Not everyone sees the magic in Jack

The success of MagicJack in numbers alone is without a doubt notable. The company is selling around 8,000 devices per day and has experienced 25% week-over-week growth since it first came onto the VoIP scene in September. Still, not everyone is singing Jack’s praises. The company has left many Jack users frustrated with its customer service department. While most seem willing to accept the technology glitches inherent in any new service, many have taken issue with the company’s response to dealing with these issues.

One customer emailed Telephony to say that, in his experience with customer support, he has gotten the same irrelevant response every time he’s contacted them – four times so far. “They run you through a bunch of ridiculous things to test and then say they will get back to you or at the end they hang up when you insist on a refund,” he wrote. “They have no telephone numbers, no address. It is a phony.”

Several blogs and discussion threads have also been devoted to trying to figure out the “magic” to get in touch with Jack, and the feedback seems to be fairly consistent: users love the service, but they hate the customer service.

The company’s customer service is entirely based on an online tech support chat function that allows consumers to instant message with a customer service rep. Inventor and founder Dan Borislow said that MagicJack will never have a number for customer service, a move he thinks is progressive and more efficient.

Despite the typical wait periods on customer service lines, calling a number to connect with a live person is the traditional mode of customer service. It might be that consumers just aren’t ready to let go of convention, however. The tech chat service seems to fall short of being useful, whether you like the method or not. While the staff has grown to more than 50 agents, their support is often not much more helpful than a computerized response system or outsourced tech staff. These responses more often than not are that they cannot address the issue or offer an alternative number to do so. Today, I couldn’t even access the support option from the company’s confusing Web site.

It is worth remembering that this is a relatively new service, at an undeniably solid price point, so there are bound to be some issues to work out in the early days. And, to be fair, customer service of most companies isn’t exactly known for being amazing. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. MagicJack has clear potential as a game-changing device, but without the support to back it up, it might be lost on a market already frustrated with bad customer service experiences. In the long run, a computer-based tech chat support does seem like a progressive idea – but only if it is truly supportive.

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