.by Anura Guruge
>> VTech system a disaster — Nov. 10, 2013.
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As I stated in this post, I am redoing our whole entire phone infrastructure now that we ditched ‘U.S. Cellular‘ and went with ‘Consumer Cellular‘.
Since everybody has been raving about it I decided to look at Google Voice. I had never heard of it! Though we had a Magic Jack a few years ago, I don’t really pay much attention to VoIP mainly because I don’t really like to use the phone — unless I am having trouble with something. But, I tried Google Voice, and as with most things from Google (e.g. Google Drive), was BLOWN AWAY. They really do make things simple, but powerful. Talk about ‘click-and-play’.
Given that Google Voice (GV) gives you VoIP for ‘free’ in the U.S. and Canada, and I already had it just by the virtue of being a ‘Google’ user, I decided to get a BOX that would let me use GV over my home phone system. Found the OBi110 Voice Service Bridge fairly quickly on Amazon. It is exactly what I wanted. It aggregates, i.e., bonds, my existing TDS landline and GV1. So using the same handsets I can make and receive calls to/from landline and GV1. Pretty neat.
Had a OBi110 delivered today.
Basic setup was ‘OK’ and fairly simple. Had to redo some of the Web stuff multiple times before it worked.
But, when it said it was all done, IT WORKED,
and worked well.
Good sound quality. Clear calls.
I can make calls out on TDS or GV1. To select TDS I have to dial **8<number>. For GV1 I have to dial **1<number>.
Calls made either to our TDS number of GV1 number (with a Portland, ME prefix (as was also the case with Magic Jack)) rings on the handsets — transparently.
All of that was GOOD and worked as promised and as it should.
The only thing I don’t like is having to DIAL **1 to select GV1. I want it to be the DEFAULT, i.e., if I don’t dial **n, it dials out via GV1.
I know it can be done. Obi documentation says it can be done. But, couldn’t find HOW to do it or where to do it. Drove me nuts.
Online Chat was offline! Couldn’t find telephone support. When I finally did and called they were ‘offline’ too. I went on their forum and in desperation did a post offering to PAY someone, via PayPal, if they told me how to do it. It was up there for nearly 90 minutes. 45 people read it, BUT I didn’t get a single call.
Then I called up their Sales number. Got a very nice gentleman. Told him my problem. It was EASY to fix! But, he admitted that it was non-intuitive and is NOT documented. You make the change in the GV1 service NOT against the line option. But, took about 15 seconds to achieve once I was told where I had to make the change. So I am happy.
Good Box (so far).
Documentation, especially for the Obi110 which is the only device that supports a land line, could be better.
I will keep you posted.
Now that I can dial out, on GV1, without hitting any keys in front — I am happy.
Not orgasmic. Not even close. But, maybe happy as a clam (and I am not sure whether clams get orgasmic).
My new 5-handset Panasonic is here too. But, that is for tomorrow. One technology at a time.