A VOIP Symphony…Support Knots…White Papers

Interesting Support Experiences

I’ll try not to beat them up too much.  I’m much kinder with folks providing free services – like Microsoft Office Live Small Business or WordPress [dot] com.  You see, my experience was with WordPress.

The Problem?  Well, it seems WordPress [dot] com didn’t like something I published.  Rather then send me an email first, they locked out my account.  It took over a dozen support tickets opened, before the root cause was determined.

You see, they didn’t like me publishing a link to XXX.  XXX offers a free and comprehensive course on Internet Marketing.  But they also sell products during the training.  WordPress sees this as an affiliate program.  Now I’m all too happy to coordinate – especially with folks providing a free service.

Here’s my concerns: Why not just send me an email first, explaining the actual problem?  Then if I didn’t take steps to remove the links, then lock me out?  I’m not an affiliate of XXX and I only published the information for folks to train – nothing more…nothing less.

Microsoft Office Live Small Business also offers a free service, along with free support.  The difference?  If I open a support ticket with Microsoft, I’m assigned a support number.  I get a copy of my ticket – usually within four hours – along with a reply from tech support.  Normally tech support is handled offshore (India, I believe).

But that’s not all!  If I reply to the email with further questions, I get a response within a four hour window.  The support number is still attached.

WordPress [dot] com should look into the Microsoft support model…also look into an informative email first.  It will go a long ways to improving customer relations.

Should I charge for a white paper regarding writing tips?

Good thoughts (this week’s social media posed question). However, let me share a couple of thoughts regarding white papers.

  1. Many companies and individuals give a white paper free, in exchange for an email opt-in. The purpose is usually to position the company or individual as an SME. The opt-in gives freedom to sign up for an ezine or have a company’s marketing/sales staff work on lead nurturing.
  2. A second option is to give a while paper free. If it has good content, then it will spread via social media and viral marketing. I have read a few success stories along this line. This provides excellent free advertising – if done right.

I would call it an ebook. It’s like a copywriter selling a book on copywriting, available in a PDF download (for a set price).

VOIP Tests

Remember my last blog post?  I bought this Skype phone from Ipevo and it’s very good.  Nice sound quality.

I’m just like you.  At one time, I didn’t know anything about VOIP.  Nada!  Zip!  I’m seduced by those Vonage commercials – just like you.  So I brought into their fluffy sales pitch.

Then I started to experiment (all behind a solid router).

First it was with Google Voice + Gizmo5 + Grandstream Internet phone.  Now it’s with Skype and Ipevo Internet phone.  How should I test these?

My friend Roger – an electronic engineer – had an interesting suggesting.  Play a piece of music and listen to it via voip.  So I make a phone call…Vonage calls AT&T…Skype calls AT&T…Gizmo5/Google Voice calls AT&T.  Maybe I play Beethoven’s fifth.

Wallah!  Instant symphony.  Next I get out my label maker and mark 1, 2, and 3.  Who will stay and who will go on 9/11?  My money’s on Vonage, folks.  If you have stock in the company – by all means – stick with them.  I don’t!

Do the math!  Skype out is $30 a year for unlimited USA calls (actually, they cap it at 10,000 minutes.  Who talks that long in a month?).  Google Voice/Gizmo5 is free for unlimited US calls.  Both have low rates on International calls.

Did I mention all three have equal sound quality and reliability behind my heavy duty router?  Who should “get the ax” on 9/11 (My Vonage renewal date)?

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2 Responses

  1. I love Google Voice. There SMS feature actually got me into it. I am able to send out free text messages to Bangladesh, India, and USA. It saves me some good money on my texting plan from Verizon Wireless because I can use that to text. I think Google always does a wonderful job of giving users what they require and need. I have discovered in the future they are integrating Voice with the Android. Plus they purchased a new VoIP company which they will integrate with the other two to give some outstanding features. I need to get myself an Androind now haha.

  2. I use to G Voice and Im happy, but maybe someone search for company of VoIP providers, You can find it at VoIP directory of companies, I found great provider there for low price!

    Thanks for article!

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