Magic Jack Plus vs NetTalk Duo – comparing apples to apples

Magic Jack Plus is described on their website at MagicJack Plus. NetTalk Duo is described on their website at NetTalk Duo.

You can find some articles comparing the two at:

Let’s set the apples up

Close up of a plug following Micro-B-type USB ...
Image via Wikipedia

The article MagicJack Plus vs NetTALK DUO: The Rematch does an excellent job of comparing NetTalk Duo with Magic Jack Plus. Let’s get the history straight. Magic Jack first came out with a phone UBS computer plug-in. NetTalk then came up with a combination UBS computer plug-in and router combo. MagicJack followed a short time later (i.e. perhaps after NetTalk finished testing the market for them).

The price question

Before we start comparing the two, let me ask this question:

Remember the old Wendy’s commercial from many years ago? Three elderly women were looking at big empty bun. One elderly woman kept asking, “where’s the beef?”

Do you see the product price of Magic Jack Plus on its website? No – it’s not there. But a call to my local Radio Shack store reveals it’s $69.95 + $29.95 for each additions year. This is the same price as NetTalk. Try to find the product price on the website and let me know where it is.

Like the Wendy’s commercial, the bun can be the big fancy Magic Jack Plus website.

Now go to the NetTalk website. You see the price – along with the price for each other year of service – mentioned on the website. I also inspected the Magic Jack Plus unit at my local radio shack. It’s about the same size as the NetTalk Duo.

My test of Magic Jack Plus

Guess what lesson I learned this week? It’s worth losing a dollar to learn the truth.

I decided to buy a Magic Jack Plus unit at Radio Shack. The total cost was around $75 including tax. I had to plug the unit into my USB port to initially activate it. The activation process tries to up-sell you a bunch of services (i.e. like 5 years of service). I only elected the $1 unit replacement.

After the activation was completed, I plugged the unit into my router. There was a dial tone but I couldn’t call out or in.

I returned the unit to Radio Shack for a refund. Then I contacted the Magic Jack chat application. I wanted to insure they didn’t try to renew my order a year from now. I was told I couldn’t get my dollar back. That’s OK. It taught me a lesson about their business practice. So I can only assume if I purchased all the up-sell stuff – but returned my unit within 30 days – there wouldn’t be a refund of the up-sell stuff.

Guess what? I never had to plug my Net Talk Duo unit into the USB port first. Nor was I the victim of up-sell attempts. MagicJack also charged me an extra nickel for Regulatory and Compliance Expense. I have filed a BBB complaint.

Lesson learned? Don’t buy any Magic Jack or Magic Jack Plus up-sells during activation. Not if you plan on returning the unit during the 30 day trial.

Ghosts from the past

Linksys BEFW11S4 Router Sitting on a Cable Modem
Image via Wikipedia


I had the original Magic Jack for a while on my Windows 7 computer. It kept freezing the keyboard and/or crashing my system. I finally uninstalled the software and unplugged the device. You can read about this via several past posts. Just do a search on MagicJack.

It turned out they also had an auto renewal and charged me for a $20 Magic Jack yearly renewal. I had to contact the Magic Jack chat option, issue a credit card dispute (i.e. to be safe) and fill a Better Business Bureau complaint. The Magic Jack chat person said it would take up to 60 days to issue a refund. The Magic Jack response to the BBB complaint was that this is typical credit card processing.

Excuse me? Do you know any credit card banks that takes 60 days to issue a credit card refund? I just accepted the explanation and didn’t pursue the BBB complaint further. They did issue a credit card refund right away.


I did have a complaint with NetTalk on their shipping. Apparently they use a UPS option that hybrids UPS and USPS shipping combinations. The result is it takes a bit of time to ship, unless you get the rush special. You can read about this via several past posts. Just do a search on NetTalk.

What I Suspect

If I was to pursue the MagicJack Plus problem, it would probably take several hours of chat time with their level 1 support people. It would probably need me making several changes to my Linksys router to accommodate their device. This is unacceptable, considering I operated a Vonage device, NetTalk device and Skype phone out of the box – without making any router changes. My position is that their device should run right out of the box.

Summing it up

The article MagicJack Plus vs NetTALK DUO: The Rematch I mentioned earlier does a great job in comparing the two device features. NetTalk Duo is ahead in video features and live person support. My experience with the NetTalk support is excellent and they are available 7 days a week – just a phone call away.

NetTalk Duo has been around over a year.  MagicJack Plus is only about 2 months old.  In my opinion, it needs to “mature” first.

I wouldn’t buy either device via a direct order – if I can avoid it. I would buy it through a retail outlet channel. This way you get it right away and you won’t have any issues with obtaining an immediate refund within 30 days.

If you do get MagicJack Plus, don’t buy any up-sell items during activation. Wait until you finish the 30 day trial.




3 thoughts on “Magic Jack Plus vs NetTalk Duo – comparing apples to apples

  1. I did find the pricing for MajicJack Plus on their website. It was buried within their FAQ/Knowledge base. I had to hunt but I did find it.

  2. You can’t imagine how great a public service you’ve rendered to your readership by relating your experience with all 3 products: MagicJack, MagicJack Plus and NetTALK DUO. After reading your article, potential customers will come away with a clear understanding as to which product to pick, should they decide to do so.

    Is NetTALK DUO The Best VOIP Internet Phone?

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