One of the things that makes this technology fun, involves the
innovation and the new ideas constantly being developed. Many of
these fall by the wayside and people who jump in to market the
technologies or too quickly convert their personal or business systems
to some seemingly great new idea, may end up regretting it. Just
checking things out with no big commitment can be interesting and
can lead to being on the forefront of a new wave of money saving or sales
boosting ideas. One thing you can always count on is the fact that nothing
remains the same in the world of electronics and telephony and you have
to be open to new ideas, but properly restrained in your initial enthusiasm.
Right now there are quite a few ideas being tried by various entrepreneurs
around the world to give us unique new options for contacting others.
Internet Telephony which has been around for some time now, is just starting
to make a real impact on the average caller. The proliferation of cheap,
easy to use computer cameras, is making video calls and video conferencing
easily accessible to grandparents wanting to see their grandchildren using
technologies that while not as perfect as high-end business systems, are
almost free. We now have several totally free ways to call phone numbers
directly and can even have an 800 number for limited messaging at no charge.
These and other neat new free ideas are detailed
on this page. Some are not as good
as they seem on the surface, and one seems too good to be true, but
at least for the present, is providing everything promised.
Another idea currently making the rounds with a lot of hoopla is flat rate
VOIP based long-distance. You can read all about our attempts to test the
various claims out there for these services, which do deserve attention, but
have in many instances been used simply as a means of making money from
people who think they are getting in on the ground floor of a great business
opportunity, only to find disappointment. We suggest you check out
this page before ordering any
of these services and certainly before "investing" in a distributorship
or signing up as a sales agent with one of these fledgling companies.
Two companies that have requested that we do a review of their services on
several occasions are bigredwire and bigzoo. Here are the reasons we do not
think these or ANY such companies (regardless of the details of the plan) are
a good idea. They do not have a TOLL-FREE customer service
number where you can actually call and speak with a representative of the
company who has the authority to adjust your bill, give you credit, explain
official policy, and most importantly give you some answers when YOU need them,
even though this may require a 20 minute (or more) wait on hold. There are
several companies (besides the 2 mentioned) which have what seems to be good rates
but require you to do everything on-line and any questions you may have must
be submitted by E-mail and answered (if at all) at THEIR convenience. Until
you have a major problem (like not being able to make calls or a horrendous billing
error) this may not seem like a major obstacle, but as soon as you do have a
problem, the level of frustration this can cause is often unbearable. We receive
more complaints from customers trying to deal with this type of company than any other.
An additional problem that many of these companies have, is that they require you
to pay up front for your minutes (bigzoo being the prime example) and then
send E-mail later after your minutes may be used up without any successful
completed calls. Bigzoo offers a 2.9 or 3.9 rate with pre-pay only and NO
direct access to customer service and nothing to do when you can't even
get through to their access number. If you can't call their access number,
YOU CAN'T EVEN MAKE ANY CALLS. The 3 major complaints we have heard about
bigzoo are no customer service, charges for unsuccessful calls which they
could not get credit for, and CONSTANT busy signals at the access number.
To use their service you must pay for a block of time up front, then call
their access number, then enter your PIN, and then dial the desired number.
If you get a busy signal on the call to the access number, you are out of luck.
Bigredwire used to use a gimmick called "zapping" which would allow you to
remove (allegedly) some calls by making others. We had a number of complaints
about this not working the way they promised and they have since discontinued
the practice and gone to flat switched rates. While they advertise a
4 CPM interstate rate, they charge a monthly fee for every customer,
have high intrastate rates in many cases, and most importantly have
NO customer service phone number (even if you pay for the call) much
less a Toll-Free one.
We have devoted an entire section of this site to Net Phones and we suggest
you check this out if for no other reason than to simply understand how they
work and what you can expect from them. We have been using and testing Net Phone
technologies since before the first Net Phone apps were released and have used
this technology for years for most of our international calling. You might be
pleasantly surprised to find that you can call us or leave a voice-mail message
right now before you leave this site, with no more than a few minutes of your
time to install a small free piece of software. We are all confirmed Net Phone
junkies and even though we can't make any money from it, we want to be a forum
for others who like to use or experiment with these apps.
We would like to hear about any new ideas you may have discovered or anything
you think we should add or alter about the innovations we discuss on these pages.
Things are constantly changing and although we try to keep up with all of them,
we may need to revise a recommendation for a service that is slipping, or reconsider
a criticism of a technology that is improving since we last checked it out. Use the
form below to posts your comments or suggestions.
You may send a request for information or order any of our plans by simply filling out
the form below. We can contact you by E-mail if you desire, although
we actually prefer to speak to you directly at your convenience.
We don't ask for any personal information over the Internet so just leave your name,
phone number and the best time to call, or leave only your name and E-mail
address if you don't want a return call. Leave any message you may have in the
text box at the bottom and press the submit button. You are not signing
up for any plan by filling out this form, nor are you obligated to accept anything
if we call.
You may also contact us by a variety of other methods, including a direct Net Phone
call (or voice-mail) over the Internet, an alphanumeric page, call us directly toll-free at
one of the numbers below, or fax us your bill for free analysis. You will almost
definitely get diverted to a voice-mail system during business hours as we REFUSE to
make people wait on hold for more than a minute. We will call you back at your
convenience at any time you specify if we can't take your call immediately.
Henton Communication Enterprises
24 Hour Bill Faxing Line
Toll-Free US Voice Calls Only