magicJack Hijacks My Free Conference Calls to 218-339-2500!

My friend Russell turned me on to magicJack about a year or so ago. He also evangelized it to several other people I know and about 4-months ago I decided to buy one myself. I was able to get 5 years of VOIP phone service through my desktop, or laptop when I travel, for under a hundred bucks. It’s not always perfect and sometimes the sound quality is not usable at all, but most of the time it’s great and it has allowed me to drop my cell phone contract from 900-minutes a month to only 450-minutes a month—and I use very few of them. I really do get much more than my $1.67/month out of it. However, Monday I experienced a major problem that I feel the need to rant about.

image A lot of my business calls are conference calls. When I schedule conference calls I usually schedule them using Windows Live Meeting because I like Microsoft’s VOIP and I also like to use a webcam so I can see the people I’m talking with and so they can see me as well—expressions and gestures add a lot to understanding another party. LiveMeeting has a lot of other things I like too, but that’s another blog post for another day.

The person who scheduled this particular conference call scheduled it through When it was time, I used my magicJack to dial into the meeting at 218-339-2500. Instead of being asked to enter my conference number, I received the following message from magicJack, “Important announcement! Please listen to this entire short message, the number you have dialed can not be completed from your magicJack. For free conference calling set-up you must dial 305-848-8888. You may press 1 any time during this message to connect. Please use this number for all future free conference calling. Please visit for more information on magicJack Free Conference Calling. Again, that was”

So, I disconnected from this call and called the 305-848-8888 number and entered my conference ID when requested. It was not accepted. Obviously, there was no connection between and I was really frustrated that I was going to have to make this call and use my cell phone minutes. That’s not why I purchased my magicJack.

image After the call, I decided to test and see if I could use Google Voice to place the call. Although I haven’t used Google Voice very much so far, I have configured it to ring my cell phone, home land line, and my magicJack when calls are received. When I received my call from Google Voice, I answered it on my magicJack and then I heard the FreeConferenceCall phone ring once; after that I heard a busy signal. I thought that maybe Google Voice was blocking as well. To test this theory, I placed the call again, but had it routed to my cell phone instead. This time there was no problem and I was connected. Somehow, magicJack is even hijacking and diverting these calls even when they are made through Google Voice!

I searched through magicJack’s knowledge-base to see if I could find out anything about this and no matter what keywords or questions I entered, I kept getting answers about how to schedule a conference call using No explanation at all about why I couldn’t join a conference call.

I did check out and it is a service very similar to and anyone can use it to schedule a meeting, even if you aren’t using a magicJack. I haven’t tried the service, but I may try it one day and let you know how it works. However, being able to initiate a meeting doesn’t help me to attend a meeting at all.

I planned to document all this here on the blog, but I got tied up with other things. This afternoon I read a blog post by Russell, my magicJack pusher friend, about his recent problems (read MagicJack Call to Free Conference Call not Placed to 218-339-2500). In his post he provides the transcript of a chat session he had with magicJack customer service, so I thought I would chat with them too. Customers have to speak out about this and let them know this isn’t good business. Here is the transcript of my chat:

Chat InformationPlease wait for a site operator to respond.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Kiefer’

Chat InformationYour Issue ID for this chat is LTK419075516900X

Kiefer: Hello, how may I help you?

Ricky: Hi, Kiefer.

Ricky: I seem to be unable to join a conference call at 318-339-2500.

Kiefer: Please follow the instructions for making conference calls.

Kiefer: First, dial 305-848-8888

Kiefer: Then press 2

Kiefer: Enter a 3 digit pin to create a conference room number.

Kiefer: And write your conference room number down,

Kiefer: Next is to distribute your dial-in instructions to your conference room attendees.

Kiefer: Dial 305-848-8888

Kiefer: Press 1

Kiefer: and enter your Conference room number.

Ricky: I receive a message telling me I need to call 305-848-8888, but that’s not who my conference call is through.

Ricky: No. I don’t want to SCHEDULE a call, I need to JOIN a call.

Kiefer: Please follow the steps above.

Ricky: My conference call was not scheduled through that service.

Ricky: How do I join a call at this other number.

Kiefer: Thank you for your patience. I will transfer you to a higher level of support. Please hold while I transfer you.

Ricky: Thank you!

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

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Kyle’

Chat InformationYour Issue ID for this chat is LTK419075516900X

Kyle: Hi, Ricky.

Ricky: Hi, Kyle.

Ricky: I seem to be unable to join a conference call using my magicJack.

Kyle: May I know the exact nature of your problem with full details please?

Ricky: These calls are one of the major reasons I purchased it.

Kyle: Okay

Ricky: I am trying to connect to a conference call at 218-339-2500.

Ricky: My call gets diverted and I receive a message telling me how to SCHEDULE a call through your service. I don’t need to SCHEDULE a call, I need to JOIN one.

Kyle: Ricky conference call will not work with MJ not unless you will be the host of the conference call.

Ricky: It has always worked before.

Ricky: Why will it not work now?

Ricky: I don’t understand.

Ricky: This just started happening on Monday, and it persists.

Kyle: I’m sorry but we have a new update that you cannot connect to a conference call not unless you’re the host

Ricky: So, I’m just out of luck? There is nothing I can do?

Ricky: Where should I escalate my complaint?

Kyle: Ricky I am at the escalation level and I am explaining this to you,

Ricky: So, you’re the CEO of magicJack?

Ricky: I want to make sure that people there know this isn’t acceptable.

Kyle: No I am one of the escalations.

Ricky: And, do you have a supervisor?

Ricky: Can I chat with your supervisor about this?

Kyle: Our superior will be available in the morning Ricky

Ricky: OK. How should I contact him or her?

Kyle: You can chat us back Ricky.

Ricky: So, I need to go back through all this again? Tomorrow morning?

Ricky: That’s even more frustration.

Ricky: At what time will the supervisor(s) be available?

Kyle: In the morning Ricky I do not have a specific time

Ricky: Do you know a time zone? Morning where? I’m in the Eastern Time Zone.

Ricky: It’s always morning somewhere. :o)

Kyle: We are in FLorida Ricky, it’s EST here.

Ricky: I’m really not wanting to be a pain for you, but I do want to resolve this problem. I purchased your product as my solution to attending costly and time consuming conference calls and now I find that I’m not able to do so. I just need to make sure this gets fixed.

Ricky: OK. I’ll try back in the morning. If I include my Issue ID, can I skip retyping all this?

Kyle: I understand Ricky as much as I want to help you, but I can’t

Ricky: Thank you Kyle. I hope you have a good rest of your evening.

Kyle: And you as well Ricky, have a pleasant evening.

So, the bottom line is that they are no longer allowing their customers to connect to conference calls via the magicJack unless the customer is the host of the call through their service.

I’ll try chatting tomorrow morning and see if I can get to an escalation supervisor. I’ll keep you posted!

Update: I did some research on and how they make money. I found a really short and simple article entitled, The Skinny on I don’t know if magicJack has to pay when people use their service to connect to these lines, but I’m doubting it. I end to think they just want their piece of the free US Toll calling pie and they want to force their users to give it to them. I plan to broach this with the supervisor tomorrow morning if I’m able to actually talk to one.

Update: I have filed a form 2000B – Billing, Privacy, or Service Quality Compliant with the FCC. Here is the text of that compliant:

magicJack no longer allows calls to be placed to phone numbers, which means that I can’t attend many conference calls that others schedule for me. They play a message that I can schedule a conference call through their own service, but there is no way to join a conference call someone else scheduled using the other service. They used to allow this and then suddenly I noticed they were blocking the calls on Monday, August 24. I have contacted customer service and they tell me, “I’m sorry but we have a new update that you cannot connect to a conference call not unless you’re the host.” They don’t give any reason for the change in policy, nor was any warning given.

I don’t know if this is a violation of FCC policies or not, but I wanted to bring it to your attention in case.

I have documented my complete experience, including chat transcripts at:

Update (2009-08-27): I was able to chat with a supervisor. The bottom line is that they will not provide any explanation for the change and she says that I can’t chat with anyone higher than her, nor can I call anyone higher. Here is the transcript of our chat:

Chat InformationPlease wait for a site operator to respond.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Morgan’

Chat InformationYour Issue ID for this chat is LTK419075595198X

Morgan: Hello, how may I help you?

Ricky: Hi. I chatted with support last night on Issue ID: LTK419075516900X. Then I chatted with an escalation representative on Issue ID: LTK419075516900X.

Morgan: One moment please…

Ricky: Kyle told me I could chat with an escalation supervisor today.

Ricky: I would like to chat with an escalation supervisor, please?

Morgan: Okay

Morgan: One moment please…

Morgan: Thank you for your patience. I will transfer you to a higher level of support. Please hold while I transfer you.

Ricky: Thank you, Morgan!

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

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with ‘Myrene’

Chat InformationYour Issue ID for this chat is LTK419075595198X

Myrene: Hi Ricky.

Ricky: Hi Myrene.

Myrene: One moment please…

Ricky: I’m rather disappointed that I can no longer ATTEND conference calls. I would like to get some sort of explanation about why this changed if I can.

Myrene: aRe you having issue with the conference call?

Ricky: Yes. I can’t ATTEND conference calls that other people schedule through services like

Myrene: Alright, I believe you want to Join a confenece call, right? I am sorry but you cannot call that number, magicjack does not support that number. However, you may create your won Conference call . first, create your free magicjack conference room number, – Dial 305-848-8888.

Ricky: I just get a message saying that I have to use to schedule a conference.

Ricky: However, that doesn’t help me to attend one someone else scheduled.

Ricky: I used to be able to attend them before Monday.

Myrene: That is the new upgrade in our system that i cannot change it Ricky.. I understand how your feel believe me but we cannot change it anymore.

Ricky: Can you tell me why this was changed?

Ricky: Perhaps, why the company felt this would be good for your customers?

Myrene: Before we do not have our own conference phone number but now since we have upgraded you as  a MJ user can create a conference call for free,

Ricky: I hear you.

Myrene: Thank you for that Ricky

Myrene: And for allowing me to explain it

Ricky: However that addresses why you don’t want people to SCHEDULE calls, but it doesn’t explain why you won’t allow people to ATTEND calls.

Ricky: From a customer perspective, it’s rather rude.

Myrene: We are open with your opinions and suggestions Ricky.. Please do not worry… I  let the higher dept know about this so that they are aware of this as well.

Ricky: Can I chat with anyone higher, myself?

Myrene: I am sorry but this is the higher level that you can chat with Ricky.

Ricky: OK. Who can I call and talk to about this?

Myrene: we as a supervisors… and once we end this chat i will copy and paste our conversation so that they are aware of this.

Ricky: So, you’re saying there is nothing more I can do to get an explanation unless I involve a body outside of magicJack? Like the FCC or BBB or something?

Ricky: I would really prefer to talk to someone there and get an explanation.

Ricky: I just don’t see why some explanation is that difficult.

Myrene: If you are going to create a conference call… the other can join the conference

Ricky: Even if you lie to me, I won’t know the difference. :o)

Ricky: But I don’t schedule these calls. Other people schedule them. I can’t force them to use one service or another–the way you’re forcing me.

Myrene: I know that you are now frustrated with this but i do not want to lie with you because i do not want you to expect.

Ricky: Just so we are clear: are you saying there is no way for me to get an explanation about why I can no longer attend a conference call that someone else schedules via or any other service?

Myrene: I am afraid yes.

Ricky: OK. I’ll take this as gospel… for now.

Ricky: Please let my displeasure be known where you can, and I’ll let my displeasure be known where I can.

Myrene: Sorry didn’t quite catch that

Ricky: Please let your supervisors know that I am displeased and why.

Ricky: I will do everything I can do publicize my experience.

Myrene: Affirmative Ricky

Ricky: Thank you, Myrene. I hope you have a good afternoon!

Myrene: I hope so.

Myrene: You are welcome

Update (2009-08-27): I have just found out that calls to are being blocked in this same manner as well.

Update (2009-10-07): About a week ago I received my paper copy of my complaint to the FCC and I filed it away. Personally, I think these paper copies are quit wasteful in the modern electronic age, but that’s what they do. Oh well. 🙁 This afternoon I received a call from someone named Andrew at magicJack saying that they had received their copy of the complaint and were offering me a full refund on my 5-year contract. I called him back. He was very friendly and professional; I think we had a really good conversation. I told him that I was generally happy with my magicJack and wanted to continue using it–so I didn’t want a refund. I explained that I wasn’t sure about the legality of them blocking access to certain numbers and the only way I could discover that was to file a complaint and leave it for the FCC to decide. He explained that they had reached out to the free conference call companies but said they don’t seem to be willing to work with magicJack to provide free access to their numbers for magicJack users, so it’s unlikely that this functionality will be coming back any time soon. I expressed to him that the consumer will continue to lose as long as CLECs, the VOIP operators, and the Free Conference Call companies all continue to hold onto their current business models and are unwilling to work together to find a solution that works for their customers. A third party will come along eventually that does meet the consumer’s requests and they will wish they had worked together sooner rather than later. It was nice to get to finally express my opinions to a real person at magicJack. [By the way, I am not at liberty to disclose Andrew’s direct phone number at magicJack, sorry.]

Related Posts


  • Reply
    1/3/2010 at 6:41 pm

    I have had a magicJack for more than two years. I rarely use it except to make calls overseas (I am in the US), and have had a good experience with it. I did have some problems when I first got the device but after a frustrating exchange of emails, they were all fixed. Since I first got my mJ, sound quality has improved. Although many people complain about the mJ, I am happy with what I get for $19.95 a year. I would never use it for my business or as a primary phone number, but it is good to have in case I have a problem with my cell phone. I do think some people have unreasonable expectations for the product. Overall, I have been happy with my magic Jack.

    cargojack (at) skidbox (dot) com

  • Reply
    1/4/2010 at 12:06 pm

    That which is promised to us in national television advertisements is 100% reasonable.

  • Reply
    1/4/2010 at 2:10 pm

    I signed up several months before they limited conference calling to their own service. It looks an awful lot like a move to leverage customers into using their service only. New customers sign up, unaware of the type of conference calling is limited. I bought 3 magic Jacks with 5 years of service on each, believing that I would get the same service, because I paid for it in advance. I spent just over $500.00. How is that an unreasonable expectation?

  • Reply
    1/20/2010 at 8:30 am

    Its still happening. I got mj for Christmas specifically to join conference calls. I registered yesterday and had the same experience as all of you.

    I wanted the mj to call one number on a regular basis. After installing it and signing up, I discovered that the number I use for conferencing has been blocked by mj and will not be unblocked. No where in the literature is this mentiioned. I said fine, I would like a refund. They said no, because I did not get it on-line. It was a gift purchased from a retailer, so they were not going to refund the money. So, it did not give me free or any long distance service to the number I wanted to call, and they would not even consider a refund. I did not make one call on the device. The support people told me to call other numbers. To add insult to injury, they required me to spend an extra dollar for replacement insurance which required giving them my credit card number.

    Its really irritating that the support people pretend they do not know what I am talking about. I spent all morning with 4 different helpers on live chat. Finally, Faye said I would not be getting a refund, could not talk to her supervisor, and she would be terminating the call–which she did. I have transcripts of all my conversations, if anyone is interested. So far I have submitted complaints to the consumer protection agency, FBI IC3, BBB in Florida (MJ’s home state), PC Magazine’s Product of the Year Award, and Good House Keeping’s Seal of Approval, as well as several blogs and forums such as this one. I intend to do 2 or 3 every day till I get a refund.

  • Reply
    1/20/2010 at 11:47 am

    Ellen: You go, girl!

    I don’t know if I mentioned — after submitting a complaint online to the FCC, I received a letter in the mail from them saying that my problem was the domain of the FTC. Well, yeah, but it’s the FCC’s problem too.

  • Reply
    1/20/2010 at 6:46 pm

    Here’s the REAL problem:

    Due to a SNAFU in telecommunications law some telephone companies may charge a termination fee (they charge everyone that calls one of their numbers a fee to coinnect to their customer). A number of these small companies have upped their termination fee that they charge the incoming caller’s provider. A number of these small companies have either started their own “free” service for conference calls or even advice and astrology type calls and a number of “free” conference call companies have contracted with the the smaller CLEC providers to obtain a portion of that fee. So essentially your call from an AT&T land line gets charged by ACME Rural Telephone Company a CLEC FEE of say $.25 for each AT&T call ending in ACME’s service area. Recently some firms pretending to be a CLEC, but really being just a large private WAN designed to gather CLEC fees from major carriers have raised their rates from $0.001/call like a normal CLEC charges to perhaps $0.25/minute.

    My landline carrier is a CLEC. any “outside” call made to any number “owned” by Greenhills Telephone Company is charged a fee. Even if you are just calling Grandma down the road with your AT%T cell phone.

  • Reply
    1/21/2010 at 11:38 pm

    I didn’t catch if this was covered previously so I apologize in advance…
    But it looks like Google Voice may block Free Conference Calling sites as well.

  • Reply
    1/26/2010 at 7:03 pm

    Have you try faxing yet? I have been having difficulty trying to fax and had to pull out an old old 1970’s fax machine to fax. We even got black listed by MJ because we complained. I think there business model is failing and this is there attempt at getting back at their competition. Ideally, if we all asked for our refund and use the other carriers, I wounder what would happen.

  • Reply
    2/2/2010 at 10:05 pm

    Not conference call related but within the last week I’ve not been able to call either my AT&T or wife’s Verizon cell phones. Had my daughter try it from her MJ and same results. So are the cell carriers blocking it too now??? Reported it to MJ and they stated that they’d have their engineers investigate. Oh well it was nice while it lasted.

  • Reply
    2/14/2010 at 3:58 pm

    This is BS, I pay for a phone line to use to call whomever I want (non 900 numbers or over sea), whenever I want and now they tell me I can not speek with my family on a conference line that has been set up for years.

    I am totally unhappy with this.

    ‘It cost money for people to call conference lines’, THAT’S WHAT THE $20 A YEAR IS FOR.

    They should have thought of this before they said unlimited calls to any number in the US.


    One p****d off customer

  • Reply
    2/23/2010 at 12:50 am

    I too purchased Magic Jack for conference calls to 916-233-0500. I can find a lot of companies using that number, but not the host. Fortunately, I found this blog before my 30 days is up. To replace it I’m considering NetTalk which has far less negative vibes on the net. It’s about the same size as the Magic Jack but will plug into your router or PC.

  • Reply
    3/9/2010 at 9:11 am

    Does anyone have any information concerning the security of the MJ conference site or any of the other free conference sites?

  • Reply
    John M Rathbun
    3/9/2010 at 7:42 pm

    I contacted regarding this situation and they urged me to report it to the FCC using!input.action?form_page=2000B

  • Reply
    3/10/2010 at 4:56 pm

    I ordered on Friday 2/26/10. They told me 7 to 10 days to get order. I thought they were kidding. I thought for sure it will come in 3 to 5 days, next week Tuesday or Wednesday. I had to wait for the following week. Got Nettalk on Monday 3/8/2010. So it was 6 business days. Came via USPS so don’t expect FedEx or UPS. Is this how they keep cost down. Good for them. Consumer has to balance immediate satisfaction versus price.

    Opened box and chose not to read instructions. Seem basic enough. Connect supplied CAT5 cable from Nettalk to wireless router (I use wireless router). Connect telephone to Nettalk box. Connect supplied power cable to Nettalk box. Green light lit and orange light flashed. Got dial tone and called my cell phone using the area code and 7 digit number. Got a recording that said I needed to dial the number and enter the # sign. I did that and got the same information. Kept trying this for 5 minutes. So I read instructions, the only instructions on the outside of box. Still no luck. Decided to go to Nettalk website and learn what I needed to do. After 10 minutes reading FAQ’s, I see I have to dial a 1 + area code + 7 digit number. I tried this and it works. Yippee. So what is my phone number for my net talk? It is a 012 number. I go back to website and register my information so that E911 can find me, I change the number to an available number for my area code. Cool feature that I did not try is that one can release a phone number and get a new phone number. This is great if one relocates to a different area with a different area code.

    Used it for fax and conference calls and it works great.

    So fare so good.

  • Reply
    3/22/2010 at 2:46 pm

    Vincent: I ordered my Nettalk device the same day you did, but I’m still waiting. They use UPS Mail Innovations, but contrary to the policy of that system, refuse to send to a P.O. Box. In my rural town which has no mail delivery, UPS-MI regularly delivers ONLY to PO Boxes. I had to have them send it to a UPS store ten miles away and will have to pay $5 bucks for the privelege. Yes, their shipping policies are screwed up and insensitive to the realities of customer needs.

  • Reply
    8/9/2010 at 8:00 am

    Is anyone with Magic Jack able to reach any number in the 706-935-xxxx, 706-937-xxxx, or 706-965-xxxx area code?

    Starting July 2010, I can no longer reach numbers there.

  • Reply
    8/10/2010 at 10:11 pm

    I use a Nobelcom calling card to call my family overseas. Even when I had my regular landline I used them, because they had the most reasonable rates.

    I just tried to call Nobelcom’s US based number and its blocked via Magicjack. I call it and I get redirected to the “exclusive” provider of MagicJacks international calling. It sounds very shady to me. They want to force me to use their overpriced international provider essentially? I thought I was choosing magicjack as my local and long distance provider, not my “exclusive” international provider too. Very shady.

  • Reply
    T Lane
    8/20/2010 at 11:05 am

    I sure wish I had known about this issue before I purchased my MagicJack! I cost me and extra $150 on my cell phone bill last month because I couldn’t connect to Free Conf Call!!! How frustrating…now I have disconnected my land line and purchased Magic Jack and can’t use it for what it was intended to be used for!!! How can they do this…..

  • Reply
    Ian L
    8/20/2010 at 5:36 pm

    Anyone want to hear the REAL story on this? I don’t work for a CLEC, nor do I work for MagicJack,, nor do I use MagicJack as my main phone service because I can afford to pay more than $20 per year for that. Have the five-year membership though and it works fine for what I need it to do!

    Anyway, MagicJack can “terminate” calls in one of two ways: direct connections with providers at negotiated rates (which could be zero cents per minute) or going through the PSTN infrastructure at large and paying X amount per minute, which is determined by the phone company in question and is generally published in annual Public Service Commission reports. If voice interconnection/peering is established, MagicJack (or whoever) sets up a SIP, digital or analog connection (probably SIP or ISDN digital) connection between itself and the other carrier, and they either keep track of minutes and bill for the difference between inflow and outflow, or they open up the pipes and let the telephone juice flow for free.

    Now some areas are harder to wire than others; so some carriers Prural ones) charge higher interconnection fees per minute than others. That’s all well and good because a national company like MagicJack doesn’t have a ton of people making calls to/from those areas, because that’s not where the population centers are.

    The problem arises when free conference calling services game the system, contracting with a CLEC that will provide them with a block of inbound numbers, then splitting the interconnection charges with the CLEC when people call in to the “free” cnference call line. Adding insult to injury, sometimes these CLECs jack up rates even more to these conference call providers (more money is always good, right?) to the point that MJ is paying over ten cents PER MINUTE to connect a conference call that will have multiple participants and will last quite awhile…on a rather popular system to boot. The result for the conference call company and CLEC is they may be making as much as a dollar or two per minute on a service that doesn’t require miles of rural phone lines or any of the other LEGITIMATE reasons for a high termination charge.

    I’m looking at a VoIP provider’s rate sheet right now that lists out charges to connect to a given area code/prefix combination. Standard rates range from half a cent to a couple of cents per minute, depending on how rural the area in question is. So far, a couple of numbers in teh 218 area code, including 218-338, are the ONLY ones I’ve seen that go above 20 cents per minute (not 2, TWENTY). It does NOT take twenty cents per minute to run a line from the telephone central office to wherever the conference call system is collocated. No freakin’ way.

    The 916-233-0500 number…well, I don’t know what’s up with that. Its termination rates are as low as anyone’s. Could be something anticompetitive, but the 218-339 number…yeah…

    MagicJack’s own conference number on the other hand is higher than zero for termination rates (or half a cent) but still reasonable (in the neighborhood of a penny per minute).

    So you might be wondering, might these high termination rates put some other rural subscribers out in the cold? Actually, yes. MagicJack won’t complete calls to high-cost exchanges; the nearby Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative (5.6 cents per minute on my rate sheet) comes back as “service unavailable” when I try to call it, as do numbers from BPS Networks in Missouri. That said, both companies aren’t exactly cheap to call to, and if you have a MagicJack then you have an internet connection, and if MagicJack works, so will another VoIP company that will allow you to connect to those numbers.

    Also, not all rural telcos are blocked. Both telephone cooperatives in my area (central TX) work just fine with MagicJack. Maybe there are some telephone co-ops that don’t work near where I live, but I haven’t found them yet.

    The crux of it all is that, if MagicJack connected calls to high-cost markets, they would have to raise their yearly rate. If anyone is okay with them doing that, go to NetTalk…unless they block those numbers as well. You can only do so much with a buck and change per month, and if a rural telco eats that up with one call…or a big

  • Reply
    9/19/2010 at 8:40 pm

    Hi I’ve just researched this same problem and missed out on a very important Conference call with the same exact issues…Magic Jack. I am outraged and spend time I didn’t have to try and figure this out. What a hoax!! Iam very very ******.

  • Reply
    9/23/2010 at 10:50 am

    I found a workaround for this. I don’t care about cell phone bills because I have unlimited minutes. I just don’t seem to get decent quality with a headset so I wanted a landline for conference calls. It also saves the battery on the cell.

    Anyway, the workaround is to forward my cell phone to the conference call number, call my cell from the magicjack line to connect the call, then turn off forwarding on my cell. The minutes probably get counted on your cell phone bill, so if that’s a concern you’ll have to consider that. It does seem to work though so I can use my land phone which is more comfortable for me.

  • Reply
    11/4/2010 at 12:58 pm

    Just renewed my subscription last Sunday. Immediately after, My room mate could no longer call his mother who is on a rural telco.

  • Reply
    3/4/2011 at 1:43 pm

    This is the fault of the FCC. Period! They created this issue with stupid short sighted loop holes and followed it up with the utter inability to fix it. Magic Jack is right! They can’t have their business put in jeopardy by these loop-hole exploiting crooks. I do not think you all realize that the high fees that they charge can be as high as $.30 per minute. Come on that is 1970s pricing. How would you all like a long distance bill that is different based on where you call in the U.S.? The answer is you would not. My point is do not blame the greedy carriers (remember some are small businesses) blame the slow to act FCC, who caused this problem and never fixed it.

  • Reply
    4/26/2011 at 12:11 pm

    I wouldn’t have a problem with the Magic Jack Conference system except that it is UNRELIABLE! People can’t always get in, the calls get dropped, and the conference software seems to confuse conference rooms at times. And, when you try to get MJ support bots to resolve your problem, the is nothing worse than vague answers to specific questions! You quickly discover that there is no button on their support console that sends you a relevant answer to your specific problem. IF MJ’s conference system worked satisfactorily, this would work for us… but NO!

    And of course, this comment doesn’t even begin to address the issue of callers who may not be able to reach our conferences for the same reasons from other networks…

  • Reply
    4/5/2012 at 2:28 pm

    I have had a similar problem with Magicjack but now they are blocking calling card numbers. Foe example I wanted to call Australia and dialed the calling card local number, entered my language code, entered my PIN and then tried to enter the phone number in Australia and then magicjack intercepts the call and then its done. They want me to buy their long distance minutes. This all worked fine between 01/2012 and 02/2012. Now it does not work. Still waiting on their Tech Support to call back.

  • Reply
    5/9/2012 at 12:53 pm

    Magicjack suddenly decided to block calls to local access numbers of some international calling card, with the same “cannot make calls to conference” message. I am not able to receive calls from landlines from some international counties. My landline can receive those same calls perfectly ok.

  • Reply
    5/9/2012 at 1:56 pm

    MagicJack seems tricking customers who brushing concerns about call-blocking within the 30-day trial period by providing false hope that the problem will be rectified. It looks like this has been going on for years. I’m cancelling.

    Told them it was illegal per FCC and misrepresentation per FTC. My chat transcript portions:

    Dexter: It was stated in our Terms of Service at (Number 3 – B and Number 4). Some restrictions in cost prohibitive areas may apply. You will not have the ability to call any number that would require the addition of any charges to your phone bill, such as 900 or 976 numbers or any other “fee per call” type service..

    Mo: Do you or your supervisor know about FCC regulation “22 FCC Rcd 11629 (2007)”

    Dexter: As per Terms of Service you have agreed upon registration : Section IV :

    Dexter: We may require prepaid purchase and/or we may charge you for calls to conference lines, platforms and certain non-ILEC area calls, or any call wherein we incur a cost from another carrier. We may provide for a fee, premium prepaid services, which may be powered by YMAX Communications Corp. (YMAX), and may include some inbound, international, conference, platform and outbound calls that receive a recording and certain calls to non-ILEC areas, and the rates for those services will be governed by listed price lists or tariffs.

    Dexter: If you hear that message : ” To call a cOnference Line, you must purchase international minutes…”, this means that the Number you are calling is on non-ILEC areas where they are not Allowing magicjack calls for free.

    Mo: This is not cost-prohibitive area, it is not a 900/976 number, and it is not fee per call type service.

    Dexter: We regret to inform you but the other end has blocked us from reaching them and we are already working on the Agreement.. I fervently wish too that the free calling will be agreed once again.. However, they are now blocking it.. In the mean time, you may able to reach them by having International minutes..

  • Reply
    5/31/2012 at 2:39 pm

    Unfortunately, this is not only happening with, it’s happening with global meet and webex numbers as well. It seems that the more they discover conference call numbers, they program them into their system so that they can block them. I am still able to dial few conference call numbers though, but I am sure it’s only a matter of time before they block them as well.

  • Reply
    5/31/2012 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve had NetTalk now for over two years and never had a call blocked. I use it regularly for conference calling.

  • Reply
    Stephen Uhl
    8/1/2012 at 6:31 pm

    I do not know of NetTalk; does it work with MagicJack? Cost and any other details?

  • Reply
    New MagicJack User
    8/2/2012 at 5:10 pm

    I am facing the same problem. Thanks for this post and FCC complaint. If possible, please try to spread this through social media like facebook, twitter etc. to shame MagicJack and force them to correct this.

  • Reply
    Anonymous Coward
    8/25/2012 at 7:17 pm

    First, MagicJack is a VOIP service. The FCC has not claimed jurisdiction over VOIP providers (for *NOW* at least), so they can practically get away with anything they want (as far as providing telephone number access neutrality, which is the subject of this thread).

    NOTE that, if the FCC ever DOES lay claim to VOIP providers, you will *NOT* get this service (such as it is) for a mere $20 per year– more than likely, it will cost you upwards of $10 to $20 per MONTH. Just keep that in mind before you think the FCC is going to ride in on their white horse, and “save” you! Governmental regulations cost companies money, and they will HAVE to raise their rates to remain profitable.

    Some services (like, and some calling-card companies) engage in “telecom arbitrage”, which is a fancy name for a complicated scheme where they can make money by CHARGING-BACK YOUR TELCO for “terminating” the call. If MajicJack allowed you to connect to these services, they would be out of business very fast, or they would have to raise their rates as I stated above.

    The governmental agency that *DOES* have jurisdiction over MagicJack, is the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). MagicJack is advertising that they will provide you with free access to *ANY* telephone number in the USA or Canada, when (in fact) they do not. This is *FRAUD*. In fact, this is not an “honest mistake” made by the company– it is an ongoing issue for which they are well aware of. This means that not only can the company be fined, it could even be shut down– and because they are committing “constructive fraud” and the CEO is well aware of it– he could end up in federal *PRISON*.

    What *REALLY* makes me angry, is that they *HIDE* this situation from you– which is information that you need to make an “informed purchase”.

    The stupid thing is, that they could simply *TELL YOU* about this issue on a separate web page, or in their “terms of service”. Most people (including me) would go ahead and purchase the service anyway, because it is so cheap– you can still call friends and family long distance for $20 per year. If they put these restrictions in writing, (like in the TOS), there would be nothing the FTC could do– you would be considered to have been informed.

    If they told me about this before I made a purchase, I would have purchased the service anyway (and just put up with the restrictions)– *AND*, I would not be angry because they withheld vital information from me…

    I think you *SHOULD* file an official complaint with the FTC– just to force MagicJack to put this information on their TOS…

    Just sayin’

  • Reply
    1/29/2013 at 1:58 pm

    I bought the 5 year deal too but have all but given up using Magic Jack for all the reasons above. It was great at first then gradually connections dropped, echos frustrated my friends though I couldn’t hear the echos on my end and at the 2 hour mark, all calls were just dropped and blocked from my attempts to redial them.
    And forget listening to my favorite podcasts. Not unless they were on MJ conference service. Then, a few months back, Google Voice warned me that the precious number and service they had freely gifted me with in 2009 was about to expire because I hadn’t used it once! However, they went on to say that if I wanted to retain free access to GV, then I had better start using it. As usual, that word “free” got to me and I immediately started trying out their service.
    I don’t have a cell phone, only a landline and after I got on to how GV works, I started calling everywhere. My verdict – KUDOS to Google Voice!!! I’ve now been a steady user since 10/5/12, merrily making unlimited, sparkling clear calls to North Carolina, Hawaii, northern California and even locally. No longer do my nearby friends dread my calls on the Magic Jack echo lines and I can chat as long as I want to my friends in Hawaii and also listen to hours of conference calls. So far, I’ve never been denied access to any phone number and it’s all been FREE, FREE, FREE. I am a happy camper. Goodby Magic Jack, Hello Google Voice.

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