 863 appears not to be a NXX. Checked a couple of NPA/NXX databases and they go for 861 but not 863. This area code might not exist or might be “faked” **




MJ User (profile) says:

MajicJack Blocked call? Can this be fixed?

Email exchange to MajicJack and a telephone company that has blocked my calls. The very strange thing is that this service has ,until now, worked for me. I am awaiting a reply.

date Tue, May 31, 2011
subject MajicJack Blocked call? Can this be fixed?

Dan Borislow,
Inventor of magicJack and CEO
I noticed your comments. and email address, on a board; ( )
and am writing about being unable to call a good friend “Al” whose “Highland Telephone Cooperative, in Monterey Virginia” is refusing a voice connection.
I believe I have used MJ to call him in the past.
Now not possible? Why?

If it is not you “MJ” blocking my calls, then Highland Coop can be reached at the following numbers (unless of course you are using MajicJack!);
Highland Telephone Cooperative
Office: 540 468-2131
Repair: 611 or 540 468-1998
Internet Technical Support: 540 468-1457
Philip Munchel, General Manager: 540 468-2134
Ruth Newman, Office Manager: 540 468-2131
Gideon Hiner, Plant Manager 540 468-2131

Please note that I am trying to call a POTS line, not conferencing, as noted in the above message board.
Just a simple phone call like your site says I should be able to call. “anywhere in the USA or Canada”

You say on the blog “we do not want to block calls to anyone and so far offer to complete all calls”.
Well what about MY calls? What about my friends in Highland County Virginia? Can this be fixed?

I asked the MJ folks at your sites “chat” what they can do about being blocked, and they were very vague.

MJ AND Highland Telephone Coop, please let me know what is going on.

MJUser MajicJack

CC: to Highland Telephone Coop
Philip Munchel, General Manager: 540 468-2134
Ruth Newman, Office Manager: 540 468-2131
Gideon Hiner, Plant Manager 540 468-2131

Virginia State Corporation Commission?s Division of Communications
(804) 371-9675

Rudy says:

Re: Mike Masnick, the Jew

Hey, UwereK, you couldn’t tell from the ugly profile that Mike Masnick was a Jew? Can’t you tell a Jew from a normal person? Jews are always ugly, hairy, hook nosed, big lipped, and rat-faced! Most are gay, and all are cowardly, vicious and misanathropic. Mike Masnick is a perfect example of a gay, cowardly and evil Jew.

Cecie says:

MajicJack Alaska Calls

Hey MajicJack,

WTF! Can’t call to Alaska (907) now? You lying S.O.B.’s. Isn’t false advertising against the law? All I get from MajicJack is two hours of B.S. on the phone trying to fix what they already know they can’t fix and then “We’ll refund your money”.

Why don’t you fix the problem of your customers not being able to call Alaska, and if you can’t or won’t, at least have the balls to tell the truth when selling your product!

Simon Sorkin (profile) says:

Conference calling

It may not be illegal to block calls to Freeconference but you are also blocking all sort of corporate conference numbers.
I work for a company that has its own conference facilities, which I can not access using MagicJack.
Also the calling cards (that use to call overseas, where MagicJack does get to) regardless of being local calls or 1-800 access numbers, are blocked, as well.
So, neither your invention, your service, your way of doing business nor your customer service (the worst I’ve ever found), is good for me.
I believe, a fairly large portion of your market will soon pitch your invention into the trash.

Verlie Testerman says:

ESP not Common Carrier

As the years pass just look at the way magic jack does business. There is no live support that is honest. It seems that all transactions are card based and automated. If you get charged for something you did not order, good luck in straightening it out. Why are there so many questions asked when activating Magic Jack that try to sell you other services?

Peterapp (profile) says:

Conference calling

Magic jack blocks users from calling their compition. Try and call vonage on a magic jack and you will hear vonage out going measage, but you will not be connected and will need to call on a cell phone to get through. There are many problems with magic jack. For example: False advertising, call id only displays number not name of person calling in. I dropped the magic jack service 5 days after porting my number from a pots provder and switch to vonage. I am not sure how the other voip companies are, but do your self a favor and do not go with magic jack,

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