: CIA / Cybersurf VoIP Service Review and Discussion
2006-03-30, 04:10 PM
My Vonage phone number didn't port as anticipated. Apparently it was submitted to GT (I think he said) on March 28, 2006. This means it will be up to another 10 business days from that date to get the number activated on my voice terminal. Apparently all the right people are working on the account according to the most recent CSR.
I didn't fully understand the answer to my billing credit request. I'm not certain if I'll be receiving a credit or not. It sounds like they can't post a credit to the account unless it has been charged. Obviously, I have already had charges for service, so, I don't understand the problem. The billing statement is to be improved but no ETA.
wshanks, you're not having a good go of this are you?
I hope it all gets resolved for you.
2006-03-30, 11:13 PM
It really sounds like a company to avoid unless you don't mind being the Guinea Pig for a while. I don't think I would try them until they get a lot of these bugs ironed out and until the employees have been there long enough to understand how the system fully functions.
2006-03-31, 09:50 AM
I would ask any other CIA.com customers to post their experiences so that a fair representation can be given about the products and services offered by Cybersurf (3Web/CIA.com).
2006-04-01, 02:03 PM
I believe from what have already seen, is a fair representation of their poor service. But they are a new company so I'm not ready to jump ship.
2006-04-03, 12:48 PM
The previous post by djino is a good point - they are a new player in the voip phone biz and are ironing out many bugs.
Believe it or not, I've found the phone support to be getting better - the last time I called it was a 10 minute wait, far better than the 60 minute average I was experiencing a month back.
The Motorola ATA sucks. DMZ doesn't work at all and I've had no luck at port forwarding (I have a few things running internally that I need access to). I called to complain - current solution is to provide a second ip (for free) and use a small switch behind the modem. Only real problem with this solution is that it bypasses the QOS functions in the ATA (not a real problem for me as internet access never seems to coinside with phone usage).
I was using a temporary number to "try out" their service. After being satisfied I requested the transfer of my old Telus number which seemed to take forever (wife was bitching a fair bit which probably made it seem to take a little longer). This may not be totally the fault of CIA as a certain amount of 3rd party coordination is required...
I'd really like to use a different ATA - I have a spare (from work) Sipura SPA3000 which I'd really like to use and possibly set up an Asteisk system at home. CIA tells me I must use the Motorola and they do not support others - Has anyone else had any luck experimenting with other ATA's???
You can get a 2nd line as a distinctive ring but currently can't get a true 2nd line. CIA tell's me that they will be offering this soon... Has anyone heard a more definitive date? I'd also like to use a softphone - has anyone know if this is currently possible with CIA or maybe when it might be possible?
2006-04-04, 04:39 PM
Squirreldip , when did you sign up? What city you located in?. I've signed up for the service over a month ago, but still have not been shipped the ATA (like I said in previous posting.. its due to some contract they need to sign with Ontario or something). As if March 26th they were still not able to ship ATA's to my area, was wondering if that has changed or if actually other people are really getting it.
2006-04-04, 08:03 PM
LoL.. cancel that last posting. I just recieved my ATA in the mail today. Got it all hooked up.. It works.. YAY!!!!
2006-04-07, 08:43 AM
Did anyone recieve an UPS with their Voice Adaptor? The installation instructions show that their should be one with the kit, but I didn't get one.
Ironically 2 days after recieving the voice adaptor the hydro building near my place caught fire and I've lost power. :S
Sucks to be me.
2006-04-07, 11:34 AM
@djino: It took just over a week to get my ATA - took about a month to get the UPS... At your rate you should have the UPS sometime near Labor Day...
Edit: I'm in Calgary...
2006-04-08, 10:48 AM
Ironically 2 days after recieving the voice adaptor the hydro building near my place caught fire and I've lost power. :S
Sucks to be me.Oh so that's what happened! I was wondering why the police had Scott Street closed off and none of the traffic lights were working all the way down Parkdale. Interesting.
Let us know how you find the system. I'm also interested in finding out your speed. What speed are you getting? What is the actual carrier for your high speed internet? If it is the same as before, have you noticed any sort of degradation in performance due to switching over to this new company?
2006-04-08, 03:44 PM
What about the real "VOIP" advantages of CIA? For example, can I take the unit with me when travelling so my line follows me where I go? Also, are there options to use a soft phone like Vonage? Can I listen to voicemail messages via email, can I see my calls, etc...
One last thing, my bell line is an unlisted number (I pay $2 for that), does CIA offer this. Or do they not publish any listings by default?
2006-04-08, 03:52 PM
I just answered my first question myself...
Can I move my CIA Local Phone service?
Although some of our competitors support a nomadic service which allows you to use your broadband phone equipment from anywhere in the world to make calls, CIA does NOT support this feature and considers you in breach of your End-User Service (available at http://www.cia.com/Legal/End-User_Services_Agreement) if you attempt to use the service that way. You are required to use your CIA Local Phone service at home to ensure that your proper location information is sent to emergency call centers in the event you need to use 9-1-1 dialing. If this requirement is not followed, your 9-1-1 service will not work properly.
Whenever your CIA Local Phone service must be moved, unless a self-install option for the service is permitted by us, you must schedule an appointment for us to move any equipment required in connection with the service to be moved, other than equipment, such as, without limitation, your computer system, for which you are solely responsible. If self-installation is allowed, you must call us when moving your CIA Local Phone service so that we may update your location information for 9-1-1 calling purposes.
2006-04-09, 10:21 AM
One of the thrills of VoIP is that you can travel with it. They sure knocked that benefit off of the shelf. I guess the real benefit to going with these guys is that your high speed internet is available with your phone service for a lower price.
2006-04-09, 03:04 PM
Actually, depending on what features you need, there is not much of a price difference when you add up the details:
<li>Bell HighSpeed DryLoopDSL 3M ($35/mth) and PrimusTBB ($20) with a full service telephone line (CallerID, Voicemail, 3way, CallWaiting, etc) = $55
I actually pay $51 since I bought the Primus ATA @$80.
<li>With CIA, you pay $40, but you have to either buy the modem and ATA for $100 each (=$200). This means you are locked into them for at least 2 years (payback period assuming a"rental" rate of $4/mth for each device).
Of course, if you want VoiceMail and Conferencing, the price becomes $46...
And LD (although you get a LD$100 credit), adds up compared to the $10 unlimited with PrimusTBB...
Just my 2c
2006-04-09, 03:46 PM
Yeah, I doubt I'll be jumping ship soon. However I'm with 5 mbps cable at $37.95 per month. Primus is $29.95 for unlimited calling LD and local, which brings me up to over $70 prior to taxes. It's still a good deal though. Bell was charging me $120 just for phone service and I only had 3 special features and did not have unlimited long distance. I had to wait until after 6 PM or weekends and holidays were not included. Now I can pick up the phone at any time of the day or night, and am paying only $34.44 total for my phone service. I always did pay separately for my high speed internet so that is nothing new. Saving $86 per month and having more features and more flexibility is awesome. Thank you Primus!! Oh yeah, and I can travel with it too if I want.
2006-04-10, 02:17 PM
CIA currently does not support softphones and do not permit travelling with your ATA. I think the issue has to do with the E911 - and this has got to be a major issue.
CIA has taken the easy way out by stating you can't move the ATA therefor your registered address is where E911 calls will find you.
I've asked them about softphone and 2nd lines - they've told me that "they're in the works." I'm chomping at the bit waiting for softphone - I'll be setting up Asterisk@Home soon after...
In the mean time I use Callcentric and/or VoipStunt for outgoing calls - incoming I use my Cell for the call display (don't answer incoming calls).
2006-04-10, 02:47 PM
I guess you live near the parkdale area?
How is the service you asked? Well I went from Rogers to 3web in October (2005). There was no difference in speed. I was getting 3MBPS with rogers as I was getting the same with 3web after. I then went from 3web to CIA just a month ago (same company), although reciently I found my speed to be now near 5 mbps..so thats good.
I believe CIA will be good for most, just depends on what you need. When I was with rogers I was paying $45/month for internet.. $20/month for VOIP (Yak). Yes the voip came with all the features included but I dont think the majority of people need to use every telephone feature. And not everyone makes an exteme amount of long distance calls each month.
With CIA.. I pay $40 (Internet/VOIP).. I added the voicemail/call display (which is really all the features I need).. brings it to $46... I have my own cable modem (Its now apparent that more and more are begining to own their own modem). I decided not to purchase the ATA Voice Terminal ($100) since it seems to be a model that will soon be extinct. So I'm paying an extra $5/month to rent it from them..brings me to $51. Long distance. I do use.. but there is a $100 credit towards it. which is equivalent to making 3333.33 minutes of long distance calls to anywhere Canada/US. That will prolly take me at least 6 months to go through if not more. And then its 3/cents a minute after that.
So $51 by going with CIA or $65 with what I had before. I'm saving $14/month. Its good with me.
My advice though would be to wait in signing up with them. They are a new company and I've already been dealing with a few issues with them. (It took them a month to send me the ATA voice terminal. And they still have yet to port my number to them. a UPS is also supposed to come with the service, but they said thats on back-order, so I'm still waiting on that. Getting through to customer service has improved over the past month. In the beginning it was taking at least 45-60 minutes to get to a CSR. Now I only wait 15-20 minutes. So they are improving. So I'm not willing to jump ship.
But yup, there you have it.
"I like CIA, but you may not"
2006-04-10, 03:06 PM
Forgot to answer some of the other questions...
1)..Someone said something about not being able to move the adaptor to another location. Well of course you can, its just not something they are willing to support. If you have problems connecting the adaptor to another broadband connection other than the one at your home, they wont support it. Which goes along the lines of the E911... as that wont be effective if you are not at your home location.
2) No Softphone option as of yet
3) You are able to add a second line to your account, but I think the CSR told me it has to be in the same area code as your primary number.
"answers CIA questions"
2006-04-10, 06:09 PM
In reading the FAQ for CIA, I have found a couple of questions that seem to bear asking:
1) they claim that their service does not travel on the Internet at all. From the wiring diagram, it appears the voice terminal routes through the modem. Seeing as CIA resells another ISPs inet, how can CIA rig VOIP data to route to their 'own managed network' when it is another company handling the data flow and is presumably routing to their own backbone? To my eye, it appears that the calls HAVE to go out to the Internet.
2) Does CIA even own their own managed network?
3) Seeing as the service is reliant upon power to the modem, does the UPS that comes with the service also have an outlet to run the modem in the case of a power outage?
BTW ... I noticed that CIA's website was abruptly changed yesterday to drop the speed in Western Canada down to 5 mb/s. I've been with 3Web before, so I expected this type of 'change' because the price looked too good to be true. Anyone have the service that can verify if the speed dropped to 5 Mb/s in a Shaw-serviced area?