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Magic Jack problems (not mine)


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 02:44 PM

If this is the wrong forum (quite likely) will someone please direct me appropriately.

 

I have a friend nearby (in our very small village) who had a stroke about a year ago, and is therefore struggling even more than he did before with computer and Internet issues.  So far none of his many friends (he is among other things an internationally famous Greyhound breeder and judge) has been able to persuade him to get a cell phone he can carry on his person in case, for example, he gets in difficulty when out of doors.  Instead he has a Magic Jack with cordless phones strewn around his rather large house (he lives alone).  Very recently (within the past week or two) he has become unable to receive phone calls - that is, he can call out, and we can call in, but in neither case can he hear anything we say (we can hear him just fine).  He says his phones are "always muted" or "automatically muted" but I have now spent quite a bit of time in his house making sure neither the handsets nor the MJ are muted, and showing him how to mute and unmute both (I THINK I repeated the demonstration often enough that he understood it).  I established that even when both MJ and the handsets are NOT muted, he cannot hear anything over the phone (and no, he is not deaf or hard of hearing).  During the course of all that, it appeared that perhaps his MJ subscription had expired - so I set out to try to make phone contact with MJ.  All such attempts were fruitless - every attempt at their various phone numbers referred me to their Web site and to a "live chat" option to be found there.  Unfortunately there is no "live chat" option on the Web site.  The Web site does offer various options for renewing a subscription, though I'm not sure he is up to navigating them.  He has probably forgotten or lost his MJ password.

 

I'm not sure I've ever encountered a vendor site quite so obdurately resistant to personal contact as Magic Jack.  The usual tricks for breaking through the automated menu system and raising a live operator don't work there.  I have no objection to live chat - but the live chat option to which the site repeatedly refers ("at the top of the page") is not actually present.

 

My friend's state of health and of mind make it irresponsible to leave him without means of contact.  It does no good if he phones me 40 times a day and can't hear anything I say.  He does receive and send E-mail, but the limitations of that as a safety net (in the absence of a smartphone) are obvious.  He is not allowed to drive (and would not be safe doing so) so I am his designated driver - and only last week I had to drive him to a VA hospital (70 miles distant) for what turned out to be a benign attack of vertigo.  The diagnosis took 14 hours and cost me an entire work day waiting around the VA hospital - we set out at 7 a.m. and got home just before midnight.  Consider that a narrow escape that just underscores the necessity of reliable communication.

 

I am open to any suggestions how to restore his Magic Jack service.  I agree a real cell phone would be much better, but whether we can persuade him of that is another matter altogether.  This is a self-made man who has been his own boss (as restaurant owner) since the age of 15 and now, 60 years later, finds it very hard to change his ways.



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#2 Just_One_Question

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:05 PM

Maybe try going to one of their physical locations if there is one near-by and have a real-life support chat.:)



#3 saw101

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:08 PM


  I have no objection to live chat - but the live chat option to which the site repeatedly refers ("at the top of the page") is not actually present.
 

I never make the same mistake twice....I always make it 5 or 6 times just to be sure!


#4 saluqi

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:32 PM

Followup: if you browse long enough around the Magic Jack web sites you will find a good many links to live chat.  There's only one problem: so far as I could determine (after spending several days trying) NONE of them work.  They just bounce you back to one of the FAQ pages.  in spite of persistent effort we were not able to establish ANY kind of contact to ANY human being.  At that point I persuaded my friend that Magic Jack was a waste of time.

 

So he is now the happy user of a conventional cell phone, and is once again in contact with the world.  If you are old and rickety and live alone in a rural environment with no immediate neighbors with whom you interact on a daily basis, you MUST have a quick, easy and 100% reliable way of calling for help when needed.  The 100% reliable part is the hardest to realize - no system on earth is immune to occasional blips - but a cell phone that you carry on your person and with which you make frequent contact with folks who understand your situation comes fairly close.  Chattering is important because it lets people know you are still there.

 

There are enhancements like emergency signal buttons, fall alerts and the like.  My friend tried one of those systems and was beleaguered almost daily with false alarms and the arrival at his door of ambulance crews intent on carting him off to the hospital.  So far we have not found a satisfactory replacement.  We still chatter.






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