Have you seen commercials for Magic Jack Plus, or have you used the product? Today we offer our Magic Jack review and seek reviews from users as well.
Magic Jack Plus is a device which allows consumers to make phone calls over an internet connection. This is the updated version to the original Magic Jack phone device. The Plus model was introduced in 2011 and offered the ability to access phone service without the need to directly connect to a computer.
Magic Jack Plus costs $69.95 plus shipping and handling. The annual cost for the service is $29.95, and they offer a 5-year plan for $19.95 per year.
As with any internet-based phone service, call quality can vary greatly from call to call. In the case of Magic Jack Plus, the drops and stutters we experience are about on par with Vonage or some cell phone calls. More often than not we have found the call quality to acceptable. Not great, but acceptable.
We found that using the phone too close to the Magic Jack Plus caused a buzz on the line. Moving away seemed to fix this.
No Computer Needed?
Even though Magic Jack Plus advertises that no computer is needed, you’ll still need an internet connection. Most people without computers, however, don’t have an internet connection. The one-time setup process does require a computer.
Despite claims of “unlimited calls” you may want to read the terms and conditions if you are a heavy phone user. The terms state that “excessive use” will results in your account being terminated without a refund:
If magicJack, LP and/or magicJack VocalTec Ltd., and/or YMax Communications Corporation sees excessive use, including but not limited to, a customer whose usage is twenty (20) times more than the average magicJack and/or magicJack Plus device or magicJack APP customer usage, or a customer who calls more than 50 different telephone numbers per day, or a customer who forwards calls from their magicJack and/or magicJack PLUS device and/or magicJack APP to a non-magicJack number for longer than a two week consecutive period, or systematic or intentional misuse, it reserves the right, in our sole discretion, to terminate your use of the magicJack and/or magicJack Plus device and/or Software and/or magicJack APP immediately, and you will not be entitled to get a refund of any licensing fee or any other fee you may have paid to us.
The terms and conditions also state that “Calls of long duration may be terminated to make sure the integrity of the network is kept intact, which would prevent abandoned calls.”
Transferring Old Phone Number
Should you switch to Magic Jack, you can retain your old phone number, but it will cost you $19.95 and $9.95 per year after the first year.
Customer Service Complaints
The biggest complaint we’ve heard is regarding customer service. The only way to communicate with them is through a clunky online chat system. Many have complained that returns take an inordinate amount of time to process, and that representatives are less than helpful. We’ve heard by more than one consumer that they purchased a 5-year plan, only to be billed a year later, and getting it sorted out with customer service was more difficult than it should have been.
PC Magazine had to publish an addendum to their mostly-positive review of the original Magic Jack when after being inundated with complaints regarding the customer service issue.
We have heard of several users having their accounts placed “under review” for months, without explanation. One scenario involved a device which did not go through the setup process successfully, resulting in the “under review” status. This, combined with abysmal customer service, has left a bad taste in the mouths of some consumers. If you want to get rid of the service while it is still under review – and you transferred your old phone number over – they will charge you to “release” your old number.
Call Forwarding Now Costs
A recent change in Magic Jack Plus features is call forwarding. While it used to be an included feature, they now offer it as a paid extra:
Plan Options: 100 minutes per month $4.95/year, or 500 minutes per month $19.95/year.
Magic Jack Plus seems to be a polarizing product for those who use it. Currently on Amazon it has 163 reviews that are 4 or 5 stars, and 195 reviews that are 1 or 2 stars. There are also 35 complaints at complaintslist.com, many of these regarding customer service issues.
For an especially damning look at the company behind Magic Jack, take a look at this site which engaged in a legal battle with the creators of Magic Jack Plus.
Should you decide to try Magic Jack Plus, and set-up goes smoothly, you may find it to be a worthy product. Should you encounter any technical or billing issues requiring customer service, you may find the experience to be a nightmare. We did not have to deal with customer service and found Magic Jack Plus to be a suitable product.
If you want to try Magic Jack Plus, we recommend buying it in person at a retailer such as Best Buy or Radio Shack. If you have a problem, you’ll have a much better chance of getting immediate resolution through one of these retailers.
Have you tried Magic Jack Plus? Let us know of your experience in the comments below.