Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Their plan just sounds too good to be true so I'm wondering what the service quality it like.

I'm particularly interested in the Dolphin World Wide package at $30 a month (with unlimited local and long distance calls to 19 countries including the US, UK, France, China and Italy and the regular accompaniment of phone features).

The adapter is $8 a month or $80 to buy and the line splitter would be about $8. Porting your current number is $25 and may take up to a month. There are 2nd line options, too, but no virtual numbers for the UK, US or France (which I wouldn't mind getting but would sacrifice for now).

Best for me is that they don't require credit cards -- I don't have one on principle and that causes me headaches at times. They'll even case cash at their Burnaby, BC office if you're in the neighbourhood.

But opinions as to the product/service would be appreciated because I'm sitting here wondering why I've never heard of this company before I found them on another VoIP Provider list on another web site... .

Thanks.

BW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I got the service. The line splitter never did work properly so I bought a 2nd-hand Dlink router off of craigslist.org and that did the trick.

I can hear people very well but there have been occasions when they tell me I start to sound like I'm talking at the end of a long tunnel. Strange since I very rarely hear voice drops from my end.

The phone features work as far as I can tell. The voicemail is fine, call display pops up numbers but no names, unfortunately. Maybe it's Telus that provides that aspect only to it's land lines? Call forwarding works to redirect calls to my cellphone.

The tech support is a nice guy.

At this point, until they have a more constant superior voice transmission, I can't see myself getting rid of the landline. I just can't have clients and people calling me long distance and have voice drops like this.

We'll see how things for for another month or two. I can't imagine that this problem is local to this provider since I keep hearing it pop up in other threads.

But these kinds of things will determine whether I stay with the whole technology or not.

Anyway. Just thought anyone reading the first post might like a report :)

BW
 

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
I guess we now have one report! Thanks for posting your results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Betty Woo said:
...The tech support is a nice guy...

BW
:D :D :D Do you leave a message during his lunch?

Seriously though, good tech support is hard to get with Voip companies so this would be a huge plus for you. I would avoid porting your number though until you are convinced you are keeping this because you may not be able to port it back if you change your mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Oh boy. There were four factors I was looking for in a service:

1. price & add-ons
2. customer support (after hearing the nightmare stories from some people in this forum)
3. payment options ('cause I just don't like credit cards)
4. reliability

Little researcher that I am, I wrote up a check list in Excel, printed it out and did my research on about 20 companies.

Turns out I only found this company on one website. The reason being that they've very young (not even two years old) and they're starting slowly and building as they go and will probably remain local to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

I phoned and asked for customer support and was sent right through to Wayne. He was very helpful when I had the line splitter problems and when I had a couple of questions re: using the services.

I paid my first month via automatic bank account withdrawl but have switched over and will now be billed and pay either by cheque or via internet banking.

So far so great.

Except for the occassional voice drops - which I really think is technology-wide rather than company-specific in this case.

In any case, I've felt comfortable enough with the service to have printed up some 'calling cards' with my new contact information -- and the landline isn't included on it. I just hand it to people I know and tell them to stick it by their phones and try calling me on the VOiP line first so I can gather more opinions on the service.

I *really* want this technology to work for me :)

BW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Happy with them so far

I joined the world plan also, now it is 9 days, I have made calls to Hong Kong & mainland China, Montreal, San Diego. The only catch is cell phone outside north america is extra!! The sound is quiet good. The L.D. call were all o.k., I was told it is better than some phone card calls. Some of my friend in town notice the sould is not as lound as Telus line, but is acceptable. When I first set up, I try out one of the Sanyo 2.4Ghz cordless phone with caller I.D.that I have, it doesn't ring at all; I plug in a regualr phone & works, I also try out another Toshiba 900Mhz cordless phone & it rings with no problem. I have not try the Fax yet. The tech told me ADSL is better than cable & I am on ADSL. So far some of the calls have a very little echo sometimes but you have to pay attention to it otherwise it is not noticeable. With call waiting the signal tone is not very clear & seems breaking up. Voicemail is good, with 4 rings no answer it goes to voicemail. I have pre-wire my home for 2 line support, so I am using line 2 as my voip line, it rings 3 regular phones with no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm actually having issue with the service now... but I'm trying to figure out if the problem is with my Telus ISP or it's with DolphinTel itself.

There are too many times when the voice quality suddenly drops or starts warbling or, like tonight, I can't even get a dial-tone to make a call.

I've been holding off going to Shaw, though, until after the Telus strike is settled because:

1) Shaw has *no* deals right now at all :p and
2) I've conceded to dumping Telus as my landline (in support of the strike) but if I dumped Telus as my ISP, then I couldn't voice my concerns as a customer that the strike was affecting my quality of service.

I've got to call DolphinTel and ask them if they've had issues with Telus ADSL, too. Maybe they can pin down the problem 'cause I'm now on month 6 without feeling comfortable enough to totally dump my landline - and that pretty much negates all the 'savings' this VoIP technology is suppose to get me :)

If anyone's had very decent service with DolphinTel and Shaw cable, I'd like to hear about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Mr. Anthony

I am with the DolphinTel company, but started as a consumer like Betty.
Betty, your experience concerns me as we have been working diligently to provide a quality experience for our users. When the digital signal is carried on another network (like Telus or Shaw) rather than our own (our parent company is now BC's third largest internet provider and the recipient of a consumer's choice award) there is sometimes the need for "tweaking". I am sorry to learn of your unhappy experiences and invite you to talk to me directly.
DolphinTel has achieved many successes; the first to be 911 compliant, we have 411 information and we are the only phone that works on the metrobridge network and the k-band connections.
We are the source, not a reseller. We have our own programmers and R&D and can capably handle any tech issue. Betty, I have checked our data base, and we do not have, nor ever have had a Betty Woo. I presume that this is your nom de plume and I invite you to contact me, I assure you we will resolve whatever tech issue you may be having.

Michael Anthony
Director of Sales and Marketing
DolphinTel.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Beware of DOLPHINTEL

DOLPHINTEL is by far the lowest quality, with the worst tech support ive ever had the displeasure of using, I abandoned their service recently after countless problems with service.

Mr.Anthony, your company has cost me alot in dropped calls over the last 9 months or so and I will shudder when i pay the remainder of my bill to your company (approx $100)
-though i wonder who compensates me for my precious time wasted because of your "Quality Source Service"

I encourage EVERYONE to stay right away from this service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
While it's great that Mr. Anthony would personally respond asking me to call him , why don't we have a public discussion so that others can benefit from gaining insight or hints on how to use the service to its full advantage?

Let me start with some basic questions:

1. since I've mentioned a couple of times here and to techs that I concede that part of my voice quality problem has more to do with my crappy Telus landline my Telus ADSL is coming in on, is there any advantage to going to Shaw/cable? Strangely enough, I've never had a problem with my Telus ADSL, itself but a big reason for the switch to VOiP was because my phone calls on the same Telus line were staticy to the point of almost making phone conversation almost unintelligible.

2. what is the current adapter brand and model number Dolphintel is renting to customers?

3. is the portal currently working (the web site says it should be up and running last month)?

4. when will the ability to show names (not just phone numbers) happen for incoming calls?

5. if I move to another provider (or back to a landline), is it possible to take my current DolphinTel number with me?

Looking forward to learning more.

B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well, the portal seems to be up and running. But I've tried registering with the portal and I'm still waiting for a response. It have better come through soon since Dolphintel has gone 'paperless' when it comes to billing as of the last paper bill :)

Otherwise - still dropping voice quality periodically.

And no public response from Mr. Anthony.

But I'm hanging in there since there's no guarantee that someone else's VOIP technology is any better.

At least I can't be accused of being impatient (although some may accuse me of being too forgiving).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So - + eight days and counting since I submitted my information to get registered for a 'account manager' portal. I'm having a very hard time believing that it takes *that* long to compare resitrations with actual account holders since I have yet to ever see advertising for this company and can't image the customer base being terribly big.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I could not get connected

I am "with" Dolphin Tel since February but have not been able to connect.
I have spend countless hours with tech support telephoning long distance from Taiwan. In the end, THEY have given up and I have been informed that it does not work from some servers in Asia. Since I already have ported my telephone number with them I am without a Vancouver telephone since February and it is will be May tomorrow.

The issue according to techs here in Taiwan is Dolphin Tel / Lightspeed Internet service blocks certain IPs. My adapter cannot see Dolphin Tel's server and thus I have no connectivity.

According to Dolphin Tel, this is not an issue. The problem is my router / modem combo and that they have never encountered such a device and is unfamiliar on how to configure properly.

I don't know who is right or wrong but I am without my Vancouver phone for 3 months and I am very frusterated.

The frusteration now is lack of contact with Dolphin Tel / Lightspeed.
After they started to realize that things may not work out they started to REFUSE to answer emails. I have now sent 6 emails asking what the next step and not one individual has emailed me back. It has been two weeks.

Any others with this type of problem?

JTT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have used the service for about 2 months using shaw's I-extreme service, motorolla modem, and a linksys wireless router, with 2 devices plugged in to the router, 1 cpu and the phone box, and 2 wirelessly, 2 cpus.

asides from the odd router restart ihave had almost no problems. When traffic is getting high through the router, the voice starts getting chopped up, obviously from the bandwidth.

The only 2 things of concern for me are this

1. we got a used box and i assume a "recycled" phone number. and our first 3 calls we recieved on the service were for somebody else. We still continuously get calls for this other person, whats more annoying is that these people don't get the point that this other person is no longer at this number, but not entirely dolphins fault.

There was one evening last week where we had no service at all. people trying to call us got a "this number is not in service" message and even trying to call tech support from my cell(about 8:30 in the evening, note that tech support closes at 9pm), the line would pick up, a recording would say "thank you" and then promptly hang up. I also sent an email in regards to the problem, and got no response. yet at about 10:30 that night the phone was working again. i keep picking up the line now and then to see if it is up and not randomly dropping and we have been getting steady service since then.

A previous post mentioned the configuration of the phone, you may want to start posting that in your responses and we can see if that may be a factor.

vanishingson2k
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
In the end, I have given up on this service. It is now the end of July and no response. I had put so much faith in this company and it is very depressing to have them fail so competely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
I'm sure it all comes down to money. There are all sorts of companies popping up all over the place. Very few will survive without the funds to provide a quality service without being profitable for quite awhile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I have used the service for about 2 months using shaw's I-extreme service, motorolla modem, and a linksys wireless router, with 2 devices plugged in to the router, 1 cpu and the phone box, and 2 wirelessly, 2 cpus.

asides from the odd router restart ihave had almost no problems. When traffic is getting high through the router, the voice starts getting chopped up, obviously from the bandwidth.

<snip>

There was one evening last week where we had no service at all. people trying to call us got a "this number is not in service" message and even trying to call tech support from my cell(about 8:30 in the evening, note that tech support closes at 9pm), the line would pick up, a recording would say "thank you" and then promptly hang up. I also sent an email in regards to the problem, and got no response. yet at about 10:30 that night the phone was working again. i keep picking up the line now and then to see if it is up and not randomly dropping and we have been getting steady service since then.
I'm glad to hear of others using Shaw, too. I just sat down and did my periodic budget and discovered that with Telus basic phone, internet, Shaw cable and Dolphintel basic phone, I'm spending $132.89 (pre-taxed) on utilities. If I went to Shaw for my cable and internet and kept Dolphintel as my phone line, the amount drops to $105.35 (pre-tax).

I'll give Telus a call and see if they'll swing letting me drop my basic phone completely... if I have to play hard ball, I'll remind them that they're getting $70 a month from me (I talked them into giving me my internet for $35 a month) and that'll *all* go away if I switch to Shaw... and, no, I don't have a cellphone plan and don't want one.

Let's see if they'll allow me dry DSL service... .

Speaking of which, Dolphintel is now offering dry DSL and VOiP packages - but I'm not sure if the download speeds are any good.

B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Had enough.

I've decided to cut Dolphin tel loose. Too many times the service is just not there, and it always happens after tech support closes for the night, and when i really need the phone. Just this aftrenoon i was trying to get a hold of my wife at home and the phone just rang busy, which is really odd seeing that the voicemail should have picked up at the very least.

Do i really have to be reseting the phone modem every 3 days? seriously!

The worst is that i can never even check my email and talk on the phone, or the recipient of my call cannot hear me, or just hears snippets of my voice.

does the service work? yes, and it may work better for ADSL users as my cable connection can vary, but too many times have I been left high and dry to bother putting up with the inconvenience any longer. Next im going to try shaw's home phone, we'll see how that goes. Apparently, they will be setting up a completely dedicated modem for the phone, so in theory, my regular computer traffic will not interfere with the phone, I'll try to keep you posted.

Cheers!

Vanishingson2k
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Strangley enough, I've just upgraded the system to get rid of my landline

From talking with other people around me, it didn't sound like DolphinTel's voice quality service was any better or worse than just having a cellphone. Since I hate cellphones, I didn't know how often they drop calls and have voice fade-outs so, in the Big Picture, the VOiP service doesn't completely suck... it's just as eh-eh as a cellphone plan :D

Since I was living with both a landline and DolphinTel's bills each month, I ended up ditching my $32 landline and upgrading my DolphinTel to another tier or two. So now I can call a rediculous amount of countries for as long as I want for $40 a month... as long as I know the voice quality will be that of a cellphone.

I also figured I know my two neighbours really well... if I needed a guarantteed line (or the electricity is down) I could always run to them and make a call. I've already extended the offer to let one of my neighbours make a twice-weekly no-time-limit call to two of the countries my plan covers - it'll be easy since, living next door, my cordless has no problems and I can just give him the extension ;) . So it's a win-win situation, I reckon.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top