Short Enquiry: Just moved over to Kiwi VOIP, taking our landline number with us from Spark. They supplied the Yeastar TA100 ATA and programmed it. Ringer just chirped (very short ring, then long silence), regardless of how I program distinctive ring. Unplug the extension lines, and it rings better, but changing the Distinctive Ringtone ring-on/off makes no difference, setting the microseconds to different lengths does nothing. Further, I need the phones throughout the house, not just the one plugged into the ATA.
Additionally, with the extension lines plugged it, voice cuts in and out, to the point that the person on the line gets frustrated until I unplug the extensions or we go to mobile. KiwiVoip says the ATA is probably the culprit, but they cannot recommended another ATA.
Anyone know an ATA made to power extensions... normal copper house wiring? It may be one with a power supply to drive the other extension phones in places like the workshed and the kitchen.
Long story: Recently Gulf Internet on Waiheke upgraded me to unlimited/uncapped 75+/75+ mbps service. I've been running them since they began as YNET yonks ago, but as a small company in a rural area, they faced challenges. Thus, I also kept an ADSL subscription with Spark, again having been with them since 1997. When one would fail, I would switch to the other, but recently found that Gulf Internet was become stable enough to have a hard look at the $116/month Spark was charging, especially as they changed policy to charge when the household went over the 60GB cap, trying to get me to upgrade to unlimited. Having run Magic Jack VOIP for years with US lines, and sounds-like-you-are-next-door quality, I decided to begin by moving the landline over to VOIP. We hardly use the landline anymore, but enough to merit keeping it. So I signed up and KiwiVoip put in the change order for the landline.
I then called Spark to make sure they would remove the landline service from my account but keep the broadband, as I wanted to move slowly. The automated voice offered to call me back in 90 to 120 minutes. Yeah right. So I went to chat. The first person did not have a clue - saying my account was closed! But the second "upper tier" person was a Fawlty Towers type who managed to alienate me as a customer forever. He blamed everyone for what happened... and it took a while to understand Spark not only relinquished the voice line, they closed my broadband account. So think about this... if I had only one broadband service (Spark), the KiwiVoip would have stopped working. Surely someone anticipated this in Spark (anyone remember 2006, when then CEO of Spark, Theresa Gattung said ""Think about pricing. What has every telco in the world done in the past? It's used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that's fine," said Gattung in a speech recorded on March 20) because this was a very effective way of making it difficult to leave.
But KiwiVoip was clear that all they asked to move over was the landline number; that moving broadband service requires different documentation. The best I can figure out is that my broadband is tied to the home phone number, so when that is ported away, Spark sunk me. Stupid of them losing a 22 year loyal customer, but as a former state monopoly it seems their ethos of dumb insolence is still alive and well.
The crazy part of this is that I used to use Spark for mobile, but shifted to Skinny, porting the number with me. Spark service was awful. Calling it a help line is inaccurate as the overseas rep every so politely provided no help. Repeating back, constantly apologising, never actually solving issues. We had an ADSL problem that took 14 months of email and phone calls to sort even though on day one I told them Chorus had just installed a new card in the box servicing their ADSL customers, and it probably had a defect. In the process, they had to repay $300 in damages and waste massive amounts of their salaried staff time. With our mobile, I went to Skinny where real Kiwis who know their stuff answer the phone in minutes or even seconds. They cost less. They allow rollover minutes for calls and broadband. The sound quality is excellent. I pay $16 for four weeks. But Skinny is owned by Spark. Maybe someone could organise a reverse takeover where everyone at Spark, starting at the board level, is sacked and all the policies rescinded, to be replaced by the Skinny model. But I digress...
To rub salt in the wound, I still have to pay for a month of Spark without ADSL service. I had not planned to leave Spark, but paying them to reconnect me for their mistake (or bad policy) was more than I was prepared to take on. So now I am on one service for broadband supporting another VOIP service, trying to get everything debugged and operational; hence my looking for advice on an ATA that properly powers extension lines on the house wiring. Too bad Magic Jack does not port over NZ land lines.
All I want is a clear phone land line and good broadband that works with VOIP be it ATA TA100, Magic Jack, Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc.
I am also not convinced that KiwiVoip is the right vendor. Price is right, but their support guy - who tries hard - lacks ATA knowledge. Unplugging the extension lines is not a good answer. He does not know enough about other ATA devices, especially ones made for a house with conventional phone wiring where wireless phones cannot penetrate the 300mm solid walls. I've read the discussion on domestic VOIP, and discovered WXC and Hero VOIP services, but have not gone further than looking at their web sites. Anyone in 2019 have a recommendation for best, reasonably priced VOIP?