July 19, 2007
Nuvio Erases Black Mark Left by SunRocket VoIP Failure
By Erik Linask, Associate Editor,
Internet Telephony magazine
With SunRocket (News
) having suddenly ceased operations earlier this week, more than 200,000 VoIP
customers were left without phone service. Most of them likely were completely unaware of the situation until they tried to place a call, and even then, most probably thought SunRocket was experiencing a temporary network failure. The reality, however, is that SunRocket’s complete disregard for customer service at a time when subscribers needed it most has left its users scrambling for a replacement service — and has left a black mark on the VoIP industry that others are now trying to erase.
Certainly there are several VoIP providers available that can provide good telephony service — but one in particular is trying to make the transition from SunRocket as painless as possible. Nuvio (News
) Corporation has taken several measures to not only make its services readily available for SunRocket subscribers, but it seeks to do so without inconveniencing those customers any more than SunRocket already has.
In order to expedite the process, Nuvio has made efforts to automate as much of the process as possible for new customers — it is designed to quickly and easily allow former SunRocket customers to begin calling again using their existing devices.
“Our goal is to get former SunRocket customers up and running and making calls as quickly as possible,” stated Joe Woodbury, director of marketing for Nuvio. “We have developed a custom site for former SunRocket customers to transfer their service to Nuvio that is quick and easy to use.”
In addition, working with its underlying carriers — many of whom also worked with SunRocket — Nuvio has committed itself to accelerate number porting for former SunRocket customers, so that they will be able to receive calls to their existing phone number as soon as possible. In the mean time, users will be assigned a temporary Nuvio phone number. Whereas number porting can sometimes take several weeks, Nuvio is saying SunRocket subscribers can have their old numbers back in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Some reports have claimed the SunRocket numbers may not be portable, but Nuvio
“Once a former SunRocket customer has signed up for service with Nuvio, the largest remaining issue is porting their SunRocket phone number to us,” explained Woodbury. “We are now able to provide what others cannot — a quick method for not only getting your VoIP service working, but also retrieving your existing phone number.”
Nuvio is offering an annual unlimited calling plan for $199.99, or a monthly unlimited plan for $24.99. For those customers who wither can’t afford to pay up front for the annual plan, or who are gun-shy after their SunRocket experience, Nuvio also indicates that it will waive the first month’s fee for a limited time for new customers who can prove they were SunRocket subscribers when it cut off service.
Certainly, Nuvio does not expect to win all 200,000 SunRocket subscribers, but with its custom designed switching fabric and scalability, it likely could handle that additional load if necessary. One of the reasons it is able to rapidly adapt to changing requirements — like an influx of new subscribers — is that its network architecture is controlled by its own engineers, rather than having to rely on third-party providers. Nuvio says its systems were specifically designed to accommodate this type of situation.
“Many of the former SunRocket customers are wary of other VoIP providers and their ability to serve and absorb this many customers, at Nuvio we built our system with acquisitions in mind. We have already acquired several VoIP companies and view this opportunity to serve SunRocket customers in a similar light,” said Jason P. Talley, Nuvio’s CEO. “While we would have preferred an orderly acquisition, we have been unable to get SunRocket to engage in meaningful dialogue, which is causing disarray and confusion, and harming the industry. We are doing everything in our power to mitigate without interruptions in service.”
Finally, SunRocket agents and affiliates who are interested in continuing to sell VoIP services should also contact Nuvio, which has made arrangements to accommodate those requests.
The end result is that, while the SunRocket debacle may temporarily scar the VoIP industry, other providers are standing ready to mitigate it’s the effects of SunRockets failures. Nuvio, for one, has made a distinct effort to make its services available to new subscribers easily and at reasonable rates. SunRocket subscribers interested in moving to Nuvio can do so online at http://direct.nuvio.com/sunrocket
“We feel horrible about the confusion that former SunRocket customers are experiencing,” commented Jason P. Talley, Nuvio’s CEO. “However, we have given former SunRocket customer’s the best landing they could hope for, aggressive pricing, rapid service activation, and quick number porting. This is truly a soft landing.”
Erik Linask is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and Unified Communications (News - Alert). Prior to joining TMC, he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.