MagicJack has been around the phone industry since 2007, touting their eponymous revolutionary device. Said device—which has taken on different forms over the years—is essentially a fancy USB that you plug into your computer or modem as a replacement to a home phone.
Their business phone alternative is quite new however, only launching in 2016. MagicJack for business does not require the USB device, instead operating on a standard desk phone and/or the mobile app.
You may have heard of MagicJack before—for years they were heavily featured in infomercials and late-night commercial lineups. The commercials must have given off a shady vibe though, because the idea of MagicJack being a scam is alive and well on the internet (it is not in fact a scam).
MagicJack isn’t like most traditional VoIP providers; the best options on the market started out first and foremost as VoIP providers, while companies like MagicJack from parallel markets have recently joined the VoIP fray hoping to cash in on the revolutionary cloud technology.
Their business variant, the premium plan, which costs $12.99 per line, is lacking. (To be frank, their pricing isn’t exactly clear beyond that per line cost and the cost of features since they claim you need to call to get a quote). The business plan gets you some additional features like call flows, music on hold, and extensions, but does not match the number of features most in the VoIP market offer.
Even basic features like an auto-attendant, which is part of the heart of any virtual phone system, are not included in the base plan. Instead, you’ll have to pay $10 a month for the feature. Additionally, you’ll need to (buy and/or) rent a phone from MagicJack, which seems to be billed at $3 a month in charges. That means the starting point, even for a solo entrepreneur, will be $26 a month.
What other common features does MagicJack lack? Call recording, voicemail to email, custom greetings, call queues, VIP lists, or website integration. Their system isn’t all that geared to extensions either, so most of the typical team-oriented features are nowhere to be found.
|Price per month||$ 19,99/month||$ 12,99/month|
|Minutes Included||1 000||Unlimited|
|Hardware||No||$ 3/ month|
|Local or Toll-free numbers||2||1|
|Auto attendant||Yes||$ 10/ month|
|Social Media tracking||Yes||No|
|Webphone for In/Out Calls||Yes||No|
|*Basic plan||**For business|
Even worse than a massive lack of features, the only form of customer support they have is a live chat that doesn’t even operate 24/7 (their business options claim the chat is 24/7, but evidence seems to suggest otherwise).
So yes, MagicJack is cheap, but it isn’t as cheap as they portray it, and for just 1 phone number with no extensions, no team-designed features, no advanced calling features, and no integration, it isn’t a proper business VoIP choice.
It took years for the company to grow its image—and even now that image isn’t perfect—and it will likely take years for it to calibrate a proper business VoIP service. Don’t go through the growing pains with MagicJack—you’re under no obligation to.
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