magicJack: A Canadian Review Of The Money Saving Telephone Device

magicJack Magic Jack, officially spelled “magicJack”, is a small easy to use device that allows you to make unlimited local and long distance phone calls anywhere in Canada and the United States for only $20/year. Yes, that’s year, not month! Impressive, right?

When I hear numbers like that, the first thing that crosses my mind, and probably yours as well, is that there must be some sort of catch or the entire thing is a scam. However, I have to admit that I was very intrigued so I started researching the device thoroughly with cautious optimism and finally purchased one about 2 months ago. We have been using it successfully ever since and I’m happy to report that it is definitely not a scam! That’s not to say that there weren’t any problems with it, there were, but they were trivial in comparison to the amount of money that magicJack will save us every month for as long as we continue to use it.

Related: Get 5% Cash Back on Gas and Groceries

How magicJack Works

The magicJack is just a small electronic device that has a USB connector on one end and a standard RJ11 telephone port on the other. It works using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology to route your phone calls primarily through the internet and only using the actual phone network at the point of termination if the person you are speaking to on the other end is using a standard landline telephone or cell phone. Here is some more detailed information I’ve written on other VoIP options available to Canadians.

Simple Installation

To get magicJack up and running all you need to do is plug it into your computer and it will automatically install itself. You will have to go through a somewhat lengthy registration process and face several sales pitches asking you to prepay for several years of the service in advance at a discounted rate. I would say no to all of these offers because you will still have the opportunity to take advantage of them later, if you choose to do so. It may also automatically download and install necessary updates during the process.

Making And Receiving Phone Calls

There are two ways to make phone calls. The easiest and most natural way is to use any regular or cordless telephone that you plug into th

e device. You make calls how you normally would except that you must always dial the full 10-digit phone number, even when making a local call. You can also prefix the number with a 1 if you want to, but it isn’t mandatory.

The second way to place calls is directly on your computer using the included softphone. A softphone is simply an software based dial pad that appears on your screen whenever magicJack is running. You punch in the number you wish to dial using your mouse or keyboard and the call will be connected. Of course, you will need either a microphone and speakers or, preferably, a headset to transmit and recei

ve the audio.

Receiving calls is just like a regular phone in that people dial your magicJack phone number and your phone will ring as you would expect. If you don’t have a phone plugged in then the call will ring on your computer and you can choose to answer it there as well. If your magicJack isn’t connected, your computer is switched off, or if there is another problem with the device, the call will go to magicJack voicemail.

What Features C

ome Included With magicJack

  • A free USA-based phone number.
    • Canadian numbers are available for $10 more per year.
  • Unlimited local and long distance calling.
    • Long distance is free in Canada and the USA.
    • Reasonable long distance rates apply for other countries.
  • Voicemail.
    • An email with a voice file is sent to you if you don’t pick up the call.
    • Voice mail will still pick up even if your magicJack isn’t running.
    • You can use a standard answering machine with magicJack as well.
  • Caller ID.
    • Only the number will be displayed, not the name.
  • Call waiting.
    • Works by pressing the flash button as with a regular phone.
    •  
  • Call forwarding.
  • Conference calling.
    • You can set up a conference by following the instructions here.
    • 3 way calling on incoming calls used to be included but it was buggy and they replaced it with this conferencing solution.
  • Use with any computer anywhere.
    • You can bring your magicJack with you and use it anywhere around the world to make calls back home or to anywhere in Canada and the USA for free.
  • 911 service.
    • 911 service is available if you register and keep your location updated with magicJack.
    • Using magicJack as your only means of dialing 911 is definitely not recommended.
    • You should at least have a cell phone for backup.

What magicJack Costs

The initial cost for the magicJack device is is about $50 Canadian, which includes 1 year of service!

For every additional year of service after the first included year, it costs only $20. If you are willing to prepay for several years of service in advance, then it will cost even less per year. The current 5 year package is priced at $69.95, which works out to $13.99/year.

Canadians will most likely want to have a Canadian number associated with their magicJack. You can get a free USA number in Beverly Hills, New York City, or anywhere else in the USA, but unfortunately Canadian numbers cost an additional $10/year. Numbers are available for almost all major cities throughout Canada, with the exception of the 506 area code which typically isn’t available with VoIP services at all.

You will have the option to choose a Canadian number when setting up your magicJack for the first time.

How Good Is magicJack?

In my opinion, it is a fantastic product that works surprisingly well relative to how much it costs! Most likely you will have a few problems you need to iron out, but as long as you don’t expect absolute perfection then you should be very pleased with it as well.

Usability

Using magicJack couldn’t get much easier! I use magicJack as a home phone replacement with prepaid cell phones as our backup for important and emergency calls and so far it has worked out just fine. It works just like a regular landline for a fraction of the cost.

Prior to magicJack we were using Skype hooked up to a Skype adapter as our home phone. It only worked for making outgoing calls, didn’t come with an incoming number at all, had fewer included features, and cost more per year to use. Not only that, but it was much more complicated to make calls and harder to setup, install, and maintain. When not using Skype, I was either using calling cards or Google Voice to make long distance calls which were equally as cumbersome. Compared to those other solutions, magicJack is like a breath of fresh air!

Call Quality

The call quality is generally excellent and crystal clear. There is the odd time where there will be some garbled speech or an unusually long delay, but that can usually be fixed by hanging up and dialing the same person again. I almost never have someone complain about call quality when using magicJack as the quality is probably superior to that of a typical cell phone conversation. I’ve had many more people complain about call quality using my high end Bluetooth headset with my cellular than I’ve had with magicJack. The only noticeable difference between magicJack and a regular phone is that there might be a small half second delay between when you speak and the other person hears you. I don’t find this to be a big deal and rarely find myself talking over the person on the other end.

You do have to be aware that the call quality is linked to the quality of your internet connection. As long as you have a decent high speed internet connection that is 1.5mbps or faster with good latency, then your calls should almost always be great. If you are using a wireless connection, there is a lot of computers active on your network, or there is a big download in progress in the background then your call quality may suffer. Most routers have ways to prioritize VoIP internet traffic so you may want to look into that if you have quality issues.

I personally have magicJack plugged into a wirelessly connected home theater PC on a 7mbps internet connection and it works just fine.

Reliability

Using an internet software based telephone is definitely not as reliable as a traditional landline telephone. The main reason for this is that there are more points of failure including:

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • magicJack Software
  • magicJack device itself
  • Telephone hardware
  • Electricity

A normal telephone is only dependant on two things for it to work: the telephone and the telephone line, which has its own power supply. If any of the above six things were to malfunction, then chances are that your magicJack is going to stop working along with it. That said, I haven’t found this to be much of an issue as the majority of the time I pick up the phone there is a dial tone and everything works as it should.

Technical Support

While doing my own research on magicJack I did encounter several remarks about their customer support being terrible. However, in my own experience I have found it to be just the opposite. I have contacted them probably 4 times now and each time the representative was knowledgeable and very helpful. In fact, I found their level of knowledge and professionalism to be much better than I am used to from big telephone companies like Bell and Aliant.

Of course, with a service this cheap there does need to be some sacrifices. You will find there is only one means of contacting support and that is through a live chat application. Having a second computer on hand when contacting support is definitely handy so you don’t have to interrupt and restart your chat with a new representative for system reboots or other reasons. The other thing you will notice is that there is a bit of a delay from when you send your last message and their response back to you because they are obviously engaging in multiple chats at once. I didn’t find it to unbearably slow though because their responses were clear and to the point making for efficient communication and troubleshooting.

To get through to technical support follow these steps:

  • Go to their techchat support page.
  • Type in anything at all into the search box and click search.
  • On the search results page a banner labeled I’m Online Start Chat will appear.
  • Click the banner to start your live chat!

Problems I’ve Experienced With magicJack

There are some common problems with magicJack and I think I’ve experienced most of them, which is good so you will know what to expect and how to deal with these problems should they arise.

Low Call Volume

Resolved - When I first started using magicJack I had to turn the volume up to full on my cordless handset and I still could barely hear the person on the other end. After some Googling I found out there are two places you can adjust both speaker and microphone call volume. The first is in the magicJack settings; I cranked that up to full and it wasn’t much better. The second is the usual place in Windows where you adjust speaker volume. A new device gets added into the mixer there and cranking those up made the sound come through loud and clear.

Incoming Audio Dropping After 5 Minutes

Resolved - Ever since I first got magicJack I noticed a very strange phenomenon of the call seemingly going dead. I later discovered that it was always happening exactly 5 minutes into the conversation, only the incoming audio was going dead (the other person could still hear me talking), and the problem only happened when I was making outgoing calls (it didn’t happen when people called me).

I contacted support and they had me do all sorts of things including opening ports on my router, adding firewall exceptions, changing DNS servers, and a few other things. None of those things helped. Eventually they transferred me to advanced support where we tried more troubleshooting steps that didn’t work and he finally came to the conclusion that my account needed a “refresh”. I think what this means is that your account gets transferred to a different server in their server farm. I was told that they would have to send in a request to do this and it could be a few days before the problem was fixed. Being skeptical, I figured this wouldn’t work and I would have to contact them again shortly but to my surprise the problem did go away after a few days as promised.

If you are experiencing this problem, it may speed things up to ask support for a refresh of your account immediately without going through all the other steps. Based on forum reading, this problem is particularly prevalent amongst Canadians.

Audio Dropping Entirely

Resolved - Over the Christmas holidays I noticed that when making a call I got absolutely no audio at all right from the start. I couldn’t even hear the sound of the phone ringing. However, the call was being completed and the phone of the person I was calling would ring. I didn’t bother contacting support about this problem because I assumed it was due to high call traffic from the holiday season or that my computer was having an issue. The problem resolved itself after a few days.

If you have this problem you might try rebooting your system and restarting your magicJack to see if that fixes it. Also make sure to check your volume settings to ensure that nothing is muted.

Caller ID Not Showing Up On Handset

Known Solution - This is a problem that I have still not resolved. The caller ID works fine on the soft phone as the number of the person calling me always displays there. However, 9 times out of 10 the number of the person calling me won’t display on my cordless phone. Based on my internet searches, apparently there isn’t enough power supplied by most USB ports for magicJack to power the caller ID properly. There are a few things you can try to fix this:

  • Try another phone. Some phones are more prone to this problem than others.
  • Use a USB hub with a dedicated power supply to make sure magicJack is getting enough juice.
  • Install a resistor on the phone cable between the magicJack and your phone. Apparently this works most of the time.

Canadian 1-800 Numbers Not Working

Resolved - It is a known problem that most Canadian toll free numbers will not work with magicJack. I believe that they are working on a solution to this problem, but there is no guarantee that it will ever be fixed. To get around this, you can usually find a direct dial local number for the company you are calling and use that since long distance is free with the magicJack! Update: I have been making a lot of calls to toll free numbers lately that are supposedly for Canadian companies like Dell Canada, Toys "R" Us, Evenflo, Bell, and they all have worked just fine so my thinking is that this problem is no longer an issue.

Tips For Making Your magicJack Experience Much Better

Buy magicJack in Canada

I really believe magicJack is a worthwhile investment and an easy way for most people to save money on their monthly communication costs. A good place for Canadians to buy magicJack and read reviews from other Canadians is at TheSource.ca. You can have it delivered to your local store free of charge and it should be easily returnable as well.

Buy magicJack | Buy magicJack Plus

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Comments

Sustainable PF's picture

Just a few notes Saving Mentor. Great article as always.

1st, I signed up to email notification from magicjack to tell me when my current ph# could be ported to their service. Their website said this was coming in November but we're now into Jan and i'm yet to hear back.

2nd, the link to theSource says $49.99 which is what I thought it cost - you might want to look into that.

3rd, Losing all audio is a pretty big deal - you essentially lose your phone! The Caller ID not working is annoying and the 1-800 thing is a big no-no for us.

Last, i've mentioned we're re-doing all of our telecom/internet/tv soon (I really need to read all your articles this weekend). Buying a new machine seems a bit inhibitive for us to solely deal w/ our media needs tho considering we pay about $160 a month right now (new service so no retentions deal) the machine could pay for itself after 2 months. Our current laptop/netbook only have 2 USB ports which support a data key and cordless mouse respectively, so we don't have anywhere to plug in magicjack!

Anyhow - thanks again for providing great detail on another option for us to consider.

January 07, 2011 @ 12:47 pm
Toni
Toni's picture
Quick note about only have 2 USB ports. My Magic Jack plugs into the modem, not the computer or laptop. I love my Magic Jack and have had it going on 2 years now. Huge savings compared to Rogers or Bell.
August 11, 2014 @ 12:29 pm
Belle Mercer
Belle Mercer's picture

I have had nothing but problems since I got this MagicJack, yes it saves money but it's wearing me down. They can't seem to correct problems. Example I cannot put anyone on hold to get an incoming call, I have to hang on up on the person. If I'm on the phone for 15 mins. I get an activated voice saying 'ERROR' and have to climb under my desk to refresh the M.J. When we turn our clocks back in the fall, if someone calls me my phone goes back an hour. These are all annoying things. The first numbers I got M.J. didn't even help me and I got an exchange that was long distance for callers within my area but they wouldn't allow me to get another free, I had to pay for it. It's a real pain!.

December 16, 2015 @ 11:38 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

There can be some headaches when dealing with technology for sure, but having my magicJackPlus plugged into my router has been basically pain-free. I haven't had to reboot the thing once in years now.

I have another one plugged into my computer for business use and it has been rock solid as well. When you're paying this little, it is hard to expect 5* service. It almost sounds like you might have a faulty unit or should maybe plug it into your router directly if you haven't done that. If you still have the original magicJack, an upgrade to the magicJack Plus or Go could solve your problems.

February 17, 2016 @ 4:34 pm
Roy M.
Roy M.'s picture

M.J. went up in price, paid up for 5 years and only used it a hand full of times. Not worth the money anymore with free long distance with most cell phone companies.

April 27, 2016 @ 12:35 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It's value has been diminished by the free Canadian long distance for sure by cell phone companies. There is still United States though, the fact it can be used to call home from anywhere in the world with WiFi, and is great a basic home phone to go with your cell phone.

April 27, 2016 @ 3:50 pm
chuck
chuck's picture

my mj works fine, sometimes you may have to reset router...
best of all for me,... when computer is shutdown, telemarketers cant pester me

February 17, 2016 @ 9:14 am
Collette
Collette 's picture

I am looking into buying Magic Jack

I have been told that their is a Magic Jack system that is also available
on Cell Phones so no need to connect to whatever - whenever
no hassles always on your cell directly

I need to Find the Best Best Information about Magic Jack Skills or Abilities for Canadians
and figure out if I do Not have a Contract anymore with my Cell Phone Provider Videotron and I all my other needs are fulfilled with Bell - Internet High Speed - Netflix- Fibe -

What would be your Best Advice For Me to do so I can get Best Prices on Internet Providers or buy
a satellite for my needs and all would be good to use with Magic Jack

I am not very well educated anymore in all the Mumbo Jumbo with Internet and technology that seems
to change every 15 minutes

I have now A Asus ChromeBook and like I said I need to Get Good Advice upon getting the best
while paying the less !

Thanks If someone honest and knows how to ................ I would really appreciate your knowledge
as we say * Pick your Brain

Regards

Collette

July 01, 2016 @ 5:18 pm
marr
marr's picture

Thanks for your comment Collette! I am exactly where you are and also looking for the best services while paying less,thars the only way in my opinion that the Switch will be worth it !!!

Hope someone updates me with the same info that you are looking for as well!

Basically trying to switch to Majic Jack for the savings. Paying too much with Bell right now!!!

Thank you!

July 08, 2016 @ 10:20 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Sustainable PF - Thanks for the detailed comment, you raise a lot of good points!

1) I got a brand new number with magicJack because I didn't have a home phone before going with them. To be honest, I'm not sure it's a great idea to trust them with your phone number if it is important to you. I'm not sure how hard it is to port your number out again if you decide in the future you no longer want your number to be with magicJack. I use my home phone mostly for family and friends so I don't consider it to be that important if something happens to it. I use my cell phone number for anything that is very important.

2) Yes, $49.99 is correct. I guess I wasn't entirely clear. I said that "it cost the same" because if you buy through magicJack.com you have to pay $10 in shipping, which makes it cost about $50 just like if you buy it at The Source, which offers free shipping. That way you get to buy it in Canadian dollars, have faster shipping times, and don't have to worry about currency conversion. You should also get easier and free returns if you decide you want to take it back. A better deal by my estimation!

3) Yes losing audio is a big deal. The Christmas outage probably only lasted a short while ... I actually didn't make any calls for a couple of days so it may have actually started working again much quicker than that (as little as a few hours). Again, I would suggest having cell phones as stable backups for whenever you might have problems with magicJack. I would never suggest it as a phone to be used as a standalone solution.

4) Buying a new computer seems expensive at first, but it really isn't compared to the money it saves you. You also have to consider that you have something of value that you could sell later so it isn't like the money completely dissappears like it does when you pay for a service. You have a hardware device that has resale vlaue. As for only have a couple of ports available, you can buy a USB hub off Ebay for a few dollars to fix that problem pretty quickly :)

Let me know if and when you make any changes to your home services and how much money you save!

January 07, 2011 @ 4:29 pm
Steve Zussino - Grocery Coupons Canada's picture

We use Skype at home with Virtufon as our virtual phone number (250) area code - less than 10 dollars per month and I like that it is backed by Skype - large company.

Skype is flexible and I can even answer the phone when I go on holidays and appear to be in Victoria.

Is Magic Jack owned by a larger company?

January 08, 2011 @ 12:16 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Steve Zussino - Skype is definitely a good choice and thank you for pointing out the Virtufon number as a way for Canadians to get an incoming number with Skype in Canada. As I mentioned here, Skype was what we used before I switched to magicJack because it was cheaper, easier to set up, has more normal dialing rules, has an included incoming number, and no extra hardware is required to make it work with a regular telephone. I have written more about Skype here.

Do you use Skype with a regular phone or just on your computer? If so, which Skype adapter do you use?

magicJack is portable and can be taken with you wherever you go on holidays and you can still appear to be in Victoria. You can also take advantage of its free call forwarding and forward your calls anywhere in North America for free. They also recently came out with a new product called magicTalk that is much more similar to Skype in that it doesn't involve any hardware to use it. I wish they would integrate the two and include magicTalk by default with magicJack. I may write more about magicTalk in the future.

You are definitely right that Skype is a larger company with a great reputation. magicJack is owned by YMAX corporation which is a privately held company with a majority share owned by the inventor of magicJack as far as I know. They do have many millions of subscribers though, so that in itself makes them pretty large.

January 08, 2011 @ 7:28 am
Debt Free Divas's picture

I don't know why I'm so skeptical. You've provided a lot of details. IDK. My folks have it, but they never got rid of their home phone. I need to ask them about their experience.

I may have missed it. Did you have to get a new number?

January 08, 2011 @ 9:02 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Debt Free Divas - Well I think magicJack is even more viable as a second phone just for outgoing long distance calls and for your kids. Many people spend a lot more per year on long distance alone than $20.

I did get a new number because I didn't have a home phone before signing up for magicJack (we just had cell phones). Now that we have magicJack I've cut the cell phones way back (saving $60-$70 a month) and also saving on long distance costs.

January 08, 2011 @ 1:41 pm
youngandthrifty's picture

I am thinking of getting a magic Jack or some other VOIP phone when I move into my new house. BF gets a EPP through work for $10 a month home phone with Telus, but that's still $120 a year, then you have to add caller ID etc.

It would be good to have a phone to use during the day in case I didn't want to use my cellular phone's minutes :)

Thanks SM for such a great post as always!

January 11, 2011 @ 1:36 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

While $10/mth is a great deal for a landline home phone, I still think you could benefit from switching to magicJack. As you said, it is still much cheaper, you get all the extra features free, and most importantly you get the long distance included for free whenever you need to make a long distance call.

It would work particularly well for you because you use your cell phones as your primary phones and you have big plans to go along with them. Because of that, magicJack makes the perfect backup!

January 11, 2011 @ 9:38 am
Cowtown Realist's picture

Wow, this is a fantastic post on the Magic Jack! Excellent work..

My Mom has had it for a few years now. When she got it there were no Canadian numbers available, so she arbitrarily chose one, I think it's in Seattle or something. I have found the call quality varies and the low quality times are usually when everyone is overloading the cable network in the area: evenings.

Overall I think its a great deal, she can call me long distance anytime, and if I don't want to pay long distance, I can just send her a text and she will call me! If it were me however, I would still stick with Skype just for the video capability.

As a side note; Gmail is still offering free calls anywhere in North America. You can call directly from your gmail account to anyone cell phone or land line for free. Great time to take advantage of this!

January 12, 2011 @ 4:07 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Glad to hear of another happy magicJack customer! Also, thanks for pointing out making calls from Gmail. This is essentially a specialized version of Google Voice (which I cover on my general VoIP page) that is only available through Gmail on your computer using a headset or microphone and speakers.

Unfortunately the full Google Voice isn't yet available to Canadians except for those of us that are grandfathered in from years ago.

January 12, 2011 @ 7:15 am
SRINI
SRINI's picture

I have my ADT home security system hooked on to my Bell home phone line.
If I switch to Majic Jack, will my home security system be compromised?

January 12, 2011 @ 11:46 am
mike
mike's picture

Why not use freephoneline.ca - ? Its free.

January 12, 2011 @ 11:47 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@SRINI - Yes, you definitely don't want to use magicJack with a security system. Although you can hook magicJack up to the internal wiring of your house if you know what you're doing, it still isn't reliable enough to use for a security system. The advantage of using a landline for a security system is that is has its own power supply. With magicJack you would have a lot more potential points of failure to worry about.

One thing you might consider is going to a cellular based security system that will send out the distress call via cell phone towers instead of your landline.

However, you are probably better off just sticking with your landline. You can try calling retentions to negotiate a better deal on your landline.

Maybe try magicJack as a secondary line for long distance calls and to take with you when you travel.

January 12, 2011 @ 12:20 pm
Big G
Big G's picture

I used to use magicjack, and I dumped it pretty quick. It was a lot more troublesome than what you described, and still is in my opinion. I am very surprised you didn't recommend Free Phone Line as an option. Much more affordable, and practical for most people. Can be found at http://freephoneline.ca

You don't need a computer for the service, you use a SIP gateway which can be purchased on ebay for roughly 30 bucks, and can be purchased from stores, or FPL directly for 50. Then you pay for a configuration file, and that's it, $50. That's it for life. It cost's nothing monthly/yearly. It works without a computer. It gives you free long distance to major cities in Canada, and a list of other cities you can call for free, and some US cities, and long distance in North America is 2 cents a minute.

Your advice to purchase a new computer to someone above, I completely disagree with. A home phone cost's $20 a month, so $240 a year, this provides savings of $220 a year, to get a reliable (key word, reliable) computer, you'd see your savings after 3 to 4 years of service. Plus now you're paying the additional power cost's to power that computer, ect. And today's life cycle of computer's is 3-5 years, maybe less depending on the brand considering it's running 24/7. Basically, it all becomes a wash unless you use the PC for something else, in your case media, but in practical cases, most people don't do that. Having a cell as a backup still increases your cost's, and winds up costing more.

Great second line if you can put up with the issues (all VoIP providers have them, although I've seen next to none of them with FPL), but would I rely on it as my primary line??? Not a chance...

January 12, 2011 @ 12:31 pm
Jamie's picture

I tried out MagicJack from May until October. Sometimes the calls would work just find, but at the end, whenever I would call a 403 number, I would be able to hear the other person, but they would not be able to hear me. This was specifically localized to when I called 403 area code numbers, and as such, had nothing to do with configurations on my machine.

I have had a number of similar issues to this, which would take hours of tech support to diagnose as a routing issue, and then several more days to resolve afterwards. After all this, I decided that my time was worth more than what I was saving each month by not using Telus or Shaw, so I chose to go with shaw.

January 12, 2011 @ 12:32 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@mike - FreePhoneLine.ca is great service for sure and I do mention it on my VoIP services page. There are a few reasons why you might want to use magicJack over FreePhoneLine.ca:

1) FreePhoneLine only provides free service to certain cities and area codes. There are large gaping holes of coverage throughout the country.

2) With magicJack you can also call the entire USA for free, not just selected cities in Canada.

3) magicJack is easier to set up for people who aren't technically inclined as there is no ATA involved.

4) magicJack is likely more reliable than FreePhoneLine because they are a bigger company millions upon millions of users. FPL doesn't even have 100K.

5) magicJack has at least one more feature that I don't see listed for FPL: call waiting.

6) FPL's selection of Canadian area codes is less than magicJack's. They only have numbers in 4 provinces.

January 12, 2011 @ 12:35 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Big G - Thanks for the detailed comment.

I do mention Free Phone Line on my page dedicated to VoIP services. It is a great service for some. My site is aimed at the average person who isn't very technical and I happen to think that magicJack is easier to set up and configure and, as mentioned in my last comment, it is available to more Canadians and has a much larger free calling area.

As for the second computer, it is completely optional. The only reason I recommend it is because it makes things easier and having a good HTPC can save you $100s of dollars on your other services and entertainment every month, not just your home phone bill. Encouraging people to move in that direction is a good thing in my opinion. Also, nettop computers like the one I typically recommend (the Acer Revo) draws less power than most standard light bulbs.

I agree, I think it is good as a home phone if you already have cell phones as backup. If not, then using it as a secondary line would be best. I am being honest in my review though. I think it is a great product and we use it every day. Add on two prepaid phones that cost us about $8.50/mth from Petro Canada and we have a really cheap communications setup.

January 12, 2011 @ 12:51 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Jamie - Sorry to hear about your problems. I had a similar issue with my outgoing calls being dropped at 5 minutes. Asking for an account refresh might fix the problem. As more and more Canadians start to use magicJack, I think the problems will continue to be ironed out. I haven't had any problems at all recently.

January 12, 2011 @ 12:52 pm
Ian Rahn
Ian Rahn's picture

Hi SavingMentor,

I have tried three different VoIP providers, two Canadian and one American. All have issues, as you mention. I opted to purchase a hardware VoIP (or SIP) phone with a full-colour display. OK, maybe that's not a money-saving option, but it makes for a very enjoyable experience. That said, a $30 ATA combined with a conventional telephone is fine for most users.

What I've found is that it is better to pay a bit more to make sure you have very reliable service. I pay US$5.95 a month for Callcentric (which I have found to be feature-rich and very reliable). The one big concession is no outgoing phone calls for that price. However, you can install a Skype application on all computers and most smartphones (including even the cheaper Nokia and Sony Ericsson smartphones). With the annual subscription discount, it only costs C$30.05 a year for Skype and it sure is a lot easier to use than, let's say, a softphone, on a computer (with the added feature of video calls).

So with Callcentric and Skype, my total layout is under C$10 a month. If I could find a Canadian (or U.S.) VoIP provider who would do unlimited Canadian and U.S. calls with number portability for the price. It's been my experience in VoIP that you get what you paid for and Callcentric has been rock solid. It's worth that much to have been able to keep my phone number. Portabililty is a deal maker (or breaker) for me.

One important note for everyone contemplating Skype or industry-standard VoIP (like Majic Jack), don't even think about downloading torrents while using your VoIP line. You will invariably run into problems and no amount of fiddling with router settings is likely to give you satisfactory results. Close the torrent app when the phone rings or you pick it up to make a cal, and voilà.

I think the real reason that people stick with Skype is the fantastic call quality. I even bought a Skype hardphone, but found I preferred using the headset afterall (go figure; I think it has to do with the ease of point and click mouse controls). If Skype ever agrees to provide E911 service and truly enters Canada with incoming phone numbers and portability, they'll likely give Canadian VoIP providers a real run for their money. The value proposition is just much better, especially with their new Skype-to-go numbers which are really handy on a cell phone when roaming in a city you visit on a regular basis. Doesn't get any "free-er" than that.

January 12, 2011 @ 1:32 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Ian - Yes the call quality with Skype was always fantastic and that is what we used before we switched to magicJack. I probably would have stuck with Skype if it weren't for 2 things that you mentioned:

  • The lack of incoming numbers (although Virtufon is an option for that as Steve Zussino mentioned in comment #4)
  • Problems hooking up a standard telephone to Skype with Windows 7.

I'm a techie and even I found dealing with a separate Skype adapter that always crashed and caused problems to be too much of a hassle for me. magicJack has been much better in that regard. Unlpugging it from the computer and plugging it back in usually solves almost any problem.

I never figured out why Skype doesn't sell a Skype-branded adapter to plug into your computer much like magicJack. It would make things a lot easier!

magicJack is honestly the best and easiest to use VoIP service I have used so far. Not perfect, but definitely the best overall as far as ultra cheap options go.

January 12, 2011 @ 1:42 pm
Eric
Eric's picture

When you travel, you don't always have access to Internet or the cost is too high. So, using the MagicJack while you travel may be very limited.

January 12, 2011 @ 2:10 pm
RM
RM's picture

I had the same issues with MagicJack. Especially the one where the call went through, the people could hear me but I could hear nothing. The live chat tech sent me a software update that eliminated the problem completely. I was very skeptical at first but I am sold on magicJack. Excellent article

January 12, 2011 @ 2:53 pm
Belle Mercer
Belle Mercer's picture

RM they sent you a software update? I've been going to he l l for a year and they haven't done a thing for me except give me the same run around. I'm going to call their head office in the morning. thanks for sharing.

December 16, 2015 @ 11:44 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Eric - that is definitely true that you aren't always going to have an internet connection but that is the same for any VoIP service you want to use. It is great for people who stay in hotels because many hotels offer free WiFi and there are also lots of free WiFi hotspots throughout Canada. It's just another option for those that can take advantage of it.

@RM - thanks for the positive comments. I'm glad to hear from someone else who also had a positive experience with their support confirming that it isn't just me! The reviews on TheSource.ca are also very positive, so I think that also says a lot about the overall value of magicJack to the average Canadian.

January 12, 2011 @ 3:07 pm
Ramjet
Ramjet's picture

Be warned.
Magic Jack has a virus like control of your computer, at start up and at every call you are bombarded with a magic jack commercial that Magic Jack can change to be for anything it wishes.

You can beat some of the pop ups with magic jack block.

Magic Jack's business ethics are out of the gutter.
If you try to make a payment, you can easily end up being billed five years of service when you only intended one year.

I tried to cancel after receiving it due to call problems and could not. They do NOT supply a "return address". They use a variety of tricks to make it is a difficult as possible to cancel or get a credit card refund, especially visa.

If you use a credit card, make sure you send them a letter that you don't want automatic renewals, that can hit you five years in one hit.

Even if you change your visa card number, they can still take it from your new visa.

Magic Jack refuse to allow use of "voice adapaters", that is they want to control your computer with a virus like program in your USB socket. Not nice.

MAgic Jack have engaged in an electronic war on those who have tried to use voice adapters and regularly change their software to defeat any use of any device other than magicjack USB.

You can't use any normal USB cable, it has to be a magic jack USB cable, and it wont work from a hub, it must be to the computer.

the only solution is use a "thin client'.

There are alternatives for Canadians, www.FreePhoneLine.ca offers a great deal that beats Magic Jack hands down, but with similar call quality problems that are mainly the result of poor internet home service.

January 12, 2011 @ 3:20 pm
Blaine
Blaine's picture

Mentor, 2 questions: we live in a small city in NE Alberta but have hi speed access.
First, will this work with a Mac?
Second, with the new number would local incoming call be charged long distance on their end?
Other than that, it sounds like the answer to our Telus woes (they really have p. poor support).

January 12, 2011 @ 7:52 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Blaine - 2 answers:

1) It appears that, yes, magicJack will work on a Mac although I've never tried it. Check out the official magicJack page on mac support as well as the entire forum dedicated to mac usage at the unofficial magicJack support forums.

2) The call will only being long distance for the people calling you if the area code you are assigned for your magicJack phone number would normally be long distance to them. magicJack uses normal area codes that landlines and cell phones use. Here is a list of USA and Canadian area codes that they offer.

Make sure you report back if you decide to give it a try!

January 12, 2011 @ 8:10 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Ramjet - I think you are really blowing things out of proportion here. There is some truth to the things you have said and clearly magicJack isn't a perfect company, as none are, but it seems you are just a disgruntled customer taking out your frustrations.

To respond to your assertions:

Yes, there is a small ad window that is part of the magicJack softphone that displays on your computer when magicJack is running. I don't find it to be a big deal and the only ads I've seen there so far are either for buying extra years of magicJack service or buy credit for making long distance calls outside of Canada and the USA (India is usually what I see advertised).

Honestly, what do you expect from such a cheaply priced service? They are in business to make money and they have to make some somewhere. With MagicBlock running, I hardly know magicJack is even running on the computer.

magicJack definitely has aggressive sales tactics during the sign up process trying to entice you to sign up for additional years of service. It is more aggressive than I would like as well, but you can easily say no to these offers. You just need to pay attention to what options you are selecting as you are going through the sign up process. Nothing is hidden or deceitful that I encountered.

Automatic renewals are pretty standard as far as services go. You are going to get billed again to avoid an interruption of service when your current billing period comes to an end. It just makes sense.

As for voice adapters, I assume you are talking about ATAs, right? Why would they allow their service to be used with another product that isn't theirs? It is well within their rights for their service to be used how they intend it to be used. Skype doesn't work with any old ATA either. I'm not sure why you would expect this?

The main reason magicJack needs to be plugged into a primary USB port is for power reasons. I already mentioned in the article that caller ID issues can arise even when you use a primary port because there isn't enough power. magicJack will work in a powered USB hub port as well. This isn't an attempt to control your computer; it is a technical power requirement of the device. I have heard reports of people using other USB cables with it just fine, it just needs to be a good enough cable for it to work properly.

January 12, 2011 @ 8:32 pm
Kris
Kris's picture

I just got my magicjack (I'm a Canadian Customer). I installed it a couple days ago.

I have one big problem!

Problem:
I can't hear any audio in my telephone when the call connects to the person I'm calling or the person calling me.
The person I am calling can hear me, however I can't hear them.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-> Please note all the volume settings under my control panel are fine. All the volumes are set to max.

Has anyone else on this forum had the same problem and know how to fix it?!

January 13, 2011 @ 7:55 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Kris - It looks like you are experiencing a similar issue to what I was experiencing when I had dropped audio after 5 minutes. I would contact magicJack support (you can find the links in this article), install the magicFix patch, and do whatever other steps they ask you to do.

You could also ask them to do a refresh on your account like they did for me and that should solve the problem. I'd also suggest trying it on another computer just to make sure there aren't any issues with your individual computer.

January 13, 2011 @ 9:49 am
Ian Rahn
Ian Rahn's picture

Saving Mentor,

I can say that the Skype hardphone that plugs directly into your router works great but the handset feels a bit chintzy. The sound quality is definitely better in a good quality headset. However, it's a great feature to have an always-on Skype connection that can ring loudly to ensure you don't miss calls when your computer is off.

I know I'm paying way more than you, but I really enjoy having my stand-alone SIP hardphone. I very much wish I could find a super-cheap outgoing VOIP provider, but so far, the best I've found are the Betamax companies (particularly voipstunt.com), which charge €10 for four months of unlimited calling to landlines and mobiles in Canada, the U.S. and a few Asian countries, plus free calls to landlines in Western Europe. But at €30 a year (well over C$40 after the credit card company takes it's cut), conventional VOIP that is BYOD (bring your own device, that is, a physical VOIP phone or an analog telephone adapter - ATA) just can't compete in pricing with Skype. The best you can do is combine services like Callcentric (or Les.net) to keep your phone number and use freephoneline.ca for your outgoing calls; people will start calling you on the other number though, which is confusing. Skype, on the other hand, appears like your cell phone, which is less problematic.

It's too bad that there isn't a single provider in Canada who offers EXACTLY what I want. They all try and get C$20 a month out of you.

Ian

January 13, 2011 @ 12:34 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Ian -You're getting more advanced into VoIP that I'm really comfortable with because I've never really experimented with ATAs or hardphones, I just have theoretical knowledge of them. However, since you seem to love Skype I'm not sure why you wouldn't combine a service like that which is offered by Virtufon with Skype?

That way you get unlimited incoming and outgoing calls in North America, have Skype call quality and reliability, and no number confusion because you can tell Skype to display whatever number you want on other people's caller ID. You'd also get to ditech your SIP phone or ATA and just use your Skype phone and/or headset for all your incoming and outgoing calls.

The only reason I can see why you wouldn't do this because it costs about the same as you are paying for callcentric now is because Virtufon might not offer number portability. Is that right, because I really don't know if they offer it or not? I guess you still don't get to use a real telephone though, just your Skype phone unless you go for a Skype adapter, in which case you need an always on computer.

Haha, so confusing ... that's why I like magicJack. So simple and easy compared to most of the other VoIP options out there!

January 13, 2011 @ 8:08 pm
Ian Rahn
Ian Rahn's picture

SavingMentor,

To answer your question, I would say simply that I *really* like my Linksys (now Cisco) IP Phone SPA962. I like the way the handset feels in my hand. I like the experience of still using a telephone that's plugged into the wall (no worry about batteries). My Skype hardphone is much cheaper (half the price of my Linksys SIP phone) and you can totally see the difference in quality. I shouldn't have to "throw out" my great SIP phone just because Skype wants to jealously guard it's "walled garden" service.

That said, my Skype hardphone plugs into the wall and router; it does not plug into a computer and is completely standalone. However, it is not that easy to use and the handset is overly light and chintzy feeling. If I didn't have the office-class SIP phone, I'm sure I would think my stand-alone Skype phone was great. And with the Skype app installed on my Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro I have a back-up phone that's not dependent on a computer. In short, I think it comes down to psychology. It's not based on logic but rather on what I'm comfortable with, on the whole experience. I also don't like the fact that Skype's overseas rates are MUCH higher than Callcentric's.

I also have Sipsorcery.com configured with my Gizmo5 and Google Voice accounts so that I can make free calls using SIP only (without having to "order" the call via a web interface). Were it not for the fact that Google Voice imposes your Google Voice number for the caller ID, I would use it exclusively. As you can see, no solution is absolutely perfect. Having options, however, is really great. And Callcentric is month to month with a pre-paid balance (so you never have any surprises and they have no access to your credit card, unlike nearly all other VOIP providers, except Les.net, notably).

So I wait for something better, hopefully, and keep the status quo for now.

It was great to discuss this stuff with someone; very few people have the patience to learn all about it.

Cheers,
Ian

P.S. I find Majic Jack, the way you describe it, as neither simple nor easy. Once you've used a SIP phone (hardphone) you never look back. ;-) It was made to work that way.

January 13, 2011 @ 9:45 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Ian - ok thanks again for sharing the details. If there are any advanced users reading this, or those that have the patience to learn, I know they will find your comments very useful.

January 13, 2011 @ 11:41 pm
copingdaily
copingdaily's picture

I used MagicJack for 3 years now. It's okay.

They told me when I signed up that they would have a 239 (Fort Myers) area code number available in 30 days; it still hasn't happened.

If you can get a US IP address Google Voice is a good alternative; it's free, there is no dongle to plug in to your computer (although I do prefer a headset), there is no software to boot up (sometimes an issue with MJ) has free calls to Canada and the US, you can copy phone numbers from Websites or your contacts list and paste them in the dialer and my favourite... you can start typing in the dialer the name of the person that you want to dial and Google voice will offer suggest phone numbers from your Gmail contacts list.

One more thing, Google Voice offers free area code 239 numbers.

January 14, 2011 @ 9:45 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@copingdaily - that's too bad about the 239 area code. The thing is they probably can't offer area codes that are too expensive to procure, especially if there is only a limited amount of potential users in that area. With the product already being so cheap, they have to go after the easiest and most profitable accounts first.

I've been a Google Voice user for years (when it was still GrandCentral) and I still switched to and prefer magicJack for a lot of reasons. Google

  • It can be used with a regular phone with having to pay a monthly fee.
    • Only us geeks and computer enthusiasts would be comfortable placing and receiving our everyday calls on our computers.
  • There are currently no area codes available in Canada with Google Voice and Canadians can no longer create an account. magicJack does have Canadian numbers in every major city.
  • I've experienced massive delays with Google Voice of over a second causing me to always talk over the person I'm speaking with.
    • I've never had this problem with Skype or magicJack.
  • If you are using Google Voice with a standard landline that you pay monthly for, initiating calls can be a real pain because you have to do it through a computer.

Google Voice is a great service for sure, but it just doesn't come close to offering everything I need. I think 95% of the Canadian population would be better off with magicJack than Google Voice as it stands right now. However, when GV officially arrives in Canada, I will definitely be giving it some more coverage.

January 14, 2011 @ 10:45 am
Adam
Adam's picture

I am thinking of getting MagicJack, or something of the sort, to use at home instead of my cell phone (don't have a landline), because Rogers service is so terrible here (or maybe it's my iPhone 4.. maybe I'm holding it wrong) that almost half of my calls drop.

Ideally, I'd be able to just use my iPhone over the wifi internet connection, rather than Rogers' crappy network.

Any suggestions?

January 14, 2011 @ 11:05 pm
Ian Rahn
Ian Rahn's picture

@Adam

Making free calls from home on an iPhone (or Ipod Touch or iPad) is not difficult. Getting a free telephone number to receive incoming calls on your iPhone is more complex, however. Google offers EXCELLENT support for Apple mobile devices.

My suggestion to you, Adam, is to use Gmail (and a downsized version of Google Voice) to make your calls from your iPhone.

1. Create a gmail account if you haven't done so already.

2. Install this plug-in:
http://www.google.com/chat/voice/

3. Try using the newly installed dialer to call your iPhone.

Now you should be able to to use your gmail address and phone number to log in to a Google Voice application that you can download from the App store:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-voice/id318698524?mt=8#
(not sure that will display for you because I don't have an iPod or iPhone, but you can do a quick search to find it).

Presuming that your wifi is properly configured on your iPhone and the app as well, you should be able to initiate calls directly from the app for free. You won't be able to register for a free incoming U.S. telephone number with Google Voice as you have to have a U.S. phone number to add to the service and they don't seem to be allowing you to use one of the free numbers available from ipkall.com et al. (I tried several times and all of the numbers reported having been used already, given that such free phone number companies have a limited bank of numbers that expire after 30 days if you don't use them). So the long and the short of is unless you go an get one of those cheap prepaid phones at a Walgreens or Walmart store in the Sates for the express purpose of getting a free incoming phone number from sipgate or Google Voice, you'll have to keep receiving calls on your iPhone.

Hope that wasn't too complicated an explanation!

Good luck!
Ian

January 15, 2011 @ 8:10 pm
Ian Rahn
Ian Rahn's picture

@Adam

P.S. I just remembered that the Fring application for iPhone/iPod/iPod has Google Voice built in. You may find that app even easier.

January 15, 2011 @ 9:15 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Adam - What Ian said is probably your best option. However, if you don't want a strange number showing up on other people's caller ID then you may want to consider getting a Skype subscription for $2.99/mth (less if you prepay for several months at a time) that gives you unlimited local and long distance calling in Canada and USA.

With Skype you should be able to set your cell phone number to display when you make calls from Skype on your iPhone and that way people will call you back on the right number.

January 15, 2011 @ 10:46 pm
Bob
Bob's picture

I recently bought Magicjack after reading mixed reviews but mainly positive reviews. I thought for the price ~$40 it was worth a try. I currently have a Bell Phone Line.

As soon as I installed everything (very quick and straightforward) and made my first call to a land line using my cordless phone I noticed the horrible call quality difference between the Bell line and Magicjack. The calls are really faint and I can barely hear the other person, then they start to cut in and out drastically. Although the other person on the other line doesn't really complain about call quality from me.

My DSL internet (ACANAC) had all traffic turned off and no torrents etc running, it was solely dedicated to Magicjack. I can't see myself replacing it as a main phone line even though I've been looking for alternatives.

I'm now considering buying a Cisco SPA-2102 and trying out www.freephoneline.ca but I really hope the call quality with their service is not the same as Magicjack because thats a serious downgrade to what my Bell phone line provides.

I'm also contemplating going with ACANAC VOIP which is 9.95$/month with my own ATA.

Currently I'm getting a friend to try out the Magicjack and compare it to his ACANAC VOIP in call quality.

Thus far though everyone that I read everywhere praise the Magicjack must either be really used to horrible call quality or just doesn't experience the type of quality that I have. Bell hard line definitely is top notch in call clarity. But it does now cost a ridiculous amount which is increasing every year.

January 21, 2011 @ 6:18 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Bob - Surprised to hear you are having significant quality issues with magicJack. You shouldn't expect landline quality as that is pretty hard to replicate over the internet, but it should be close. I too have noticed that outgoing call quality typically seems to be better than incoming call quality, although it is usually a very minor difference if at all.

Have you considered the problem might be your ACANAC line. They are a lower cost provider and might have high latency or some other problem for VoIP. Are you using a router? How about wireless. I would first test your magicJack on a few computers and a few different internet connections before assuming that magicJack is the problem. I doubt you will have much better luck with freephoneline if magicJack is giving you problems.

You can't expect 100% perfection for this price, but you get much more value out of magicJack than you should for the price ... that's for sure.

January 22, 2011 @ 11:22 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@J Linders - Thanks for the info and the link. I have no experience with freephoneline.ca so I can't say if it is spyware or not. However, if you've never had it or 295 installed then it shouldn't be running stuff on your computer. magicJack is a much more legitimate business than freephoneline in my opinion.

In regards to the magicJack complaints, there are bound to be a few, especially when you have millions of customers. Whenever technology that can fail like VoIP is involved, people who don't really understand what is going on or have no patience to sort problems out with a few quick internet searches may get angry or complain, even if the problem isn't really magicJack's fault but something else in their computer setup.

For instance, many of the complaints listed on the site you linked to are about the inability to contact support. I've outlined in this article exactly how to contact support. Yes, you do have to make a few clicks AND do a single search before you get the live chat button that actually connects you to an agent - but you can definitely speak to someone as I have done it several times.

You know who else makes it almost impossible to contact them even for their premium and paid services? Google! Talk about endless links!! You might get an email address or contact form in the end if you are lucky. Many times they just say "read the forums, there is nobody you can contact".

January 22, 2011 @ 11:32 pm
Doug
Doug's picture

Re: #35 Saving Mentor reply to @copingdaily you state that there are no area codes available in Canada and Canadians can no longer create an account? I just purchased a MJ but have not installed yet are you telling me that if I install it I will have take a US number instead, the whole reason I purchased now was for a Canadian number, also I live in Alberta area code 403, has the problems related to this area code been fixed and finally a friend wants to know if MJ can be used as a dedicated fax line.

February 13, 2011 @ 1:59 pm
Ian Rahn
Ian Rahn's picture

@Doug Magic Jack offers only Calgary numbers in 403; you can sign up for Magic Jack as a Canadian and get a Canadian number in a limited number of area codes.

http://www.magicjack.com/9/areacodes.asp

Canadians cannot create a new Google Voice account, nor obtain a Canadian incoming number for Google Voice. If you are willing to create a free account with Whistle to obtain a U.S. number, you can then use your Whistle.com number to sign up for Google voice, PROVIDED that you have a proxy application like UltraSurf running to give you a U.S. IP address. That will only let you make free outgoing calls, and only when you are on the computer with Whistle running. So Google Voice is not very useful for Canadians at the present time.

February 13, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Doug -  sorry for the confusion. Comment #35 was in reference to Google Voice not offering Canadian numbers and new accounts to Canadians not magicJack. magicJack still offers Canadian numbers and has been doing so for some time now.

February 13, 2011 @ 6:59 pm
jdneena
jdneena's picture

I purchased a Magic Jack several months ago for use in calling and receiving calls from two particular family members who were long distance even though they only live a half hour away from me. I find the call quality "just ok" at best most times however by putting Magic Jack on call forward to my landline number people can call me toll free by using the Magic Jack number and the voice quality is excellent.

Unfortunately we have recently encountered a problem though. One of the two family members was assigned a new phone number by the local phone company when she moved a short distance. While still in the same area code as previously (same one I am in as well) her new phone number has a prefix that was fairly recently put into service and now she cannot call my Magic Jack number without getting a recording telling her it is a long distance call. However I can call her using the Magic Jack and the call goes through normally with no long distance charges. The other family member lives very close to her and has no problem calling me toll free but has a prefix that has been in existence for decades. I tried contacting Magic Jack chat support, that was useless, they blamed the local phone company. The local phone company doesn't seem to be able to (or willing to?) provide an answer at all. If anyone can shed some light on this and provide some direction as to the solution it would be greatly appreciated!

March 01, 2011 @ 1:05 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@jdneena - I'm not sure I have an adequate answer to your question, but here are my thoughts anyway. If I understand correctly, you picked an area code for your magicJack that is local to these two people that you want to be able to call you as if it is a local call? I'm glad that worked out and it is interesting that the call quality is better when you forward the call to your landline. This would tend to indicate that the problem might be with your internet connection because the call is still routed through the internet and the magicJack servers, but not through your specific internet connection or your magicJack device.

As far as the area code change goes, I would tend to agree that this sounds like a phone company issue even though it may not be. Can you give two examples phone numbers, one with a prefix and one without, so I can have a better idea of what this new phone number looks like? You can just use a fake last four digits to protect your privacy. The only thing I would suggest to you, is to check and see if her new number is long distance for a regular telephone with the same area code as your magicJack. If it is, then it obviously isn't a problem with magicJack. If the call ends up being local, then it could possibly be magicJack that is causing the problem or some other unknown.

March 01, 2011 @ 9:13 pm
jdneena
jdneena's picture

@SavingMentor - Thank you for your reply to my post. :) The area code is 902, there is only one area code for the entire province of NS. The only NS number available from Magic Jack is a Halifax number. That worked out fine for me anyway since both of my family members mentioned in my first post live within the local calling area of Halifax. There are 2 phone numbers in play in this issue, the first 902-883-XXXX can call my Magic Jack number as a local call. The 883 prefix has been in existence for decades and is a Bell Canada (formerly Aliant) number. The other family member has a newly assigned number, 902-259-XXXX and cannot call my Magic Jack number without it being long distance. Yet, I can call the 259 number using the Magic Jack and it goes through as a local call for me. The 259 prefix is fairly new and is being assigned to customers by Eastlink Communications since they recently expanded their service into that area.

Magic Jack chat support insists that the problem is with the phone company since I can use my Magic Jack to make an outgoing call to the 259 number and it goes through as a local call.

If I were to call either the 259 or 883 number from my regular house phone it would be long distance for me since I do not live within the local calling area for Halifax. And in turn, if either family member with those two numbers were to call me on my house phone number they are making a long distance call. Which of course is why I decided to purchase the Magic Jack with a Halifax number assigned to it, so I could call them and they could call me without it being long distance.

Just as a side note; I did some research last night and checked some settings in the Magic Jack software, the call quality is now much better for outgoing calls, pretty darn good actually. Turns out the volume settings were down. I had set them all the way up previously but I guess it reset itself to the lower settings at some point. I just didn't think about them again after the initial setting. Such a simple fix for that problem and you can bet I will now remember to check those anytime the call quality deteriorates! lol

March 02, 2011 @ 1:40 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@jdneena - I think this is over my head and it sounds like you've tested most possible scenarios.

One thing; what is the prefix for your magicJack - is it 883, 259 or something else entirely? Can the person at the 259 prefix call any other number that has the same prefix as your magicJack locally? Just get them to dial any random number with the same prefix as your magicJack as a test even if they don't know who will pick up on the other end.

If they can do this and the call is local, it then sounds like the problem might be with magicJack. If they cannot do this, then the problem is definitely with the phone company somewhere.

March 02, 2011 @ 3:23 pm
Doug
Doug's picture

Thank you for your answers to my questions but there still is one left to answer is it possible to use magic jack as a dicated fax line. Again thank you all, for your reply's.

March 05, 2011 @ 2:35 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Doug - A Google search turns up that it may indeed be possible to use MJ as a fax line. However, it also seems to indicate that getting it to work initially may be tough and that it tends to be buggy at best when using it for fax. So, if that is of very high importance to you - then I probably wouldn't rely on MJ for faxing. Sorry to disappoint you there!

March 05, 2011 @ 2:59 pm
jdneena
jdneena's picture

@SavingMentor - Sorry for the delay in getting back to you with the answers to your questions!

The prefix for my Magic Jack is 800. My daughter who has the 259 prefix did as you suggested and it seems that any random numbers dialed with the 800 prefix all get her a recording saying she is making a long distance call. And yet, as I said previously, I can call her at the 259 exchange using my Magic Jack and it goes through as a local call. So I guess the problem must be with the phone company that provides her service and issued her a 259 number?

March 10, 2011 @ 4:22 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@jdneena - Yes, I think that is the case. It looks like there is some sort of zoning problem with that prefix that needs to be corrected. Or, it may even be intentional on their part for some mysterious geographical reason.

You would probably have to follow up with the phone company and see if they can offer you some sort of explanation as to why this is happening. You might have trouble getting an answer from a regular CSR though especially if you aren't currently a customer of theirs. Good luck, and let me know if you get it sorted out!

March 10, 2011 @ 6:43 pm
Jim Ashley
Jim Ashley's picture

What a great site with so much useful information! I hope you can give me similar advice. I live in Toronto, Canada but travel to Mexico frequently. I would like to set up a system whereby I could have my clients call me from Canada from their normal landline or cell phone and for me to receive the calls "with quality" in Mexico without the client experiencing any difference whether I'm in Canada or Mexico. Similarly, I'd like to be able to call clients in Canada from Mexico and for the call to be seamless whether I'm in Canada or Mexico. The internet service is very good where I'll be in Mexico.

Could you suggest a system that provides high quality, reliable service at a reasonable cost that would fulfill my needs. If need be, I would be willing to keep my landline in Canada and have the calls forwarded.

I'm prepared to consider Magic Jack, Skype, Ooma or any other though I understand Magic Jack is the only product with a Canadian phone numbers available.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
Jim Ashley

April 15, 2011 @ 11:46 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Jim - Although I am probably not qualified to give you the best advice on using VoIP as a reliable business solution, I think you are right that Magic Jack is one of the most viable options based on the fact that it is the sole provider out of those you listed to offer Canadian phone numbers.

However, you may want to look into traditional VoIP as a solution as well. I am actually going to be posting another VoIP related post very soon on the site written by a guest poster who is more familiar with the intricacies of traditional VoIP using either an ATA hardware device or a soft phone on your computer. This type of system can potentially be more reliable and it can also be fault tolerant in that you can configure it to forward calls to a dedicated phone if your ATA or softphone aren't currently online and available to take the call. That is something you may find useful and you could ask him some questions as well to see if he has more insight to offer.

So if you want quick and easy, but maybe not the absolutely most reliable - go with Magic Jack. If you want the most reliable and don't mind using your computer to receive calls when you don't have your ATA hooked up, then go with a pay per use VoIP solution like VoIP.ms. You may also want to look into Magic Talk because it also offers Canadian numbers. You could use it for a 100% computer based solution instead of having to plug in the Magic Jack device and you can use it free. You only have to pay with Magic Talk if you want a dedicated incoming phone number.

April 20, 2011 @ 10:00 pm
Joseph
Joseph's picture

Great article. I did a Google search on LNP Canada for the MagicJack and it brought me to you. My parents have had a MagicJack for over a year now. When they go overseas(India) they can use it to call back to Canada and the US! In this day of mobile phones, MJ is a fantastic reason to ditch your landline.

Any word on if you can port to a MagicJack now? How would one research that?

Thanks!

May 09, 2011 @ 12:22 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Joseph - last I heard you still can't port Canadian numbers to magicJack. The only way to get an update on the progress of that would be to monitor that FAQ on the official magicJack site or to contact their support chat and ask them directly.

Glad you enjoyed the article!

May 09, 2011 @ 1:04 pm
Stargazer
Stargazer's picture

I wanted to say what a wonderfully helpful review this is. The information provided about magicJack is very thorough and balanced and it gave me a realistic view of what to expect.

I wanted to let you know that I found another easy fix for the problem of caller ID not being displayed on the handset. I did not have another phone to try, and using a powered USB hub didn't make a difference. I didn't really feel like installing a resistor so I was contemplating purchasing the magicMojita. But then I found the following posted in the unofficial magicJack support forums by someone named byeelectric:

"As a technician I remembered something, I went out and bought a phone line splitter. It is used to make one telephone jack into two or more jacks and only cost $2.00, I also bought a cheap handset phone with caller ID (corded) it cost $9.00. The trick is to take away voltage from the magicjack's output as the caller ID issue is coming from too much voltage spiking. Caller ID now works on my cordless phone because I have two phones plugged into my magicjack. (Every incoming call)"

I happened to already have a line splitter and a cheap phone (with no caller ID). I plugged the splitter into the mJ and then connected it to both my cordless handset and the cheap phone. Now the caller ID shows up on my cordless handsets all the time--yaay!!

Perhaps this may help other people with the same problem.

June 19, 2011 @ 3:36 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Stargazer

Thanks for that additional information - that's very helpful indeed. I may actually try doing that myself and see if it fixes the problem. I've thought of purchasing the magicMojita myself as well but never got around to doing it.

Glad you enjoyed the review and found it helpful!

June 19, 2011 @ 11:05 pm
Navigator
Navigator's picture

Yesterday, I installed MagicJack as a gift. It worked fine with my new phone number shown on Caller Display.

However, it only lasted for a short brief time. Now, when I make a call, there is no Caller ID, anymore. Instead, it shows of " Unknown, unavailable phone-number".

How can I fix it? Please, help!

Thank you.

June 20, 2011 @ 12:31 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Navigator

I suggest you either purchase the magicMojita product linked to in my review or read through comment #59 by Stargazer as they mention a nice alternative way to get the caller ID working more reliably.

You can also look on the magicJack softphone on your computer to see who is calling along with a list a previous calls.

June 21, 2011 @ 11:10 am
Navigator
Navigator's picture

I have two operation systems for my PC--Window on my desktop and Macbook on my laptop.

To my surprise, the MagicJack's face-front page for log-in is not uniformed for both PC.

For example, some of the function key (of MajicJack) are in position of opposite locations on my Macbook.

Thus, it makes MagicJack very difficult and awkward to use for Macbook owner.

Am I getting a wrong version of the software (MagicJack) for my Macbook?

June 23, 2011 @ 4:27 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Personally, I've only used magicJack on Windows PCs so I can't really comment on the Macbook interface. However, you may find the answers you are looking for on the forums I linked to in the article.

June 23, 2011 @ 8:56 pm
Jim Taylor
Jim Taylor's picture

Great information and valuable information, especially from "Saving Mentor". There was mention about "Google Voice" not being accessible to Canadian Gmail subscribers. Well, on July 05, 2011 I signed up for Gmail and was prompted to connect with Google Voice, which I did. It took a few tries, but eventually connected. Now, I can make free local and long distance calls within Canada and to the USA. However, I did not receive a phone number, thus others cannot call me through my computer to my Google Voice connection.

July 12, 2011 @ 1:20 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Your absolutely right Jim. The Google calling feature has been available to Canadians through Gmail which is built around Google Voice - but it isn't the full Google Voice because you still need to use a computer to make calls.

You can't make an outgoing call using your cell phone with that, correct? So when I say that GV isn't available to Canadians, I'm talking about the full blown GV that has callback for outgoing calls so you can use any phone to make a call and that also assigns you your own telephone number.

Thanks for the positive comments!

July 12, 2011 @ 10:07 pm
Tequila
Tequila's picture

I'm not sure if this was posted before but noticed several references to caller ID. At first, only the caller's number (no name) showed up on our cordless phones. After entering a few contacts in the MagicJack computer interface, a few names started showing up - Bingo. For the name to show up on caller ID, it seems you have to enter all expected contacts in the computer interface. The software then associates the calling number with the name you provided, and displays it. Free caller ID rocks! I also love the free voicemail; when travelling I can check my e-mail and if some contain a voicemail attachment, both are handled at once.

July 18, 2011 @ 2:54 pm
zoey
zoey's picture

hello we do travel a fair bit and like to call home to check on the business when away
an I to understand correctly if we choose the area code we are now here in ontario we will be able to make all calls free to any area code in canada and the usa?????
2
if we go to europe will we be able to call home ( aproviding we purchase to phone) to ontario to the second phone for no charge
thanks you for your help

August 09, 2011 @ 8:57 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Tequila - that's good information to get the caller ID working in a different way, but it should still show the person's number if you don't have any contact information entered in the magicJack application. I agree the email VMs are definitely a handy feature when on the go away from home.

@zoey - yes, you do understand correctly. You can use magicJack from anywhere in the world that you can get a high speed internet connection to make calls to Canada & the USA for free. Not only that, but you can still continue to receive calls as you normally would while in another country. The only potential problem is that the quality of the connection could diminish depending on how far away you are from the magicJack servers and how efficiently the internet traffic can be routed. You might see a noticeable delay or some garbled speech at times and at other times it might work perfectly. It's really hard to say in that instance but for the little magicJack costs it isn't a huge risk to just try it out. You can always use it at home if it doesn't work out perfectly abroad.

August 10, 2011 @ 1:11 pm
zoey
zoey's picture

thank you for the quick response as I have just re-read my own post and my apology for all the spelling mistakes
we had tried out a neighbouring travellers magic jack while in honduras we called home and no charges to either of us to send or receive so why does it list only usa and canada for free
is it also correct that you may call to any magic jack phone anywhere in the world and it will be free???

August 10, 2011 @ 5:46 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

It is advertised that way because they are referencing the numbers you can actually dial, which would be Canadian and US phone numbers, not where the actual device can be used from. The device can be used worldwide free as long as you are calling Canadian and USA area codes.

Since all magicJack devices should have a Canada or USA area code then it only makes sense that any two magicJack devices can call each other free no matter where they are located in the world. The area code being dialed is the only thing that matters as far as I know.

August 10, 2011 @ 11:44 pm
zoey
zoey's picture

thank you again for all the info
any news on the mj plus is it available?? is it working good??

August 11, 2011 @ 12:19 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

That's actually the first I've heard of magicJack Plus. I looked into it and it doesn't seem like it has been officially launched yet but should. This will definitely make using magicJac MUCH easier. I sure hope they offer a special deal for existing magicJack users.

August 11, 2011 @ 10:30 am
Soly
Soly 's picture

I installed the magicjack device into my computer this week, a device I bought at a reputable electronics appliances store in Toronto. The device came without the registration software, I had to hunt for it online. After setting it up I can make phone calls without a problem, but I can't get even 1 phone number of Toronto area via the registration website.
During the login I was asked to choose if I bought it in a retail store or an online order from MJ website. I wonder if really no numbers for Toronto area or just no numbers for buyers of the device at a retail store. I asked MajicJack's customer service the same question but they didn't have an answer for me besides telling me they work to fix the issue.

August 25, 2011 @ 12:36 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

It is possible that they ran out of Toronto area numbers. Are you sure you looked at all possible area codes for the Toronto area? More numbers will probably get released soon. With so many people using VoIP, there is a much higher demand for phone numbers than there used to be. Your best source of information would be magicJack themselves though so you may want to contact them a second time just to be certain you can't get one now.

August 25, 2011 @ 3:46 pm
Belinda
Belinda's picture

I live in Canada and want to get rid of my home phone. I would really only use the magic jack for home phone reasons, which is rare.
I've heard that your computer gets infected, virus, overall issues with your computer, this makes me skeptical.
How much space does the magic jack take up on my computer?

August 30, 2011 @ 9:48 pm
addsup's picture

I got one of these last year hoping to us it for my business line. I spent so much time trying to get decent call quality. I don't think I ever had a call from a client where they didn't ask if I was on a cell phone because I kept cutting out. We now use Vonage and find it's better call quality with much the same features. I do miss having a real land line though for when the power goes out.

September 02, 2011 @ 6:30 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Belinda

From what you describe, I think magicJack would be perfect for you. It works great as a cheap home phone. I haven't noticed any viruses coming from magicJack. They do have a bit of their own advertising, but it isn't much. I don't think there is any spyware or viruses with it. I keep my computers pretty well protected so I think I would know if something like that was going on. It shouldn't take up very much space at all - it's just a small program.

@addsup

Yes, I don't think I would use it as a business line either. The call quality is often very good but sometimes there are a few hiccups. You want your business line to be super reliable so magicJack probably isn't right for that. Vonage would be great - but it is just so much more expensive.

September 05, 2011 @ 9:27 pm
zoey
zoey's picture

just took another look to get the magic jack ordered and it does now list magic jack plus for sale with canadaian numbers on their site and we confirmed this with the live chat people for a price of 69.95 plus shipping and handling plus 10.00 per year for canada number it is listed at 29.95 per year for years after but there is a five year deal unsure what it was
but magic jack plus must be plugged into a modem to work not a wall jack for your computor
just passing on the info i learned recently

September 06, 2011 @ 12:28 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Hey zoey, thanks for all that information. Could you point me to where on their website you can actually order the magicJack plus? As far as I can tell they only have limited availability right now and the only way to order it is through a secret phone number that I found through an online forum. They certainly aren't advertising it yet - at least not from what I've seen.

I did look through their FAQ and there is reference to the plus device there, but that the only hint I've seen on the official magicJack site that the device even exists.

September 06, 2011 @ 7:52 pm
zoey
zoey's picture

below is the link i used and then I asked again to online help and copied info to here so it would seem it is available we are to order today so i will follow up....

http://www.magicjack.com/link.asp?url=index.asp
Amelia: Hello, how may I help you?

julie: hello amelia

Amelia: Hi Julie.

julie: can you tell me if the magic jack plus is available for immediate shipping to canaan with a canada number

Amelia: Yes, magicjack plus is available with canadian numbaer.

Amelia: You can place your order through phone by dialing 1-800-649-1271

julie: when would shipping take place as I have some info from others that state it is not available for shipping asap
Amelia: You can place your order through phone by dialing 1-800-649-1271

julie: when would shipping take place as I have some info from others that state it is not available for shipping asap

Amelia: No, you can place your order for magicjack plus any time through phone and shipping is available in canada.

julie: how long does shipping normally take to canada does it come by post

Amelia: Standard Shipping orders will typically be delivered in 3 - 10 days after shipment.

Amelia: Rush shipping orders will typically be delivered in 2 - 4 business days after shipment.

julie: do you have any specials for dicounts purchase offered today

Amelia: You may confirm at the time of place order.
julie: ok and to order the only way is by that phone number you gave me above

Amelia: Yes

julie: thank you for all the info amelia have a great day

September 07, 2011 @ 9:39 am
zoey
zoey's picture

new dilemma
to choose a canada area code..... I am in the 519 area code but not the city they list on their site so I am assuming that anyone that wants to call me from down the street will have to pay longdistance to call me on the flip side i guess i will have to call them back as my calling out will be free....... cheap for me but not so much for anyone else

September 07, 2011 @ 10:21 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Great, that confirms that the plus edition of magicJack can only be purchased over the phone right now.

Area codes can be a bit sticky. You need to know your local calling area well to be able to pick an area code that isn't long distance from where you are located for the convenience of your family and friends.

September 07, 2011 @ 1:31 pm
Gini Hood's picture

I am really appreciating my Magic Jack (augmenting a land line) but I have run into the opposite problem many are having... randomly, when I make an outgoing call, I can hear the other person or their message machine, but they don't hear me... answering machines don't record and hang up after a moment ot two. Has anyone else experienced this? (I am in Canada)

September 17, 2011 @ 10:59 am
B. Douglas
B. Douglas's picture

I'm pretty sold on MagicJack. I live most of the year in South America, and use it to call the U.S. and Canada daily for business.

The connection is often more clear than a regular phone line (like when I call Newfoundland), and my phone bill went from over $175 a month to zip (international calls cost a fortune from here).

I also use it when I am traveling in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay (at hotels or even cyber-cafes). I bought a cheap little $10 slim-line telephone I carry with me, and have gotten a few funny looks when I use it at a coffee shop with wi-fi -- but it's also a good conversation piece, since it is women who seem to be the most curious as to why I have a regular phone plugged into my laptop!

September 27, 2011 @ 1:30 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

That's a great use case and story B. Douglas, thanks for sharing!

I haven't had the opportunity to use my magicJack overseas yet, but maybe someday soon!

September 27, 2011 @ 1:26 pm
harvey's picture

Had a huge problem renewing my phone and am now out of the service. I don't know if this was part of the problem, but I bought it in the US and used it in BC.

When my year came up I couldn't renew online for some reason. I spent 45 mins on the phone at least with their various levels of support. Eventually, they said they would refer this to a specialist who would get back to me ASAP.

When 7-10 days passed without a peep I called back and replicated the exact same thing again....45-50 minutes on the phone no solution, "we're kicking this upstairs, you are very important to us...A tech guy will be in touch with you ASAP..". again not a word for ten days. By now my subscription had expired for around 2 weeks, and I had no phone during a very hectic time in my life, and ended up wasting around $400 for extra cell phone use as this problem came at a time when my business was booming.

Called them back again, now around 18 days after my first call, with absolutely no response from them, and no service...Again, same thing "techies will solve this, give us your email, they will be right back in touch with you." It is now over 4 months later and I have never heard one word from them..

So buyer beware.I did not have too many other issues with them, but this was flat out shoddy. Would never use them as my primary phone, as their service does not match what we expect in a phone company. could still be ok, in a second phone/fax situation.

November 08, 2011 @ 1:17 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

I agree harvey, magicJack should never be used as a primary business line without a solid and reasonably inexpensive backup in place. Sorry to hear you've been having so much trouble!

November 08, 2011 @ 9:09 am
zoey
zoey's picture

recently we are having difficulty with the one magic jack its about 3 months old now but it needs to be rebooted every time we shut down computor is this normal?????? also can someone give me the details as to the fix for not being able to hear the people that have calledus but we can hear them??? seen it mentioned somewhere before but now can not find the file thanks for any help anyone can give in advance

December 28, 2011 @ 4:15 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Hi zoey. If they can't hear you then you probably need to contact magicJack support (I say how to do this in the article). They probably need to fix something on their servers. They will probably try to get you to apply some patches and make some changes to your settings/router first - but in the end they will probably have to submit a ticket for their technicians to look at which can be a slow process.

January 04, 2012 @ 10:01 am
Gale
Gale's picture

Has anyone ever used magicjack to receive faxes? I am interested in purchasing it for that

January 15, 2012 @ 4:12 pm
Brent
Brent 's picture

I am considering using MajicJack Plus for my primary home line in Calgary, AB with Shaw high speed (7.5 mbps). Any concerns? Is it reliable 24x7, except for when there are power outages (a UPS could be purchased to provide some backup time). Would you feel comfortable with your children having to use it when home alone after school, or babysitting other people's kids, etc.? Any issues with 911 calls? Is it really, "Too good to be true?" or is it "Too good not to be true?"

Thanks.

January 23, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Gale - I have never used it for faxes, but I here it can be done. Maybe check around on the unofficial magicJack support forums to see if other users are doing that successfully.

@Brent - Your internet connection should be fine. However, as I've stated a few times, I wouldn't trust magicJack for emergencies or to be 100% reliable. It does work good but it can have problems. I would only use it with your kids if there was a prepaid cell phone or something they could use as a backup just in case. That's how I use mine. It replaces my home phone and we have prepaid cellphones as backups and to give out to people/businesses that I want to make sure can reach me no matter what.

January 28, 2012 @ 11:42 pm
Gene McCormick
Gene McCormick's picture

I have Magic Jack coming here to my home in Nanaimo, B.C. I would like to know when I buy
the Canadian number which would be area code 250 which is listed by Magic Jack a Victoria
area number will be given to me. When somebody here in Nanaimo calls me will they
be charged long distance by Telus since they are calling me via Victoria. I have read
on Magic Jack complaints about this problem. Is this true? Would it be better to pass
on the Canadian number and get a California number, Thanks

January 30, 2012 @ 12:42 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Hi Gene. I don't know BC area codes but if it is normally long distance from Nanaimo to Victoria using a standard phone then it stands to reason if you have a Victoria area code then it would be long distance for someone in Nanaimo to call you, yes.

Possible advantages to choosing the Victoria number anyway would be that anyone you might know in Victoria can call you as if it is a local call for them and also anyone who might have province-wide calling in their phone plan can could you without any extra cost. I don't know if province-wide calling is something the telcos offer in BC but they do have that where I'm from.

Hope that helps!

January 31, 2012 @ 9:17 pm
Gene McCormick
Gene McCormick's picture

Thank you for comments however Magic Jack advertises call anywhere in U.S.A or Canada
for free and anybody can call you from anywhere. No mention that there may be long
distant charges to callers unless they have a call anywhere in Canada plan. I will post
here next week on what I find out when I and friend do test calls.

I would like to mention that on YouTube a young man shows you how double your internet
speed for little money. I thought he was pulling a utube joke. I went to Staples and
got a Cat5 cable, cut it up and followed his instructions and then went to Speedtest.net and he was 100% correct, my download and upload was double.

February 01, 2012 @ 1:10 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

I'm not sure where they advertise that anyone can call you for free because that doesn't really make any sense. As a magicJack customer you have a normal telephone number that is routed through normal telephone exchanges and then on to the magicJack servers through the internet. So, when someone using a regular telephone calls you, it has to be long distance. There is really no way around that I don't think. The only way would be if magicJack had dial-in or 1-800 numbers that people could call in first for free and then connect to a magicJack user from there. I did some checking and I don't think they have that.

What they do advertise is that magicJack users can call other magicJack users for free through. Could that possibly be what you are thinking of?

As for the trick for increasing your internet speed, that's pretty cool if it works. I have fiber to the home so my internet is pretty fast as it is. I wonder if it works with fiber too?

February 01, 2012 @ 10:01 pm
Kenn
Kenn's picture

VERY DISAPPOINTED!!
Here is a chat I just had with MagicJack on 6Feb2012.
I believe it says everything you need to know about this company.

Kenn

Please wait for a site operator to respond.
You are now chatting with ‘Edwin’
Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK554034575299X
Edwin: Hello, how may I help you?
Kenn: Edwin:
Edwin: Hi Kenn
Kenn: You sell a product that provides free phone service. Why don’t you use your own product and allow me to speak to someone on the phone…I hate typing very much
Edwin: Currently our engineering department are working on this, and we are currently on chat support, may I know what is the exact concern please?
Kenn: I have several. I’ve just purchased MJ+ at Walmart. I want to transfer my business phone to MJ+. How do I do it? How long will it take to complete the transfer? If I don’t like MJ+ can I transfer back to my provider?
Edwin: Okay, let me answer it one by one,
Edwin: and may I have your current business phone number please?
Edwin: To check it we are able to transfer it
Kenn: Yes, but I don’t want to transfer it just yet. the number is 204-287XXXX
Edwin: Okay, let me check it out
Edwin: Thank you so much for waiting, as I have checked it here in our end, we may not able to transfer your current home phone number 204-287XXXX to amgicjack, however, our engineering department is working on it to fix this issue, and no worries, you will be updated once the number porting is available with your current home phone number, I would suggest that you may check our link from time to time for the update of the said issue concerning the transferring of your current home phone numbers.
Edwin: And we will be able to transfer it through your magicjack account at http://www.my.magicjack.com to process the trnaferring of numbers
Kenn: not sure I understand. you r ads say I can transfer any number. Are you saying that is false?
Edwin: No it is, we are currently on work on the Canadian numbers at this moment, however, once it is done, then we are good to go with your business phone number Kenn
Kenn: Whe do you estimate that will happen?
Edwin: For the timeframe, I’m afraid we don’t have yet the information about it, however, you will be contacted through email once the process is done
Kenn: I only have several days left within which I can return MJ+ to Walmart for a refund. since you can’t tell me how long it will be, I guess I’ll have to return MJ+ to walmart. I’m dissappointed.
Edwin: I understand your side Sir, and that would be an option
Edwin: Would that be all for now Sir?
Kenn: Is ther another option? I can’t live with maybe’s
Edwin: Let me check
Edwin: Okay, you may have the option to wait till the number porting is available, and you may return the device with a full refund from the wallmart, and you may purchase a new one once the number porting is available
Kenn: I bought it on sale. That pricing may not be available when you have completed porting. I hope your company knows that others like me may not reconsider MJ+ in the future.
Kenn: surely you must have a general idea as to how long porting will take…days? Weeks? Months?
Edwin: One moment please…
Edwin: Okay, please let me inform you that we may not able to release an exact time frame since our engineering department is working on it, and you will be contacted via email as soon as possible once the number porting will be available
Kenn: VERY DISAPPOINTED IN MJ+ CLAIMS!!!
Edwin: I understand Kenn
Kenn: You’re wasting your advertising money if you can’t deliver what you promise and you”ll lose customers!
Edwin: Hold on
Edwin: I will sent this chat to our supervisor to assist you further
Kenn: You’ve inconvenienced me now that I must return MJ+. At the very least, you should be offering additional cost incentives if you’re going to make people wait until you can deliver what you’ve already promised
Edwin: I believe that I have already provided you all the information needed and that we are keep on repeating the same process. I would like to ask permission to end this conversation with you. Thank you.
(while I’m typing a very short response, I got disconnected and received the following message),
Since we haven’t heard from you, we must release this chat. Please click here should you need further assistance: http://www.magicJack.com/techchat
You are not currently in a chat session.

February 06, 2012 @ 10:41 pm
Jim
Jim's picture

Thanks for the post!

February 07, 2012 @ 8:32 am
Gene McCormick
Gene McCormick's picture

To those who have bought a Canadian phone number...if the area code is not in the city
where you live, your friends who call you or from other cities will have to pay long
distance charges. Its best they call and you call them right back. Or they buy a Magic
Jack and phone free or vice versa. P.S. I use a land phone with my Magic Jack and it
works great. Yes I could use my cordless phone but another darn thing to plug into my power strip.

February 08, 2012 @ 2:22 am
Mike
Mike's picture

In Alberta you cannot get new 403 #'s OR port your current number (yet). I contacted Shaw and they assured me that if they receive a request for a number from another provider they cannot block it as long as the info they receive matches the clients account with Shaw. I don't know if this is Magicjack's issue but it's annoying.
Also, make sure you try the unit DURING the 30 day trial. They will NOT refund you $$ past that trial period. You could also say "NO REFUNDS AFTER 30 days" but that isn't as sexy.
I tried to set it up during the trial period but I got frustrated at how long it took to search for my current number and then went on holiday. So, I have a useless Magicjack and I'm out the $$ I paid... I also paid for some renewal fee during the setup. This I insisted be refunded as well. Here's the transcript of the livechat session... (Note how the english gets WORSE when I'm transferred to a better agent).

Please wait for a site operator to respond.

You are now chatting with 'Desmond'

Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK554034760599X

Desmond: Hello, how may I help you?

Mike: I need to port my home phone # to the Magic Jack

Desmond: You can send the request to transfer your phone number during the registration of your device.

Mike: The setup wizard says the transfer is unavailable but my current provider says they'll gladly release it if the information from Magic Jack is sent properly

Desmond: May I ask if that phone number is a Canadian number?

Mike: What does it matter? I purchased the unit because the sebsite said I could port ANY number

Mike: ..it is a CDN #

Desmond: Please be informed that Canadian number porting is not yet available in magicJack. Please visit our website from time to time for any updates.

Mike: OK I'd like to return the unit for refund. please inform how I do this

Desmond: Please click the link below

Desmond: http://my.magicjack.com/returns.html

Mike: My product is past the 30 day trial because it came while I was on holiday. How do I process a return due to false advertising?

Desmond: Okay.

Mike: ok what?

Desmond: Unfortunately, you can no longer return a device if it is already over the 30 day trial period. I would suggest to just assign a temporary phone number for your device until the availability of the Canadian number porting.

Mike: Actually I would rather re purchase the device if/when that option is available so please provide the process I should follow.

Desmond: One moment please...

Desmond: I am transferring you to one of our top 10% agents as rated by our customers. Please hold while I transfer you.

Please wait while I transfer the chat to the best suited site operator.

You are now chatting with 'Chris'

Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK554034760599X

Mike: Ok Chris. Let me know when you're caught up

Chris: This is Chris , a Higher Level of Support. I will be assisting you. How are you today?

Mike: GREAT (so far). Don't change that

Chris: May i know the order number please

Mike: TS13523617

Chris: Please wait while I check that for you

Chris: are you still under the 30days trail ?

Mike: No

Chris: okay we dont accept any magic jack and make a refund once it not under 30days trials anymore

Mike: i was not able to try setting up the unit until today. regardless, i shouldn't have to pay for a unit that does not work the way it's advertised to. I also paid for additional services beyond the unit that I would like refunded

Chris: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.

Chris: okay i we can process the 1yr re renewal only but the on device no

Mike: Ok

Mike: That's fine I guess.

Mike: What is the process?

Chris: okay

Chris: i will make a report now

Chris: One moment please...

Mike: it was 88.71 charged to my visa on Dec 28, 2011

Mike: I would like an email sent when number poting is available in canada

Mike: ...porting

Mike: sorry, it was 84.78 USD. I gave you the CDN amount

Chris: One moment please...

Chris: thank you for waiting i have process the report now on the proper department and they are now verifying your account once its done rest assured on the 1 yr renewal will be refunded

Chris: as soon as possible

Mike: will it go back onto my credit card?

Chris: yes

Mike: today?

Chris: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.

Chris: I cannot give an exact timeframe but this will be processed as soon as possible. Because normally the change will automatically happen, but I will include in my report that you wish to be contacted

Mike: I would like a timeframe please because your text leads me to believe I will need to wait for a year to receive the refund. This may be due to your broken english but I would like clarification

Chris: i dont have any exact time frame as the refund is being held on the proper department all we can do here in our end is to send report and all info regarding the refund

Mike: please provide the contact info for the refunds dept so I can follow up directly should I not receive the refund in a timely manner

Chris: there is no options to contact then directly

Mike: So I have to take your word for it Chris? That's unacceptable since the company already lied when it stated that I could port my current phone #. I'm sure you see my side...

Chris: yes i know Mike and i understand you and regarding on the Canadian number to be ported to magic jack as of now its still on process

Mike: sorry, just posting this whole experience on a website message board...

Mike: that's fine Chris but the website should explain that PRIOR to someone from Canada purchasing the unit don't you think?

Chris: okay

Mike: right. I'm glad you agree

Chris: yes thanks on that concern

Mike: Now, I need a phone # to follow up on my $85 refund

Chris: this chat we have now is save here in our end so your concern will be reviewed

Mike: what?

February 08, 2012 @ 1:44 pm
GAIL
GAIL's picture

This page must be very old as the current price for a MagicJack Plus in Canada is $79.99 and annual fee is $29.99.
Misleading information...please correct.

February 09, 2012 @ 1:37 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Kenn - sorry to hear about your bad experience. As I have mentioned several times in this review and comments I would never recommend using magicJack for anything that is mission critical like a business line unless you have a foolproof backup. As magicJack is primarily a USA service I am not surprised when issues do crop up with the Canadian service. You will see I experienced many such issues myself. Personally, I find it to be worth the hassle for the cost savings. Others will not.

@Gene McCormick - yes, this seems to be a common point of confusion. Only those who own magicJacks need to stop worrying about area codes when they call people because all outgoing calls are free. Of course, when someone is calling your magicJack number using a regular telephone then the normal area code rules apply. Choose your area code accordingly and hope the one you need is available!

@Mike - that's too bad about your number porting experience. Everything is slower coming to Canada with magicJack and it would be better if they clarified these things properly on their website. With magicJack, you get a level of service on par with the price you pay. I actually think the service is better than one would expect for the price you pay because employing customer service people is not cheap. It does leave something to be desired though.

@Gail - the information on this page is relevant to the original magicJack, not the magicJack Plus. The article is dated accordingly as well as the comments so you should know exactly how old it is. If you search for "magicJack Plus review" this article shouldn't show up. This is my own personal website and I can only update it when I have the time. Unfortunately, right now I barely have the time to respond to comments. I would hope that some information would be better than none.

February 09, 2012 @ 3:24 pm
Kenn
Kenn's picture

Note: I live in Winnipeg,Canada...I bought MagickJack Plus at Walmart, Canada,... the price included an extra charge for a Canadian phone number and the package specified transfer of a Canadian number to Magicjack Plus!! As far as I'm concerned, this is false advertising and I've suggested to Wal-Mart that they shouldn't be selling a product that doesn't work in Canada as advertised. If anyone wants to initiate a class action suit, I'm in.

February 09, 2012 @ 4:21 pm
jan
jan's picture

iam from canada i bought the magicjack 3 years ago it works great,
i also biught magicjack plus, it also works great had it now for 3 mths
easy to set up easy to use, and customer service helpful great product

March 07, 2012 @ 2:49 am
jan
jan's picture
Not such a good product. they have had my number under review for 9mths. I have called them a number of times as to why my magic jack is under review, they told me they would contact me they have never contacted me its now 9 mths and iam through with them, very disipointed with them will never deal with them ever again
September 17, 2013 @ 2:49 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture
That's very strange indeed. Who did you end up switching to?
September 17, 2013 @ 10:18 pm
Brent
Brent's picture

An update... have had the MJ+ for about a month and it works reliably about 90% of the time. Sometimes it goes straight to voice mail for no apparent reason and the phone doesn't ring. Other times I have to say "Hello" a few times before the other person will hear me. And sometimes after a minute or so the call will be mysteriously disconnected. It isn't a great product. It might be good or perhaps fair.

March 07, 2012 @ 11:40 pm
jan
jan's picture

wow hard to believe so manny people are having problems with this devise, havent had any problems, iam thinking maybe its the internet i have turbo internet which is pretty fast, maybe it depends on your internet speed. iam still thinking this is a great product, and serious there customer service is very good.

March 08, 2012 @ 12:00 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

Thanks for the update everyone. Lots of good information!

March 09, 2012 @ 10:23 am
Jane
Jane's picture

Great artical. Im learninh alot and would like to try Magicjack.Im in a rural area and therefore charged hard for data use on my internet connection. Will magicjack use any of my data up? I only get 3g a month and this would be a deal breaker for me. My parents have had MJ for several months used mostly for in canada long distance. They have been very happy with it.

March 09, 2012 @ 10:30 am
Brent
Brent's picture

Further to my earliest post, MJ+ will cut off your phone call after x number of minutes. Simply put, MJ+ is unreliable and not worth our $$.

March 09, 2012 @ 7:52 pm
Stargazer
Stargazer's picture

I've been using the Magic Jack Plus for several months now after having first bought the original Magic Jack back in June 2011. I'm very happy with the MJ+ and haven't experienced any of the problems about being cut off after a certain number of minutes. We use it now has our main line (all calls to our land line are automatically forwarded to our MJ+ number) and find it very reliable. There have probably been only 2 times in total where we've noticed that there was no dial tone. To solve the problem, I simply unplugged and re-plugged the MJ+ and allowed it to reboot.

March 10, 2012 @ 3:19 am
Stargazer
Stargazer's picture

I wanted to add that since I first bought the MJ, they have released a Magic Jack iOS app that is great because it allows you to make phone calls using data access (3G/Wifi) instead of cellular minutes. I also really like how voice messages can be emailed to you as WAV attachments so that I can listen to my messages on any computer or smartphone.

March 10, 2012 @ 3:22 am
Brent
Brent's picture

I don't want to discourage others from trying MJ+ but realize that you get what you pay for. If it works well for you, great! If not, oh well. I saw a competitor's product advertised in a recent Staples or Future Shop or Best Buy flyer. Perhaps more and more companies will enter this arena. Too bad that the telco's don't.

March 10, 2012 @ 10:57 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture

@Jane - it will definitely use some of that data and if your connection speed is slow you might experience some quality issues. The amount of data you use depends on how much you talk, but I think the compression is pretty good so I doubt it will drain your data like crazy. If you're really serious, you may consider contacting magicJack support and asking them how much data it uses per hour.

One search I did said about 9MB per 10 minutes which would be 54MB for an hour long call. So, if you talk 20 hours on your phone a month then you are using about 1GB.

March 11, 2012 @ 7:30 pm
Egide Montplaisir
Egide Montplaisir's picture

if is posible to by Majick Jack in Quebec store
please the name at store I'm rely interested
My brother he have one ,he bay to usa
for 5 years ???$

April 24, 2012 @ 5:04 pm
Pat Leibel
Pat Leibel's picture

I bought magicJack because I put my number in their test box (for Canadian availability) and yeay! It was available!

But when I went to register upon receipt of said device, my MasterCard now void of 60 bucks, well, my number really isn't available, but may possibly be one day- keep checking back. Sure, maybe I could get a new number (or for an extra 10 bucks (monthly??), a Canadian number.

My reason for getting it in the first place is I was told my number was available. We have a business with that number. Now it isn't available. Just a little joke magicJack? Ha ha.

An hour long chat with a lower and then upper chat person on the M/J help line didn't even acknowledge my purchase, in spite of a whole copy/paste transferal of my receipt. I had a sympathetic reaction from the upper level help, who was nonetheless tied by company policy, which I can only assume is to keep the money flowing inward, and not outward.

Buyer beware

April 27, 2012 @ 12:31 am
Derek Bauer
Derek Bauer's picture

I bought a Magic Jack about a year ago from a store here in Canada. I registered and paid for a Canadian number and things worked fine. When it came time to renew, my payment (VISA gift card) was not accepted. When I contacted MJ about it, I was told they were no longer accepting Canadian payments. My number has been reassigned to someone else. My MJ is now worthless. I AM VERY ANGRY AT MJ. I no longer have a phone.

November 12, 2012 @ 7:50 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture
That's a really strange situation Derek. My magicJack has renewed with no problems recently and I know of at least 2 other people who continue to use it without any issues. Are you sure it just wasn't a problem with using a Canadian prepaid credit card? Maybe they would accept your payment through a regular credit card or by some other means?
November 13, 2012 @ 10:20 am
Derek Bauer
Derek Bauer's picture

I asked about credit cards and they said it has to be a US card. I paid for the subscription by prepaid card in the the first place.

November 23, 2012 @ 10:42 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture
I just renewed mine with a Canadian card this week, so somebody is lying to you or your account is set up differently than mine. It sounds like our accounts are identical though (Canadian number) ... so maybe you should try again?
November 24, 2012 @ 12:23 am
Derek Bauer
Derek Bauer's picture

I'll try again. But I am not impressed with not being able to renew, and I am not impressed with what I was told about MJ not accepting Canadian cards. If I was misinformed by the "customer service" representative, then I am even less impressed. What a bunch of BS.

November 28, 2012 @ 7:06 pm
Dave
Dave's picture

I've had the MJ for over 3 years and the MJ+ since it was available; the only problem I've encountered is calling someone who doesn't have subscribed vmail. The call goes through but nothing happens, no ring and total silence. I've used MJ enough to know that the called number is using their phone, so I wait and try later.
The original MJ is used for travel (I used it when I travelled to MO this summer on my friends netbook), it works fine.

November 27, 2012 @ 1:06 pm
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture
Good to hear some positive feedback Dave. I'm really happy with mine as well. I'm also really impressed with the Android App. Let's me have unlimited daytime minutes on my phone when connected to WiFi or can also use it over 4G. Can make and receive calls for my home phone on my cell phone too. It's really sweet!
November 27, 2012 @ 8:20 pm
ruth
ruth's picture

hello, thanks for the extensive writing on magic Jack. My question is this - is there a way for me to get cheaper calling when my fiancé lives in Mexico, has a cell and I live in Western Canada. I am paying .39 per minute on Skype presently. I was thinking of getting a US magic # & then calling Mexico from there but I don't know what the rates would be either way calling. My phone bills are outrageous. he doesn't have a computer at this time and it would be nice to have another option for when he can't get to a computer shop to call on Skype free. Thank you very much.

May 12, 2013 @ 12:50 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture
Mexico via magicJack on a mobile phone looks to be about $0.11 per minute. That might be worth it for you. I'd also consider looking at calling cards as I'm sure there are some cards out there that offer decent rates to Mexico. Try to look for one without any connection fees or other fees that just offers a good per minute rate. My favourite calling card when I used to use them was Cici. Cici appears to be $0.067 per minute for mexico cell phones. I'd have a read through my calling card article as a good starting point.
May 30, 2013 @ 1:10 pm
Anna
Anna's picture
Hi Saving Mentor Recently I sent my MJ - the older version, not the MJ plus, which I was using, still in very good condition, to my friend in Vietnam. She called my landline, heard me all right, but I can not hear nothing besides the phone ringing. She tried calling for a few days already, also switched to a different phone set , a different computer and laptop, but still no audio from the receiving end. We are both not tech savvy, having only a very basic knowledge of computer. Please help us and advise what else could be done. Thank you. Anna.
September 10, 2013 @ 6:34 am
SavingMentor
SavingMentor's picture
Your best bet is to contact magicJack support (just Google it). You have to jump through a few hoops to speak to an actual person, but they do have customer support reps available. It may actually be that the problem is on their end. You could try contacting them first to see if they can check things on their end but you'll probably eventually need someone on her computer who can speak English talking to their support people.
September 10, 2013 @ 9:09 pm
Anna
Anna's picture
Thank you very much for your advice, the company refresh my account and it is now working properly. All our thanks and pray for your good health.
September 11, 2013 @ 8:58 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Glad to hear it. I needed my account refreshed once too and that fixed some similar problems for me.
September 13, 2013 @ 9:08 am
Richard Gehl
Richard Gehl's picture
I have had mt Mj for about 5years and have never had any significant problems. The only thing that has happened on occasion is on rebooting my computer the Mj will sometimes keep it from booting. All I have to do is unplug the Mj for a second and replug it and all is well. I figure I have saved well over $1500 on phone bills so that miner inconvenience is worth it.
December 18, 2013 @ 1:04 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Thanks for the positive report Richard!
December 18, 2013 @ 10:45 pm
Sarah
Sarah's picture
Can anyone tell me how much GB are used on a call if you use the Magic Jack. Our usage has gone up drastically since someone at home started using a Magic jack and I want to confirm it is because of it.
January 02, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
KB
KB's picture
I just bought my MJ+ with a Canadian number for Ottawa. I plan on bringing my MJ+ (with that Ottawa number) to Florida. I know I can make free local and long distance calls to anywhere in Canada and the US, but will my friends and family in Ottawa still be able to call me for free? In other words, will it still be regarded as a local call for my family/friends in Ottawa to my MJ+ number (even though) I am physically in Florida? Thanks!
January 10, 2014 @ 3:50 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Yes, that is correct. They will still be dialing a number with an Ottawa area code so it will be like a local call for them. The only downside is that any friends you may have in Florida will need to dial the Ottawa number as well so it will be long distance for them.
January 12, 2014 @ 9:58 pm
KB
KB's picture
Thank you, Stephen. Much appreciated.
January 16, 2014 @ 7:45 am
Lillian
Lillian's picture
Hi there, I just purchased magicJack about a week ago and set it up and have been experiencing some issues with it. We have ours connected up to our router rather than directly to the computer since we don't have it on very often. We're located in Canada and had to purchase a new number. Our main issue is that our number shows up sometimes as a long distance call for other people, who are definitely local (some in the exact same house) and for a lot of people, when they try to call us, it says that it is a long distance number and will be charged as such. I've tried contacting Live Support but they could not figure out the issue and told us to tell everyone who has an issue calling to contact their own providers to tell them it is not actually a long distance number. This sounds unreasonable as we cannot possibly notify everyone who has our number of this issue. I've tried googling for similar issues to find a resolution but haven't found one as of yet so I'm hoping I can get some help here. If you know of any solutions I would greatly appreciate the help! Thanks, Lillian.
January 30, 2014 @ 6:12 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
That's a new one to me and I don't believe it is actually something that magicJack would be responsible for. Whether a number is long distance or not should be determined by area codes and how they are set up by whoever is responsible for them. I'm not sure exactly how this works but I think the big phone companies like Bell control this type of thing and they sell the phone numbers off to other providers to use. Could be completely wrong on that though, but I thought I would hazard a guess at least for you.
January 30, 2014 @ 9:33 pm
Anna
Anna's picture
Hi Lilian, just wonder if your problem is solved. I am thinking to give MJ a try but concerned about the issue you encountered. Your reply would be appreciated...thanks
April 09, 2014 @ 9:08 pm
Lillian
Lillian's picture
Thank you for the help, we resolved the issue today on our own. It turns out that the area code that generally applies to here does not for them. The number they use for our city is actually an area code that is used only for cell phones here normally but I guess that's what they were given for our city. Our normal area code, which is what we started out with on magicJack, is specifically for the next city over (the area code actually normally applies for five cities all in the region). We unfortunately had to pay $20 extra to switch over but now we no longer have the issue!
January 31, 2014 @ 3:34 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Good to know. It's strange how area codes can behave differently like that but it isn't the first time I've heard of weird issues like that.
February 04, 2014 @ 7:58 am
Win MacDonald
Win MacDonald's picture
I have three units. Two of them are not operating and have been confirmed by Magic Jack as defective. .. I have paid for a separate number plus five year renewal term in excess of $150.00 . None are operating! I have been in contact with Magic Jack for several months and problems still exist. Appears that Magic Jack is not prepared to rectify the problems. I have requested a refund plus permission to return defective units. I am without the Magic Jack service and $150.00 plus that was paid in good faith. Who do I contact now to get satisfaction or do I post my complaint with PC Magazine so that others are not going to suffer losses with Magic Jack. Any help out there for a customer ?
March 04, 2014 @ 12:21 pm
Anna
Anna's picture
I am thinking of giving MJ a try. As some people have got problems with MJ bought from Wal-Mart or the US, wonder where is the best place to start to avoid using and payment problems. Any suggestion would be appreciated.
April 09, 2014 @ 8:57 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
I purchased mine directly from magicJack themselves and didn't have any problems that couldn't be resolved. When you have problems, it really depends on who you get for customer service and how well you are able to understand your problem and convince them of your problem. Some people have better luck than others.
April 10, 2014 @ 10:17 am
Anna
Anna's picture
Hi Stephen, I searched Internet and looked at a number of Magic Jack Canada websites. Called the phone #s they posted but never got through so feel a little uncertained. Should I order from the US Magic Jack website instead?
April 11, 2014 @ 6:11 pm
Anna
Anna's picture
Thanks for your reply, Stephen
April 11, 2014 @ 5:48 pm
leep9200
leep9200's picture
I have just spent another UNPRODUCTIVE hour on chat with MagicJack. I have been getting phone calls (150+) from a cell number in Phoenix, Arizona. I am in Ontario, Canada. The person calling does not speak English and calls at all hours of the day or night. I asked MagicJack if there was a way of blocking this caller and they told me that I could get a subpoena and fax it to them! As, I said, I am in Canada and our courts have no jurisdiction in the USA. I am trying to find a service that I can download to get rid of this guy. I am using the new MJ Plus. Any ideas?
April 30, 2014 @ 12:54 pm
John
John's picture
Dont buy this magic scrap(jack) have NetTalk the best for the rest have 2 magic scrap(jack) for sale 25 box each :P
May 06, 2014 @ 3:18 am
Toni
Toni's picture
Something else I love about my Magic Jack is that now that I have its app on my iphone, every time my phone rings at home, it shows on my cell. I can also pick up messages from home on my cell. And..........voice mails left on my home phone are also emailed to me. I absolutely love my magic jack :-) Going on 2 years I've now had it.
August 11, 2014 @ 12:36 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
I'm still going strong with mine as well. It serves as a great home phone when you use cell phones primarily but still want to have a common number that won't change over time even if you move cities. Family and friends always know where they can reach us. I had the app installed on my Android device for a while too and it was pretty nifty but I decided I didn't really want it running on my phone all the time especially since you get the emails if someone leaves a message as well. However, most of the time we just use it as a traditional phone nad have it hooked up to a cordless phone system with answering machine. Works great for that.
August 11, 2014 @ 1:31 pm
Rose
Rose's picture
I do not have a cell phone. I have an ipod that I use like a phone. I resent paying for long distance phone calls to anywhere. Free for 85% of Canada: Fongo Free for North America: google hangout free international (both individuals must be subscribers) Rebtel Why pay anything - particularly in North America there are apps for all of the above. Cheers! Rose
August 22, 2014 @ 11:16 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Convenience. When you can pay less than $3/mth to make something easy, I'll do it every time. You can use a traditional phone, you have your own number included, and it's always on and ready to go without needing a battery. It also has the apps for using on your mobile devices if you're on the go. Just way more convenient than juggling a bunch of apps although I do use Skype, hangouts, and other apps as well when they serve a special purpose and I've written about them in other articles.
August 22, 2014 @ 9:50 pm
Daniel
Daniel's picture
My gf and I live 50 miles apart (in Ontario). She got MJ. I've been calling her often and we sometimes talk for hours. Today I just received my cell phone bill with a $672.32 balance owing because, apparently, I've been calling someone in Florida the whole time while calling her number. Why wasn't she warned about this by The Source (the dealer)?? I'm sorely ticked off. That's a lot of money!! d
August 26, 2014 @ 8:33 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Before you make a long distance call your cell phone should warn you that you need to dial 1 before making the call. Not sure how that could have happened. Also, when you register your magicJack you pick your number and that's when you have the opportunity to pick a number that is local to you. There must have been some sort of mix up in that process. My Moncton number has always worked like a local Moncton number just fine.
August 27, 2014 @ 12:36 am
Venus
Venus's picture

I bought a Magic Jack 3 years ago but hadn't plugged or used it. I plan to activate my Magic Jack using my landline phone equipment which doubles as a fax machine. Does anyone know if the Magic Jack telephone number can be used for faxing? Thanks so much.

December 10, 2014 @ 5:23 am
Marie
Marie's picture

Hi. I want to get magic jack for ipad (magicapp) for my nephew who lives in the same city as me (Vernon, British Columbia) but not the same house.
He does not have a phone, just an IPAD mini with WIFI.
To be able to set this up for him, would I get a magic jack, plug it into my own pc modem, my house electrical plug in, and pay for a Canadian phone number? Would my own home phone ring, when he gets a call on his ipad?

Finding it all a bit confusing.

Thanks for any assistance.

March 23, 2015 @ 7:36 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

If all you really want is to use the magic app, then you wouldn't even need to plug in the magicJack to anything. As long as the magic app is running on his iPad, then it would ring there and he could answer and make calls from there.

However, if you did plug in the magicJack and he also had the magic app running on his iPad, then they both would ring and whoever picked it up first would be connected to the call. At least that is my understranding of how it works. I've only used the magic app a few times myself.

March 31, 2015 @ 1:19 pm
Dave
Dave's picture

I've been a magicJack owner and user for about 4 years now. It works as advertised and I mostly use it to call friends in Florida and Colorado. No issues. My Internet is "wireless" and is what I call 'slow speed-high speed' (joke) but the magicJack works fine, providing I'm not using the Internet for anything else at that time. I'm OK with that. I don't wish to talk on the phone and type on the computer at the same time anyway.
I recently downloaded the magicJack App to my Android phone. We live in a rural area and do not have cellular phone service. But I'm now able to use my Android phone to make phone calls from my house through my Wi-Fi. Amazing!
I mentioned this to a friend via e-mail and he said I would only be able to make calls to other magicJack users. I told him I didn't think that was so. I phoned him a few minutes later, on my cell phone, through my Wi-Fi, to his land line, 100 km away, a long distance call for a land line. He was amazed. Frankly, so was I, because the quality of the call was A1.
My magicJack has a Halifax number, but he said the call came up as a Florida number. I'm Ok with that too, but I'm a little confused as to why? It's not really a problem I'm trying to solve. I just enjoy the service.
I enjoyed the forum very much. Thanks

May 08, 2015 @ 5:25 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I'm probably at 5 years now as a magicJack customer and it has given us great value. We call all over Canada with it and use it as our house phone. I just bought a second one for my business to use a business line so I don't have to run up the minutes on my cell phone all the time and so I can easily make calls from my computer using one number.

Whenever I've made a call with it the right number shows up on call display so I'm not sure why that would have happened. You could try talking to magicJack support if it happens again.

May 13, 2015 @ 12:22 pm
AngiG
AngiG's picture

So we don't have unlimited internet as we live in a rural community and there is very limited service providers. Would magic jack eat up my internet usage?

June 05, 2015 @ 1:44 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I read on Yahoo answers that it uses about 1GB of data for 17 hours of calling. Most plans these days are going to have more than enough data to handle that unless you talk on the phone nonstop.

June 26, 2015 @ 11:14 pm
kriskret
kriskret's picture

Very recently MagicJack introduced new feature -SMS option for the same price as main service (as the second line). .......................... My question is : - what is the reason to buy this option from MagicJack, while there is a lot softwares on Google Play Store offering the same service for free or for 2.- dollars per year ?! - Heywire , TextMe , Textra SMS, text+, Now SMS, and many, many more. Some of these programs have ability to make a calls.- You'll get regular phone number for free. MagicJack - get reel !!!

June 25, 2015 @ 4:04 pm
mike
mike's picture

excellent review of mj - i am a cdn computer consultant and if mj is setup up correctly i can migrate from canada to mexico and clients only need to know my toronto number !!! i also let mj send a copy of the voice mail as an email to my laptop - mj is great for me and lets me travel while my clients only need the toronto number !!!

again, great article

next for me is what can i do with mj and my toronto iPhone in canada and mexico

August 12, 2015 @ 7:16 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks mike, I love being able to take it anywhere too. Very convenient!

August 13, 2015 @ 3:20 pm
CdnWildRose
CdnWildRose's picture

Hello folks,

I was wondering if anyone has experienced their Magic Jacks calling folks in the middle of the night. We either have a Ghost that has so far called about 6 or 7 times between the hours of 3:30 am and 6:30 am. We purchased a house that was built in 1824, the house had been renovated before we purchased it. We moved in in May 2015 and purchased a new Magic Jack Plus and have experienced the silence after 5 minutes, but it didn't really bother us too much.
The first time, it called my sister at 3:30 am and got her out of bed. She called me the next morning so I checked and sure enough it was on the call log. I was asleep and so was my Husband and dog, not that he knows how to make calls...LOL

I was just wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I thought I had a fly walk on my Computer screen as it is a touch screen, but the time frame and the fact it would have to scroll down my directory kind of ruled that out.

But we do love our Magic Jacks, we have one in our house in Toronto and here in Nova Scotia, great money savers.

CdnWildRose

August 18, 2015 @ 10:05 am
John Smith
John Smith's picture

I have had my magicJack for over 15 years and paid $35 way back when and it came with the first year free. After year 1 I have always signed on for 5 years at a time to improve my savings. Prior to that I had Vonage and there is no comparison IMO.

I have not used the physical magicJack for over 5 years as I have downloaded the app onto my iPhone and so can make and receive calls on it. I have provided my account details to friends in the UK, Asia and South Africa and they have downloaded the app onto their smartphones and tablets and so are able to call myself and any other North American numbers for free - landline or cellphone. I did have to change their settings to call out only so that if anyone calls my magicJack number only my phone rings.

I got a city of New York 212 area code which was probably one of the last before they ran out. For this reason alone I will probably not give up my magicJack. Except for the first year or so, I have never had problems with the device and use it whenever I travel abroad. Wifi is pretty much available anywhere for free and has never been an issue.

I was in Varadero, Cuba 2 weeks ago on vacation and got a 1 hour a day wifi card for free from the resort and was able to make crystal clear magicJack calls back to Canada.

October 27, 2015 @ 12:48 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Wow, great review John. Glad to hear of someone else having a positive experience with magicJack. I wouldn't say my experience has been perfect but I am definitely pleased with what I am getting for the cost. I also love the different ways you are using it to save even more money and help others. Kudos to you for maximizing your value!

October 27, 2015 @ 3:02 pm
John T.
John T.'s picture

Hi Stephen and MJ users,

Wow this thread is still going strong after 5 years!

Has anyone else lost the ability to configure call forwarding this week? I have MJ forward calls to my cell to be able to turn off the MJ app and save battery power and still be able to receive phone calls out of the house.

Last weekend, november 14th 2015, call forwarding stopped working. Does anyone have a solution? There is no info on this on the MJ website.

Thanks for your help,

November 21, 2015 @ 10:36 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I've never used call forwarding John, but if you have a smartphone you could try the magicApp and get them to link it to your existing number. That way your cell phone will ring too whenever someone calls your MJ number.

November 23, 2015 @ 8:52 am

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